Cheered on by staff, volunteers, family and friends, Talbot Clarke of Darien received The Ann Pinkerton Award for Adult Rider of the Year at the 34th annual Pegasus Horse Show on May 31. The award is given to an adult Pegasus rider who has shown the most improvement over the year.

"Talbot is a talented, independent rider," said Clarke’s instructor, Liz Fortes. "She has been through many struggles since her accident and speaks candidly about her challenges. I will never forget the first time she rode with me. I was in awe of what a beautiful, accomplished rider she was. After that lesson, her mom spoke to me about the reality of Talbot’s post-accident challenges and how they affect her daily life, and I told her, ‘none of that shows when she rides—I would never have known.’ It’s clear that not only her body remembers how to ride, but her spirit remembers as well."

Hosted at Pegasus’ main equestrian center, Pegasus Farm in Brewster, N.Y., the horse show celebrated the achievements of more than 60 children and adults with special needs. The event is also the nonprofit’s primary annual fundraising event, and all charitable contributions will benefit the more than 300 participants served by Pegasus each year.

Grouped in classes of three to six athletes, each Pegasus Horse Show participant demonstrated skills he or she practiced during weekly lessons at one of the nonprofit’s four chapter locations in Fairfield, Putnam and Westchester counties. In celebration of the organization’s Ruby Anniversary, this year’s athletes won a special "40 Years Pegasus Proud" ribbon for accomplishing a particular horsemanship skill exceptionally well.

Clarke’s fellow Darien residents Andrew Baylis and Abhi Polaki each won Best Transitions ribbons in their respective classes at the event. The Best Transitions award recognized their skill at maintaining a balanced, centered riding position when changing gaits between walking and trotting.

Founded in 1975, Pegasus Therapeutic Riding is a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center that provides the therapeutic benefits of horseback riding and other equine-assisted activities to people with special needs, military veterans and at-risk individuals, including disadvantaged youth and abuse survivors. Visit pegasustr.org for further information about Pegasus’ programs or to make a tax-deductible donation in support of its mission.