The Mercy Equestrian Team Struts their Stuff at the 8th Annual Pink Derby
article by Stephanie Usevicz
The Mercy Equestrian Team was amongst more than a hundred participants at the 8th Annual
Pink Derby horse show which took place August 22, 2015 at the Huron Valley Equestrian Field adjacent
to Milford High School. The event, which benefits St. Joseph Mercy Healthcare Services, raises funds to
provide mammograms for uninsured and underinsured women. Riders participate in “fund” riding
classes such as showmanship, horsemanship, equitation, speed, and trail classes in western, saddle seat,
and hunt seat disciplines.
Unlike traditional equestrian meets, riders are encouraged to wear pink attire that shows their support for breast cancer awareness and prevention. The traditional blue ribbons awarded in such competitions were also given a pink facelift; as we saw firsthand when our team took home wins in saddle seat equitation, fitting and showing, hunt seat, pole bending, speed jumping, and barrels.
Even with a successful outcome for the team, assistant coach Marcie Kurcz, used the event as
preparation for the upcoming season and a teachable moment for how each rider could improve.
More importantly, as young women and Mercy students, the Pink Derby allowed the team to take an active interest in supporting their community and breast cancer awareness, a universal issue for women of all religious and socio-economic backgrounds.