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Bishop Burbidge blesses new ADA-accessible barn at Wheatland Farm

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“This is sacred ground,” said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge before he blessed a new ADA-accessible horse barn at Wheatland Farm near Purcellville Aug. 22.  

“It is a joy to bless this building and let this great work continue,” he said to about 100 students, families and supporters gathered for the blessing.  

The 50-acre farm is the home of a unique ministry created by Muriel and Mark Forrest, who offer therapeutic and traditional riding and other activities for families with special needs through their not-for-profit Faith and Family Foundation. 

The Forrests raised $500,000 to fund the new 192-foot ADA-accessible barn, which has extra-wide aisles with rubber pavers, accessible stalls and tack rooms that allow students in wheelchairs to safely groom horses and access riding equipment. The barn also includes a heated student lounge with lockers and two wheelchair-accessible restrooms, as well as offices for staff and an apartment for a manager to live onsite.

A custom-built automated lift helps riders with physical challenges mount and dismount horses safely. 

Read more:

Special-needs families find horses and hope at Wheatland Farm

 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2021