Reigning Grace Ranch
Join “America’s Fullback” Ron Wolfley and renowned author James Owens at the
Grand Opening of the William Edward Phipps Cowboy Arena
When: Saturday, April 6, 2019
Time: 9 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Place: Reigning Grace Ranch, 28614 N. 172nd Street, Rio Verde
Occasion: The Grand Opening of the New William Edward Phipps Cowboy Arena
Once upon a time, a prince granted a wish…
This time, the story is not a fairytale, but a real dream come true.
On Saturday, April 6, the board of directors, staff and volunteers at Reigning Grace Ranch will celebrate the grand opening of the William Edward Phipps Cowboy Arena. The Cowboy Arena is named for Bill “Cowboy” Phipps, the original voice of Prince Charming in Disney’s “Cinderella.” The Phipps Estate granted more than $600,000 to Reigning Grace Ranch to build the covered, air-conditioned structure on the 15-acre ranch.
Serving as the master of ceremonies for the celebration is Ron Wolfley, co-host of the “Doug and Wolf” show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. Wolfley is a former Arizona Cardinal and a four-time Pro Bowler. Known as “America’s Fullback,” he is the only player to have played in St. Louis for both the Cardinals and the Rams.
Our special guest will be James Owens, author of “Cowboy Ethics: What Wall Street Can Learn from the Code of the West.” The book presents the forgotten hero, the Cowboy, to fill a modern cultural void and currently has more than 120,000 copies in circulation. Owens is the founder and Chief Inspiration Officer of the Center of Cowboy Ethics and Leadership. He created the foundation with the message that “we can all be heroes in our own lives.”
The new Cowboy Arena will make year-round programs possible, providing staff and volunteers the opportunity to impact more youth, families, and veterans struggling with adversity through equine-assisted, experiential learning and therapy programs.
“RGR will now be able to offer summer programs and wheelchair accessibility to our youth and families,” said Amanda Moore, Executive Director and Founder of Reigning Grace Ranch. “The Cowboy Arena will allow us to expand our reach and provide additional support to those who need us. There is an amazing healing and empowering spirit that is found when you work with horses and we will have the ability to share that experience with more people.”
Please make plans to join us as we celebrate the legacy of Bill “Cowboy” Phipps and turn more dreams into realities for youth, families, and veterans. For more information on the Grand Opening Celebration, please visit azrgr.org.
“Heroes and Horsepower” to Help Veterans Heal and Reintegrate
Reigning Grace Ranch (RGR), a 15-acre equine therapy ranch located in Rio Verde, has created a new program that helps veterans reconnect with their families and the community following deployment. “Heroes & Horsepower” will be a program for military members to visit the ranch and develop horsemanship skills as well as therapeutic experiential life skills.
“We have several military families that have brought their children to Reigning Grace Ranch as a form of therapy, and we have worked with the families as a whole, not just the children,” said Amanda Moore, co-founder of Reigning Grace Ranch. “We’ve had many requests to begin a special division of the ranch that works with our service men and women as an outlet for PTSD, development of confidence, life direction and purpose. “Heroes and Horsepower” is a natural component for the ranch to add because of the work we are already doing with our children’s programming.
Studies have shown that after deployment, approximately 12.5% of veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts had PTSD.
“I had several struggles when I departed from active duty back to being a civilian,” said Chris McGraw, a volunteer at Reigning Grace Ranch. “It was a much harder transition that I had ever thought. I felt like I didn’t fit in. I was stressed about what to do for work, understanding how to acclimate to society and many other struggles that I really can’t put into words.”
Alex Dillon had a similar experience.
“Some of the struggles I had, when returning, was adjusting to the changes in my life that became routine,” said Dillon. “Also having to come home to a different house and try to understand that because I left, life back home kept moving forward.”
The new program, unique in its design and implementation, will begin in early 2019. While most equine programs focus solely on the veteran, Heroes and Horsepower will provide services for the veteran and their family.
“I knew the moment I pulled up that I needed this place in my life, and was pretty excited about it,” said McGraw. “For the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel any anxiety or depression while I was on the ranch. I actually forgot about the stresses of my daily life and just focused on the moment and the beauty that is RGR.”
Dillon first visited RGR shortly after he returned from deployment. There to help out his sister, Kebra, with the mentoring program, he got much more in return. “Volunteering at RGR helped with my transition by showing me that I can be in control of what I am feeling and control what happens around me. Having such a large animal trust you to lead and guide them is such an amazing feeling.”
The goal of the program is to bring together the military community and their families in a serene therapeutic setting. The program, as it grows, will empower the veterans to lead additional groups and help others heal. But the primary objective is to provide veterans with space where they can convalesce and connect.
“This program will be an excellent way to reintegrate veterans back into our community because it will allow a quiet place to explore direction and purpose for their lives,” said Moore. “Veterans can heal from past trauma in an authentic way, individually, as a group or and with their families. They’ll receive tools they can use in their daily lives away from the ranch.”
“Becoming a volunteer at RGR has made a lasting impact in my life by just allowing me a place to go to just let go and let God,” said McGraw. “I want to give that same feeling of peacefulness and relaxation to all my friends that I have served with. I want them to understand how important they are and that they still matter. Plus, I want to make a difference in their lives by letting them know that I get it and I was there!”
To learn more about Reigning Grace Ranch, please visit azgr.org.