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8-year-old recently diagnosed with Crohn's disease gets surprise trip to equestrian center

Reese lives with Crohn’s Disease, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease affecting the lining of the digestive tract, and is an avid equestrian.
Credit: Emby Taylor Photography

CONCORD, N.C. — On Friday morning, 8-year-old Reese Meendering, who has shared a love for horses since she was 4 years old, was surprised with a special trip to the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) in Mill Spring, NC. 

On Saturday, July 10 Reese distributed prizes to world-class riders and assisted the horse show director with judging. She also got an opportunity to award prizes at the Pony Derby and assist with judging during the evening’s Pony Parade. 

Reese lives with Crohn’s Disease, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease affecting the lining of the digestive tract, and is an avid equestrian.

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Reese said she was really excited about this trip because she's seen the horses at an equestrian center before but only in training. 

"I'm going to the equestrian center and I'm really excited to go because it's been my dream always to go there," Reese said. 

Reese’s dream coming true is a result of the efforts of Dream On 3, a Charlotte, NC-based nonprofit that makes sports dreams come true for youth, ages 5-21, living with life-altering medical conditions. 

Reese was referred to Dream On 3 via Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital.

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