ALACHUA ‒ For 19 years the Bits and Spurs Horse Club of Alachua County has held an annual fundraiser horse ride to continue the community remembrance of Dallas Osborne while helping a passionate 4-H member achieve their goals with a $500 scholarship. The fundraiser was sidelined during the COVID pandemic, but last year thanks to Addison Grosz, the event was back in action. Grosz, a current senior at Eastside High School, president of the club and the 4-H “Horseman of the Year” for the State of Florida, was instrumental in restarting the annual trail ride fundraiser. So successful was the last ride that it raised enough money for three scholarships. This year Grosz hopes to repeat that success.

4H is a nationwide organization that provides hands-on learning, to kids 8-18 to build confidence, creativity and curiosity as well as life skills such as leadership and resiliency to help them thrive today and tomorrow. Although mainly geared toward agriculture, the organization also has programs in science, healthy living and civic engagement—and provides these programs to over six million kids nationwide through a network of 100 public university sponsors and a community of 4H volunteers and professionals.

In 4H programs, kids and teens complete hands-on projects where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles. 4H exist in every county in the country through in-school and after-school programs, school and community clubs and 4H camps.

A popular 4H program locally is the Bits and Spurs program that teaches horsemanship. One of the members of this program was high school student Dallas Osborne who was known for his dedication in teaching younger students and his leadership in the program.

Over 20 years ago, Osborne was tragically killed in a car accident, but his memory lives on through a scholarship program awarded to a graduating 4H high school student who is a member of the horse club and who exemplifies the traits Dallas shared. Each student applying for the scholarship is required to write an essay, with the winning student can use the scholarship for whatever post high school education they choose.

In a matter of weeks, this year the ride will happen on Feb. 4, 2023, and is open to any rider who wants to participate and help raise funds for the scholarships. Check in is slated for 9:30 a.m. at the North San Felasco Trail Head located at 13201 Progress Blvd., Alachua, FL 32615.

The first ride will start at 10 a.m. with additional rides later depending on the number of participants. Early Bird Registration for 4-H Youth Riders is $20 if signing up before Jan. 15. Regular / Day-Of registration fee is $30. Both fees cover admission, a t-shirt, raffle ticket and lunch at 12:30 p.m.

More information is available on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/bitsandspurs4H/ or by calling 352-574-3215.Advanced tickets can be purchased at Evenbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2023-dallas-osborne-trail-ride-tickets-405324936797.

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