Northwest NEWS

September 20, 1999


Monty Roberts demonstration will benefit EquiFriends

Monty Roberts

Monty Roberts and friend.
Photo courtesy of Christopher Dydyk; copyright © 1999.

   MONROE--Monty Roberts, whose book The Man Who Listens to Horses created a breakthrough in humane training of horses, will appear in Monroe on Sept. 27 to demonstrate his groundbreaking Join-Up technique. The event takes place from 7:30-10:30 p.m. at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds and will benefit EquiFriends Therapeutic Riding Program of Snohomish.

   Joining Monty on this tour are two of his close equine friends: the famous Shy Boy, title character of Monty's new book and PBS special, Shy Boy--the Horse That Came In From the Wild, and Tucker, a young thoroughbred born blind and sold for slaughter, but rescued by Colorado Horse Rescue (CHR). This special horse won the hearts of volunteers at CHR, who raised the substantial funds necessary for cataract removal surgery, which restored much of his sight.

   Tucker's heartwarming story attracted the attention of both the national media and Roberts. Now adopted and living at Flag is Up Farms with Monty, Tucker's story will soon be seen on Animal Planet's TV series Wild Rescues.

   "The purpose of the Join-Up tour is to enlighten people about the importance of humane treatment for horses and all other living creatures, and to let them know they can achieve training goals with good communication and trust. It's time to end violence," says Roberts. "Despite their large size and strength, horses can become a partner to man. A horse will give you his cooperation, either through fear or trust, but only if you gain his confidence will he ever achieve the highest levels of performance."

   Roberts begins each event by demonstrating his technique to start a young horse that has never before been ridden. He then works with up to three remedial horses, demonstrating how the principles of the technique can be applied to teach a horse to load in a trailer safely and without fear, and to overcome behavioral problems, such as kicking or bucking.

   Accomplished with kindness and reward, Roberts' humane technique of "starting" horses is totally opposite to the traditional, cruel method of "breaking" horses through force and punishment.

   "We are thrilled to be the beneficiary organization for this truly inspiring event," said Evie Bredeson, development director for EquiFriends Therapeutic Riding Program. "Our efforts to provide therapeutic programs for people with disabilities depend heavily on fundraising and donations, and Mr. Roberts' demonstration will help raise much-needed funds to support our continued efforts."

   Roberts' first book, The Man Who Listens to Horses, soared to #2 on the New York Times Best-Seller List in its hardcover version and remained on the list for over a year. Now in paperback, this inspiring page-turner has sold more than four million copies throughout the world. His second book, Shy Boy--The Horse That Came In From The Wild, released in May, is also a New York Times Best-Seller.

   General admission seating is $25 per night, and a limited number of VIP tickets are also available at $75. The VIP admission includes ringside seating and a one-hour reception and book signing with Roberts beginning at 5:30 p.m.

   Tickets are available by calling the toll-free number, 888/U2-MONTY (888/826-6689). For more information about Roberts' 1999 tour schedule, visit his website at

   Founded in 1989, EquiFriends operates out of Warren Wood Farms in Snohomish. EquiFriends is a non-profit program that depends on fund-raisers, contributions, and minimal tuition for its financial welfare. They are fully accredited by the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA).