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News and Events


If you want to be in the know about what’s going on at our organization, you’ve come to the right place.

Be sure to check back regularly to get our latest news updates or join our mailing list.

You all are Amazing!
This years Giving Tuesday is in the books and you all came together and raised $1,365.00. Your ongoing support allows us to continue to offer and expand our programs for those we serve. Thank you from all of us here at VRA for your continued support.

The Starfish Story
Please take a moment and read this story by opening this newsletter. As I go over the last 10 years, this story reminded me and inspired me to continue working hard to build and fulfill VRA's mission. Yes at times it is hard to stay motivated, yes it is hard to want to do chores, and yes it is hard to work 18-hour days at times, BUT, the smiles and the life changes are so worth it. We would not be where we are today without the amazing volunteers and community support we have been Blessed with. Thank you all and God Bless.
Tony Barnes
Founder/Executive Director

Never Forgotten!!!

It is hard to believe it has been 10 years. The memories and lives VRA has touched and changed are endless. We cannot wait to see what God has in store for us over the next 10 years. We could not do this without your ongoing support and Prayers. We are asking you to help us celebrate, to make a monthly or one-time donation of $10.00.


Introducing our amazing Volunteer of the Month, Terri!! Terri is originally from the great city of Detroit, MI where she became a Harley riding Paralegal (I mean, how cool is that??)...a few years ago, her sister moved to Omaha and Terri had the opportunity to work she did!

As we say goodbye to 2021, we want to express our sincere appreciation for all the hard work all of our volunteers put in to fulfill VRA's Mission.
We also want to Thank all of you who partnered with us financiall. There is no way VRA would be able to offer our programs for Veterans, First Responders and special needs. We are truly Blessed!

Important Update about Operation Free Ride Rodeo

Never has Victory Riding Academy’s (VRA) mission of supporting our hometown heroes and their families been more relevant. But the current public health crisis has necessitated our annual event, Operate Free Rides Rodeo to be postponed until the spring.
As our new facility allows for year-round sessions, we will continue to offer equine activities for scheduled individuals and small groups.
We will be sending out a email and posting on our social media sites reservation slots for Miltiary, Police, Fire, First Responders and their families.

Once upon a time, there was an old man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach every morning before he began his work. Early one morning, he was walking along the shore after a big storm had passed and found the vast beach littered with starfish as far as the eye could see, stretching in both directions. 

Off in the distance, the old man noticed a small boy approaching.  As the boy walked, he paused every so often and as he grew closer, the man could see that he was occasionally bending down to pick up an object and throw it into the sea.  The boy came closer still and the man called out, “Good morning!  May I ask what it is that you are doing?”

The young boy paused, looked up, and replied “Throwing starfish into the ocean. The tide has washed them up onto the beach and they can’t return to the sea by themselves,” the youth replied. “When the sun gets high, they will die, unless I throw them back into the water.”

From the President's Desk
It is so hard to believe that it is already march. I wantd to take a moment and thank everyone who has supported and is supporting VRA and our mission. We have some exciting things going to happen in 2020, but we really need your continued support to make this possible.............

#GivingTuesday is December 3rd

Double your impact by making a donation and visit Spaghetti Works in Ralston for lunch or dinner from 11am to 9pm. They will donate 10% of your food purchase to Victory Riding Academy!
Our variety of programs are offered to Veterans, active duty Military, First Responders and their families. These men and women have sacrificed and paid enough of a price protecting our communities and country. With your support we are able to offer our programs to them at no cost.

When you have a physical injury, you know there’s something wrong. If you break your ankle, you wouldn’t continue walking on it. There would be too much pain, and you’d go to a doctor for help right away.

But when you go through trauma, would you know if your feelings are normal, or something else? If you’re losing sleep, getting angry or anxious, or can’t concentrate, would you know when these symptoms are actually signs of posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD?

Dollar for Dollar Gift Match Challenge Your donation will be matched dollar for dollar up to $1,000.00 for donations that are received between now and October 4th. We need to raise a total of $3,500 to cover hay for the next 2 months. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Victory Riding Academy by clicking the donate button at the top of the page. Thank you for your continued support!

Operation Free Ride Rodeo
September 21st at Victory Riding Academy
10am- 2pm
It is fast approaching! And yes, you read the location correctly - we will be hosting this years event at VRA.
Participants Needed
If you know (or are) Military, Police, Firefighter, First Responder or Veteran please ask them to visit to preregister for this years event,

Everyone experiences PTSD in different ways. Some of the most common symptoms include:

Reliving the traumatic event
Avoiding situations that remind you of the event
Negative changes in beliefs and feelings
Feeling keyed up
Symptoms may start immediately after the event, or they may start weeks, months or even years later. They can also come and go over time.

It is here. August 10th and Defiance Harley Davidson, Scott Helmer fundraiser for VRA. Food, Games, Beer Garden, horse rides (weather permitting) from 4:00-6:45, new guitar giveaway and much much more. Go to to purchase tickets online today. Limited availability for the VIP experience!

VRA at the 12th Annual Omaha Health, Wellness, & Fitness Expo at Baxter Arena

On April 6th and 7th from 10am-4pm come see Victory Riding Academy's booth! We will have some of our cute homemade crafts, information about upcoming events, you can sign up to be a volunteer, or just learn more about our 2019 initiatives. Click here for more info.

Volunteers Needed
Due to the flooding throughout Nebraska, we have rescued several animals that have been affected. We need more help than ever to keep them cleaned and fed. If you are interested, please email Stacy at Don't forget to invite your friends and family along!


Victory Riding Academy was chosen by performer Scott Helmer to put on a fundraising concert with 100% of the proceeds going to VRA. Mark your calendars now! Ticket sales and more information will be announced soon. CLICK HERE to check out Scott Helmer.

November 2nd - Hoofin' It for Heroes 5K
Join Victory Riding Academy/Homefront Horseman at the Hoofing It for Heroes Stick Horse 5K Run/Walk November 2, 2019 at Zorinsky Lake Shelter 5. Registration will begin at 9AM, Run/Walk will start at 10am. You can run, walk, roll, or even gallup to support our programs for Veterans, Active Duty Military, First Responders and their families. Food, music, and a good time guaranteed. Timed results available via text and email immediately upon completion (by Webscorer). Please visit to register. Don't forget to share it with your friends and familiy!

Learn About the Effects PTSD Can Have on Families
Imagine that your loved one has just returned from deployment overseas. Your Veteran is having a hard time getting adjusted to civilian life. You know that they’re having nightmares. They’re also getting angry over small things, and seem to be more anxious nowadays.

These reactions are normal after returning from deployment. But what if they last for more than a few months? Would you know how to help your Veteran?

Learn About the Effects PTSD Can Have on Families
If your loved one has been diagnosed with PTSD, you know some of what they are going through. They might be anxious or get upset frequently. They may struggle with nightmares and flashbacks. But PTSD doesn’t just affect the person living with it. PTSD can cause people to withdraw or disconnect from the people they love.

Homefront Horseman Riding Center now has an amazing apparel line. A portion of each purchase will go back to HHRC and help us serve Military, First Responders and their families.

Victory Riding Academy now has an amazing apparel line. A portion of each purchase will go back to VRA and help us serve our community and anyone with special needs.

'Operation Christmas Cookie' for our Veterans
Even though VRA cannot provide activities with horses due to the excessive mud and cold temperatures, we still find ways to Honor and Serve our Veterans.

On Christmas weekend, our amazing Volunteers spent 24 hours baking 13 different types of cookies and made up 50 plates of homemade goodies that were hand delivered on Christmas Eve to the VA Hospital.

Anniversaries of Traumatic Events Can Be Tough. Treatment Helps.
Do you remember the day – the actual date – of your trauma? When that time of year comes around, do you feel more on edge or stressed? Whether the event is something specific only to you or one that gets a lot of attention – like D-Day, 9/11, or Hurricane Katrina – you may feel sad and on edge. These feelings are called an “anniversary reaction” and they may be hard to deal with.

Save the date! November 27
at Spaghetti Works in Ralston
Imagine if all of us gave a little...what an impact we could have!

Help us reach our goal of $3,000 which will provide 25 horse assisted sessions for Veterans, active duty Military, Police, Firefighters and their families at no cost to them.

For One Valley Woman, Pain from Vegas Massacre Lingers. Michelle Leonard says through counseling, she's learned what can help her cope with PTSD.

Female Veterans Honor Flight
Very honored to have the opportunity to meet and thank the women that served at the Nebraska Female Veterans Flight at Embassy Suites in La Vista on September 23.

Wecome home!
Cisco was able to come home this past Sunday! He's not back in a pen yet, but a temporary stall for a while longer. The Vet is really happy with his healing and is looking for him to make a full recovery. Thank you for all your Prayers and support.

In this months newsletter:
*New website launched
*Volunteer Orientation
*Chili Cook Off
*Run for the Fallen
and much more

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