KALISPELL — Not only is it one of the biggest equestrian events in the western United States, but it's also a big fundraiser for a great cause.
The Event at Rebecca Farm in Kalispell is once again underway.
The equestrian horse triathlon has taken place in Kalispell for over 20 years and is the biggest horse triathlon west of the Mississippi.
From show jumping to dining, the event has something for everyone. But the responsibility didn't come as easy as organizer Sarah Broussard took over after her mom passed away in 2010 from breast cancer.
"She would be proud of where we've come. Obviously, since she's, you know, she hasn't been here for the past 10 years, but I think that she would be very happy with what we've created,” Sarah told MTN News.
“And, you know it, it carries on her legacy that she had, she wanted to create a showcase event for competitors in the West, and she has,” she continued.
When Sarah thinks of her mom Rebecca, there is one word that comes to mind.
"Strength. Because she had the idea of making this happen and she never backed off. She kept pushing forward kept adding levels kept bringing in, top-notch officials."
Sarah wanted to find a way to make the event more impactful, and that is when she created Halt Cancer at X, which funds breast cancer research.
Now when people enter The Event at Rebecca Farm, there are competitor pledges. And through those pledges, she has raised over $720,000 over the first decade.
"Definitely a tribute to my mom. But also, you know there are lots of people in this sport who dealt with breast cancer and continue on and come back afterward you know strong as can be,” Sarah said.
“And it's for them to and it's for people here in the Flathead Valley who are, you know, struggling through chemo or you know whatever's going on, and knowing that we are able to donate some money to those organizations is very heartwarming."
People come to The Event from throughout the US and even the world, and Sarah hopes that everyone can see her vision is bigger than just the sport.
"it's bigger than The Event in that it has a broader reach here in the community as well as with research,” Sarah said. So, you know, knowing that everyone is coming together to create that, that I can push back out into the community and say ‘hey, we're not just about horses’. That and you know we think about a lot of things and try to accomplish the best we can.”
The Event runs through Sunday at Rebeca Farm and will feature more than 600 horses and riders. Click here for more information.