The TRAV Board of Directors announces the establishment of the Alex Ford Memorial Fund to honor Alex who lost her life on March 11, 2021 from complications due to anorexia nervosa. Alex, the beloved daughter of Barb Ford, was known to the TRAV community from the time she was an infant. Barb, TRAV board member and founder of Untamed Spirit in Virginia Beach, has been a friend and mentor to many here in Virginia. Alex and her twin sister, Ashley, made their first appearance as newborns in strollers at the 1991 TRAV Horse Show at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia. They grew up in the TRAV community and became staunch supporters of their mother’s riders at the annual horse show and other TRAV events. They were loved by the larger TRAV community.
TRAV’s mission statement reads, “The Therapeutic Riding Association of Virginia, Inc. (TRAV) is a non-profit organization formed to foster equine-assisted activities by offering educational and networking opportunities to operating centers and to raise public awareness of the benefits of these activities to individuals with disabilities.” To this end, the TRAV Board of Directors has established this memorial fund with the intent of raising public awareness of eating disorders and how the needs of persons with such diagnoses can be met through equine assisted activities. In addition, the proceeds will be used to fund a scholarship program for riders who have been diagnosed with an eating disorder, making it possible for them to receive the help they need through equine assisted services provided by any TRAV member center in current standing.