"Rockin' on the Rooftop," a benefit for the newly founded Urban Equestrian Program (UEP) presented by Southern Blues Equestrian Center in partnership with the City of Memphis, will be held on Aug. 17th from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Peabody Hotel Skyway Ballroom and Rooftop Terrace.
UEP offers inner city Memphis children the chance to learn about horses in a way that promotes responsibility, confidence, discipline, and empathy. The goal is to expose children to an opportunity they might otherwise never experience.
The program is currently offered at the Whitehaven Community Center and will gradually roll out to all Memphis community centers. After completing the classes, children who have shown an interest or skill may remain students at the Southern Blues Equestrian Center free of charge.
McKrell Baier of Southern Blues Equestrian Center said, "We've noticed that there is not enough crossover in the demographic of our students. Horse riding has always been a very suburban, elitist sport, and we want that to change."
Janet P. Hooks, Director of Division of Parks and Neighborhoods, said, "When Southern Blues Equestrian Center brought this opportunity to us, I was thrilled that we would be able to bring the world of horses to our youth. ...Before they are able to mount a horse, kids must learn stable management and grounds maintenance, as well as sessions with equine professionals."
The benefit will feature The Cadillac Band, members of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame coming all the way from Sweden. The group was founded by Elvis' drummer. DJ Fontana. They will perform alongside special surprise guests and myriad local musicians and entertainers.