Arabian horse competitors are more like family; fund supports trainers during medical hardship

TULSA -- The U.S. National Arabian and Half Arabian Championship Horse Show is here in Tulsa.

The nine-day show brings thousands of horses and competitors to the area, but the Arabian horse community is more like family than competition.

Ron Copple, a horse trainer from Seattle, Washington, is a cancer survivor.

"I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma."

Copple says that without the help of the Arabian community, he is not sure where he would be here today.

"If it wasn't for the Horseman's Distress Fund back when I got it, I can't speak for everybody, but I certainly know listening to every recipient's story since then it's been the same thing – without it I'm in medical bankruptcy," Copple said.

Copple was one of the first to be helped by the fund but not the last.

"They diagnosed me with MS in February, so I have been dealing with it and go on," horse trainer Terri Budd said.

Budd says that the show must go on as well, so with help from the Arabian community, she is here doing her part for her family.

"And we are all family," Copple said. "We all know each other we are reaching out wherever we go to the family's here, we want them to come out. You guys have got to come out."

The U.S. National Arabian and Half Arabian Championship Horse Show is in Tulsa through Oct. 25 at Expo Square.

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