Artwork by Ronald McDonald House Resident Ksenia Voronina of Russia Chosen

Artwork by Ronald McDonald House Resident Ksenia Voronina of Russia Chosen for The 72nd Annual Pin Oak Charity Horse Show Official T-Shirt through Pin Oak’s Therapeutic ArtReach Program

The 72nd Pin Oak Charity Horse Show presented by PJP Farm and Irish Day Farm is unveiling its official T-shirt designed by a very special young lady: She is Ksenia Voronina, who is 16 and a native of Russia.

Voronina is one of 30 children and teens who participated in The 2017 Pin Oak Charity Horse Show ArtReach Program while she stayed at Ronald McDonald House Houston’s 50 bedroom Holcombe House and was a patient at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Center.

The 2017 Pin Oak Charity Horse Show T-shirt designed by Voronina will be available for sale in The Pin Oak Boutique during the horse show, which will be held March 22 through April 2 at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center in the Houston suburb of Katy. The official Pin Oak T-shirt will be available in youth and adult sizes for $15 each. The Pin Oak Boutique also will offer caps, polo shirts, a wide assortment of T-shirt styles, and other items for purchase. Members of The Pin Oak Club are eligible for a discount on items they purchase in The Pin Oak Boutique.

Chris Tresten, ArtReach Program Founder and Chair of The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show Board of Directors, and other members of Pin Oak’s leadership team selected Voronina’s drawing as the featured design for the official Pin Oak 2017 T-shirt. Voronina’s artwork will be scanned on white cotton T-shirts, offered in both short and long sleeves options.

Ksenia Voronina (left) and Pin Oak Board Chair and ArtReach Program founder Chris Tresten are pictured here with Voronina’s drawing that was chosen as the design for the official 2017 Pin Oak Charity Horse Show T-shirt. Photo Credit: Chris Tresten

Almost all horses appreciate being rewarded after a ride or lesson with treats of many types, with the most popular being peppermint candies, sugar cubes, carrots, and apples. Voronina was inspired to incorporate peppermint treats in her Pin Oak ArtReach design after Tresten told Voronina that she hand-feeds her Saddlebred horse a peppermint after every ride.

Sketched with colored markers on white 18-by-24-inch drawing paper, Voronina’s illustration depicts a horse, standing up on its hind legs, dancing with joy from eating peppermint candies. Perfectly round, red and white peppermint treats can be seen floating around the horse. Voronina incorporates a soft pink color for the body of the horse and used hues of blue and green to make up the horse’s mane and tail. Voronina captions her drawing with the message, “Horses like to eat peppermints too!”

Voronina enjoys creating beautiful masterpieces like the one that was selected for The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show T-shirt, and she aspires to having a career as an illustrator. She also enjoys spending time with Mogie, who is the fun-loving and nationally popular resident labradoodle who lives at the Holcombe House.

Established in 1945 in Houston, The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show is one of the oldest and most prestigious charity horse shows in the nation. The primary philanthropic goal of The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show each year is to contribute a collective six-figure donation to its designated charities to support the healing of sick children. Since its inception, The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show has contributed a total gift that is approaching $7 million for its three designated charities: Texas Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House Houston, and Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Alliance.

The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show is a two-week annual spring event that attracts 1,200 horses each week and approximately 2,000 exhibitors from around the country including riders from Mexico and Canada. An award-winning horse show, Pin Oak was the first to receive the coveted United States Equestrian Federation’s Heritage Competition designation.

About ArtReach and Founder Chris Tresten

In 1997, Tresten created and brought The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show’s ArtReach Program to the children and teenagers who are receiving care at Texas Children’s Hospital and living temporarily at the Ronald McDonald House. ArtReach was a natural extension of Tresten’s love of art, children and horses. Tresten leads ArtReach programs several times each Fall. Typically, 30 to 50 children and teenagers participate each year.

Tresten wears many hats for The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show in addition to being the creator of ArtReach: she chairs the Board of Directors of The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show; she is an accomplished Saddlebred competitor; she has served for almost 30 years as a sponsor and volunteer; and she is an active member of The Pin Oak Club.

When she launched ArtReach 20 years ago, Tresten was president of the board of directors of The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show. At the time, her children were in elementary school, and she was volunteering to assist with the art program at their school. It was through this volunteer activity that she became aware of the therapeutic benefits that art can provide for children.

“The first Pin Oak ArtReach class that I led in 1997 was so much fun. I am not sure who enjoyed it more — the children or me! It was especially enjoyable seeing the children drawing horses and being creative. Through ArtReach, these courageous young people enjoy a mental escape — talking about horses with me, drawing and coloring freely, laughing and joking. ArtReach allows them to focus for a little while on something other than the serious health issues they are facing,” Tresten explained. “Some of the children, especially the girls, put on silly hats and tiaras and joke about drawing a purple horse or a polka dotted horse. I encourage them to draw any type, any color or any style of silly horse that they want. It is amazing every year to see the cutest and brightest colored horses you can imagine emerge from this process.”

Tresten added: “The children participating in Pin Oak’s ArtReach therapy sessions enjoy sitting together and talking about horses. Some of them have had experiences with horses and others have none at all. The long art table that I set up for ArtReach is covered with stuffed toy horses and books to inspire our young artists. They clearly enjoy being together looking at each other’s drawings. Sometimes they will share stories about when they rode a pony or a horse.”

The ArtReach Program has become an important part of the Pin Oak tradition, which has evolved into much more than a horse show. In addition to the two-week charity horse show, Pin Oak hosts many social, sports and recreational, fashion, charitable, and community service activities held throughout the year. Members, volunteers and sponsors are always welcomed and appreciated.

More About The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show

The 72nd Pin Oak Charity Horse Show will be held March 22 through April 2, 2017, at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center, 2501 South Mason Road in Katy. PJP Farm is the presenting sponsor for Week 1 of the horse show. Irish Day Farm is the presenting sponsor for Week 2. Sponsors, volunteers, Pin Oak Club members, in-kind product and service providers, and fans are always welcomed and appreciated. Most events are free and open to the public. Admission for Grand Prix events is $10 for adults, and children 12 and under are admitted free.

New this year are “Family Nights at The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show,” which will be hosted from 4 to 9 p.m. on Saturdays, March 25 and April 1. With the purchase of an adult general admission ticket for $10 per person, children 12 and under will be admitted free on Family Nights. Children and their adult chaperones will have access to a wide range of complimentary treats, gifts, and activities that include popcorn and cotton candy; Pin Oak coloring books, crayons and toy ponies; face painting; visits with Shetland therapy ponies and miniature horses; and taking candid photos with a Pin Oak ambassador and the Easter Bunny (either or both weekends). For a small donation, Pin Oak visitors will have the opportunity to pose with various equestrian-themed backdrops in the Catch the Moment photo booth sponsored by Stalker Energy and engage a caricature artist to sketch a stylized image of themselves. Featured entertainment includes the world famous Catalena Cowgirls, Houston Highlanders Bagpipe and Drum Corps, an acoustic guitarist, and the Wells Fargo Stage Coach (Week 2 only).

Friday, March 31 doors open 5 p.m. for The Dr. Brian Bradley, MD Memorial $50,000 United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) International Hunter Derby. Enjoy the elegance of the Hunter horses featured in the USHJA International Hunter Derby with top competitors from around the country.

The 4th Annual Pin Oak Sporting Clays Classic is slated for April 24, 2017, at the Greater Houston Gun Club. The event begins at noon and ends at 5 p.m. Individuals, teams of four, and sponsors are invited to participate. Fees range from $400 to $10,000 depending on the level of participation.

Anyone who wants to help heal sick children can join The Pin Oak Club – no horse required! The Pin Oak Club offers many social and sporting events throughout each year, with its two featured events being the annual Sporting Clays Classic and the What to Wear to That Equestrian Affaire fashion show and luncheon. Annual Pin Oak membership options include: Junior Membership for those 21 and under, $50; Individual, $75; Family (for two adults and two children), $200; Patron, $1,250; and Lifetime, $2,500. Membership benefits are detailed at pinoak.org/pin-oak-club/join-now/membership-benefits.

For more information about The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show and to explore other ways to become part of the Pin Oak tradition, please visit pinoak.org, follow Pin Oak on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter; or call 713-621-6290.