HOUGHTON, N.Y. — A special treat will happen at this year’s Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) International Conference with the EQUUS Film Festival’s presentation of “A Night at the Movies.” Guests will be treated to multiple movies from the EQUUS Film Festival from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23, as the conference kicks off at Houghton College in Houghton, New York.

In addition to the movies, two representatives from the EQUUS Film Festival, Diana DeRosa and Lisa Diersen, will be on hand for questions, interviews, and for follow-up coverage after the event. Diersen is the founder, director, and organizer of the EQUUS Film Festival. DeRosa is the co-organizer, chief press officer, and media coordinator for the EQUUS Film Festival.

“CHA attendees will be in for a treat with an interesting collection of EQUUS films,” said Diersen. Diersen founded the festival as the first film festival oriented around equestrian-themed content from all over the world. Diersen was also the producer and a writer on one of the films being shown, “A Pony and His Boy: The Story of Berry & Josh.”

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“We are looking forward to talking to CHA members about creating their own training videos and documenting their stories for the EQUUS Film Festival and our new On Demand Platform,” continued Diersen. “Film is an important tool to build and expand a client base, and we always love sharing amazing stories with our audience. Now that the EFF will be located at the Kentucky Horse Park, there will be so many more opportunities to reach the horse world.”

“A Pony and His Boy: The Story of Berry & Josh” is a Spotlight Rescue Series Film directed by Julianne Neal. The film shows the power of a pony and the effect that he has on Josh, an eight-year-old with Down Syndrome who has been afraid of animals, especially horses, all of his life. This 27-minute documentary showcases the life-changing bond Josh develops with Berry, a 28-year-old pony, from the very first ride onward. The Spotlight Rescue Series is a partnership between the EQUUS Film Festival and JA Media that shines a light on the issues facing horses, dogs, and cats in need of rescue and the individuals that work so tirelessly to save lives. This film shows how horses can help people connect and highlights how even a 28-year-old pony can have a purpose and be loved.

 “Desert Flight” is a love letter to the sport of show jumping packaged in a short documentary film that explores the unique relationship with the horse and why people dedicate so much to the equestrian life. Filmmaker and show jumper Samia Staehle’s goal was to capture the visceral way in which horses enrich our lives and heighten our senses. The film showcases individuals of enormous character, infinite work ethic, and a sharp sense of humor. Set in Thermal, California, and shot with two cameras over three weeks by Tell Studios’ crew of non-horse people, the crew finds stories that show what drives horse people to do what they do every day.

“The Wild Ponies of Chincoteague” follows the annual Chincoteague wild pony swim and auction, as well as one teenager’s journey to buy her first foal. Sabrina Dobbins, who has struggled with depression, hopes a new foal will not only help with her recovery, but will fulfill her dream of owning a horse. A local non-profit that helps deserving children purchase an auction foal helps her win the bid on Blessing, a pony that has spent its whole life until now on nearby Assateague Island. The band of horses on Assateague Island originates from those that were on a Spanish galleon that crashed off the coast of Virginia in the 17th century. The descendants of those horses roam free on Assateague, but are managed by the volunteer fire company on nearby Chincoteague Island. To keep the population in check, the annual auction sells foals, with buyers coming from as far as Canada. It’s a scenario made famous by the well-loved horse book Misty of Chincoteague, written by Marguerite Henry and published by Rand McNally in 1947.

The seventh annual EQUUS Film Festival will take place Dec. 5-8, 2019, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky., in the Wrigley Media Group Theaters. The EQUUS Film Festival is the first event of its kind to offer a home to storytellers of the horse from around the world through feature films, documentaries, videos, commercials, and short films, as well as cultural elements of fine equestrian art and literature.

The festival highlights and rewards the diverse and creative efforts of those who pay artistic homage to the horse. It is now available on-demand and streaming to all devices. Visit http://www.equusfilmfestival.net or follow on FaceBook and Twitter.

For more information about the open to all CHA International Conference and the full schedule of events, presentations and speakers, please visit www.CHAinstructors.com/conference.

CHA Instructors Change Lives Through Safe Experiences with Horses. The purpose of CHA is to promote excellence in safety and education for the benefit of the horse industry. CHA certifies instructors and trail guides, accredits equestrian facilities, publishes educational manuals, produces educational horsemanship DVDs and YouTube Safety shorts, and hosts regional and international conferences. For more information on the largest certifying body of riding instructors and barn managers in North America, Certified Horsemanship Association, please visit www.CHA.horse or call 859-259-3399.  To find a certified horseback riding instructor or accredited equine facility near you, visit www.CHAinstructors.com.

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