Three-Gaited American Saddlebred Horses

Three-Gaited American Saddlebred Horses pic

Three-Gaited American Saddlebred Horses
Image: horsechannel.com

Media production professional Mary Phillipa Sledge has served as an art department coordinator, set decoration assistant, and consultant on a variety of notable movies filmed in the United States. A recipient of USA Film Festival, CLIO, and Matrix Awards, Mary Phillipa Sledge has worked as an executive producer through the Memphis, Tennessee company SledgePro Media since 2011.

An avid equestrian, Ms. Sledge competed in the hunter jumper class in Tennessee as a teenager, and went on to win numerous three-gaited world championships.

Three-gaited championships showcase American Saddlebred horses. This breed of horse is a cross between the so-called “American horse” of the 18th century (used for both driving and riding) and Arabian and Morgan breeds. American Saddlebreds are generally 15 hands to 17 hands high and can be any color, though chestnut, black, and bay are most common. They are known for their high show quality.

Saddlebreds are required to be beautiful and elegant, possessing the arched neck that is a familiar sight in show horses. Three-gaited horses are trained to trot and canter at an easy pace with each hoof striking the ground separately. The slower pace is what sets three-gaited horses apart from five-gaited horses, which are evaluated on power and strength.

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Helping Rwandans Succeed – Bridge2Rwanda Training and Career Center

With more than a decade of experience in the film industry, Memphis, Tennessee native, Mary Phillipa Sledge has worked on productions ranging from The Quick and the Dead to Secretariat. Additionally, she has become a producer with SledgePro Media Enterprises. As part of her dedication to helping others, Mary Phillipa Sledge supports a number of organizations and causes, including the charity Bridge2Rwanda (B2R).

Founded in 2007, B2R was created to promote study-abroad opportunities for Rwandan students and to encourage direct investment in the country. In addition to charitable works, such as helping to custom fit and supply more than 2,000 hearing aids to people in need, B2R runs the Bridge2Rwanda Training and Career Center, located in Kigali, Rwanda.

The training center, which was the first Kaplan-certified education provider in the country, offers both higher education preparation and professional development programs. To serve the widest range of people, B2R has weekday and evening test preparation courses for the GRE, GMAT, and TOEFL. Its professional development services include financial analysis and English language training courses.

B2R has helped numerous Rwandans, including Justus Uwayesu, who was featured in an October 2014 New York Times article, which describes how Uwayesu went from scavenging a garbage dump for survival at the age of 9 to admittance to Harvard thanks in part to support he received from B2R.

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Horses and Hope – Kentucky Breast Cancer Awareness Initiative

Mary Phillipa Sledge has been part of the film industry for more than two decades, having served as art department coordinator for such notable films as The People vs. Larry Flynt and Vanilla Sky. She draws on this experience to lead SledgePro Media Enterprises, a joint venture with acclaimed producer Spencer Proffer. A philanthropist and resident of Memphis, Tennessee, Mary Phillipa Sledge supports several local and national charities, including Horses and Hope.

Established by Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear, Horses and Hope promotes breast cancer awareness, education, and prevention. The Office of the First Lady partners with the Kentucky Cancer Program (KCP) to sponsor the initiative, which supports the KCP’s goal of reducing rates of cancer incidence and mortality. While providing vital information to the public, Horses and Hope also honors those who have overcome breast cancer and facilitates preventative mammography screenings.

Horses and Hope focuses its efforts primarily on Kentucky’s thriving equestrian community. With outreach programs at each of the state’s major thoroughbred race tracks, the initiative aims to spread awareness among horse racing fans and professionals alike. Horses and Hope maintains a presence throughout the state, appearing at such horse industry events as the World’s Championship Horse Show and the North American Championship Rodeo.

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Mary Gaylord McClean Spay and Neuter Clinic – Shelbyville, Kentucky

Memphis, Tennessee, resident Mary Phillipa Sledge has worked in the entertainment industry for over 20 years, serving as art department coordinator for a number of major motion pictures. With a family history spanning five generations of successful horse breeding and showing, Mary Phillipa Sledge has also secured several world championship titles in the three-gaited Saddlebred division. An animal lover, Phillipa Sledge retains a passion for horses of all breeds and serves on the board of directors of the Shelby County Humane Society in Shelbyville, Kentucky.

A no-kill shelter, the Shelby County Humane Society promotes responsible pet ownership practices, including sterilization. By encouraging owners to spay or neuter their pets through its humane education programs, it aims to reduce the number of unwanted animals and prevent shelter overcrowding, thereby reducing the need for euthanasia. To this end, the Shelby County Humane Society operates the Mary Gaylord McClean Spay and Neuter Clinic at 400 Hudson Boulevard. Overseen by Dr. Teresa Gregory, the clinic provides spay and neuter services on the first and third Tuesday of each month, and it performed nearly 900 procedures in 2013. The clinic also offers vaccinations, accepting walk-in patients from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the clinic’s operating days.

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National Multiple Sclerosis Society and MS Symptoms

A community advocate, Mary Phillipa Sledge contributes to various organizations including the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Plan USA. In addition, Mary Phillipa Sledge is a supporter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and is involved with the Memphis branch.

The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has one mission, which is eradicating multiple sclerosis, often referred to as MS. Affecting 2.3 million people worldwide, MS attacks the central nervous system and prohibits the brain from communicating with the body. The cause of the disease remains a mystery, and the symptoms vary by individual. However, common signs of MS include excessive fatigue, mobility issues, numbness or tingling in different areas of the body, and vision problems. In addition, half of the population diagnosed with MS report severe cognitive changes that affect focus and the ability to learn. While less prevalent in MS patients, speech problems, seizures, and hearing loss are also symptoms.

The organization is heavily involved in research studies that can shine light on the progression of the disease. In addition, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society seeks to discover new therapies and symptomatic treatments that will aid in restoring neurological function.

Learn more about MS and the organization’s work by visiting NationalMSSociety.org.

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Interesting Facts About the 1812 Overture

Memphis native Mary Phillipa Sledge has experience in areas ranging from advertising and feature films to horseback-riding competitions. More recently, she partnered with Spencer Proffer to create SledgePro Media Enterprises. In her leisure time, Mary Phillipa Sledge enjoys listening to classical music, such as Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.

Since Tchaikovsky wrote his 1812 Overture in 1880, it has become internationally famous. In the United States, it is played in many celebrations of Independence Day on July Fourth. However, although the piece is replete with the sounds of cannon fire and revolutionary celebration, there is only a tangential connection to the U.S. holiday in that it rejoices in liberation from tyranny. Some of the true facts are very interesting.

1. Tchaikovsky wrote the 1812 Overture in celebration of Russia’s victory against Napoleon in 1812, which had nothing to do with the U.S. War of 1812.

2. The 1812 Overture includes pieces from several other songs, including the French national anthem, La Marseillaise; the Russian national anthem, God Save the Czar; and a Russian Orthodox hymn, Troparion of the Holy Cross.

3. Tchaikovsky actually despised the 1812 Overture. In his own words, he described it as “very loud and noisy and completely without artistic merit, obviously written without warmth or love.”

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Bridge2Rwanda Scholars Helps Students Win International Scholarships

A native of Memphis, Tennessee, Mary Phillipa Sledge is the executive producer at SledgePro Media, LLC, a multimedia production company, and the president of P.S. The Final Word, a marketing and public relations consultancy. Outside of work, Mary Phillipa Sledge supports several charities, including Bridge2Rwanda.

Founded in 2007, Bridge2Rwanda promotes the direct investment of foreign entities into study abroad opportunities. In this way, the organization builds a metaphorical bridge to Rwanda, changing the lives of individuals at both ends. After developing a program at the request of President Paul Kagame to help students in Rwanda win scholarships at universities overseas, Bridge2Rwanda began its first class of Bridge2Rwanda Scholars in 2011.

Bridge2Rwanda Scholars identifies the country’s most promising students and prepares them to compete for international scholarships. The program identifies students based upon their excellent academic records, proven work ethic, and strong leadership skills. Eligible students must have adequate English skills and be able to explain a vision for the future of both themselves and their country. The program connects students to universities, local host families, internship opportunities, and churches with the hopes that this assistance will not only help students succeed but that it will also help them live with purpose as leaders of the future.

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