Unification News for May 2004

Equestrian Tong Bong Kyok Pa

Olympic Selection Trials at New Hope Farms and the Blessing of the Riders

by Lesa Ellanson

April 23-25, 2004 -- The Westchester-Fairfield Dressage Show at New Hope Farms is an Olympic qualifier for the year 2004. What was significant this year was that for the first time, there was a Blessing of the Animals presided over by a Catholic priest. Father Dennis from St Mary's Catholic Church in Port Jervis, New York, was kind enough to come on short notice. In spite of queries from members of his parish, he was very willing to offer a Blessing of the Animals and participate in a CIG Holy Wine ceremony that followed.

Over 50 equestrians, owners and grooms participated the CIG Holy Wine ceremony which was offered by the family of Lowell and Lesa Ellanson. Second Generation teens from the New York and Washington, DC areas served as ushers and distributed the cups of Holy Wine to the equestrians and to Father Dennis. All thanked the farm and its founders, our True Parents, and insisted that this become a yearly tradition.

The Saturday evening Grand Prix Freestyle was the main event and many of our Blessed Central Families participated: Raul Joseph sang the national anthem as well as a selection from Disney's Lion King. Christina Ellanson rode in the parade of breeds and awarded the grand prize trophy to the evening's Freestyle winner, a member of the Canadian Equestrian team.

Credit for the success of this year's show is due largely in part to the Second Generation volunteers. They were responsible for much of the grounds cleaning, arena set-up and assistance with the blessing. As a result of their hard work, Mrs. Judith Noone, the show's manager, stated how impressed she was with those families who adhere to the principles of Rev. Father Moon. On the day following the show's conclusion, Mrs. Noone, whose husband is dying of cancer, took the Blessing vows, drank the CIG Holy Wine and will give the Blessing to her husband back in Massachusetts. We all wish her a heartfelt, "God Bless!"

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