In 1993, two nurses from Cumberland Children’s Hospital opened a therapeutic riding center that became known as Dream Catchers. A retired Quarter Horse barrel-racing champion named Red Jet and a retired Thoroughbred steeplechaser named Voo carried special-needs children to small and large victories as they improved fine motor skills, self-esteem, self-worth and gained confidence as they mastered both simple and complex tasks like placing rings on poles and reining. By 1996, Dream Catchers provided 35-40 lessons each week.
The hospital was sold, and Dream Catchers relocated to a leased facility in 2002.
In 2003, the Sikich Family donated 22 acres in Williamsburg to Dream Catchers in memorial to their daughter, Cori Sikich, an accomplished equestrian who lost her life to an eating disorder. The first six stall barn was built in 2005. The Roy R. Charles Trust funded the design and construction of a 20-stall horse barn, an administration building, a covered round-pen, an outdoor riding arena, and a lighted indoor riding arena where lessons could be conducted at night and during inclement weather.
Today, Dream Catchers at The Cori Sikich Therapeutic Riding Center hosts over 110 therapeutic riding lessons each week and is the premier therapeutic riding center between Richmond and Virginia Beach. With seventeen horses, Dream Catchers continues its tradition of helping children and adults with special-needs reach their potential.
Read Cori’s Story