Saddle Up sign

A leader in the United Methodist Publishing House has been named the new executive director of Saddle Up!, the Franklin-based nonprofit providing children and youth with physical and developmental disabilities the opportunity to grow and develop through therapeutic, educational and recreational activities with horses.

Audrey Kidd brings over 40 years of management experience in a wide range of industries to Saddle Up!, spanning the fine arts, broadcasting, health care, research, advertising and all aspects of bookselling and publishing. In 2008, she served in executive positions for Thomas Nelson Publishing, Ingram Book Group and two prominent independent bookselling chains. 

Audrey Kidd Headshot.jpg

Audrey Kidd

Kidd most recently served as chief revenue and customer experience officer for the United Methodist Publishing House, which includes Cokesbury, a multi-channel Christian retailer, and Abingdon Press.  

“Extending the offer to Audrey was an easy choice,” Trina Hayes, Saddle Up!’s board president,” said in a press release. “We feel strongly she not only embodies Saddle Up!’s mission, but brings a strategic, forward-thinking mindset.

“Even after such a challenging year for many with more challenges on the horizon, we are confident Saddle Up! will continue to be an essential community partner and enrich the lives of all our students under Audrey’s leadership.”

Kidd is a devoted volunteer for Copper Horse Crusade, an equine rescue organization in eastern Ohio, and served as the president of the board of directors of the Tennessee Reining Horse Association.  

Fundraising campaign surpasses goal

The nearly monthlong campaign Pony Up! for Saddle Up! officially surpassed its goal of $35,000 as of May 7.

“We’re incredibly moved by the support we received through this year’s campaign,” said Tricia Ward, Saddle Up!’s development associate. “The funds raised through Pony Up! are critical to providing care for our therapy horses, financial support for our riders, and maintenance of our farm and facilities.” 

Over the next year, funds raised through the campaign will support operating costs for Saddle Up!’s 34-acre farm and lessons for 26 of its riders. Saddle Up! provides the following programs based on the specific needs and interests of the children and youth it serves: Adaptive Riding, Therapy Services, Equine Assisted Learning, Fun on the Farm, Equestrian Club, Interactive Vaulting and Alumni Transitions. 

Proceeds from the campaign will also allow Saddle Up! to provide the best care for each of its 18 therapy horses, which are carefully selected and trained, and are vital partners in making a difference in the lives of participating children.

This virtual campaign officially kicked off on April 12. Participants were tasked with creating their own teams and fundraising pages, selecting a Saddle Up! horse or rider as their mascot, and competing to raise the most funds for Saddle Up!