Kim Herslow will ride for the Moffitt Cancer Center for their work with ovarian cancer at the Dressage Under the Stars Cancer Challenge presented by Invictus Farm on February 1.

This will be Kim’s debut on Soraya II, a 2002 Hanoverian mare who was competed internationally with Stella Hagelstam. Now, Soraya is owned by Marilyn Sherwin, who beat cancer many years ago thanks to the Moffitt Cancer Center .

“Moffitt Cancer Center was selected since my father was treated there for melanoma and liver cancer,” Marilyn explained. “I wanted the funds to go to ovarian cancer since I was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer at age 20 and given a 5% survival chance. After surgery, radiation and chemotherapy I was cured and will be celebrating my 70th birthday next week.”

“She’s such a fighter,” said Kim who spends the majority of her year in Stockton, N.J. “She’s probably 85 pounds soaking wet, so she’s a tiny lady, and she’s as tough as they come.”

Kim was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. Dressage team at the 2015 Pan American games, so while she is no stranger to the cheering crowd and atmosphere that Dressage Under the Stars typically produces, it will be her first time riding in this event, and her new freestyle is in the works.

“I just started riding this horse because Marilyn has a hamstring injury,” Kim explained. “She normally has the ride, and she is itching to ride again! This horse is so special and I’m lucky to ride her. And I’m really glad that I can ride for this cause – it’s really important. My mom passed away about a year ago from cancer, so it’s very close to my heart.”

The event, which is held at the Palm Beach Polo Club in Wellington, Fla., from 7 – 10 p.m. on February 1, will feature some of the top dressage riders in costume riding musical freestyles. Total proceeds will be divided according to 1st-6th place, with the winning rider’s chosen charity receiving the most money. The event also spreads awareness about lesser-known cancer charities, and provides support and publicity for their work against the disease.

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