The Mercy Varsity Equestrian Team Gets Tickled Pink at the 9th Annual Pink Derby 

The Mercy Varsity Equestrian Team Gets Tickled Pink at the 9th Annual Pink Derby 

by Stephanie Usevicz

The Mercy Varsity Equestrian Team, comprised of Mackenzie Farrow, Ellie Janitz, Lilian Lebednick, Sam Schubert, Alicia Vassallo, Rachel Vinarcik, and Stephanie Volk took to the field at the Huron Valley Equestrian Complex on Saturday, August 20, 2016 in order to participate in the 9th Annual Pink Derby horse show. The event, which benefits St. Joseph Mercy Healthcare Services, raises funds to provide mammograms for uninsured and underinsured women. This annual “fund-riding” event, with classes in showmanship, horsemanship, equitation, and speed, is used as both pre-season preparation for the team and as an opportunity to support a universal issue for women. Unlike traditional equestrian meets, riders are encouraged to wear pink attire that shows their support for breast cancer awareness and prevention. Even the traditional blue ribbons awarded in such competitions are transformed to bright pink beacons of support and individual and team achievement, as we experienced firsthand when our team took home wins in showmanship, speed and western riding to name a few. Former team member and alumni of Mercy High School, Nicole Ratcliffe, came out to support the team and her horse Charlie who is currently used by Stephanie Volk. The biggest winner of the day was Charlie, who tickled the crowds pink with his Pink-accino coffee drink inspired costume. Don’t laugh!—he and his rider got a trophy for their efforts.

Stephanie & Charlie


Mackenzie & A Supreme Miss


Nicole, Charlie, & Stephanie