Cavalia Donation to make riding possible for local disadvantaged youth San Jose.


 (August 20, 2012) – The internationally renowned equestrian and multimedia touring show Cavalia: A Magical Encounter Between Human and Horse has agreed to donate the materials that comprise the floor of the Cavalia stage to Riley’s Place, a local non-profit organization that provides underprivileged or chronically ill children the opportunity to interact with animals. Footing, the high-quality ground material used for the staging area of the Cavalia horse arena, would normally cost thousands of dollars but with this donation, Cavalia will be offering the local youth at Riley’s Place the opportunity to receive horseback riding lessons on a professional grade track. Riley’s Place will receive the footing donation when Cavalia leaves town after August 26, the final show of Cavalia’s extended, sold-out run in San Jose.

Riley’s Place aims to serve children with chronic or life-threatening illnesses, children who are homeless, who have special needs, or who need opportunities to experience and appreciate the healthful benefits of interacting with animals and nature. “This wonderful partnership with Cavalia will enable Riley’s Place to better fulfill its mission of making amazing animal experiences available to very special kids,” said Riley’s Place Co-Founder and Executive Director Wendy Mattes. “Some issues are just too big for kids: homelessness, abuse, cancer. Through Riley’s Place, children can touch and be touched by their experiences with horses and other animals. Thanks to Cavalia’s donation, we can provide this wonder to many more children.”

The benefits and opportunities provided by Riley’s place are of a value perhaps unparalleled in other programs. A mentor who has been partnered with a girl named Sally through San Mateo County’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program said, “What a huge, positive impact Riley’s Place has had on Sally, a little girl who has faced so much adversity already in her short life. She thoroughly enjoys everything about our visits to the ranch and loves taking care of the horses and riding. This experience allows her to have fun on the horse while learning to ride, and also teaches her how to follow directions from an instructor, which is a really important skill that will help her later in other activities.”

In Cavalia, 49 horses cavort with 39 riders, aerialists, acrobats, dancers and musicians on a 160 foot wide stage, in front of a constantly changing digital background. The show celebrates the bond between human and horse and embraces a philosophy of compassion, mutual respect, kindness, patience, and trust.

Now extended in San Jose through August 26, Cavalia is presented under its signature White Big Top, at 301 Atmel Way, across Highway 101 from the San Jose Airport. Tickets are priced from $39.50 to $199.50 + applicable fees. Special pricing is available for children (2-12), juniors (13-17), senior citizens (65+) and for groups. For information visit

ABOUT CAVALIA INC. – Headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Cavalia Inc. operates two separate touring shows, Cavalia and Odysseo, both of which marry the equestrian arts, stage arts and high-tech theatrical effects at never-before-seen levels. Cavalia, seen by some 3.5 million people across North America and Europe since its 2003 debut, celebrates the relationship between humans and horses by loosely recounting the evolution of this bond. Odysseo, which premiered in autumn 2011, takes the next step, leading viewers on a journey through some of the breathtaking landscapes horses have helped humans discover around the globe. Follow Cavalia Inc.’s latest developments at  or  

ABOUT RILEY’S PLACE – Riley’s Place was founded in 2009 by a group of caring people in honor of a young lady named Riley Church who died in 2006, at the age of 14, of brain cancer after a two-year battle. Riley’s love of nature and all animals – especially cats, dogs, horses, lambs, and goats – shaped her joyful and compassionate spirit. When Riley was no longer able to ride horses and spend time with other animals, a group of friends brought a miniature horse to visit her at home. The visit brought joy, fun and a welcomed respite to Riley, her family and friends. This visit became the inspiration for Riley’s Place and the programs that would bring the same benefits to other children in need. Riley’s Place is located at 880 Runnymede Rd, Woodside CA, just off Highway 280. All on-site and off-site programs are free of charge. For more information visit