MANCHESTER - Thanks to all the riders who took part in the Oct. 8 Third Annual Ride for the Cure - as well as the generosity of the event's host, Green Mountain Horse Association - the Vermont-New Hampshire Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure has taken in a very respectable $57,494.

A 10 mile pleasure loop beginning and ending at the GMHA's facility in South Woodstock, the 2012 Ride for the Cure led horse and rider through some of southern Vermont's most picturesque towns and villages during the height of Vermont's famed foliage season.

Each of the 117 ride participants committed to raise and donate a minimum of $250. All riders met the goal and many exceeded it.

One, Christine Giddings, took top honors as the Ride's Platinum Rider for her field-topping sum of $4,050. For her efforts, Christine was awarded a $100 gift certificate from Smart Pak and a pink saddle pad from Slypner Gear.

Fund-raising prizes were also awarded to Gold Riders Debbi Culbertson (last year's Platinum Rider) and Amy Stark who each raised more than $1,000, and Silver Riders Pamela Alllembert. Karen Buffum, Alison Deboer, Tonya Guare, Liz Kelton, Jessica Meyer, Jessica Mount, Tracy O'Connor, Kim Rogenski, Alice Ryan, Jeanne Seymour, Pamela Sorton, Jennifer Taylor-Ahern and Brande Wood, who all brought in $500 or more. The Pinkest Horse prizes, awarded each year to the pinkest Adult and Youth teams of horse and rider, went to Brande Wood (Adult) and Kaitlynnrose Jones (Youth).

"My sincerest thanks go to all the riders, this wonderful facility [GMHA], our amazing volunteers and especially our Ride Chair and two-time breast cancer survivor, Lois Steele Whidden," said Affiliate President, Debbie Peretz. "This event, and the new New Hampshire Ride, would not exist without her."

Peretz noted that 75 percent of all of the money raised at the Ride will stay in Vermont and New Hampshire and be used for breast cancer education, screening and treatment programs. The remaining funds, she said, go to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure national and international research programs.

Through events like the Vermont and New Hampshire Rides and Races for the Cure, the VT-NH Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure has netted more than $8.1 million in 19 years.

Of that, more than $6.7 million underwrote breast cancer education, screening and treatment programs in Vermont and New Hampshire while the balance, $1.4 million, went to breast cancer research programs.

For more information on the Ride and to learn of other efforts to find a cure for breast cancer - Tubb's Snowshoe Romp to Stomp Out Breast Cancer, the Race for the Cures in Vermont and New Hampshire, etc. - visit komenvtnh.org.

For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit www.komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.