KALISPELL — The annual Rebecca Farm equestrian horse triathlon is this week. Dubbed "The Event at Rebecca Farm," it's taken place in Kalispell for over 20 years, and it is the biggest horse triathlon west of the Mississippi River.
And it lives up to its name. From show jumping to dining, The Event has something for everyone.
But the responsibility didn't come as easy, as organizer Sarah Broussard took over after her mom passed away in 2010 from breast cancer.
"She would be proud of where we've come," Broussard said. "She hasn't been here for the past 10 years, but I think that she would be very happy with what we've created. And, you know it carries on her legacy that she had, she wanted to create a showcase event for competitors in the west, and she has."
When Sarah thinks of her mom, Rebecca Broussard, there is one word that comes to mind.
"Strength, because she had the idea of making this happen and she never backed off. She kept pushing forward, kept adding levels, kept bringing in top-notch officials," said Broussard.
Broussard wanted to find a way to make the event more impactful, and that is when she created Halt Cancer At X to raise money for breast cancer. It is funded in various ways, but one but one of the major ways is by a suggested $10 parking donation to the event. The organization raised over $720,000 over the first decade.
"Definitely a tribute to my mom," Broussard said. "But also, you know there are lots of people in this sport who dealt with breast cancer and continue on and come back afterwards you know strong as can be. And it's for them too and and it's for people here in the Flathead Valley who are struggling through chemo or whatever is going on, and knowing that we are able to donate some money to those organizations is very heartwarming."
People come to this event all throughout the United States and even the world, and Broussard hopes that everyone can see her vision is bigger than just the sport.
"It is bigger than the event in that it has a broader reach here in the community as well as with research," Broussard said. "Knowing that everyone is coming together to create that, that I can push back out into the community and say, hey, we're not just about horses, we think about a lot of things and try to accomplish the best we can."