05/09/2007 12:00AM

Mother's Day weekend events set at River Downs


A show of horsemanship skills, a charity event, and a T-shirt give away highlight the Mother's Day weekend at River Downs.

The 19th annual performance of the Cincinnati Theraputic Riding and Horsemanship program - formerly the Cincinnati Riding for the Handicapped - takes place 11 a.m. Saturday in the paddock. The program is a nonprofit organization serving local children and adults with disabilities in a comprehensive recreational and theraputic horseback riding program.

River Downs was the first racetrack in the United States to provide such a venue for the students to perform publicly. The students don silks and goggles and go through their routines in the paddock. Local jockeys serve as volunteers in assisting the students and help them learn to ride. The Montgomery Inn, owned by the Gregory family, provides a luncheon for the riders, volunteers, and family members at the track after the performance.

Straus Tobacconist will hold the first of four planned smokers, a charity fund-raising event, beginning 12:30 p.m. Saturday for Adventures for Wish Kids in the open-air pavillion tent. For a $25 donation, attendees get a luncheon, including soft drinks, a program, tip sheet, and a packet of handmade cigars. Many raffle items also will be available along with a cash bar. Local sports radio talk-show host Andy Furman will serve as guest host.

On Mother's Day, Sunday, there will be a T-shirt give away. The first 2,000 fans in attendance who purchase a program will receive a River Downs T-shirt.