Camelot Therapeutic Horsemanship announces featured students for annual fundraiser

Paolo Contu-Owen (submitted photo)

Paolo Contu-Owen (submitted photo)

Camelot Therapeutic Horsemanship will host its annual fundraiser, Starry Knights, on Saturday, Oct. 29 at Scottsdale Plaza Resort, and will once again shine the spotlight squarely on its extraordinary students.

“Starry Knights is one of our favorite nights of the year, because it gives us a chance to  showcase our hard-working students and all they’ve been able to accomplish thanks to the generous support of our community,” said Mary Hadsall, Camelot’s executive director, in a press release.

“We are thrilled at the growth we have seen in Starry Knights since its inception seven years ago and are looking forward to another exciting, inspiring evening on October 29th.”

As has become tradition, the Starry Knights program will feature two Camelot Camelot students, one adult and one youth. This year’s honor goes to Paolo Contu-Owen and Sydney Morrison.

Paolo Contu-Owen is a proud father of four who hails from the island of Sardinia, Italy.

In 2011, Mr. Contu-Owen who owned and operated a successful business and spoke six languages at the time, survived a stroke that left him paralyzed on his right side and permanently unable to speak, read or write. Fiercely independent, he describes his lessons at Camelot as the highlight of his week and says that in addition to helping with his physical challenges, they fill his life and revive his soul, the release stated.

Sydney Morrison (submitted photo)

Sydney Morrison (submitted photo)

Sydney Morrison is a 10-year-old fifth grader at Archway Classical Academy in north Phoenix and will begin her second lesson season at Camelot in the fall.

Sydney has a form of cerebral palsy (spastic diplegia) that manifests as high and constant tightness and stiffness in her legs, hips, and pelvis. Sydney is an extraordinary, athletic girl who takes everything in stride and prides herself on her ability to do almost everything that other kids can do, including ride horses.

Camelot Therapeutic Horsemanship is a nonprofit organization that teaches horsemanship to children and adults who have physical disabilities.

Camelot has been offering all services at no cost to students since 1983, and is located in north Scottsdale. Camelot will use funds raised through Starry Knights to continue to offer their horsemanship program to children and adults with disabilities free of charge.

The Starry Knights in Black & White is slated to be 6-9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort, 7200 N. Scottsdale Road. Single tickets can be purchased for $125, and a table of eight is $900.

Tickets can be purchased at

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