Children pet Chance during his birthday party as ROMA's Clydesdale Farm in Castalia.
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Special to the Telegram / Sami Conibear

Children pet Chance during his birthday party as ROMA's Clydesdale Farm in Castalia.

Annual party celebrates Clydesdale’s eighth birthday

By Jenny Braswell

Special to the Telegram

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CASTALIA – Chance the Clydesdale celebrated his eighth birthday with the largest crowd of well-wishers ever to attend his birthday party at ROMA’s Clydesdale Farm.

“This is our fifth year doing this,” said Robin Freeman, founder of A Chance in the Country and co-owner of Chance. “Every year, it gets bigger. We are so excited to see Chance’s supporters who return year after year and to meet new people who we hope will come again in the future.”

For a $6 entry fee, guests enjoyed horse rides, challenged the mechanical bull, toured the pasture in a wagon ride and ate all of the funnel cake, strawberries, orangeade and popcorn they could eat. Children played games for prizes, bounced through the obstacle course and down 20-foot slides, rode the homemade train, and made friends with the animals on the farm, including Zoey the Zebra.

“Any proceeds from this event support scholarships for children with special needs, so they can participate in our riding lesson program,” said Paul Krause, board member of A Chance in the Country. “But we have also kept the entry fee low because we want it to be affordable for everyone, so that every child who wants to can come out and experience the country way of life.”

A Chance in the Country is a nonprofit organization that gives underprivileged and special needs children a chance to join in the riding program at ROMA’s Clydesdale Farm, promotes responsible horse ownership and exposes children and youth to the country way of life.

The organization is named for ROMA’s First Chance of Hope, a Clydesdale born on the farm who conquered a birth defect that left him with a 30 percent chance of survival when he was less than a year old.

The next fundraising event will be a Sweet Potato Pie concert at the farm and is scheduled for June 21. Sweet Potato Pie is the longest running all-female band in the country and has been entertaining audiences for more than a decade with their “sweetgrass” music style.

Tickets are available for purchase in the website store at