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William Shatner is probably best known for his rendezvous in outer space and his diligence in protecting people from high hotel prices, but the high-profile actor has another project near and dear to his heart—and this venture involves horses.

Since March 2009, Shatner has been the organizer of the Hollywood Charity Horse Show. The idea for the program birthed from the actor’s viewing of a 1980 exhibition by severely handicapped children. The children – including some who could barely hold their heads up – were performing complex calisthenics on the back of a horse. The program was sponsored by Ahead With Horses, a therapeutic riding group for handicapped children. Shatner commented, “You can’t watch these kids without knowing you have to help, somehow.” And help he did.

Today, the Hollywood Charity Horse Show is an annual, nationally-covered event. HCHS begins with world-class reining horses and riders competing for honors by performing spectacular stunts and tricks. The competition is followed by an auction and music show put on by popular artist such as Brad Paisley, The Ben Folds Five, Lyle Lovett and Randy Travis.

Mark your calendars! April 25, 2009 is the next date for Shatner’s event. Willie Nelson is the scheduled musical guest. The show will benefit Ahead with Horses, Camp Max Straus and other children’s charities. More info can be found here.

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