My dream is to meet American Pharoah and become a horse trainer!
Meet Jayden, a 10-year-old living with autism whose dream of meeting American Pharoah just came true! Jayden is a thoughtful, creative, and loving boy. Like many 10-year-old boys, he loves pizza, Cam Newton, and playing with legos. He also loves sewing and science, however, his greatest love is for horses. He hopes to be a horse trainer when he grows up and “feels like it’s in his blood.” Jayden’s autism has created a number of challenges for him, especially in the area of social interaction, making it tough to develop friendships. As a result, he forms very strong bonds with close friends and family.
Jayden was referred to us by DDR, Inc and he is also one of #MollysKids! When our friends at Valvoline found out about Jayden and his dream, they instantly wanted to help! The team at Valvoline not only sponsored Jayden’s Dream, they put together an experience that would become a lifelong memory for Jayden and his family. Our Dream Experiences typically start with a meeting between DO3 and the Dream Kid’s family. A few months before Jayden’s dream, the team at Valvoline came all the way to Charlotte to meet Jayden with us and tell him in person that his dream was coming true.
From there Valvoline orchestrated the day that Jayden would later call “the best day of his life!” But not before we took Jayden to Lebo’s, where the staff would help him get ready with his own cowboy hat and steel toed boots! We then brought Jayden to Taco Mac where family and friends surprised him. There we told Jayden that his dream was starting and we’re off to Lexington for some major surprises! Jayden was thrilled.
After arriving in Lexington, the dream began early that morning at Keeneland, one of the most famous locations for both Thoroughbred Racing and Breeding. On April 20th, Jayden was treated to front row parking, a private tour of the track, breakfast at the Trackside Kitchen, box seats directly over the tunnel where the horses entered the track, and tons of Keeneland gear! Jayden was also allowed to follow the riders every step of the way from mount-up to winner’s circle, where he posed for a picture with all of the jockeys.
Then came American Pharoah. Dream Sponsor Valvoline contacted the folks at Ashford Stud Farm and set up some time for Dream Kid Jayden to come meet his favorite racing horse and only Grand Slam Winner in history. He was majestic. Jayden was captivated and was able to spend a lot of time getting to know American Pharoah. As we walked away from the track after the final race, we asked Jayden, “Was it a dream come true?” Jayden looked back with that larger than life smile and said…“It was the best day of my life.”