Head to Avenue Espresso’s 93rd Avenue location – inside the Lincoln Creek Lumber parking lot – on October 8 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. to meet local equine celebrity Merida The Bitless. Her owner, Kristina Lotz, will be dressed as your favorite Celtic princess to hand out treats and pose for photos with Merida The Bitless. It’s all part of their campaign to become America’s Favorite Pet!

girl dressed as Merida from Disney's BRAVE with her hands on the nose and face of a horse wearing a bitless bridle
Chehalis-based Merida The Bitless will be at Avenue Espresso in Olympia on October 8 for meet and greets in an effort to become America’s Favorite Pet. Photo credit: Brent Lotz

“We are so excited to be quarter-finalist and can’t wait to make it all the way to the title this month!” shares Kristina. “Merida loves people, especially kids, and is quite the ham in front of the camera, so you are sure to get a fun photo you can cherish forever.”

Get dressed up or come as you are to Avenue Espresso to get your photo taken. Adults and kids alike are welcome! “Merida and I really do mounted archery, one of our many sports, so feel free to ask us questions about it, bitless riding, clicker training or the Gypsy breed.”

Merida The Bitless is an ambassador for the Gypsy breed as well as bitless riding, meaning she does not have a bit – the piece of metal that goes in a horse’s mouth and attaches to the reins – when riding. The pair competes in many disciplines within her breed, open shows, the International Mountain Trail Challenge Association and mounted archery, and is hoping to get other organizations to allow bitless as well. Kristina also clicker trains Merida and is an advocate for swapping out traditional horse training methods for humane techniques.

Snap a Photo with Merida The Bitless

Bring your phones for photos! There will be a pretty fall photo backdrop that will make a fun photo!  First five people will get an Avenue Espresso gift card, courtesy of Merida who just loves their pumpkin doodle cookies! “We are so pleased that our favorite coffee place is allowing us to do this,” shares Kristina. “We stop at one of their locations on our way to all our horse events.”

There will be plenty of Merida swag and treats for everyone! Cash donations will be accepted for PAWS-Washington, which will be donated in the form of paid votes for Merida for the America’s Favorite Pet contest.

America’s Favorite Pet is an online voting competition that raises money for PAWS-Washington, a nonprofit based in Lynnwood, Washington. Their mission to help injured and orphaned domestic pets and wildlife get rehabilitated and return home – whether that home is a house or a forest. “We love that we can spread our own message while also raising money to help injured animals,” shares Kristina. “it’s a win-win for everyone and we are just so excited for the next couple weeks!

“Lincoln Creek Lumber loves to support organizations that promote animal welfare,” share Hannah Dwyer. “We are so excited to co-host Merida and your favorite Celtic princess at our Tumwater location with Avenue Espresso! Located at 2421 SW 93 Avenue. Dress up, or come as you are for a magical princess experience!”

Be sure to sent a reminder and head to Avenue Espresso on Saturday, October 8 at 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. In the meantime, you can vote for Merida daily now through October 27 at the America’s Favorite Pet website. “We need those daily votes to get use through to each round, so we appreciate every single one,” Kristina says. “As our way of thanking you, we will be doing more fun giveaways at the voting progress, so be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram as well.”

Merida The Bitless at Avenue Espresso

October 8: 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

2421 93rd Avenue SW, Olympia


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