Surrounded By French Fashions, Equest Women’s Auxiliary Committee Learned About Wylie Sale And Style Show’s Honorary Chair

With French designer Roland Mouret holding court in the Glass House of Neiman Marcus Downtown, the Equest Women’s Auxiliary committee members like Auxiliary Founder Louise Griffeth, Elsa Norwood, Linda Secrest, Di Johnston and Stacey Walker, were being hosted by NM Downtown VP Jeff Byron for lunch on Thursday, May 18.

Roland Mouret fashion

Roland Mouret fashion

As models floated around the tables, Roland didn’t mind taking a purse from a couple of models and setting them aside until he spotted another walking mannequin whose look was ramped up with the addition of one of the errant purses.

Roland Mouret

Andy Steingasser

The big news of the day was Equest CEO Lili Kellogg’s reporting that the original Equest home base in Wylie had been sold thanks to Equest Board Chair Andy Steingasser, who also negotiated the cash deal and donated his commission to Equest.

According to Lili, the Equest program would be based at Texas Horse Park, where they could focus all their energies on established programs and expand to include partnerships with Paul Quinn College, the Dallas Police Department and the Dallas Independent School District.

Lili Kellogg, Beth Thoele, Jeff Byron and Angie Kadesky

In the meantime, she reported that the staff was busy making the move out of Wylie with a deadline of Thursday, June 1.

Regarding the Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Style Show on Tuesday, October 3, at Brook Hollow, Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Angie Kadesky and Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele revealed that Robyn Conlon would be serving at the honorary chair.  

Not Even A Rainy-Day Delay Could Put The Whoa For The Equesters Galloping Ahead From Their “Field Of Dreams” Gala

One thing is for sure. Those horse-loving Equest folks are flexible. When radar showed threatening weather storming into North Texas for Saturday, April 29th’s Equest Gala at Texas Horse Park, cool minds ruled, coordinated with vendors, sponsors, guests and the ponies and moved the whole kit-and-kaboodle to the next day. Here’s a report from the “field of dreams:”

Kelly Howard, Blair Dwyer and Elizabeth Schwartz*

Ray Johnston*

The Equest Gala, themed “A Field of Dreams,” was truly an inspirational evening of hope, determination and joy. With Saturday’s forecast of severe storms, a difficult decision was made to reschedule the gala to Sunday, and the Equest team, Gala committee, and event planner Katy Sky Group produced the unthinkable: a beautiful fundraising gala for 450 guests complete with all the bells and whistles. The 36th annual Equest Gala was another example of Equest’s can-do spirit.

Jocelyn White and Jody Dean*

Finely dressed in their equestrian best, guests perused the magnificently decorated Equest barns and arena at Texas Horse Park. Ray Johnston performed an acoustic set during the reception – providing the perfect soundtrack to the blue skies and cool temperature. Sipping on signature “Field of Dreams” margaritas and sampling the Bourbon and Biscuits Bar, guests cozied up with the lipstick-wearing Equest Mini-Ambassadors Cisco and Dare at the Mini Kissing Booth. Just as festive was the Tequila with Taco station where delighted guests enjoyed Milagro tequila and a photo with Equest’s famous donkey, Taco.  One of the best parts of the night was seeing the proud smiles worn by the Equest riders during Horse and Rider demonstrations.

Andy Steingasser*

Guests enjoyed a family-style southern gourmet dinner from Farm to Market Catering, while Emcees Jocelyn White of Designing Texas and Jody Dean of KLUV 98.7 FM introduced Equest CEO Lili Kellogg, Equest Chairman of the Board Andy Steingasser, and Equest Gala Co-Chairs Kathy and Jeromy Fielder, among others.

Kathy Fielder, Bella Fielder and Jeromy Fielder*

Cary Pierce*

A compelling video touched charitable hearts before the start of the live auction. Over $50,000 was raised during the fund-a-mission and five Equest therapy horses were sponsored by generous donors. Other guests bid on stellar live auction items including a four-night vacation in Breckenridge, a Napa Valley Getaway, a live painting by Dace Lucia Kidd, and a Belize Dream at the Las Terrazas Resort. Guests also had the opportunity to bid on one-of-a-kind silent auction items, and purchase a key for $100 that the lucky winner could use to unlock a $2,500 Neiman Marcus gift card.

An equestrian chic gala – especially one located in a barn – would not be considered a success without two-stepping. Dancers from Arthur Murray Dance Studio opened the dance floor, quickly followed by guests’ cowboy boots shuffling to the musical lead of Cary Pierce, and surprise musical guests Crystal Yates and Jon Christopher Davis.

Phyllis Comu and Susan Schwartz*

Darin and Margot Ruebel*

Additional attendees included: Equest Co-Founder Susan Schwartz, Bill and Lezlie Noble, Monique and Reed Williams, Margot and Darin Ruebel, Phyllis and CJ Comu, Phyllis Glazer, Bridget and Tom Black, Jessica and Michael Barnett, Ricky Callahan and Jennie Healy, Connie Sigel, Mimi and Rich Sterling, Patrick and Kristy Sands, Carolyn and Romy Anderson, and Alanna Smith of WFAA Good Morning Texas, among others.

* Photo credit: Thomas Garza

JUST IN: Equest To Sell Wylie Property, Add Al Hill Jr. Family Arena At Texas Horse Park Facility With Completion Slated For Fall 2017

Equest just revealed a big reduction and expansion of its physical operation. The reduction is the putting up for sale its Wylie property. Despite the “For Sale” sign, it will continue operating from Friday, January 27, thru Saturday, May 13. Handling the sale will be Dave Perry-Miller and Associates’ Andy Steingasser, who is also Equest’s chairman of the board. Just to keep this above board, Andy is donating 100% of his commission to Equest.

Heather Washburne, Al Hill Jr. and Elisa Summers (File photo)

On the other hand, Equest’s expansion will be the addition of a new state-of-the-art arena at its Texas Horse Park facility. Named Al Hill Jr. Family Arena, the new arena will allow the organization to be “a closer step to Equest’s vision to be a model of excellence for worldwide therapeutic riding center. The beautiful energy-efficient clearspan steel covered arena will feature wooden kick boards, a blended equestrian-specific footage, large industrial fans, high-tech audio capabilities, and a platform for announcers and judges. It will increase opportunities for Equest to serve more clients and amplify outreach programming with the Dallas Independent School District, as well as additional audiences and organizations.”

According to Andy, “Al Hill Jr. is a Dallas businessman whom [sic] has had an interest in horses all of his life. Having an involvement using equestrian programs which benefits military veterans and especially handicapped children is a perfect combination of his personal interest. Having a distinguished arena that has multi-use functionality and accessibility will not only impact Equest but also the City of Dallas. We look forward to sharing more details in the coming weeks.”

Plans presently call for a March groundbreaking with completion slated for this fall.

JUST IN: Equest Interim CEO Lili Kellogg Officially Named Equest CEO

Despite grumbly skies and a killer schedule of activities today, more news is coming in. Equest has a new executive director! The equine therapeutic program that helps everyone from kiddos to vets has been under the direction of Interim CEO Lili Kellogg, since Patrick Bricker departed back in October.

Lili Kellogg (File photo)

Lili Kellogg (File photo)

Horse-pert Lili has done such a fine job that they’ve removed the word “interim” from her title, so she is now officially Equest’s CEO.

And this ain’t her first rodeo, not by a long shot. Besides earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science from Colorado State University, she’s also received her certification from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International as a master instructor, site visitor and faculty/evaluator, as well as coaching equestrian teams at national and international events including the 196 Paralympics. In 2002 she was the recipient of the James Brady Professional Achievement Award that is “the highest honor in the therapeutic riding industry.”

Having worked with Equest as program director for years, she became director of ManeGait and the executive director for Houston’s SIRE. It was in January 2015 that Lili joined Equest as VP of Operations, much to the delight of staff and board members.

According to Equest Chairman of the Board Andy Steingasser, “Finding the right talent, experience and personality that embodies the Equest CEO position is of paramount importance. Lili Kellogg exceeds all of our criteria. She could write the book on Therapeutic Horsemanship, and we are thrilled to have her leading our team.”

But in addition to overseeing the clients, staff and horses that now includes both the facilities at Wylie and Texas Horse Park, Lili’s also preparing the 35th Annual Equest Gala on Saturday, May 7, at Texas Horse Park that’s being chaired by Helena and Doug Wall and co-chaired by Chris and Dale Hansen. Handling the music for the evening will be Cary Pierce.

Congrats to Lili and Equest.