Talk Of Equine Therapy For Military Vets—And A Generous Gift—Highlight Equest’s Hooves for Heroes Party

Carolyn Anderson seems like a natural to chair Equest’s second annual Boots And Salutes fundraiser, benefiting Equest’s Hooves for Heroes program, this coming July at Texas Horse Park. Hooves for Heroes helps military veterans, first responders and their families transition to civilian life through equestrian therapy. Carolyn has a brother who’s a colonel in the army, and a sister who has cerebral palsy. “I have a soft spot for people with special needs,” she said.

Carolyn Anderson, Norma Jean Schaltenbrand and Kailey Pretzlaff*

Greg Nieberding and Susan Schwartz*

Carolyn was standing in the “retro” living room of Greg Nieberding’s 1950s-style designer showhouse, where about 50 people had gathered Thursday, January 25, for the Boots And Salutes patron party. Among those enjoying the evening were Louise Griffeth, Equest co-founder Susan Schwartz, Equest board chair Andy Steingasser, James Thomas, Norma Jean Schaltenbrand, Kailey Pretzlaff and Joe Dealey Jr. with his daughter, Beverly Dealey. Equest CEO Lili Kellogg shared the great news that Joe and the Dealey Family Foundation had generously decided to donate $100,000 annually for three years to Hooves for Heroes.

Beverly Dealey, Joe Dealey Jr. and Lili Kellogg*

Michele Ritter and Andy Steingasser*

Kristina and Phil Whitcomb

Nancy and Ron Natinsky and James Thomas*

Also in attendance were Dr. John Burrus, CEO of Metrocare Services, and Equest board member Nancy Natinsky and her husband, former Dallas city council member Ron Natinsky. Ron said the couple had recently downsized from a 5,000-square-foot home in North Dallas to a much smaller, high-rise condo in the Knox-Henderson area, and were loving it.

As the guests enjoyed their wine and hors d’oeuvres, a panel discussion commenced featuring Burruss, military/combat veteran Joe Lucido, Equest program counselor Christa Collum, and Jeff Hensley, Equest’s director of clinical and veterans services. Jeff recounted that, over the last six years, more than 900 veterans and military family members had come to Equest seeking help with the likes of “identity issues, PTSD, depression, and other matters that make adapting to civilian life challenging.”

Christa Collum, Joe Lucido and John Burruss*

One of them was Joe. He told the gathering that, prior to volunteering with Hooves for Heroes, “I was not a functional individual. I needed to make progress. I was a mess. All I knew about horses was they would bite you, or fall over on you. I wasn’t sure how a horse could help me, but I had nothing to lose.

“A horse is a prey animal, and I realized that’s what we [soldiers] were on the battlefield, too,” the veteran went on, telling how he’d come to “bond” with the nonprofit’s therapy horses. “Without Equest, I would not have made the progress that I have.”

Burruss and Hensley, meantime, alluded to the fact that, last June, Metrocare and Equest began one of the first partnerships in the country to research and collect data about equine therapy through focus groups. Their partnership, it’s hoped, will be a catalyst for other equine therapy programs across the country to do the same. The ultimate goal: ensuring that equine therapy is recognized as a source of mental-health treatment by the medical industry.

Boots And Salutes will be held on Friday, July 20, at Equest at Texas Horse Park. Carolyn and Equest say the “USO-style” event will include an aerial salute by World War II aircraft, live Frank Sinatra-inspired music, food and drink, and “a tribute to both our nation’s heroes and Equest’s heroes, the therapy horses.”

* Photo credit: Bob Manzano

MySweetWishList: Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon And Style Show

According to Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon And Style Show Chair Heather Randall,

Equest has enhanced the lives of children and adults using horses to bring hope and healing through equine assisted therapies for thirty six years. In early 2018, we will reveal details of the annual Equest Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show and Luncheon which will raise much-needed funds for Equest’s unique therapy programs.

Heather Randall (File photo)

Louise Griffeth (File photo)

“Today, Equest is the leader in equine assisted therapy and serves hundreds of riders annually. These riders include those with cerebral palsy and autism as well as orthopedic ailments. Additionally, Equest serves our country’s brave veterans through our Horses for Heroes program.

“When Equest Women’s Auxiliary founder Louise Griffeth started the organization 30 years ago, Equest was known as Freedom Ride and many people were unfamiliar with the cause and how to become supporters. A lot has changed in the past three decades as Equest has received national recognition for its work and the Women’s Auxiliary is a thriving organization comprised of hundreds of dedicated women who work tirelessly to provide invaluable funding.

“My wish is that you visit Equest Women’s Auxiliary to learn how you can become of a part of this amazing organization. You don’t have to wait for the Fashion Show to become involve! We hope you will join us for this worthy and life changing cause.”

-By Heather Randall, Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon And Style Show chair

JUST IN: Equest Luncheon And Style Show Nets $253,000

It was just a month ago that the Equest Women’s Auxiliary held its annual Equest Style Show and Luncheon at Brook Hollow with designs from Highland Park Village. Since that time Auxiliary Chair Angie Kadesky and Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele have been burning up their calculators for the final number to put on the check.

Christine Volkmer, Angie Kadesky, Lili Kellogg, Beth Thoele and Robyn Conlon

Today they were joined by the event’s Honorary Chair Robyn Conlon in ponying up with a big, old check for $253,000 to Equest CEO Lili Kellogg and Development Director Christine Volkmer. And that ain’t hay!

Plans are already underway for the 2018 with Heather Randall chairing the luncheon on Tuesday, October 2, at Brook Hollow.

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon And Style Show Ponied Up With Fashions, Awards And Laughs Thanks To Chair Beth Thoele

Beth Thoele and Angie Kadesky

There are those rare people in fundraising who literally break the ice much to the delight of others with their oops and refreshing spontaneity. On Tuesday, October 3, Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele rose to the pinnacle of those ranks of endearment.

Initially, it was a challenge with the weather. One guests swore, “Houston shipped their humidity up here.”

Equest team

Still, the ladies marshaled on as they checked in at the club’s porte-cochere just past the Equest mini-ambassadors, Cisco and Dare, and the dapper riders on their steeds. While the equine set was quite content on the club’s lawn, the guests like Equest Board of Directors Chair Andy Steingasser, Sarah LosingerCara French, Melinda Rathke, Nuz Morshed, Allison Presser, Stacey Walker, Emilynn Wilson and Joanna Clarke discovered rows of beverages awaiting them. One gal announced, “There’s a mimosa with my name on it.”

Inside the club, the ballroom was filling to the max with the likes of Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Angie Kadesky, Equest Executive Director Lili Kellogg, Sarah Losinger, Lisa Cooley, Linda SecrestJennifer Dix, Pam Perella, Leslie Diers, Christie Carter, Claire Emanuelson, Amy Hegi, Libby Hegi, Leigh Anne Haugh, Jennifer Swift and Vicki Howland.

Nuz Morshed, Melinda Rathke and Allison Presser

Leslie Diers, Pam Perella, Christie Carter and Claire Emanuelson

But according to schedule, the infamous voice over the PA system stressed the need to get guests in chairs, which this crew did.

Considered the little sister of the Crystal Charity Ball (perhaps that’s because so many past chairs, presidents and attendees are CCB-ers), there was a certain panache in the air.

Robyn and Don Conlon

Unlike the week-ago KidneyTexas Runway Report with celeb emcee Ron Corning with a glittery crutch and KLUV’s Jody Dean raising funds with a live auction, this one is traditionally as proper at your grandmother’s thank-you notes. Instead of a live auction or the fearful shout-out for funds, there is just a certain simplicity that keeps things a-going.

Reins of Hope scarf

 After Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Angie Kadesky introduced Tova Sido for the invocation, Beth arrived at the podium to present Honorary Chair Robyn Conlon with her husband Don Conlon at her side and daughters-in-law Marybeth Conlon and slowly-becoming-blonde Megan Conlon.

Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne

Beth then announced that a one-of-a-kind scarf had been created by Katherine Coker celebrating Equest and would be on sale at the lunch for $150. She then introduced Mother of Equest Women’ Auxiliary Founder Louise Griffeth, who reported that despite last year’s anonymous matching offer, they were gearing up to top that number for the Equest Hooves for Heroes and other programs supported by Equest. The 2017 Equest Awards for Community Service Co-Honorees/sisters Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne were presented Tiffany boxes by a couple of hunky dressage-attired fellas.

But this year there was an unplanned twist. It was Beth. Sure, she had a script, but it didn’t always go as planned. For instance, in announcing that she was handing over the “reins” to 2018 Luncheon chair Heather Randall, she said, “Good luck.” But there was a slight tone in Beth’s voice that resulted in the crowd busting out in laughter. Beth quickly recovered saying that she meant really, sincerely good luck. The laughter only continued.

Veronica Beard fashion

Hadleigh fashion

Lela Rose fashion

Escada fashion

Etro fashion

Market fashion

Carolina Herrera fashion

Then it was on with the show with fashions from HP Village merchants Veronica Beard, Hadleigh’s, Lela Rose, Escada, Etro, Market and Carolina Herrera. Naturally, the willowy, poreless models were upstaged by the adorable munchkins in Hadleigh’s fashions.

The show was well edited with HP Village merchants videotaping their merchandise on the catwalk.

So as the guest adjourned to their tables, what was the talk of the day? St. Valentine’s Day Luncheon Co-Chair Nancy Gopez was receiving congrats on moving the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of North Texas fundraiser to NorthPark Center… Table talk was about what TV shows were being watched — “Game of Thrones,” “Rain,”  etc. ….Tanya Foster was snapping shots of The Garden Gate centerpieces with a spanking new iPhone 8 Plus. Seems husband Pete Foster was using Tanya as sort of a guinea pig and was holding out for the iPhone 10… Lisa Ogle was writing a check for a scarf or one of the centerpieces…Mary Meier-Evans had to duck out early and get back to work at Sons of the Flag.

Despite all the festivities and laughter, no one knew that in the days preceding, red-haired Beth had been masterfully juggling another life issue… her mother-in-law had been in hospice and died the weekend before. But that is Beth. She champions on with compassion and without a glimmer of self-pity.   

For more photos of the fashions and faces, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon And Style Show Patrons Got A Sneak Preview Of Herrera Fashions Slated For The Annual Fundraiser

Despite some folks receiving their invites less than the traditional two weeks in advance, the gals turned out on Wednesday, September 20. What could be the draw for the likes of Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Angie Kadesky, Mary Martha Pickens, Christie Carter, Linda Secrest, Pam Busbee, Carol Huckin, Christie Carter, Libby Allred, Rachel Michell, Kristina Whitcomb and Nancy Bierman? Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Style Show Chair Beth Thoele had arranged a private presentation for the fundraiser’s patrons at Carolina Herrera in HP Village.

Sure, it was Rosh Hashanah, but the get-together started while the sun shone overhead.

Nancy Bierman, Pam Perella, Emilynn Wilson and Kristina Whicomb

Pam Busbee, Jan Strimple and Christie Carter

Carol Huckin and Angie Kadesky

Heather Washburne, Vicki Howland and Elisa Summers

Late arrival Vicki Howland scurried to her two daughters, HP Village’s first ladies, Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne, who will receive the Community Service Award at the Tuesday, October 3, fashion show and luncheon at Brook Hollow. Vicki apologized for her late arrival, but proudly pointed out that her girls were in Herrera.

Carolina Herrera fashion

Carolina Herrera fashion

Carolina Herrera fashion

Carolina Herrera fashion

Once again the Venezuelan couture designer proved her reputation for blending drop-dead fashions with fabulous materials and elegant lines. The bow on the cuff; the soft fabrics; the wink of sensuality. Of course, there were names dropped of recent Herrera frocks on red carpet occasions (Sarah Paulson and Mandy Moore at the Emmys and Hailey Baldwin at the Met Gala) and the recent MOMA showing — the first ever full-blown runway production at the museum.  

Robyn Conlon and Beth Thoele

Allison Presser

While the clothes were presented in the salon, Equest Honorary Chair Robyn Conlon was in the dressing rooms shopping. After all, Herrera’s General Manager Allison Presser had offered a 10% donation to Equest for any purchases made through Tuesday, October 3.

Rachel Michell and Jane Rozell

Libby Allred

Ciara Cooley, Lili Kellogg and Lisa Cooley

In the crowd, Ciara Cooley was discussing volunteers dates with Equest CEO Lili Kellogg; Crystal Charity Ball Chair Pam Perella was glowing over the reviews from the previous week’s CCB 10 Best Dressed activities; Jane Rozell reported that she was happily working at St. Bernard; Emilynn Wilson was eager for hair dresser Garry Cox to return to his chair following his liver transplant; and Equest event producer Jan Strimple has been busy gathering clothes from Carolina Herrera, Escada, Etro, Hadleigh’s, Lela Rose, Market and Veronica Beard for the annual Equest fundraiser presented by HP Village.

For more photos, check out MySweetCharity Photo Gallery.

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

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon And Style Show Letters About The Annual Fundraiser At Brook Hollow Hit The Mailboxes

Louise Griffeth and Angie Kadesky

Equest Women’s Auxiliary Founder Louise Griffeth’s dining room was jammed the other day with gals. But they weren’t brunching. Instead of plates of croissants and cucumber sandwiches, the ladies with pens in hand were facing stacks of letters inviting Equest friends and supporters to be a part of the Equest Women’s Auxiliary Luncheon and Style Show.

While Louse and EWA President Angie Kadesky were in the kitchen providing fuel, Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele was in the dining room supervising the handiwork. Beth’s plan was to take the personalized letters to the mailbox on Tuesday following Memorial Day.

Elisa Summers (File photo)

Heather Washburne (File photo)

Before you head to cooler places, check your mailbox. If you don’t find a letter from an EWA-er, don’t feel left out. Chances are that it’s trapped in the postal universe. Just so you don’t have to fret or stalk your postman, here are the highlights. Presented by Highland Park Village, this year’s theme is “Reins of Hope” with Robyn Conlon as honorary chair. The annual Equest Award for Community Service will be presented to sisters Elisa Summers and Heather Washburne.

So, even if the letter didn’t make it through the rain today, ink in Tuesday, October 3, for the Equest fundraiser lunch and fashion show produced by Jan Strimple at Brook Hollow. The Equest Mini Ambassadors are hoping you’ll be there.

Still have questions and can’t wait for your letter? Just check with Beth!

JUST IN: Sale Of Wylie Facility Has Equest Packing Its Saddlebags And Consolidating The Equine Therapy Program At Texas Horse Park

For the next ten days, the Equest folks are going to bustling. While they’ll be tending to the horses and clients, Equest CEO Lili Kellogg reported that they’ll also be packing their stuff. It seems that their Wylie facility has been sold and they’ve got to be out of there by Wednesday, May 31, and calling Texas Horse Park their mane (sorry, about that) home.

Lili Kellogg

Andy Steingasser

Dave Perry-Miller’s Andy Steingasser revealed that the 42.5-acre property was sold to a Chinese developer. Not only is Andy the board chair for Equest, he’s also the Realtor who handled the deal and donated 100% of his commission to Equest.

The original asking price was $2.5M, but Andy wasn’t talking what the final amount was. All he could say was that he’d had many sleepless nights.

BTW, just as in every move, the Equest team could use some help. They need storage bins, label makers and industrial shredders. Here’s the link how you can buckeroo help.

JUST IN: Equest Gala Moved To Sunday

Equest Gala change of plans*

With all the threats of Saturday night’s stormy weather ramping up, area organizers are kicking in back-up plans. Word just arrived that the Equest Gala at Texas Horse Park has been postponed 24 hours to Sunday. Here is the official word from the horse’s mouth:

Due to weather beyond our control, we have made the decision to postpone the Equest 2017 Field of Dreams Gala to Sunday, April 30. The new Gala start time is 5 p.m. with shuttles running from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and returning at 7:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The reason is simple — safety for two- and four-legged critters. Very good move on Equest Gala Co-Chairs Kathy and Jeromy Fielder‘s part.

Just think. If you weren’t able to attend the original Saturday night, you’re in luck to see the horses Sunday and can make it happen by checking in here. On the other hand, if you can’t make it Sunday night, why not show your Equest support and consider your ticket purchase as a donation and let Amanda Fastle know, so they can adjust plans. However, if the household budget is tight and you really need that money, then check with Christine Volkmer about a refund.

* Graphic courtesy of Equest

 

Equest Gala Organizers Have The Ponies Rearing To Party And Umbrellas Aplenty Just In Case Of Predicted April Showers Prove To Be True

Saturday’s Equest Gala at Texas Horse Park is being threatened by local weather guessers with stormy weather. But according to Gala Emcee and former weather-caster Jocelyn White, it’s always a guessing game.

So, don’t let the threats of showers dissuade you from heading to the protected stable area leading to the covered arena, where all the dining and dancing will be taking place. The horses have been spiffing up all week for the big fundraiser, and the humans have been taking precautions.

Jocelyn White (File photo)

Kathy Fielder (File photo)

Co-Chair Kathy Fielder reports, “We are still hoping our Field of Dreams will be dry, but we are prepared if spring showers come our way. Thankfully, the event areas, including the beautifully transformed arena, are covered. If needed, we will have plenty of umbrellas to keep folks dry, and bourbon to warm them up. Our Equest Clients and Therapy Horses are ready to shine.”

What’s more, you won’t have to worry about driving to and back from the festivities. The buses will be running come sleet, snow, soggy roads or whatever. Just make sure you have your spot on the shuttle saved by checking in with Amanda Fastle at 972.412.1099, Ext. 215.

Under Blue Skies Equest Gala Patron Party Ponied Up For Guests At Ashley Tatum’s And Newt Walker’s Terrace Overlooking Exall Lake

Just blocks away from the AWARE Patron party, Ashley Tatum and Newt Walker took full advantage of the clear skies following the early morning storms on Wednesday, March 29.

Their fabulous terrace overlooking Exall Lake had loads of Equest supporters including two miniature equine ambassadors — Cisco and Dare — that accommodated one and all for photos and pats on the head.

Honorary Co-Chairman Allan McBee’s beard that he grew for being part of the Dallas Opera’s “Moby Dick” cast was still in full flourish. However, Honorary Co-Chair/Allan’s wife Lynn McBee was counting the days for the beard to be gone.

Allan McBee

Kristina and Phil Whitcomb

Upon hearing the differences of opinion on the beard in the McBee household, Kristina Whitcomb said that she took Lynn’s side about her son’s beard, “but his wife loves it.”

Lester Keliher

Gretchen Darby and Kathy Fielder

On the terrace to hear about the Equest fundraiser — Field of Dreams — were Margaret and Lester Keliher, Equest Gala Co-Chair Kathy Fielder, Equest CEO Lili Kellogg, Gretchen Darby, Phil Whitcomb and Di Johnston with daughter Claire Johnston.

Claire Johnston and Di Johnston

Lili Kelloggg

Tickets for the Saturday, April 29th gala at Texas Horse Park are going fast.

Watch For Hobbits Thursday, Friday And Saturday While Touring The Whimsical Shire Of Preston Hollow For Equest

Now that this wet stuff seems to be calming down, the upcoming days seems bright and shiny. Evidently, the Equest organizers arranged something with Mother Nature to have perfect weather for folks to explore the Tolkien-inspired Shire in Preston Hollow.

The Shire of Preston Hollow*

While other estates in the neighborhood are manicured like a socialite’s nails, this acreage is a wonderland with its 9,000-square-foot main house, an attached conservatory and a detached guest house known as the Hobbit House. Why, Frodo Baggins would feel right at home there! And rightly so. After all, it took seven years to create. Why, one would actually expect Legolas to flutter by or to be greeted by Gimli at the drawbridge before crossing to the portcullis.

Inside there will be “couture fashions and accessories from Lily of the West and Hari Jewels, with designer guests appearances, and additional luxury items from Origins of Santa Fe Boutique” plus refreshments and music. And while Shadowfax, Arod and Bill the Pony won’t be on hand, their good buddies, the Equest mini-ambassadors, just might be hoofing around for a photo or two.

Like Brigadoon, this magical property at 4668 Meadowood Road will be available for touring this Thursday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to benefit Equest. Alas, it’s only available for checking out by big kids (21 years and older). Organizers are requesting a minimum donation of $20 for the equine therapeutic program. Register right here.

* Photo provided by Equest

MySweet2017Goals: Beth Thoele

According to Equest Women’s Auxiliary Fashion Show and Luncheon Chair Beth Thoele,

Angie Kadesky (File photo)

Beth Thoele (File photo)

“I share common goal with Equest Women’s Auxiliary President Angie Kadesky.  In addition to chairing a sold-out luncheon and fashion show at Brook Hollow Golf Club on Tuesday, October 3, we would like to honor the children, adults and veterans, who are served by this incredible organization.  We have seen how lives are transformed through the wonder of a horse and incredibly dedicated staff and volunteers.

“Our secondary goal is to bring awareness and support to Equest’s mission to enhance the quality of life for individuals with diverse needs using horses to bring hope and healing through Equine assisted activities and therapies.”

JUST IN: 2017 Equest Gala Plans Announced For Field Of Dreams With Kathy And Jeromy Fielder As Co-Chairs

From the left: (back row) Alanna Sarabie, Andrea Reich, Gretchen Darby, Dare, Keetha Hanlin, Regina Bruce, Melissa Vullo Bell and Renee Farinella; (front row) Dianna Pietra, Deve Sandord, Kathy Fielder and Britt Harless*

Despite last night’s dreary, wet weather, the horse-loving Equest crowd headed over to Samuel Lynne Galleries. The draw was not a new exhibition on horses. Rather it was the kick-off reception for the 2017 Equest Gala. Upstaging the art on the walls were the Equest mini-ambassadors, Cisco and Dare. It was the pair’s first visit to the gallery and vice versa.

Lili Kellogg, Jocelyn White, Lynn McBee and Susan Schwartz*

On hand to hear the news were Samuel Lynne

Co-Founder/artist JD Miller and his artist wife Lea Fisher Miller, Dan Pritchett, Deve Sanford, Mimi Noland, Nicole Barrett, Doug Murray, Georgette Doukas, Alanna Sarabie, Andrea Reich, Gretchen Darby, Keetha Hanlin, Regina Bruce, Melissa Vullo Bell, Renee Farinella, Dianna Pietra, Britt Harless, Debbie Murray, Regina Bruce, Heather “Miss Texas Teen” King, past Equest Chairman of the Board/Gala Chair Jocelyn White, Equest Co-Founder Susan Schwartz and Chairman of the Board Andy Steingasser.

Laura and Jason Cope*

JD Miller*

Equest CEO Lili Kellogg revealed the news of the night. This year’s theme will be “Field of Dreams” with Co-Chairs Kathy and Jeromy Fielder and Honorary Co-Chairs Lynn and Allan McBee.

It will take place on Saturday, April 29, at Texas Horse Park with “gourmet southern cuisine, craft cocktails, live music and much-desired live and silent auction items.”    

There will be a demonstration of how Equest is making such a difference in peoples’ lives, head patting with Texas Horse Park residents and dancing to Texas Country Music. What were you expecting — minuets?

While sponsorships start at $5,000, Lili announced that “the first Gala sponsor to contribute a minimum of $15,000 or more” would receive an original horse photo donated by photographer Laura Cope.

For smart folks who reach the VIP status, the horse-ing around will start at 6:30, while the rest of the herd will hit the doors at 7. Since there is no on-site parking, shuttles will be available.

* Photo credit: Bob Manzano