Friday, May 9, 2014

Equest Triple Crown Gala 2014 Rode Away With My Heart

My favorite hat of the day
Southfork Ranch was in a Kentucky Derby frame of mind on May 3 as guests gathered at to enjoy an afternoon of race-themed activities at Equest's Triple Crown Gala.

You know I love any excuse to don a big hat and exaggerate my Southern drawl for a few hours! 

This year’s Gala Co-chairs, Maggie Kipp and Shay Geyer could be found wandering the tented area on the lawn and encouraging everyone to bid up the many fabulous silent and live auctions items on display.

I was happy to graze the Southern-style buffet that included BBQ, Fried Chicken, Cheddar Grits, Biscuits and Honey, Sweet Tea (my favorite), Banana Cream Pudding, Pecan Pie and delicious Mint Juleps.

Of course, there was a hat contest.  Judges included: Louise Griffeth, founder of the Equest Women’s Auxiliary and longtime supporter of Equest; Jeff Byron, vice president and general manager of Neiman Marcus, downtown Dallas; Kersten Rettig, chief marketing officer for Highland Park Village; Blake Stephenson, publisher at Modern Luxury Dallas; and Lezlie Noble, Dallas philanthropist and Equest volunteer.  My favorite hat of the day is pictured above. She said she made it with her children and it took them about 4 hours. The flowers are made from Hermes bags and it had toy horses and a miniature race track on it. AWESOME! I can't believe she didn't win. As I wandered throughout the crowd sipping' my Mint Julep, I spied Tiffany and Aaron Hendra (who's new album OCTOBERSONG dropped May 7), Daniel Lewis, Bunny Cotten, Candy Evans, Karen Lukin, Shane Walker, D'Andra and Jeremy Lock, LeeAnne Locken and Hamilton Sneed.

Bunny Cotten, Maggie Kipp, Cynthia Smoot, LeeAnne Locken, Shay Geyer, Jennifer LeLash

Attendees also got to view a much-­anticipated riding demonstration by Equest clients and their horses, offering a glimpse into the incredible bond between rider and horse.  As an internationally recognized therapeutic riding center for children and adults with all types of disabilities and learning differences, Equest is a special place where children have literally taken their first steps and spoken their first words – thanks to a horse. “Miracles happen every day at Equest. We have riders who doctors said would never have arm movement and would need 24-­hour assistance. Through equine therapy, they are brushing their teeth and combing their hair; things that doctors never thought possible. Our focus is on what our riders can do, not what they can’t do,” says Susan Schwartz, co-­founder of Equest Therapeutic Horsemanship.

A non-­profit organization, Equest is an internationally recognized therapeutic riding center for children and adults with all types of disabilities and learning differences. Their mission is to Empower, Enrich and Educate through horses. In order to accomplish their mission, they rely on generous individuals who are willing to share their expertise, time or money. 100% of Equest’s clients receive the benefit of a reduced fee schedule, with Equest raising 86% of the actual program expenses through individual donations and sponsorships. To learn more about Equest, visit

This post sponsored by The Woman's Center for Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery: