Spirit Ride Therapeutic Riding Center Throws Fundraising Event, A Kentucky Derby Party

Published Friday, May 11, 2018 at 9:49 am

Artist, Joelle Barnhill and Spirit Ride mom, Lacey Costner, unveil Spirit Ride’s first coloring book cover.

Spirit Ride Therapeutic Riding Center just held their first fundraising event, a Kentucky Derby Party, , at the beautiful Rising Star Equestrian Center in Boone, NC. People came from near and far to attend this much anticipated event. Many locals, as well as part-time residents, attended the first annual Derby Party benefitting Spirit Ride.

Ladies donned beautifully designed hats and intricate fascinators while the men sported bowties, classic seersucker plaid sport coats and colorful pocket squares. “The High Country really showed up for this event!” says Patty Adams, Executive Director of Spirit Ride. Adams continues, “So many people told us how excited they were to dress up for such a fun charity benefit, and I’ve heard that people are already shopping for their hats for next year!”

Guests raved about the food and were impressed by the authenticity of the traditional derby selections. Gadabouts Catering provided Bourbon Meatballs, Kentucky Hot Brown sliders, Chicken and Waffle bites, Shrimp and Grits, and of course, the traditional drink of the derby – Mint Juleps! Appalachian Mountain Brewery offered the popular Blonde Ale, and the Banner Elk Winery contributed their Banner Elk Red and White wines. Desserts were delicious works of art created by Ugga Mugga Bakery in Blowing Rock.

Entertainment was non-stop! Singer/Songwriter Lucas Triba entertained guests downstairs in Rising Star’s 29-stall facility, while DJ J-Hawk from Royal Entertainment kept the party jumping upstairs in the “Millionaire’s Row” Lounge. Guests enjoyed bidding on silent auction items, using Derby Dollars for raffle prizes and chance tickets for the winning horse. A favorite of many was the “Best Hat” and “Best Dressed Couple” contests emceed by SRTC’s president, Craig Adams (trophies courtesy of Goldsmith Trophies and the Costner family). Therapeutic Riding demonstrations and the unveiling of Spirit Ride’s new coloring book series illustrated by artist, Joelle Barnhill, were evening highlights as well.

The fun didn’t stop when the party ended – guests were treated to gift bags sponsored by Blackberry Creek Mattress Company. These ‘swag bags’ were filled with goodies from Blackberry Creek, Stick Boy Bread Company, Swarovski Optik, Grandfather Mountain, Hospitality Mints, and Rising Star Equestrian Center.

Guests are still talking about the event. Assistant Athletic Director for Marketing at Appalachian State, Spencer Bridges, and his wife, Rebecca had this to say about Spirit Ride’s Inaugural Derby Party, “As native Kentuckians, the Derby is a highly anticipated and prestigious event to us. Attending the Spirit Ride Derby Fundraiser was an excellent way to celebrate the Derby from North Carolina. They captured the prestige and excitement that surround the event while enabling attendees to support Spirit Ride. We are already looking forward to next year’s fundraiser!”

Therapeutic Riding involves the use of horses and equine-assisted activities in an effort to achieve goals that enhance physical, emotional, social, cognitive, behavioral and educational skills for people with special needs. Spirit Ride is committed to providing private Therapeutic Riding sessions free of charge to all accepted clients. Through working with the client’s Therapy Team (Educators, Community Professionals and Parents/Guardians) we are able to create an ideal environment relating to the individual client’s specific needs. We give our undivided attention to the client and his/her equine partner for the entire duration of each session so that we may provide an opportunity to foster learning and personal growth (self-esteem, boundary setting, appropriate social interaction, as well as any cognitive or physical goals). We serve children with special needs – we affect families who need special care.” To learn more about Spirit Ride, please visit www.SpiritRideNC.org.


Photography by Jean Moree Photography

Benjamin Shives, Savannah Banner and Jordan Hill

DeNeece Butler of Blowing Rock with her sister, Beverly Jacob

Donna Hustad, Mark Hill, Tone and Gene Bone

From left to right- Kate Taylor-Lewis, Angela Jenkins, Summer Parlier, Lacey Costner, Tasha Turbyfill and Shelby Taylor

Ginger and Blaine Hansen

Karen and Joey Burnett

Owner of Rising Star Equestrian Center, Dennis Muse, talks with guests, Tammy Pfaff and Jim Chambers

Phyllis and Dr. Jerry Butler, DDS

Randall Huggins and Dr. Julia Sherrill

Rebecca and Spencer Bridges

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