Equest Hosts 41st Annual Blue Ribbon Ball

By Cynthia Smoot Photography by Tamytha Cameron and Nate Rehlander

THE SETTING: More than 550 patrons attended the 41st annual gala benefiting Equest, held at Texas Horse Park. Partygoers arrived to a champagne wall and a blue ribbon-inspired carpet that ran the length of the horse barn aisle. Posing for photos along the way with some of Equest’s equine friends, attendees mingled and enjoyed light bites before checking in.

THE STYLE: Emcee Jody Dean took the stage to welcome all in attendance. The color guard from the American Legion Post 21 followed, with attendees reciting the pledge of allegiance before enjoying a beautiful performance of America the Beautiful by Jana Bell. Then, the Equest board chairman Julie Sherman took the stage to recognize the recipients of the 2022 Citation Award: Lane Cates and her husband Brad McLain. They were instrumental in helping Equest complete the Al Hill, Jr. Arena through fundraising and contract management. Former NFL Dallas Cowboys player Timmy Newsome was awarded the 2022 Equest Rider of the Year Award, given to clients who have achieved outstanding progress on their equestrian skill goals. The Youth Award went to Olivia McLean, the Adult Award to Jaime Moore, and Jimmy Dean was the recipient of the Veteran Award. 

THE PURPOSE: The event’s co-chairs were Carol and Bill Huckin, Finley and Eric Konrade, and Elsa Norwood, while Leslie and Hawkins Golden served as honorary chairs. The evening raised more than $600,000. Founded in 1981, Equest provides equine-assisted learning therapies, and counseling to children and adults with physical, cognitive, sensory, coping, and learning disabilities, as well as veterans who receive all of Equest’s services at no charge.