Give Back for Special Equestrians is riding high after lassoing in $15,000 for disabled children and veterans at the non-profit’s first Miami event, held ahead of the important GiveMiami Day.
Co-hosted by equine enthusiasts and philanthropists Christy Powell and Nancy Batchelor, along with Give Back for Special Equestrians’ co-founder Sissy DeMaria Koehne, the event held at the Coral Gables Museum featured an informative discussion about the history of horses in Coral Gables by noted historians Arva Moore Parks McCabe and Malcolm Lauredo.
Proceeds from the event benefitted Give Back for Special Equestrians, an all-volunteer nonprofit organization which provides therapeutic horseback riding scholarships for disabled children and veterans in Florida and New York. During the event, Give Back for Special Equestrians presented the $15,000 check to Good Hope Equestrian Training Center, its stable partner that provides equine-assisted therapy programs.
More than 100 guests, including local history buffs and horse lovers, enjoyed a nostalgic journey back in time to the 1920’s. A series of historic photos and newspaper articles depicted the City Beautiful’s rich equestrian legacy: elaborate fox hunting parties at the Biltmore Hotel, show jumping at the Coral Gables Riding Academy and scenic trail riding and picnics along the city’s many dedicated bridle paths.
Notable attendees included Dr. Patrick and Jonie Gallagher, Dr. Guenther Koehne, Carol and Jim Robinson, Alirio Torrealba, Lauren Harrison, Mary Young, and Mary Snow, among others.
Event goers enjoyed decadent hors d’oeuvres from one of Miami’s top catering companies, Blue Mustard, as they learned about Coral Gables founder George Merrick’s vision for the city in the 1920s, his interest in horses and their importance in the well-rounded social and sporting lifestyle he envisioned for the city.
Following the presentation by Parks McCabe and Lauredo, Dr. Peggy Bass, executive irector of Good Hope Equestrian Training Center, took the stage to speak about the history of Hippotherapy, a technique to help wounded soldiers recover from their injuries that dates back to the ncient Greeks.
Special equestrian Natalia C. Cercone, a Give Back for Special Equestrians therapeutic horseback riding scholarship recipient, joined Dr. Bass and shared her heartwarming personal story of how she has benefitted from equine therapy following brain surgery.
“Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and co-hosts, we were able to present a check to Good Hope Equestrian Training Center for $15,000 and can continue our mission of sharing our love and the joy of horses and horsemanship with those facing some of life’s most difficult hurdles,” said Dr. Heather Kuhl, co-founder of Give Back for Special Equestrians.
“We are touched to have the ongoing support of Give Back for Special Equestrians and are humbled by their significant contributions that will change the lives of so many children and veterans,” Dr. Bass added. “The organization has been a strong supporter and their commitment has allowed us to provide scholarships for some very deserving special needs riders facing some of life’s most difficult emotional challenges.”
For more information about Give Back for Special Equestrians, call 305-608-5350 or visit giveabuckeq.org.