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Society / The Seen

Arabian Nights Take Over a Stately Highland Park Estate

Two Welcoming Horses Leave Quite an Impression, But Their Therapy Mission is Real

BY // 03.12.19
photography Bob Manzano

You know you are in for a unique evening if you valet in front of a stately home in Highland Park and proceed to then be greeted by two horses in Arabian-inspired costumes. The horses are named Hombre and Amigo and were two Equest therapy horses welcoming guests to the patron event for the organization’s upcoming Arabian Nights Gala.

Equest’s mission is simple: To enhance the quality of life for children and adults with diverse needs by partnering with horses to bring hope and healing through equine assisted activities and therapies. One of my closest friends, from when I lived in Seattle, had a daughter who was born on the spectrum and their family had involved her at an early age with therapy horses.

I saw her thrive over the years and it warmed my heart the way she brightened up when in the presence of her friends — those animals.

I normally am not in favor of events that take place between 6:30 to 8:30 pm since I need to eat dinner. That said I didn’t go hungry with passed delicacies continually within arms reach. (Don’t you hate when you have to hover by the serving kitchen to snatch a tiny puff pastry?)

The festivities were being held at the beautiful home of Hal and Diane Brierley and thanks to the sponsorship of their generous neighbors, Connie and Denny Carreker, Veuve Cliquot champagne and wine were endlessly flowing.

Equest CEO Lili Kellogg expressed her gratitude to the generous donors assembled that evening with: “This party is about you and your support. It may be chilly outside, but there are a lot of warm hearts in here.”

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Gala co-chairs Annie and Teal Griffeth have a longtime relationship with the organization. Teal’s mother, Louise Griffeth, founded the Equest Women’s Auxiliary in 1986 and has continued to vigorously support Equest for the past 33 years. Her passion carries through with the husband-wife duo wanting to carry on her legacy.

I always have a wonderful time when I see one of my closest friends, Melinda Knowles, as she never fails to deliver with a great outfit. I knew that she was a former rider, but wondered why she had been involved for so many years. Her response: “Equest is the perfect marriage between the majestic horse and those who need support to lead a complete life.”

We then fell into a laughter-filled conversation with another mutual friend, Maggie Kipp, discussing the majesty and beauty of renowned polo players such as Nacho Figueras.

In addition to the four-legged attendees, others spotted in the well-appointed home were Equest co-founder and board member Susan Schwartz, Equest chairman of the board Lane Cates, former chairman of the board Andy Steingasser, honorary co-chairs Cindy Thomas and Bert Headden, Equest Women’s Auxiliary president Cara French and mother Prissy Gravely, Ben Casey, Connie and Denny Carreker, Melinda and Mark Knowles, Lezlie and Bill Noble, Katherine Coker, Maggie Kipp, Elsa Norwood, Janey McIntire, and Farrah Cargile.

The Equest Presents Arabian Nights Gala will be held on Saturday, March 23, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Sixty Five Hundred (6500 Cedar Springs Road, Suite 200, Dallas). For more information, visit www.equest.org/gala or call 972.412.1099.

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