Houston Billionaire’s Sprawling River Oaks Mansion Turns into a Kentucky Playground: A Modern Day Gatsby WonderlandBY Shelby Hodge // 05.12.17
A previous Hats, Hearts & Horseshoes benefit for Bo's Place: Bria Wall, Joanna Marks, Amy Haymond, Hannah McNair. The 2021 Kentucky Derby event takes place at Houston Polo Club. (Photo by Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com)
Bill Gutknecht, Mark Strickland, Austin Alvis, Chad Castille
Mark & Christie Sullivan
Carlos & Luvi Wheelock, Erin & Frank Verducci
Charlie & Susan Neuhaus, Meredith & Patrick Chastang
James & Iman Farrior at the 2017 Bo's Place Hats, Heats and Horseshoes fundraiser at the Fertitta family home. (Photo by Daniel Ortiz)
Patrick Fertitta, Paige Fertitta
David & Claudine Hartland
Blake & Beverly Jackson
Debbie & Mark Gregg
Adam Hricik and Tonya DeSloover at the 2017 Bo's Place Hats, Heats and Horseshoes.
Heath LaPray, Mary Beth Staine, Travis Torrence
Brad & Joanna Marks, Hannah & Cal McNair at the 2017 Bo's Place Hats, Heats and Horseshoes. (Photo by Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com)
Holly & Austin Alvis
Lindy & Larry Neuhaus
Luke & Megan Hotze
Mark & Ashley Strickland, Christine Falgout & Bill Gutknecht
Megan Cushing, C.J. Yanofsky, Bria Wall
Stacey & Al Lindseth
Stephen & Allison Lewis
Most among the 400 youthful and veteran fashionables, who turned out in Kentucky Derby style for Bo’s Place‘s inaugural “Hats, Hearts & Horseshoes,” agreed that if they couldn’t be at Churchill Downs on this day, then Paige and Tilman Fertitta‘s luxe River Oaks estate was the only other place to cheer on Always Dreaming.
The party spread through the mansion’s vast summer kitchen, around the hotel-sized swimming pool and across the sloping acreage, all elegantly shrouded in towering oaks and pines. Such was the setting and the garden party fashions that this could have been a scene from a Great Gatsby film, albeit a 21st century remake.
Leading the fundraising frolic, which brought in more than $350,000, were chairs Megan and Luke Hotze and Hannah and Cal McNair and honorary chairs Meredith and Patrick Chastang and Susan and Charlie Neuhaus.
While the most exciting two minutes of the day occurred during the race, viewed on large-screen TVs, there was plenty of party action featuring adult beverage tastings including mint juleps, of course, as well as servings of party foods. One of the most popular items on this balmy spring day was Tilman Fertitta’s Billion Dollar Buyer winner Pop Brothers Popsicles.
In the friendly competition for the fanciest attire, Hannah McNair took top honors for her flower-decked hat while her brother-in-law, Brad Marks, walked away as Best Dressed Guy and Hallie Vanderhider won Best Dressed Gal.
On the track: Bo’s Place board president Travis Torrence, executive director Mary Beth Staine, Joanna and Brad Marks, Sarah and Doug Foshee, Ashlee and Benton Love, Ericka Graham, Claudine and David Hartland, Holly and Austin Alvis, Lindy and Larry Neuhaus. Megan Cushing, Courtney and Bill Toomey and Christine Falgout and Bill Guknecht.