Get in the sad­dle for Equine-As­sisted Ther­a­pies’ an­nual ‘Horse­shoe Hoe­down’

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Equine-As­sisted Ther­a­pies, for­merly Horses for the Hand­i­capped, will host its fifth an­nual “Horse­shoe Hoe­down” at 6 p.m. at the Vegso Fam­ily Arena at Tradewinds Park, Co­conut Creek, Nov. 2. The hoe­down is the non­profit ther­a­peu­tic pro­gram’s sig­na­ture fundrais­ing event, ex­pect­ing to draw more than 400 guests.

The event will fea­ture a gourmet buf­fet din­ner, pre­pared by culi­nary ex­perts from the In­ter­na­tional Polo Club and Aaron’s Cater­ing of the Palm Beaches. In ad­di­tion, there will be a silent auc­tion and mu­sic pro­vided by the An­drew Mor­ris Band. Tito’s Hand­made Vodka joins the team this year as one of the spon­sors.

“Last year’s ‘Horse­shoe Hoe­down’ was our best event ever, and we’re ex­pect­ing this year’s event to be even big­ger and bet­ter,” said Anne Vegso, who chairs the board of di­rec­tors at Equine As­sisted Ther­a­pies. “There is re­ally noth­ing else like it in South Florida.”

Ear­lier this month, more than 60 guests were on hand for the event’s kick­off held at the Cap­i­tal Grille in Boca Ra­ton. The in­for­mal gath­er­ing in­cluded a guest ap­pear­ance by Mag­gie, a 9-year-old mare from the ther­a­peu­tic rid­ing pro­gram. Guests had an op­por­tu­nity to step out­side, meet Mag­gie and of­fer her car­rots. “We’re re­ally grate­ful to the Cap­i­tal Grille for its sup­port,” Vegso said. “The launch party set the tone for ev­ery­one to have a great time at the hoe­down.”

Set out­doors in a cov­ered area, the hoe­down pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity for guests to visit with mem­bers of the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s 11-horse herd and watch stu­dents from the equine-as­sisted ther­apy pro­gram demon­strate rid­ing skills dur­ing the “Pa­rade of Cham­pi­ons.”

Along with a few sur­prises, the evening will also in­clude a silent auc­tion fea­tur­ing trips and ho­tel stays to horse­back rid­ing lessons and event tick­ets.

“What re­ally makes the ‘Horse­shoe Hoe­down’ spe­cial is that it takes place in a ca­sual en­vi­ron­ment where guests can re­lax and have lots of fun, while at the same time, they learn about our grow­ing pro­gram, says Mandy De­Bord, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Equine-As­sisted Ther­a­pies. “The com­mit­tee that has been help­ing plan the event is fo­cused on mak­ing it a great time for ev­ery­one, and they’re do­ing an amaz­ing job.”

The “Horse­shoe Hoe­down” is pre­sented by Sean O’Keefe events, and tick­ets are priced at $100.

For more in­for­ma­tion, call 561-974-2007 or visit www.equineatsf.org.

Anne Vegso, left, and Stephanie Schein­man

Michelle Ru­bin, left, Howard Lerner and Laura Shell­swick Lerner

Gail Han­dle­man, left, Brian Han­dle­man, Lauren Charles and Dustin Bates

Jus­tine Mor­gan, left, Kevin De­Bord, Mandy De­Bord and Mara Mur­phy

Dan Dodge, left, Ca­role Zeitchick and Stan Zeitchick

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