Windwood Equestrian brings back Boots and Black Tie Gala

Published 8:25 am Wednesday, June 22, 2022

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By MICHELLE LOVE | Staff Writer

PELHAM – On Saturday, June 18, Windwood Equestrian celebrated the return of the annual Boots and Black Tie Gala.

The gala, which has been on hiatus for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is an annual event held by Special Equestrians, Inc. to raise money for the local nonprofit.

The mission of Special Equestrians, Inc. is to enrich the lives of people with physical, cognitive or emotional disabilities through equine therapy. Individuals are encouraged to form a relationship with their horse through instructors, therapists and other volunteers to help increase independence and quality of life of the riders.

“We were all so excited to celebrate another Boots and Black Tie Gala,” said Pat York, vice president of the Special Equestrians Board of Directors. “Even after the pandemic-induced hiatus, the generosity of our friends and their dedication to the program is as strong as ever.”

Guests of the gala were first treated to a demonstration by two special equestrians, Lizzie Litton and Fini Giattina.  Following the demonstration, guests adjourned to the stables where they were allowed to peruse the offered silent auction items. Items included top shelf bourbons like Michter’s and Willet, Hibiki Japanese whiskey, various sculptures and art work and tickets to Red Mountain Theatre’s Holiday Show. Dinner was provided by B&A Warehouse, and music was provided by Steven Lane.

“This year’s event truly felt like a celebration as it was our first time back in person after two years away, and the community really stepped up,” said Tyler Cromey, a member of the the nonprofit’s Junior Board and Gala Committee. “Each year, I am blown away by the generosity of our supporters. Every dollar donated enables us to serve our riders and provide them with life changing experiences.”

Windwood owners and founders Arden and William Upton said the gala is always a highlight to the property’s summer agenda.

“We especially love knowing firsthand how beneficial a relationship is with a horse as well as the physical aspects for the rider,” they said. “We love that Special Equestrians is available in our community and will continue to support their work in any way possible.”