NOVEMBER 2000 BACK ISSUE
Part of Horse Previews Magazine website. Posted on 11/05/2000; 2:00:00PM.
Opening Ceremony at the 2000 Wishing Star Gallop
The audience was able to watch absentee stallions through the Video Stallion Preview Parade that played between 1pm and 2pm, and the audience viewed the stallions that were present between 2pm and 4pm.
Back by popular demand, Elvis Live Productions kicked off the Opening Ceremony. This time his band and backup singers graced the stage with him. What a great performer he is! Elvis Wendlandt is a magnificent, talented impersonator that has a voice identical to Elvis. He gained the admiration of all Gallop spectators with his performance highlighted by dramatic special effects on stage, using dry ice and colored strobe lights that danced around while mirrored reflections brought additional excitement to his performance. On stage his band and back up singers electrified his performance while two Wish Children appeared on stage at the end of his performance to whome he sang "Bridge Over Troubled Waters".
Gallop Coordinator Barb Turner's son, Jake Turner, flashed on stage and Swing Danced with Wish Child, Katie Bentley as Elvis performed his finale. What drama and entertainment they all brought to the stage!
Elvis provided quality family entertainment that pleased the young and the young-at-heart. Another good choice Wishing Star!
This year's Production Numbers brought back the beautifully talented Julie Powell. A professional singer and actress herself, Julie Powell appeared on stage singing a ery powerful song, "I'll Be." The sheer white drapes lit up. as the music began. We saw the silohuette of a horse and child. The child was mounted on the horse and wearing a cowboy outfit. Slowly the drapes opened, and in came the black stallion "Desert Dark Fire," owned by Suzy Braaten of Spokane, Washington. Riding proud was Wishing Star's Ambassador Of Good Will for the 2000 Gallop, 4-year-old Cody Walden. He was dressed in black boots, chaps, black leather matching vest, red cowboy shirt and straw hat. He was a handsome cowboy! Three attending "pages" walked along side him; all were dressed in period coats and top hats. When he reached Julie, he was escorted from the horse to the stage. Cody took hold of Julie's hand, and what unfolded was breathtaking to watch. When the number ended Cody was once again mounted on his black stallion and gracefully exited the staging area grinning from one ear to the other...waving to all the audience as he rode by. This fall Cody and his family of four will be on a plane headed to that magical kingdom......... Disneyworld, Florida.
Suddenly several Wishing Star children appeared on stage, Julie sat down on a chair that was center stage, and the children circled around her as she began to sing, "When You Believe." A dozen Wishing Star children listened to her sing and then joined her in chorus. As they began to sing, more children came onto the stage and joined in. The words to the song were perfect and touched the hearts of all who were there. Upon completion of this song, Julie spoke on the importance of Wishing Star's mission for its children and the appreciated support of all who had come. From those words she began to sing, "Love Lights Up The World." The stage was filled with the area talent of Julie Powell, Barbara Turner, wish families, Gallop committee people, and the Janet Gorman's Children's Choir. This performance was one of the many highlights that signify the quality of the Gallop, and its prestige in the Pacific Northwest!
Each year, performer Derik Anderson draws a huge crowd to the Wishing Star event. One could feel the anticipation from the audience as his appearance drew near. Many had not seen Darik Anderson before. Others had missed not seeing his beautiful black Arabian stallion Bey Shahboom from the previous year. Darik had brought Bey Shahboom and an additional performer never seen at the event before. His performance opened with him mounted upon a beautiful white Spanish stallion, "Avlis." The two performed skillful dressage movements while dazzling the crowds with pure entertainment and delight. Then came the moment many had waited for. The return of his friend and performer, "Bey Shahboom". The opening was once again exceptional! Smoke from behind the sheer closed drapes crept out from underneath the curtains. Music began and a dim light brightened creating a beautiful silhouette of a horse with his handler. The horse rearing upwards was standing on his two hind legs. Lights from behind the drapes were blinking on the silhouette of Darik's well-known performer, Arabian Stallion, Bey Shahboom. Slowly the curtains opened. From billowing clouds of fog moved forward this captivating black stallion and his owner. It was a breathtaking entrance! These two captivated a standing-room-only house. The appearance, and intelligence of this magnificent stallion impressed the thousands of people attending this year's event with his graceful freestyle liberty performance. Darik performing with his stallion was a credit to the talents of this gifted man. Bey Shahboom and Darik were a sight to be seen as they performed in an arena. It was a spectacular performance executed with obvious devotion by both horse and trainer.
In addition to the auctioning off of the "Fender Star Guitar" donated by Cat Country 94FM, and "Horse & Habit's Saddle Package," this year's event also offered additional non-stallion service auctioned items. For many years now - in his compassion for Wishing Star's children - Patrick Swazye has been autographing a personal message on one of his posters, making it a collector's item for someone's home. When asked he has never refused. Patrick Swazye's poster, art framed by Pacific Flyway Gallery, captivated spectators and bidders. It went home with Dave Boles of Mead, Washington.
With the auctioned Southwest Airline tickets came an interesting twist. Two round trip tickets anywhere in the U.S. were auctioned to GTE Wireless for $925. Then, representative Dawnell Scroggins donated the tickets back to Wishing Star to be auctioned off once again! The second and final bidder was Shirley McFaddan of Coeur d'Alene Idaho purchasing them for $875. Thanks to the donors and bidders the Southwest Airlines tickets brought in a total of $1,800. towards the mission of making dreams come true! John & Joyce Wing of Wing's Fencing and Fabrication once again donated a freestanding heavy-duty fourteen-gauge galvanized 12 x 12 paneled corral with a super bull gate. It sold for $475. to Dave Boles of Mead, WA. Al Randall of Pine Rock Marketing - in cooperation with Professional Choice Sports Medicine Products, Super Sweats, Vita Flex, and Lexington Safety Products, donated a complete trainers package, which included a "Night at the Races" Playfair Race Track package with dinner for four, selling for $400. to Jo Anne Ekhoff of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Wishing Star thanks Patrick Swayze, Southwest Airlines, John & Joyce Wings, Al Randall, Playfair Race Track, GTE Wireless, Horse & Habit, and Cat Country 94FM. Your efforts and support will bring a smile to a little child's face.
The evening ended in great success. The stallion services auction attributed over $45,000 to the gross figure of just a little over $81,000. Coordinator, Barbara Turner, tells us that the success of this event would not have been possible if not for the sponsors. "Our sponsors are where it begins," Barbara tells us, "but not where it ends. Gallop's success comes from the support, contributions, and donations of stallion owners, trade show participators, volunteers, businesses, and spectators. I am also proud of the horse industry. Regardless of breeds, we have all come together to work for a great cause and successful event. Everyone plays an important roll in this success story."
Wishing Star's Gallop Coordinator, Barb Turner, reminds us that as you read this article 'wishes' have been completed and are currently being granted to several children. "We granted 51 wishes in the 1999/2000 fiscal year," said Barb Turner. The average cost of a wish is up to $3,900. Some of the 51 wishes granted were a vehicle, a computer, a trip to Sea World, Orthodontic braces, a TV/Nintendo 64, a Guitar, a Mountain Bike, a Stereo, a Playground Set, a train ride, a horse, a shopping spree, a Hot tub, a San Juan Trip, a TV/DVD, a trip to Wheel Of Fortune, a Lap Top, a Big Screen TV, a Bedroom set, Meeting Will Smith, a trip on the Big Red Boat, Going to see Phantom of the Opera, a trip to New York City, Meeting the "Rock," or our most popular request: Disneyland or Disney World. All those who supported the Gallop should be very proud of your efforts. You have helped to make `special' children's dreams a reality. I thank you all!"
For more information on stallion services, booths, volunteering help or being a sponsor - Contact Gallop Coordinator, Barbara Turner - 466-8719 / 744-3411 or drop a line to Wishing Star Foundation, Attn.: Barbara Turner, W. 915 2nd Ave, Suite #3 - Spokane, WA 99201.