NOVEMBER 1995 BACK ISSUE
Part of Horse Previews Magazine website. Posted on 11/1/95; 10:00:00 AM.
Another Smashing Success for Wishing Star Gallop
In August, the Wishing Star Gallop held in Spokane, Washington netted an all-time high of over $55,000. This event is the largest all-breed Stallion Service Auction of its kind in the Northwest & the number one fund-raising event for the Wishing Star Foundation, a non-profit organization that grants wishes to children with life threatening illnesses. The August 20th event brought over two thousand people to the Spokane Interstate Fairgrounds for the thirteenth annual Gallop. It was another smashing success.
Gallop Coordinator, Barbara Turner, credits its success to the "children" of Wishing Star. "The weather couldn't have been better. Attendance was record breaking this year," Barbara said. "People were outside viewing the stallions, eating at the American Italian Club Restaurant, touring the commercial booths, or waiting patiently in the stands to witness the next entertainment on the agenda. From general admission to special donations & contributions, all in attendance were supporting these children in one way or another."
The trade-show was a shopper's delight! Over thirty booths displayed tack, silver, feed products, horse crafts, custom show ring clothes, jewelry, chaps, buckles, bronze sculptures, specialty liners for Pick-up beds & horse trailers, equine insurance, livestock panels, barn construction builders, western stores, discounted horse trailers, Horse Previews magazine, galvanized fence products, stall flooring, fiberglass sheeting for barn; arena & stall buildings, new training & boarding facility, hand decorated Sweat & Tee Shirts, E'Ola formulas & vitamins, Horses West magazine, Gallop stallion owners, super sweats, & professional choice products. The trade show also included one of Gallop's biggest Sponsors & Spokane's best known Country Western Station - KDRK/FM94. From the KDRK booth, live coverage was broadcast from the event, as their newest disc jockey - Jim Diamond - commentated on stage with Gallop Coordinator Barbara Turner, & former L.A. Raider, Curt Marsh.
The Spokane Interstate Fairground's indoor arena was once again transformed into a breathtaking arena! Arrangements decorated by sponsors Ray & Judy Apfelbaum of "Wildflowers," simulated a fireworks display bursting from above the drape line, & starbursts dropping from the stage to the floor in luxuriant scarlet red, yellow & white fresh carnations, green fern & sparkling curly willows, with the most beautiful bright yellow large sunflowers in all the arrangements. Floral bouquets lined the fencing near the audience with ribbons strung from fence to fence. Green turf & a tastefully curtained backdrop outlined with floral arrangements, eight pointed glittered gold stars on center stage, with five pointed colored glittery stars on the outer curtains, elegantly decorated the staging area. Twinkling footlights brought the stage alive as they danced around keeping time to the live music being played. Above, chandeliers hung high from atop the arena with a five pointed star shining bright above the center of the stage. So as not to miss anything happening in the arena, the professional touch of two ten foot screens - one on each side of the stage - gave the audience the opportunity to see live video playing on the screens. Three thirty-foot towers held the spotlights that would highlight each stallion as he passed through the arena. Live music was played throughout the event, & commentators were dressed in tuxes or glittering diamond gowns as the stallions pranced through drawn back sheer drapes to make their entrances.
Wishing Star's Executive Director - Doug Raper - came on stage & spoke to the audience about Wishing Star's mission & how "wishes" are done.
One of the highlights to the event this year came before the Preview Parade kicked-off. A special tribute was given to former L.A. Raider - Curt Marsh. A video was played on his career with the Raiders which led to the ill faith amputation of his leg. Curt was unaware that Wishing Star would be doing this tribute. At the end of the video, five Wishing Star children accompanied Curt on stage & presented him with a plaque from Wishing Star & its Wish children honoring him as a "Hero" in their lives. Surprised, overwhelmed, honored, & quite emotional he accepted the plaque, hugging each & every one of them.
Wishing Star's Big "D" Blankets were hotter than any year! Since 1990, Glenn Drake, owner of Big "D" Blankets - a business that is ranked number #1 in the world for horse blankets - came up with the idea to make a collector's blanket which would help to make "special" children's dreams a reality. These Limited Edition Blankets auctioned off each year were not being offered anywhere else in the United States by Big "D" Products. They were in four colors, with a special design created by an artist locally here in the area - Mr. Tod Locke. This year's hottest blanket yet, sported a wild horizontal fire design in red, yellow, black & white! Every detail to assure the blankets of value as a collector limited edition blanket was done by Big "D". Left hand bottom corners that read "Big "D" Limited Edition - the year - & number, to a two sided blanket design, Gallop Logos, & that well noted Big "D" quality workmanship.
That evening over the course of the auction, the first 1995 blanket was purchased by Dave Boyles of Mead, Wa for $850. Gallop's second blanket sold for $750 to Todd Havens of Spokane, Wa & our third 1995 blanket sold for $775 to Gary & Kathy Metcalf of Othello, Wa. These three collectors blankets brought in a total of $2,375 for Wishing Star children! Wishing Star is indebted to this remarkably dedicated man, Mr. Glenn Drake, owner of Big "D" Blankets. In a world filled with request for donations from Big "D" Blankets, we feel very honored & privileged that Mr. Drake's compassion for our cause has given us his continued support.
The 1995 line-up of stallions offered in the sale this year was very impressive! Stallion services were offered from around the United States. Many were World, National, Congress, Regional, & International Champions. What a delight to see the finest stallions standing in the World! Stalls were decorated like stallion row at the World Shows. The Stallion Preview Parade was exciting, as always. Along with the spotlights, live music & commentating, it was scintillating to see the finest stallions offering services in today's market!
The preview parade ended with a video tape that was created by actor "Patrick Swayze," featuring he & his stallion "Tammen." The tape was made for presentation of his stallion at the Gallop event. It was exciting, & the drop of a pin could be heard amongst the audience as they were captivated watching his video. Later in the sale, Patrick Swayze's poster, art framed by Pacific Flyway Gallery, was auctioned off. He had signed a personal message, "A child's dream....a soul fulfilled...this is our future. Love Patrick Swayze." It proudly sold for $675 to Laurie Silvernail of Medical Lake, Washington.
Several stallion services sold for over their normal standing fees. Some sold for their normal standing fees. Naturally the children were the incentive for many.
Photographs by Kathy Sauther.