Part of Horse Previews Magazine website. Posted on 11/05/98; 2:00:00PM.

The 1998 Wishing Star Gallop

The trade-show was a shopper's delight! Over thirty booths displayed tack, silver, feed products, horse crafts, custom showring clothes, jewelry, chaps, buckles, equine insurance, specialty signs & designs, Nikken magnetic products, horse health supplies, a Veterinarian Equine Hospital, horse T-Shirts, sweatshirts, figurines, collectors plates, limited edition prints, Montana Pride Feeds, LMF Feeds, custom barn builders, livestock panels, western stores, vinyl fencing, discounted horse trailers, Horse Previews & Northern Horse Review magazines, galvanized fence products, stall flooring, training and boarding facilities, Gallop stallion owners, super sweats, and professional choice products. The trade show also included one of Gallop's biggest Sponsor's and Spokane's best known Country Western Station - KDRK/94FM. From the KDRK booth live coverage was being broadcasted from the event, as their disc jockey - Jim Diamond commentated on stage with Gallop Coordinator Barbara Turner, and former L.A. Raider, Curt Marsh.

The Spokane County Fair & Expo Center'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, and starbursts dropping from the stage to the floor in luxuriant scarlet red, pink, white, and yellow fresh cut flowers. Green fern with the most beautiful bright glittering five star cut out was displayed in each arrangement. Floral bouquets lined the fencing near the audience. Green turf and 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 foot lights 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 twinkling bright above the audience. 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 action from the arena 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, and commentators were dressed in tuxs or glittering diamond gowns as the stallions pranced through drawn back sheer drapes to make their entrances.

A great western quartet - Andrew Wilson & Band - kicked off the opening of Gallop '98. Then Wishing Star's Executive Director - Doug Raper - came on stage and spoke to the audience about Wishing Star's mission and how "wishes" are done.

Once again, the Wishing Star Big "D" Blankets were a draw and interest at the event! 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 a local Spokane artist - Mr. Tod Locke. This years blanket sported a cupped hand coming out from the Gallop logo. Flying from the hand were three white dove holding stars in their beaks. Beneath them the words "Set the Spirit Free" was in gold script writing. In pink writing at the bottom read, "Wishing Star Gallop." Every detail had been taken to assure the blanket as a Limited Edition collectors item. Big "D" quality workmanship was evident in the two sided design, and the stitching of the year & number in the left hand bottom corner.

That evening over the course of the auction, the first & second blankets sold for $550 and $600 to Dave Boles of Mead, Washington, the third blanket sold for $725 to Glenn Hogan of Hayden, Idaho. These three collector blankets brought in a total of $1,875 for Wishing Star children! Wishing Star is indebted to this remarkably dedicated man, Mr. Glenn Drake, owner of Big "D" Blankets. With many requests for donations from Big "D" Blankets, we feel very honored and privileged that Mr. Drake's compassion for our cause has given us his continued support.

The 1998 line-up of stallions being offered in this year's sale was very impressive! Stallion services were offered from around the United States. Many were World, National, Congress, Regional, and International Champions. What a delight to see the finest stallions 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, videos on the big screens, live music and commentating, it was scintillating to see the finest stallions offering services in today's market!

Several stallion services sold for over their normal standing fees. Several sold for their normal standing fees. Naturally the children were the incentive for many.

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