Oct. 4 , 2019 | Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program

Record attendance. Record proceeds. An awe-inspiring rider demo. High caliber polo. A miniature horse jumping competition. Delectable food and drink. Hats. Enthusiastic guests. And enticing auction items.

NVTRP’s 13th Annual Ride to Thrive Polo Classic this past Saturday had it all! Close to 600 guests, including a sold-out VIP crowd, turned out to enjoy an afternoon of Polo at Great Meadow to benefit NVTRP. Collectively, they raised over $200,000, a nearly 20% increase over 2018’s record proceeds, to support therapeutic riding and other equine-assisted activities for people with disabilities, youth-at-risk, and recovering service members.

NVTRP riders Carson, Alyssa, Ryleigh, and Henry stole the show with their half-time quadrille—a choreographed drill pattern set to music. Executive Director Kelsey Gallagher says, “I don’t think there was a dry eye in the place when the riders finished. The joy on their faces lit up the arena and provided such pure testimony to the power of therapeutic riding.”

(Above: NVTRP riders Henry, Alyssa, Carson and Ryleigh.)

NVTRP Executive Director, Kelsey Gallagher, with NVTRP Board Member and VIP Host, Will Thomas. Will Thomas, NVTRP Board Member and TTR Sotheby’s Realtor and Sherrie Beckstead, Partner at Liljenquist & Beckstead expertly co-chaired the event and Debbie Nash organized the polo players.

The Nash Family. Special thanks to lead sponsors AmerisourceBergen, AT&T, the Trotz Family, ITCON, Divot Charities, the Peterson Family Foundation, Bobbie & Ralph Crafts, and Alla & Barry Cline. Other key partners included Middleburg Life, Aston Martin Washington DC, Lilljenquist & Beckstead, and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Event organizer Tessa Hassett gives high praise to the many volunteers who were instrumental to the day’s success. “Volunteers are key to what we do every day at NVTRP and the Polo Classic a great example of that. Huge thanks to the volunteers who did everything from making decorations, to running children’s activities, to cleaning up, and everything in between.”

Concludes Kelly Harbitter, NVTRP Board Treasurer who welcomed Saturday’s guests, “The Ride to Thrive Polo Classic was nothing short of magical. . . Thank you to each and every person who played a role in the event’s amazing success. I am incredibly proud to be part of a community that consistently delivers excellence on behalf of our inspirational riders.”

Photo credits to Sydney Sawyer and Jordan Koepke.