Another year, another Charity Classic Horse Show for the books! The 2016 Giant Steps Charity Classic Horse Show revealed a a very well-received new format: an online-only silent auction, a Pro/Am Battle in place vs. the Battle of the Sexes, and in place of the gala, a casual Brazilian buffet celebrating the Opening Ceremonies of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.
In its seventh year, the Charity Classic brought together equestrians from across the United States, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, and Canada and raised nearly $150,000 for Giant Steps.
The 2016 Charity Classic show sponsors were the Wells Fargo Foundation, Eden Valley Stables, HALTER, Circle Oak Equine, Bay Club, the Townsend Family, Equuleus Designs, Dover Saddlery, Aubrey Grace Memorial, Montgomery Creek Ranch, Toqueville Asset Management, Athleta, Horse & Style Magazine, Furth Bonomi Farm, Equine Insurance, Sterling View Farm, Ice Horse, Chestnut Hill LLC, The Design Bureau, and Greenleaf & Burleson. Beer, wine, and libations were provided by Rombauer Wines, Jackson Family Wines, Fotsch Vineyards, Lagunitas Brewing Company, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, and Wilibee’s Wine and Spirits.
The show was held at the fabulous Sonoma Horse Park, and included signature events such as the HALTER Pro/Am Battle, in which the Junior/Amateur riders found victory over the professionals, and the $40,000 Circle Oak Grand Prix. A more casual atmosphere than years past, exhibitors and guests loved the Brazilian-themed Friday night barbeque in honor of the 2016 Rio Olympics Opening Ceremonies, served while they cheered on the Junior Relay participants. After a month of fundraising, the Junior Relay teams raised over $40,000 for the Giant Steps Scholarship Fund.
A highlight of the show was the Calcutta Auction, in which supporters bid on teams of Grand Prix horses, and then won a portion of the pot if one of the horses on their team won. Auctioneers Hope and Ned Glynn and the Grand Prix riders got the crowd going and raised almost $40,000 for Giant Steps. Jonkheer Z and Guy Thomas took home the gold on Saturday night, and pot winner Sasha Kollman generously donated her winnings back to the organization.
The silent auction raised over $65,000, and included prizes such as: A getaway to Ireland including a week of training at Duffy Sporthorses and a stay at Ashford Castle, a tour of the Tesla Factory, NCAA Final Four tickets, and a trip to the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Finals plus a feature in Horse & Style Magazine.
A huge thank you to our sponsors, exhibitors, and supporters for another fabulous year–see you in 2017!