The weather was perfect for a record-breaking fundraiser for NVTRP on Saturday, September 19 for the Ride to Thrive Polo Classic!
The morning started with a buzz of activity setting up for the guests' arrival. Tables were decorated, the Kids' Corral was set up with hay bales and games, the caterers prepared the food and the sun shone brightly on everyone.
Gates opened at1:00 and for the next ninety minutes a steady stream of guests made their way to the tent, which included live and silent auction items that spread over 80-feet of tables through the center of the 120-foot harvest-themed tent. Appetizers, a stocked bar featuring a signature cocktail courtesy of Belle Vodka, a wine tasting tent by Nello Olivo, and a 35-foot-long food station ensured the guests were well fed and hydrated.
The events leading up to the match showcased a horse and carriage demonstration and an introductory polo primer for those unfamiliar with the sport. Opening ceremonies featured the marching of the color guard accompanied by NVTRP military riders and Rebecca Morrison singing the national anthem.
This year the thrilling polo match featured world-class players and their polo ponies in a faceoff of teams Los Tigres versus Guarisco Gallery/Centauros. Both teams battled intensely through the first half of the match to a "half-time break" in which NVTRP riders showed guests what therapeutic riding and hippotherapy are all about.Long-time NVTRP rider, Cesar wowed the crowd on Cinder and 4-year-old Josslyn gave an impressive demonstration on Nöffy including standing at the walk. Following the riders, a spiritedlive auction was held with items including trips to Ireland and St. Maarten, a carriage ride by Friesians, a Washington Capitals jersey signed by all the players, and sponsorship of none other than NVTRP mascot, Theodore "Teddy" the Rough Rider. Teddy also made the rounds during the afternoon to meet children and serve beverages to tailgaters.
The match concluded with Los Tigres securing the win, and the teams and players accepting their accolades at the awards ceremony. Polo guests departed the lovely property and made their way home. NVTRP staff and volunteers rested easy knowing that they had a successful afternoon of "friendraising." Back at the office, the numbers were tallied and the statistics of the day finalized:
193 Ticketed Guests
190 Sponsor Guests
95 Volunteers, polo players, carriage drivers, and staff
Over $106,000 gross raised by NVTRP to aid with annual programming.
NVTRP fundraises for over half of its budget to keep services affordable for clients. The success of this event is critical for NVTRP. A warm thank you to all NVTRP friends who made this event so successful. We wish you all the best and look forward to seeing you back at Chetwood Park in the fall of 2016 for another amazing fundraiser.