June 2019 - Talk Derby To Me
Written by photos: Kim F. Miller
Tuesday, 28 May 2019 02:57
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Fun dressage freestyles warm-up the crowd during a race watching party.

photos: Kim F. Miller

Before the Kentucky Derby results set the world on its ear, Giracci Vinyards and Farms staged its 5th annual Talk Derby To Me event. Held at a beautiful Orange County training and special events facility, the day was special indeed. While the big race and big hats were themes, Nicole Bhathal organized the pre-race entertainment with six dressage freestyles ridden by friends and fellow Southern California dressage mavens. With no judging and lots of lively music, the performances were perfect for the decked-out audience of horsey and non-horse people. Free-flowing champagne, smiles and sunshine enhanced the atmosphere.

It was a perfect example of programs and events that attract new people to equestrian sports and enable us all to put our best hoof forward.

Nicole Bhathal and her family pose with performers Christine Stephenson and Bennett, and attendees who enjoyed getting their picture taken with retired Grand Prix star, Markant, decked out in red roses.

California Girls Marianne Horn on Fashionista and Jenna Coonen and West LA pas de deux-ed to a medley of Beach Boys tunes.

Cassie Cherry Nolte & Hello Halli, a Developing Grand Prix pair, wowed the crowd.

Christine Stephenson showed off the Arabian/Friesian cross, Smith’s, dressage talents. The gelding is a national carriage driving champion now ascending in his new sport.

Kristina Huff demonstrated Fourth Level moves with Winzer 207, a part-time SmartPak model.

Christine Stephenson & Bennett demonstrated how they earned the reserve title in last year’s USDF Region 7 Fourth Level Freestyle Championships.

Lisa Bradley & Finesse pose with friends Tobi Coate & Jae Chaney after a crowd-pleasing performance.