Annual Ridin’ High Charity Show a hit

Posted on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at 11:49 am

Saddled up to participate - and joined by their Ridin’ High volunteers - in the Celebrity Class of the Ridin’ High Charity Horse Show on June 21 are from left, Kirk Finnerty, Dr. Gordon Holen, Cathy Scott, Dr. Charles Starks, Kelli Campbell, Jeff Walker, leading Ridin’ High volunteer Trinity Johnson, and Larry Churchwell.

Saddled up to participate – and joined by their Ridin’ High volunteers – in the Celebrity Class of the Ridin’ High Charity Horse Show on June 21 are from left, Kirk Finnerty, Dr. Gordon Holen, Cathy Scott, Dr. Charles Starks, Kelli Campbell, Jeff Walker, leading Ridin’ High volunteer Trinity Johnson, and Larry Churchwell.

The Ridin’ High Charity Show held on June 21 at the Great Smoky Mountains Expo Center was a success, thanks to a special group of riders.

“We raised more than $6,100, just in one show class, due to the efforts of seven local celebrities,” Ridin’ High founder Nancy Bible said.

The show was held at the arena located near Exit 8 of Interstate 81 for the first time.

“We really enjoyed it, and will continue to hold the show there,” Bible said. “We used the outside covered show ring. It was just a great day.”

The celebrities earned their respective show ribbons by conducting fundraising for Ridin’ High, a therapeutic riding program designed for children and adults.

The top blue ribbon went to Kirk Finnerty, a real estate investor from Louisville, Tennessee, who along with the Ridin’ High Program Director Naomi Coletta, raised more than $2,000.

The second place went to local business woman and community advocate Cathy Scott, who raised more than $1,500. Morristown attorney Kelli Campbell raised more than $1,200.

Also competing were Dr. Jeff Walker of Dandridge, Dr. Charles Sparks, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Morristown, Larry Churchwell of White Pine and Dr. Gordon Holen of Sevierville.

The celebrity class monies will help fund the continuing improvements at the Ridin’ High Barn.

The barn, located at 1491 Springvale Rd. in Morristown, is nearly complete, according to Bible. The barn holds 10 stalls, an office, tack room and parents’ waiting room, along with two restrooms, a wash bay and a storage room.

“This barn has been a goal of ours for 20 years,” Bible said.

“We so appreciate the efforts of our celebrities in supporting us, and we appreciate all the participants who came and showed their horses in one or more of the 39 classes,” shes said.

Demonstrations during the show’s intermission included vaulting, presented by students of Maria Blackstone of Bulls Gap.

Ridin’ High lessons are given five days per week. Goals are set for the students after consulting with parents and doctors. For more information 423-585-0331 or visit the website ridinhigh.org. Volunteers age 14 and up may register online. No horse experience needed.

-From Staff Reports

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