Denim and Diamonds Preakness Party a success for Hope Horses

Ed Huddleston

Guests went all out, dressing up for the Denim and Diamonds Preakness Party.

CULLMAN – Recently, a crowd of around 175 gathered for the Hope Horses, Inc. (HH) Denim and Diamonds Preakness Party to watch the Preakness Stakes horse race, and help HH raise funds to support its mission of providing equestrian experiences to the Cullman area special needs community.

HH Executive Director Kelsey Rice said of her organization, “HH is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing safe horsemanship opportunities to children and adults with physical, cognitive, social and emotional needs. HH currently provides 34 lessons a week, which is the biggest number that we have served, which is awesome! We currently have six horses and two instructors!”

The Denim and Diamonds Preakness Party is HH’s largest annual fundraiser, providing scholarships for participants and care for horses, as well as funds for purchasing tack and other equipment. This year, it will also help fund a new project, as HH teams up with Saving Forgotten Warriors to provide equestrian experiences for area veterans.

Rice talked about the evening’s highlights.

“Throughout the night, we had the betting for the 2017 Preakness Race, the Preakness Drink, great live auction items such as a swing donated from Buettner Brothers, a 14k gold horse ring donated by Ed White Jewelers, a Remington 870 Express Shotgun and a handmade knife donated by Gary Oden. There was also other great silent auction items, live music, great food, great company and social times all in support of the Hope Horses, Inc. program.

“The 2017 Preakness Party was a huge success. It is great getting people together to celebrate the success of the Hope Horses, Inc. program but most importantly coming together and raising money in support of the participants and to open doors in ways to invest money in new opportunities for our program and also for our participants to grow! We are looking forward to the 2018 year!”

The Preakness Party might be the major fundraiser for this nonprofit, but it’s not the only time they accept donations. Those interested in giving or getting involved can call 256-841-6290, visit  or visit the HH facility at 1301 Convent Rd NE.

“The HH Program is truly a wonderful opportunity that the Cullman community has,” said Rice. “The main goal for our participants is to become more independent.  When our participants are in our program they build up their self-confidence, self-esteem, core strength, fine motor skills, etc. There are so many opportunities that the program currently offers, but is also planning to provide. We greatly appreciate the men and women in our community that support our program. Because of them we are able to provide these opportunities. We are excited for the last few sessions and also the summer.”

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