November 2015 - Making Strides To Help Others

Hayden Show Jumping turns charity Into fun and $8,000 in funds raised.

by Nancy Albright

The Equestrian Extravaganza & Charity Fundraiser brought Hayden Show Jumping barn members and extended community together at the Nellie Gail Equestrian Center in Orange County’s Laguna Hills.

Group presents check to Nicki Branch of FalconRidge Equine Rescue. Photo: Ashleigh Magnus

The afternoon of September 26th was a celebration of giving back to this sport, raising funds and awareness for two exceptional non-profit organizations, FalconRidge Equine Rescue (a large rescue and rehabilitation facility in Valley Center) and Uryadi’s Village (a non-profit providing assistance to orphanages and their communities).

Hayden Show Jumping invited guests from far and wide to watch and bet on a live auction Calcutta-style Gambler’s Choice jumper competition, enjoy family fun activities, mingle, shop and dine with various industry and community vendors.

Between the donations collected from the horse petting tours facilitated by Hayden Riding School volunteers, bets placed by the Calcutta Cup spectators, and bids for the exciting variety of goods and services at the silent auction, the four-hour event raised over $8,000 that went directly to the charities.

Guests were treated to fine dining courtesy of Villa Roma Restaurant (authentic Italian and Argentinian cuisine) and gathered at ringside tables decked out with fresh flowers and luxury linens keeping the event sophisticated, yet casual. Spectators were free to enjoy the action from all sides of the arena as emcee extraordinaire, Rob Skafgaard, added his entertaining commentary and coaxed higher bids.

Bella Montgomery excels at horseless hurdle competition.

Mickey Hayden with event organizers, Megan Larrabee and Zeschia Booman.

The Calcutta Cup competition, featuring professionals Lane Clarke and April Branson, and amateur riders Kate Crampton, Serenity Phillips and Nicolette Kivlin had everyone on the edge of their seats. Audience members bid on their favorite horse and rider teams, with the top bid of $1,500. Prizes up for grabs included a Grand Prize foursome of golf at Shorecliffs Golf Club with a wine dinner for four at Villa Roma, glider plane flights at Lake Elsinore Soaring Club, and facials at Skindulgence by Judie.

An unexpected tie for the win between Branson and Clarke was broken by an audience applause meter, with Branson for the overwhelming win. Molly Talla of Uryadi’s Village stepped away from crafting with the kids and collecting donations to help present the enormous trophy along with high bidders Valerie and Amber Clark, Susan Phillips and Nicole Bhathal.

Following the Calcutta Cup, the two-legged stars took the stage and showed their stuff for the Horseless Hurdle High Jump competition. All ages were invited to donate and participate. Prizes included horse cookies courtesy of Mrs. Pastures and passes to Big Air Trampoline Park in Laguna Hills. Even Lane Clarke joined in on the fun. Nicki Branch, FalconRidge founder, took a break from educating visitors about horse rescue for a photo op with all the kids in the ring for a big check presentation from Amber Clark, one of the riding school students.

Always a competitor, Lane Clarke focuses on a tight turn.

Serenity Phillips clears the joker to gain extra points.

Celebrity guest, Camille Hyde, graciously announced the winners of the silent auction. Camille stars as the Pink Power Ranger in the new Power Rangers Dino Charge series on Nickelodeon. She is a fellow equestrian and former president and co-captain of the Chapman University Equestrian Team. The silent auction had something for everyone from an Antares Helmet, to Twinkle Toes glitter horse paints, to designer sunglasses to golf equipment. Bidders went toe-to-toe to snag the best swag.

Mickey Hayden has long desired to start a project that gives back to the magnificent animals and people in the equestrian world. Two of his instructors, Megan Larrabee and Zeschia Booman, share this passion and have enthusiastically taken on this project with his vision and direction. “This event is just a preview of our vision, and we plan to start a non-profit by the end of the year. Our mission is to raise awareness of equine issues and inspire horse enthusiasts to follow their life purposes through horsemanship,” Larrabee explains. “It was one of those serendipitous moments, sitting around a dinner table with Mickey and Megan, realizing that we all shared the same dream. This was truly a team effort and we really can’t thank everyone enough for their help and support,” recalls Booman.

We thank all our participants and our sponsors: Antares, Grand Meadows, CWD Saddlery, Villa Roma Restaurant, Shorecliffs Golf Club, Lake Elsinore Soaring Club, Skindulgence by Judie, American Horse Products, Ortega Tack & Feed, Dover Saddlery, Eqyss Grooming Products, Cowboy Magic, Mrs. Pasture’s, Twinkle Toes, the Montgomery family, Branson Homes & Estates with Windermere, LegalShield, OC Eye Designs Optometry, Advocare, Ashleigh Magnus Photography, and Nancy Albright Photography.

For more information or to learn how to donate to FalconRidge or Uryadi’s Village, visit