Garrard horse farm to hold fund-raiser

September 21, 2003|PHIL PENDLETON

LANCASTER - The Four Harmony Foundation, based at Pine Knoll Farm, is bringing in some top names in the equine industry for a fund-raising gala Friday and Sept. 28.

"Our goal is to create awareness of the healing power of the horse," said Gillian Vallis of Pine Knoll.

That "healing power" is about the unique relationship between humans and horses, Vallis said. "They are our mirror. Through the way they react, we learn about ourselves," she said.

"Pink Sands and Bluegrass," on Friday will help provide support for the equine services provided at Pine Knoll Farm. According to the Four Harmony Foundation Web site, "it will be a magical evening that incorporates the mood, music and food of both the pink sands of Bermuda and the bluegrass of Kentucky." Included in the evening fare will be a silent auction for a three-day stay at the "Reefs" hotel in Bermuda.

The "In Honor of the Horse" symposium Friday and Sept. 28 will feature over a dozen nationally and internationally known equine experts, said Vallis. "The caliber of speakers is way up there," she said.


The key speaker is "horse whisperer" Chris Irwin, who coaches both horses and riders in the "non-resistance bonding process" he has developed over the past two decades. Irwin is the author of the novel, "Horses Don't Lie." Irwin writes about how horses help in healing through therapeutic riding, Vallis said. "He is very sought after," she said.

Others speaking include Dr. Judith M. Shoemaker, a practitioner and educator in complementary veterinary medicine and therapy, and Dr. Chris Cahill, whose practice is exclusively in equine acupuncture.

Pine Knoll Farm, located just off U.S. 27 in northern Garrard County, offers broad-based services and programs for research and education, Vallis said. "We have a child psychiatrist, who is doing research proving that working with horses is therapeutic. It does work," she said. Riding lessons are also offered along with team building activities that teach people how to work together.

Four Harmony Foundation is a 501 c(3) non-profit organization providing services that are so well received, imminent expansion is being explored, which will require a large financial base, Vallis said.

Vallis said between 150 and 200 people will likely attend the symposium, which costs between $30 and $175.

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