The 2016 Betsy Gala and Grand Prix, a collaboration between the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Foundation and Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, raised roughly $100,000 for breast cancer research. The Betsy Gala and Grand Prix is held each year in memory of well-known Lexington equestrian Betsy Fishback, who passed away from breast cancer in 2009. Her husband, Dave Fishback, DVM, is a former partner and current Associate at Hagyard.
This year’s Betsy Gala, held in the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena, featured cuisine by Donna Potter’s Catering by Donna and a live auction of an American Pharoah halter and visit with the Triple Crown winner, a Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event hospitality package, a California Chrome saddle towel, a custom-built jump from Equi Jumps and a barrel of one of Kentucky’s most-sought-after bourbons.
The event also included a lively Calcutta-style auction, in which all horse and rider combinations were grouped into six teams and auctioned off, with the owners of the winning team taking home 60% of the pool. This year’s winners, who preferred not to be named, donated their proceeds back to the Markey Cancer Foundation.
The Betsy Gala and Grand Prix would not be complete without some world-class show jumping. At stake was a $50,000 bonus for the leading rider of the Hagyard Challenge Series, of which The Betsy Grand Prix was the culmination. The two riders in the running for that award, Pablo Barrios and Aaron Vale, battled for the win, but it was Barrios and his mount, Antares, who took home top honors in the $65,000 grand prix—and the $50,000 bonus—after a full and very competitive jump-off.
“All of us at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute remain infinitely proud of the collaboration we share with the Markey Cancer Foundation through The Betsy in support of research to find the cure for cancer,” said Stuart Brown, DVM, of Hagyard. “The patrons who have partnered with the practice and people from our community helped raise another $100,000 this year, which will enable the researchers and physicians at Markey to continue to provide the highest level of cutting-edge treatments for their patients. Everyone at the event enjoyed a fabulous evening of the highest level of grand prix show jumping along with an incredible meal in honor of the legacy of Betsy Fishback, who had been cared for by Markey in her battle against breast cancer. We look forward to another exciting event in 2017 and hope that many others will join us in this unique collaborative effort.”
“We are quite thankful for this partnership with Hagyard,” said Mike Delzotti, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Markey Cancer Foundation. “Because cancer affects so many people, as well as their loved ones and friends, it makes sense that it takes just as many people to fight it and care for those afflicted with it. Eight years ago, Hagyard saw one of their own in need and responded with determination and dedication. Their grace resulted in research funding that, today, benefits thousands of people.”
University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Foundation
Since its establishment in 1978, the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Foundation has been recognized as a forerunner in championing cancer research in Kentucky through direct support of the Markey Cancer Center. After contributing significantly to achieve the goal of earning the National Cancer Institute designation of the Markey Cancer Center in July 2013, the Foundation’s support has expanded to fund innovative research, early detection and prevention initiatives. The Foundation works with researchers across a broad spectrum of cancer research fields to find and fund the best research and create better outcomes for patient treatments and care.
Hagyard Equine Medical Institute
Founded in 1876, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute is one of the oldest and largest veterinary facilities in the world. Based in Lexington, Kentucky, Hagyard has more than 50 veterinarians and a well-educated and experienced staff of support personnel. The facility, located across from the Kentucky Horse Park, boasts superior ambulatory services, the world-renowned Davidson Surgery Center and McGee Medicine and Fertility Centers, the PCAB-accredited compounding Hagyard Pharmacy, an on-site laboratory and the Hagyard Sports Medicine & Podiatry Center as well as hyperbaric medicine, open MRI and equine rescue services.