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2023 Jockeys & Juleps Derby Party

Updated: Jul 12, 2023


The 8th Annual Jockeys & Juleps Derby Party benefiting Southern Reins Center for Equine Therapy was hosted on Saturday, May 6, 2023. Attended by more than 850 guests the event raised funds and awareness for equine-assisted services provided by Southern Reins to help individuals with physical, cognitive, and emotional disabilities and hardship throughout the greater Memphis area. Presented by First Horizon Advisors, this year’s Jockeys & Juleps Derby Party included an incredible silent and live auction, live music by The River Bluff Clan, delicious southern-style fare, awards for best hat and best dressed gent, and an exciting live broadcast of the 149th Annual Kentucky Derby. Honorary Event Chairs Alan and Vail Gates were joined by their daughter, Lauren Gates - who is a program participant, volunteer, and member of Southern Reins’ barn staff – to welcome guests and celebrate the organization’s largest and most successful annual fundraiser.

Celebrating the greatest two minutes in sports, attendees witnessed Mage pull forward and win by a length, becoming the fourth horse to win the Kentucky Derby after only three previous starts. The silent and live Auctions featured hundreds of experiences and items, including a vacation stay Cape Cod and Montana, Guided Duck Hunt for 8 at Coca Cola Woods, and an autographed guitar donated by Amy Grant and Vince Gill. Auctioneer Hal Stansbury, joined by co-emcee, meteorologist Julia Fife with FOX-13, kept the stage filled with energy throughout the afternoon.

Decked out in their derby best, guests enjoyed big hats, bourbon, and bluegrass while sipping on signature mint juleps provided by Spirits Sponsor Athens Distributing and Woodford Reserve. Participants and their families also attended the event to share their stories and how the organization has changed their lives, along with the debut of a new Southern Reins’ video featuring four participants and the wonderful relationship they have with their horses. “This year’s Jockeys & Juleps Derby Party raised more than $360,000, and the generous support of our event sponsors, donors, and guests makes our program possible,” stated Board Chairman, Courtney Smith. “We are grateful to have served more than 786 children and adults with disabilities and hardship throughout our community, and this event is pivotal to sustaining our program services so we can continue our outreach to serve more individuals in our community.”

2023 Jockeys & Juleps Event Sponsors:

First Horizon Advisors, Lexus, Kim and Bryan Jordan, Charles and Judy Burkett, FedEx Freight, Barbara and Stefan Smith, Kelly Jo and Mitch Graves, Anne and Mike Keeney, Kimery Wealth Management, Margaret and Lee Alexander, Grinder Taber Grinder, Monogram Foods Loves Kids Foundation, Monogram Friends of Southern Reins, Ideal Contracting, Vail and Alan Gates, International Paper, Dr. Lucy Bruijn, Greenview Landscape Services, Athens Distributing, Oak Hall, Galler Foods, Inc., Buster’s Liquors and Wines, LSI Graphics, Sylvamo, Holliday Flowers & Events, Inc., Miranda and Beau Yarbro, Off The Square Catering, Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance, RKA Construction, Louise and Cliff Hunt, White Door Events, Deborah Dunklin Tipton, 901 Nadia, Becky and Wally Fields, Gill Properties, Harris Shelton, The Brigance Family, Ceolla and Shoffner Families and Friends, Valerie and Scot Bearup with Friends, Kelly and Paul Peel, DirectFX Solutions, Germantown Performing Arts Center, The Dabney Nursery, Mark and Jane Harris, Hollis & Burns, Inc., Jim Dilley, Mid-South Endodontics, Stateline Animal Clinic, Watkins Uiberall, Full Circle Veterinary Services, and Youth Villages.

About Southern Reins Center for Equine Therapy - Southern Reins was founded in 2015 to provide equine-assisted services to help individuals with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities and hardship. We serve children and adults with disabilities such as Down syndrome, autism, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, amputation, cognitive and physical disabilities, attention deficit disorder, and more. We are the only Premier Accredited Center in greater Memphis area recognized by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) representing the highest industry standards for safety, program quality, and facility operations to support people with special needs. Southern Reins is a nonprofit organization, EIN 47-4647784. To learn more, visit or call 901-290-1011.

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