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2024 Jockeys & Juleps Derby Party


Collierville, TN - On Saturday, May 4, 2024, the 9th Annual Jockeys & Juleps Derby Party took center stage. Benefiting Southern Reins Center for Equine Therapy, this flagship event raised crucial program funding while heightening awareness about the transformative services offered to help individuals living with physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges. Presented by First Horizon Advisors, this year's Jockeys & Juleps Derby Party was a spectacular Southern affair. From an electrifying silent and live auction to the bluegrass tunes from The River Bluff Clan, guests came dressed in their Derby best to support and celebrate the life-changing opportunities made possible through the healing power of horses. The excitement of the event reached its peak with a live broadcast of the historic

150th Annual Kentucky Derby, where the thrill of victory and the heartbeat of competition captivated everyone in attendance. Honorary Event Chairs Michael and Leslie Bisignano, along with their son Michael Bisignano Jr., a participant in Southern Reins' Adaptive Horseback Riding and HorsePOWER Work-Based Learning programs, generously shared their story in support of the spirit of empowerment and inclusivity championed by the organization.

The pinnacle of the event mirrored the intensity of the Kentucky Derby itself, with Sierra Leone and Forever Young making a spirited challenge, only to be narrowly edged out by Mystik Dan in a photo finish, etching an unforgettable chapter in Kentucky Derby history as he crossed the finish line by less than a nose to win the Run for the Roses. The auctions dazzled with a coveted experiences and unique items, including exclusive vacation packages in Oak Island, North Carolina and Paradise Valley, Montana, an extraordinary private dinner and wine pairing experience for 10 guests from chef Erling Jensen and Donna & Mike Glenn, and a signed guitar generously donated by Country music legends Amy Grant and Vince Gill. Auctioneer Hal Stansbury, alongside co-emcees Valerie Calhoun and Darcy Thomas from FOX-13, infused the stage with dynamic energy, ensuring every moment was filled with excitement and purpose.

Guests celebrated in pure Derby style with big hats, bourbon, and bluegrass, savoring signature mint juleps courtesy of Spirits Sponsor Athens Distributing and Woodford Reserve. A memorable highlight was the premiere of a heartwarming Southern Reins video, showcasing the deep bonds between volunteers, participants, and therapy horses, reinforcing the organization's mission to changing ride at a time. “The remarkable success of this year's Jockeys & Juleps Derby Party, which raised over $315,000, stands as a testament to the incredible generosity of our sponsors, donors, supporters, and guests.” says Courtney Smith, Southern Reins’ Board Chairman. “Through this support, we can ensure that the promise of miracles remains a tangible reality for everyone we are so honored to serve.”

2024 Jockeys & Juleps Event Sponsors:

First Horizon Advisors, Lexus of Memphis, Friends of Southern Reins, 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, Stephen and Alicia Davis, Youth Villages, ContractingPRO, Sylvamo, Donna and Mike Glenn, 901 Nadia, Deborah Dunklin Tipton, Dr. Lucy Bruijn, Katherine and John Dobbs, Louise and Cliff Hunt, Wall Hill’s 3G Farms, Yimmi Stables, International Paper, RKA Construction, Baptist Memorial Health Care, Watkins Uiberall, PLLC, Michael and Leslie Bisignano, Jim Dilley, Stephanie and John Sheahan, Higginbotham, Mid South Endodontics, Athens Distributing, Buster’s Liquors and Wines, DirectFX Solutions, Galler Foods, Inc., Germantown Performing Arts Center, Greenview Landscape Services, Hollis & Burns, Inc., Holliday Flowers & Events, LSI Graphics, Miranda and Beau Yarbro, Oak Hall, Off The Square Catering, White Door Events and The Dabney Nursery.

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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