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October 28, 2017 – Wheatland Farm Hosts Incredible Annual Gala

United States Para-Equestrian Association

Media Contact: Lindsay McCall -Lindsay@uspea.org -USPEA, 3940 Verde Vista Drive, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360- www.USPEA.org

Wheatland Farm Hosts Incredible Annual Gala

By: Lindsay Y. McCall

Purcellville, VA – October 28, 2017 – In 1999, Irish Tenor Mark Forrest and his wife,  Muriel started the Faith & Family Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization to help families just  like theirs. Owners of Wheatland Farms and parents of eight boys – one who passed away as a baby – three of whom have profound disabilities – Mark and Muriel know only too well the challenges of raising children with serious illness. Working to create a balanced home life for their special needs boys, and their very active, typically developing ones, Mark and Muriel realized that programs and services for families like theirs were few and far between. Each year the beautiful Wheatland Farm, located in Purcellville, VA, hosts their Annual Gala Dinner. This year, the evening was dedicated to their recently deceased son Johnny. Each fall the Gala is held at the Great Upper Barn and is an elegant and inspiring evening featuring a seated dinner, keynote speakers, live and silent auctions and musical entertainment. This October 2017, the “Dinner at Downton” did not disappoint as each patron was swept into Downton Abbey of 1924, complete with silver candelabra, white linens and a fabulous English dinner. This dinner showcased the collective abilities of Wheatland Farm for the disabled and able-bodied community. In 2017, Wheatland Farm was recognized as a US Equestrian / USPEA Para-Dressage Center of Excellence in addition to being a PATH International member therapeutic riding and equine assisted activities and therapies program. Wheatland is also a fully inclusive traditional English riding program; provides adaptive and traditional aquatics, an adaptive hair salon, a wheelchair lending and detailing program and fun outdoor activities. All programs are designed to include siblings and typically developing children in an all-inclusive environment, and are provided by The Faith & Family Foundation at Wheatland Farm throughout the year.  As a Center of Excellence, Wheatland Farm will continue to grow as they become an Elite Training Center for Para-Dressage. Mr. and Mrs. Forest’s goal is to have available quality dressage horses & instruction for Para Dressage riders to give them a strong foundation to learn & excel in the sport.

USPEA President Hope Hand and Board Officer Tina Wentz were both in attendance at the

Brian Tiboni, Hope Hand, Mark and Muriel Forrest. Photo courtesy Wheatland Farm Gala

gala. Hope Hand was honored and celebrated for her vision and expertise with integration of Para-Dressage. Hand reflected, “The Annual Gala included Incredible people at an incredible event. We are already enjoying the partnership between Wheatland Farm and the US Equestrian/ USPEA . Mark and Muriel Forrest have created a wonderful farm and between them, their staff, and volunteers, we are so thankful for their tireless work to enhance Para Equestrian Sporting excellence.”

For more information about the Center of Excellence’s please visit https://www.usef.org/compete/disciplines/para-equestrian/para-dressage-programs-forms/centers-of-excellence

For more information about Wheatland Farm please visit

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