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The Jump for the Children Horse Show Celebrates 30 Years

October 02, 2013 By: janwest Category: General

The grand prix from last year. Photo by Anne Gittins Photography.

The grand prix from last year. Photo by Anne Gittins Photography.

Pat (LaFevers) Holsten is known for her enthusiasm and for her devotion to others. In 1984, the five year-old daughter of one of Pat’s good friends was diagnosed with leukemia. “I spent many hours at Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center with my friend and her daughter” said Holsten. “By being in the hospital, I witnessed firsthand the determination and resilience of those young patients and their families, and the tender care of the doctors, nurses and staff. At the same time, I also saw how families struggled in difficult times trying to cope when their loved ones were ill.”

For Holsten, this experience was life-changing. “I was moved and heartbroken at the same time,” she shared. “I decided that I had to do something.”

Holsten had participated in horse shows in the past, and it dawned on Holsten to petition Dr. Sam Katz, then chairman of pediatrics at Duke Children’s, to consider holding a horse show to raise money for the hospital. Holsten envisioned a first class competition, with special features to honor the hospital’s patients, including fancy ribbons, trophies, dress sheets for the horses, and fun parties for the exhibitors and sponsors. ‘Jump for the Children’ Horse Show held its inaugural, two-day, local horse show on a rainy weekend at the Gov. James B. Hunt Horse Complex in Raleigh in November 1984. “It was all for the kids and purely created out of care and admiration for sick children,” said Holsten. The event raised $3,000 for Duke Children’s.

The following year, with the dedication and assistance of Helen Idol, a former associate now retired from Duke Children’s, and her friends from the horse community, Holsten expanded the show to a five-day United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) recognized horse show in 1985.

The horse show continued to draw more dedicated members throughout the Triangle. Fueled by their upbringing in horse sports, combined with their love of children and their passion to support the lifesaving work at Duke Children’s, Joan MacNair Petty, her husband Glenn Petty and members of the MacNair family took over the reins of the horse show nine years later in 1994.

“I was not really sure what we were getting into,” said Petty. “All I knew was that Pat had done an excellent job, and I wanted to continue that legacy and help do my part in raising money for and supporting Duke Children’s.” For the past 20 years that is exactly what Petty, her family and a very dedicated committee of volunteers from across the Triangle’s equestrian community have done.

Under the expert management of the Pettys’ firm, Triangle Farms, the show has grown to a six- day, USEF “AA” rated horse show. ‘Jump for the Children’ Horse Show is the longest, continuously-held, annual fund-raiser for Duke Children’s. Each November, ’Jump for the Children’ garners widespread community support from a host of area businesses and individuals. This November, Triangle Farms will celebrate 30 years of a relationship that has inspired compassion, dedication and support for the kids at Duke Children’s. The horse show has raised $1.6 million to date for Duke Children’s.

Rachel Bergman was just 8-years old when she first met Pat Holsten at the very first ‘Jump for the Children’ Horse Show. “Truly inspirational is how I would describe Pat,” said Bergman. “She is someone that I always looked up to and continue to admire.” Bergman’s story came full- circle, as her daughter was born at Duke Children’s. Bergman spent a month at Duke Children’s on bed rest when her daughter was born just 26 weeks and 1 day. Being only 36 centimeters long and weighing 1 pound and 15 ounces, she spent a total of three months in the neonatal intensive care nursery. Due to the wonderful care at Duke Children’s, she is now a happy, healthy and active toddler. Bergman now serves on the Patient Family Advisory Council at Duke Children’s and on the ‘Jump for the Children’ Horse Show committee.

The show annually attracts over 600 horses and is the largest hunter/jumper horse show in North Carolina. Receiving the highest rating from the United States Equestrian Federation, ‘Jump for the Children’ celebrates the finest traditions of the sport and the best horses and riders in the Mid-Atlantic region. Friday evening features a $10,000 United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) International Hunter Derby, sponsored by Dr. Betsee Parker and Huntland. Saturday night hosts the prestigious $30,000 Duke Children’s Hospital Grand Prix over a Federation Equestrian Internationale level jumper course designed by an internationally licensed course designer. Duke Children’s Hospital Grand Prix winners include U. S. Show Jumping Olympic and/or International team members, Laura Kraut, Peter Wylde, Lisa Jacquin, Marilyn Little, Kent Farrington and Meagan Nusz. See for more information.

About Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center

Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center, located in Durham, N.C., is nationally ranked among the best in pediatric health care programs. Caring for children is our number one priority, from routine checkups and immunizations to the treatment of life-threatening injuries and illnesses. At Duke Children’s, we provide hope and the most advanced health care available. Offering innovative procedures including stem cell and bone marrow transplants as well as a variety of support services for our patients and their families, Duke Children’s cares for children from around the world. We are also a critical local resource – taking care of 60 percent of Durham’s children with more than 70 percent of patients coming from central North Carolina. For more information please visit

About the 2013 ‘Jump for the Children’ Horse Show

– November 5-10 at the Hunt Horse Complex, 4601 Trinity Road, Raleigh- across from Carter Finley Stadium.
– 30th anniversary of the show, 25th anniversary of the Grand Prix.
– The Grand Prix is a “must see” for Triangle Area horse enthusiasts, competing in front of a “full house” audience of over 1200 spectators.

– $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, sponsored by Dr. Betsee Parker & Huntland – Over $40,000 prize money awarded for hunters, USEF rated AA
– $67,000 prize money for jumpers, USEF rated Level 4
– $30,000 Grand Prix prize money awarded in increments down to 12th place

– Over 100 Silent Auction items up for bid – Just in time for holiday shopping!

About Triangle Farms

Since 1990, Glenn and Joan Petty and the rest of the Triangle Farms, Inc. team have gained invaluable and unparalleled experience in horse show management. Services include show management, show equipment rentals including jumps, timing equipment, radios and more, as well as equine industry consultation. With the finest decorations and equipment, Triangle Farms orchestrates the most exciting and successful events that will bring spectators and businesses back year after year.

In addition to horse show supplies and management, Triangle Farms, Inc. provides advertising services and vendor opportunities for businesses wishing to participate in Triangle Farms, Inc. managed horse shows. For more information please visit

Contact Information:

Triangle Farms and ‘Jump for the Children’s’ Horse Show Joan M. Petty, Owner & Chair, Triangle Farms Inc. 919-556-7321

Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center
Josh Hewitt, Associate Director of Development 919-385-3134