Gallop in the Glen Partners with Mercy Health

Harrodsburg, KY - The Gallop in the Glen today announced their partnership with Mercy Health Partners of Knoxville, Tennessee, as sponsor of the 2010 $50,000 Grand Prix, one of the capstone events of the two week Smoky Mountain Fall Gathering Hunter-Jumper Show held at River Glen Equestrian Park in New Market, TN. Dates for 2010 are September 30th - October 3rd and October 7th – 10th.

Co-chair of the event Kim Burnette Mitchell said, “We are so delighted to have Mercy as part of the Gallop family. From the beginning this event’s primary goal has been to provide good works for the community here and Mercy is the perfect fit for achieving the success we all want.”  

Bonnie Strider, Mercy Health Partners Chairperson for the $50,000 Prix, echoed the sentiment of working with the Gallop in the Glen event.  “The proceeds from this event will go to help support the many important healthcare services provided by Mercy facilities across East Tennessee,” Strider said.

Mercy Health Partners, formed in 2008 by merging two great local hospitals, St. Mary’s Health System and Baptist Health System of East Tennessee, has a spiritually rooted mission to improve the health of the surrounding communities with a special emphasis on those who are poor or underserved. This nonprofit healthcare system operates seven acute care hospitals and several outpatient facilities across 10 counties in East Tennessee.

Carlton Long, Mercy’s Vice President for Philanthropy said the new healthcare system strives to uphold certain core values such as compassion, excellence, human dignity, and sacredness of life and service. These core values are the driving force in their delivery of care for patients, their guidance in community involvement, and the way they conduct business. The pairing with a vibrant equestrian sport such as show jumping provides an exciting way to draw the community together for the support of those in need.

“The proceeds raised in years past amounted to thousands upon thousands and our hope is to do it again. The economic woes have affected us all in some way or another. I’ve learned there are so many folks here in our community not only out of work but with no healthcare of any kind, yet because of the impactful dollars this event brings in each year these same people continue to volunteer their time or goods to ensure our exhibitors always have a memorable time. Now it’s our turn as an event comprised of caring people to give something back to them.” a teary Mitchell stated.

Along with the $50,000 Show jumping Grand Prix on Sunday October 3rd and $25,000 Prix the following weekend, several new and old favorites will be on the roster for 2010. The $25,000 Icon Sporthorse Challenge Cup sponsored by Rhonda Gobel and Icon Sporthorses returns- a rider bonus comprised of 4 classes held through the 2 week series for children and adult jumpers– the top 8 horse/rider combinations will take a cut of the big prize money. “I’m so excited about this event. It was wildly successful last year and the competition was fierce!” Mitchell said. And of course the social gatherings will be plentiful once again, including the Annual Kimberden Shrimp Boil with great food and music. For the younger set there will be the Judy’s Tack Shop sponsored dinner and Horseless Horse Show. 2010 will also see the return of the most tempting Silent Auction in the equine community; Mitchell is famous for arranging donations of some the most unique and high end items ever assembled, with all proceeds going to benefit Mercy Health Partners outreach health programs. The popular “Unrated Ring” will return in 2010 with enlarged class offerings and with NO USEF membership or fees required thus providing a great opportunity for beginner riders to enjoy the experience of an A rated show. “The list of happenings here just goes on and on!” a laughing Kim added.

Of course one of the biggest highlights to this event is the magical scenery surrounding the River Glen Equestrian Center. Fall is the perfect time to enjoy nearby Pigeon Forge and Dollywood, making for a great family escape on the off days of showing. “I assure you once you spend some time in East Tennessee in the fall…you’ll always want to come back.” Kim said.

Mark your calendars now to attend the 2010 Gallop in the Glen, running September 30th – October 3rd and October 7th -10th. More information and photos of The Gallop in the Glen are available online. Please visit or email . For more information on Mercy Health Partners please visit

The Gallop in the Glen ©Flashpoint Photography