Equest CEO, Patrick J. Bricker, shares with you some thoughts on the growth plans for Equest, and invites your comments and feedback:
Dear Equest Family,
I am writing this letter directly to you to share some insight behind recent changes at Equest. After reading this letter, I invite you to please share your questions, concerns, comments and ideas with me.
Equest Founder, Susan Schwartz made the decision to grow the organization over 30 years ago when it was called Freedom Ride. Growing any organization poses many challenges. Even with the best of plans, there are always unforeseen pitfalls and opportunities. The only thing that can really be counted on for certain is that there will be change. During the past three decades, Equest has evolved from the passion of two-people into the industry leader that it is today.
Knowing the passion our supporters feel for Equest, I recognize that there are likely questions about the impact that opening a second location at Texas Horse Park will have on the quality of programs and the overall direction of the organization. I understand that there are questions about specific programs, instructors and even the role that horse shows will play in Equest’s future. Last, I am certain that everyone will want to know more about Equest’s plans for the 238 acres across the street from the current location in Wylie.
Mark your calendars for Sunday, August 24, 2014. Equest will be hosting a Family Appreciation Night for all of our Riders and their families at the Hyatt Place Hotel in Garland. Equest Program Director, Joan Cutler will be sharing more details in the coming weeks. This will be a fun event that will kick-off the start of a new session and allow everyone to come together to celebrate the success and accomplishments of our amazing riders. Equest sincerely wants to show our riders, families and volunteers how important you are to us. We will have an opportunity to share all the details on our growth at this event, but I want to share some thoughts on a several topics with you at this time.
Equest will manage our own facilities at the Texas Horse Park, and will control the quality of service we provide to our clients. Equest is one of two independent operators at Texas Horse Park (THP), which is owned and managed by the City of Dallas. Equest’s contract is with the City of Dallas. The City is responsible for selecting each operator at THP. There will be additional operators at THP within the next couple of years. Every operator must sign a contract with the City and adhere to the terms of the contract. Regardless of ownership, Equest’s commitment to excellence will continue to be paramount, and our focus will be on our clients and the therapy horses that make it all possible. We believe that THP will have a positive impact on Equest and the citizens of Dallas.
THP will enable Equest to fulfill our mission to serve more people. One benefit of our partnership with the City of Dallas at THP is increased awareness and support for Equest that is fueling our ability to grow our headquarters in Wylie and Rowlett. Operations at Texas Horse Park for the next year are already largely funded by grants from Crystal Charity Ball and Texas Veterans Coalition. These generous grants will enable Equest to continue to operate and improve our current facilities and programs.
It took an incredible series of events in a very short window of time to make the acquisition of the 238 acre property in Rowlett a reality. Equest is determined to have the best programs, the best instructors and the best horses to serve our clients. We believe that thrill and responsibility learned from competition is an important part of programs. All of these factors will be at the forefront in the planning for the new Rowlett facility. We are creating a new world standard in Rowlett for you and we want you to be involved in its development.
There is no doubt that Equest’s rapid growth has brought about some growing pains. And, I don’t expect that everyone will agree with every decision that has been made along the way. I also recognize that we must do a better job of communicating with you as we continue to grow and change. Please know, though, that Equest’s ongoing commitment to safety, quality and integrity remains the basis of every decision that we make.
Patrick J. Bricker
Chief Executive Officer