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Best of 2019: Al Hill, Jr.'s Legacy - More Therapeutic Riding at Texas Horse Park

Equest provides equine therapy to children and adults. (Photos by Chris McGathey)

Editor’s note: As 2019 turns into 2020, we’re taking the opportunity to look back at some of our best and biggest stories of the year. This look at the late Al G. Hill Jr.’s philanthropic legacy was one of them.

A day before his death in December 2017, entrepreneur and philanthropist Al G. Hill Jr. enjoyed watching a video sent by a family friend.

The friend suspected she had just wagered on one of his horses at the races in New Orleans. She had: Highland Park Hero.

Hill’s oldest daughter, Heather Washburne, told that story at the Texas Horse Park, where construction of the Al Hill, Jr. Family Arena recently got underway beside other Equest facilities.

Equest works “to enhance the quality of life for children and adults with diverse needs by partnering with horses to bring hope and healing through equine-assisted activities and therapies,” according to

The nonprofit, supported by many donors in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow, offers equine therapies to address physical and emotional needs, and Hill wanted to help the agency add a second arena.

“This is one of the projects he was so excited about,” Washburne said. “He just always loved horses.”

This article originally appeared in Preston Hollow People on December 31, 2019.

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