Supporters Join Together for Horseman Darren Chiacchia

By: Blaine Tolison Email
By: Blaine Tolison Email

The charity event was one last chance for the Tallahassee community to saddle-up behind Darren Chiacchia as he heads back to Buffalo, N.Y. Rider Robert Dover and the famous horse, Windfall, put on a show Wednesday night, showing off their talents for the many that gathered along the arena to catch a glimpse of two olympians.

"I have come out of retirement for one day and one day only. This is my first time wearing these clothes since 2005 and it will be my last day as well, but for Darren we'll do it." said Robert Dover.

And not only did Dover and Windfall contribute, so did Winderfall's own colt, Maximus being sold for charity in the silent auction starting at 15,000. Some of the surprise guests included equestrian officials who flew in just to support Chiacchia, both as a rider and as an individual.

Jo Whitehouse with the United States Eventing Association said, "Darren is obviously one of the top athletes in this sport and the nice thing about Darren is that, as much success as he's had on the back of a horse, he's worked almost as hard behind the scenes"

Scott Evans with the Equestrian Aid Foundation said, "Darren is nationally and internationally known for not only being a great horseman, but also a terrific guy and a terrific team member."

Before Wednesday night's fund-raiser, Mayor John Marks said it's important for Tallahassee to show its support of the Red Hills Horse Trials and its riders, which in this case is Darren Chiacchia, who is still recovering from his near death experience.

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