Ladies and gents, it’s time for the 22nd annual Equestrian Cup Wine & Food Tasting. Hosted by Albuquerque’s Active 20–30 Club and Wells Fargo bank, this gala event will benefit the Children’s Safe House (run by All Faiths Receiving Home) and other children’s charities. In keeping with the spirit of the national Active 20–30 Club, the Albuquerque chapter is dedicated to community service, particularly to provide financial and in-kind assistance to kids. Jason Deshayes, four-year member and president of the Albuquerque club for the past two years, tells me that this event is the highlight of the club’s activities and that it engages a broad cross-section of Duke City businesses.
John Phinizy of P’tit Louis Bistro chairs this year’s restaurant committee and promises a lavish spread for attendees. I catch him over lunch at P’tit Louis, and he recites a mouthwatering list of treats being created for the event. Come prepared for savory bites and delectable pastries—including cannolis from Saggio’s, gelato from Van Rixel Bros., and wines and brews from more than two-dozen of the city’s finest establishments. Brasserie la Provence, Artichoke Café, Ranchers Club, The Grove, St. Clair Winery & Bistro and Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro are just a few of the participants. Santa Fe and Chama River brewing companies, Imbibe and others will wet your whistle. Standard Diner is hosting the VIP tent, with seating for guests and views of the Hunter Jumper equestrian competition.
Crisp fall weather should provide the perfect backdrop for folks strolling the horseshoe of tasting tables around the spacious outdoor arena. Live and silent auctions will offer works of fine art, vintage wine, business equipment and services. You might score a Napa Valley rendezvous or dinner at your favorite restaurant.
And if you can tear yourself away from the food, this is your chance to see horses performing the way they do in the movies—jumping fences, tails flying. The New Mexico Hunter-Jumper Association competition will test skills that were once honed for fox hunting (a practice now banned in the British Isles). Horse and rider must act as one to clear obstacles in the arena—a thrill both for participants and spectators. I can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon.
All of this takes place Sunday, Oct. 24, at the Expo New Mexico Outdoor Horse Complex (enter at Gate 6, just south of San Pedro and Lomas). $50 tickets are available at the door or in advance at allfaiths.org.