The Langley School District Foundation hosted its ninth Grand Prix Gala on a brilliant Sunday afternoon in June at Thunderbird Show Park.
Guests, sporting a magnificent array of hats, streamed in and were seated at tables bedecked in white and black linen punctuated with blasts of colour from delicate floral bouquets.
The 200 guests were settled with plates of gourmet hors dâ€™oeuvres paired with glasses of wine complements of the 13 wineries offering tastings from their finest selections.
Once seated, the crowd cast their eyes onto the grand prix ring at Thunderbird, which is rated as one of the top two show jumping facilities in North America.
Sleek, 1,000-pound equine athletes pranced on to the verdant stretches. Anxious and literally champing at the bit, they were ready to perform.
And perform they did. Leaping over zigzag fences, ponds and brick barricades, the horses and riders from Canada, the United States and Europe held the Foundation guests riveted to their seats.
At the same time, the milling crowd waited with bated breath to be given the order to open their pretty little box â€“ it could contain exquisite diamond earrings.
The winner, with tears in her eyes, was overcome with delight.
Others scoured the multitude of items displayed at the silent auction tables. The deals included dinner for eight â€“ wined and dined by Township of Langley firefighters, weekends for two at seaside resorts, jewellery, spa visits, golf games, espresso machines, long boards (designed by Langley students), and much more.
In all, the event raised almost $60,000 to support innovative and essential programs for Langley students.
The foundation thanked Starline Windows and Vitrum Industries for their support of its district meal programs.
Sponsors included Thunderbird Show Park, Facet Advisors, Langley Concrete & Tile, Fred Welsh Mechanical, Golden Tree Jewellers, Langley Advance, Township of Langley Firefighters, Langley Liquor Store, Costco, and Cedar Rim.
Wineries taking part were Peacock & Martin, Landmark Selections, Renaissance Wine Merchants, Constellation Brands, DHS-Wine, Kahala, Wolf Bass, Vintage West, Mission Hill, Icon Fine Wine, Sandhill, Wagner Family of Wine, and Grady Wine Marketing.