Stable Management and Pfizer Animal Health congratulate Coventry Farms, winner of the second annual Giving Back Contest!

Coventry Farms, located in Tallahassee, FL, is this year's recipient of the Giving Back award for demonstrating that a for-profit business can make a difference in the lives of others by reaching out to their community and lending a helping hand. Coventry will receive $5,000 from Pfizer Animal Health, and another $5,000 will be donated by Pfizer to Big Bend Hospice on Coventry's behalf.

Giving Back's Top 5 Finalist:
Davidson Knoll Farm, New York
Moonreach Ranch, Arizona
Signature Arabians, Wisconsin
Thoroughbred Training Center, North Carolina
Water Tower Farm, Vermont

Please visit to view the full entries of the five finalist and a complete list of all 65 entries.

Pfizer Animal Health and Stable Management teamed up for a second year to host our Giving Back Contest. The aim of this contest is to applaud those equine businesses that give back to the community, either locally or globally. We received many entries, all of which can be found on our website at In the meantime, we think you'll agree that this year's winner, as well as the five runners-up, are fine examples of good citizenry. The winner, Coventry Farms, will receive a $5,000 award from Pfizer, who will donate another $5,000 to the farm's favorite charity.

In February 2002, Saskia Soler-Stockwell was grocery shopping in Tallahassee, Florida when she lost consciousness from a seizure. The diagnosis was a brain tumor which required extensive treatment at Emory Hospital. To help offset expenses, two friends who were Coventry Farms’ barn members organized the first Luau Horse Show and raised $4,500 for Saskia. Sadly, Saskia lost her battle with brain cancer, and died in February 2007.

Coventry Farms, however, continued hosting the annual benefit Luau horse show. It chose to benefit Big Bend Hospice because the farm wanted to help others, especially kids, who had lost loved ones. Big Bend Hospice’s Caring Tree Program provides comfort, education and support to children who have lost loved ones and is funded solely through private donations. The program is a free and unique community service, recognizing that anyone old enough to love is old enough to grieve.

Alice Buford, the owner of Coventry Farms, is also a social worker with incredible dedication and passion. That first year of the benefit show, there was a lot to organize and only a few people to make it happen. Still, thanks to the investment of time, sweat, and energy that year, something special began to happen. Members of the local equine community began to catch Alice’s enthusiasm. One of the first young riders to win a cash prize donated the money back to grieving kids, and many riders followed suit.

We all know the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Caring Tree Program Director Pam Mezzina adds, “After years of working with grieving kids, I’ve often wondered how well we as a village’ really contribute to the needs of our children. The Luau has restored my belief that there is still a village that genuinely cares and is willing to put ‘love into action’ for the well being of our youngest citizens.”

For 2007 and 2008, more help arrived with a new co-sponsor, Oak Leaf Farms. The Caring Tree provided more games and activities for the kids, concessions, pony rides, hula dancers, and face painting. One of the annual highlights is “Horse Patty Bingo”, where a grid is marked in a paddock. Then a horse placed in the paddock, and when the horse lands a “patty” on a number, the winner receives $100! Winners typically return their winnings to the cause.

Riders get involved too. Last year, several young barn members spent hours making heart-shaped horse treats topped with carrots and apples, then set up a table to sell their equine goodies. Again, the money went to help grieving kids. And this year, a junior member of the Southern Hunter Jumper Association challenged all junior members to donate one week’s allowance to Caring Tree. They raised $350, enough to send several campers to a grief camp for a day.

While it takes a barn full of volunteers to make the Luau a reality each year, the dynamo with the big heart behind these efforts is Coventry Farms’ Alice Buford. Through her boundless energy and spirit, she enabled this small horse community to step up and give back – $15,000 this year!

Caring Tree and Coventry Farms Win National Grant

For the past several years, Coventry Farms and Oak Leaf Farms have hosted a horse show and luau, with proceeds from the event being donated to The Caring Tree Program of Big Bend Hospice. This year, Alice Buford and Martha Bolt of Coventry Farms went one step further. They entered a Giving Back essay contest sponsored by Pfizer Animal Health and Stable Management magazine...and won! The contest was based on how those in the equine business "give back" to the community, either locally or globally, through horse shows for charity organizations, housing rescued horses, etc. The prize for the winner of the contest was $10,000; $5000 to be donated to the equine facility and $5000 to be donated to the charity of choice. The essay, entitled "It Takes a Barn to Help a Grieving Child", was written by alice and martha, with assistance from Pam Mezzina and laura Glenn of Big Bend Hospice. The essay included information about the first horse how and luau which was organized by Coventry Farms barn members to help offset the medical expenses of one of their own, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2002. They raised $4000 and decided to continue the annual horse show and luau in an effort to give back to those who had lost a loved one. Alice Buford, Coventry Farms owner/trainer, is also a social worker who has personally seen how Hospice care touches the lives of patients, their families, and their friends. She has provided the venue for the event, the spirit and the opportunity for one small horse community to step up and give back!

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