EQUUS Film & Arts Fest Partners with Equestrian Events Stable to Help a Local Husband Surprise His Wife with a Horse for Christmas

Best quote ever, “You bought me a horse?”  Lisa Diersen, Director of EQUUS Film & Arts Fest, and festival sponsor, Equestrian Events Stable in Maple Park, Illinois owners Paulina and Brian Anderson, worked together to help a Chicago area husband pull off a Christmas surprise for his totally unsuspecting wife on Christmas Eve. A beautiful bay 10-year-old Lusitano mare, Frangelica, was waiting in her stall with a golden ribbon running through the French braid in her mane, red and gold glitter sparkling over her coat and a big red bow neatly tide around her neck. Julie Martin and Nikki Anderson also from Equestrian Events worked to make her shine.

Louis and Mary Castiello are now a part of the wonderful world of horse ownership. Mary thought her husband, Lou, was taking her to a small outdoor “Covid Safe” holiday get-together at Equestrian Events Stable on December 24th, 2020. They walked into the lobby and filled out the waivers and were admiring some of the talented dressage riders in the indoor arena when they were told to please follow Lisa to the other arena. While walking through the barn they stopped at a festively decorated stall where Mary was asked to read a note that was in a gift bag. “You bought me a horse?” was all she could say, the surprise video and photos have made their way around the world and back, as many were able to watch and follow the big surprise on Facebook.

Mary, who has three beautiful daughters, a wonderful marriage to Lou and a full-time job, said the only thing she has been missing in her life was a horse. She had given up her horse over 40 years ago after college at William Woods University, riding in the equestrian program there. Like many women who rode when they were younger the excitement of getting back into the saddle and hugging your own horse is a dream that is now a reality for her.

Sitting on her new mount for the first time Christmas Eve brought tears to everyone’s eyes. “Watching her ride and actually seeing all of the muscle memory kick back into place was really amazing”, said Diersen.

Mary’s husband set up a lesson package with USDF Bronze Medalist, Bob Crane a dressage trainer at Equestrian Events, so she could start off with a refresher course.

Well done Lou, you are really deserving of the new trending hashtag #best_husband_ever!

We will have fun following their journey on the EQUUS Fest Facebook page.

Equestrian Events Stable and Event center is a State-of-the-Art Dressage and Jumping facility in Maple Park, Illinois, just 42 miles West of downtown Chicago. They offer full-service boarding and horse care along with a great selection of top trainers. Equestrian Events is a championship equestrian special event venue, that is available for private event rental. Private parties, team-building events, concerts with equestrian performances, and more.  The comfort and safety of you and your horse is at the forefront of barn management philosophy.  32 acres, indoor and outdoor riding arenas, turn-out pastures, horseback riding trails, climate-controlled clubhouse and more.

45W017 Welter Rd. Maple Park, IL 60151  – 1-630-639-1093 – equestrianeventsllc@gmail.com


 Founded in 2013 by Lisa Diersen, Fest Director, an avid equestrian who has spent her life in the company of horses. Lisa’s mission is to show the world how horses can bring everyone together regardless of race, age, gender, abilities, or disabilities. She presently raises, trains, and loves Lusitano horses in Maple Park, Illinois, with her faithful campion, the spunky Jack Russell, Amore.

 Diana De Rosa, an international equine photographer and journalist, joined EQUUS in 2015 as co-organizer of the NYC event. Diana is a veteran equestrian photojournalist, who has traveled the world and has recorded equestrian history for over 35 years. Her story and photography have taken her to over 30 countries. An accomplished rider herself, De Rosa understands the horse world from many different angles. She also has two of her own columns on hubpages.com/@dianaderosa. Her photography can be seen at www.dianaderosa.com

 The EQUUS Film Festival highlights and rewards the diverse and creative efforts of those who pay artistic homage to the horse. Every horse has a story, it’s our mission at the EQUUS Film & Arts Fest to share those stories, through film, art and literature.

 Visit our website at www.equusfilmfestival.net and like us on FaceBook and Twitter.

CONTACT: Lisa Diersen 630-272-3077


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