Abigail Wexner | The New Albany Classic

Melissa Kossler Dutton
Abigail Wexner

As Abigail Wexner became more educated about the cyclical nature of family violence, the lawyer known for her philanthropic work wanted to make a difference.

"I wanted to be a part of breaking that cycle," she said, "which meant raising awareness and resources to support the development of more effective ways to break the cycle while treating victims with respect and restoring hope in their lives."

Wexner came up with the idea of hosting an equestrian show-jumping event that would raise money for the cause and serve as a family-oriented outing.

Since 1998, The New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix & Family Day has raised more than $25 million to support the work of The Center for Family Safety and Healing. This year's edition takes place Sept. 21 on the grounds of Abigail and Les Wexner's home, which is located at 4584 Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road, New Albany 43054.

-Melissa Kossler Dutton

The New Albany community really embraces this event. What does it say about the city and its residents that they are willing to work so hard to raise money to help this cause?

The people who live and work in New Albany have an exceptional track record of being involved in the community in a meaningful way. The New Albany Community Foundation, the New Albany Women's Network, the New Albany Farmers Markets, the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts, Healthy New Albany, the New Albany Symphony Orchestra, the New Albany Walking Classic, The Jefferson Series lectures and so much more have all developed from the grassroots level. Our community is extraordinarily active and generous.

This year's event has some exciting new additions. How do you think the presence of the Carousel Works horses will impact the event?

I have known about the talented craftsmen at Carousel Works in Mansfield because of the large whimsical animals they crafted for the new Nationwide Children's Hospital and also the carousel downtown at Columbus Commons. I love their work, and it just seemed like a natural fit to have Carousel Works help us highlight the Year of the Horse at this year's Classic.

What can families look forward to from the Columbus Children's Theatre performers who will be making their debut atthe event this year?

We are so excited to have the performers of the Columbus Children's Theatre involved in the event this year. The CCT will provide strolling entertainment and mini interactive performances on a stage designed specifically for them. We know the families are just going to love this new addition to our entertainment lineup.

Any tips on how families can make the most of their visit to the New Albany Classic?

Come early and stay all day! Gates open at 10 a.m. and there is a full day of entertainment with the Tween Brands Concert at The Classic presented by Justice and Brothers starting at 11 a.m. and the Grand Prix starting at 2:30 p.m. The price of admission ($23 for adults and $7.50 for children ages 4- to10-years-old) includes all the rides and other activities, plus the concert and show jumping competition. We'll have some of central Ohio's best food trucks again this year, so there will be plenty to enjoy. More information can be found at thenewalbanyclassic.org