2022 G.I.F.T. Gala Games




Human horse race

Hippity Hop Human Horse Race

At the conclusion of the G.I.F.T. Gala, you can cheer on your favorite jockey as they compete in our horse race and bounce their way to the finish line! The race will consist of two heats and one final drive with the heat winners.

Each rider will be auctioned off and the winning bidder will win half the pot!!

Contestants include:

Martha “Shorty” Chmiel

Chmiel began her career in Bartley Nebraska riding some of the fastest stick horses to be found, including the famous, Rusty, until she was about 15 years of age. At that time Rusty become Old Rusty and was retired from racing and Martha, then became known as Shorty, was tall enough to get on a Shetland pony. Shorty’s talents however were soon recognized and she was awarded the red silks and began racing frequently on the town’s one and only track. Not only racing equine and bovine, but human folk foot races as well!  Martha held the 440 relay record with her teammates until the Bartley Bombers become the Southwest Roughriders. It was speculated that she could have been a fabulous Roughrider. As a jockey, Shorty is equipped to ride a fast race carrying light weight and a small stature for her stead as well as regular training on and off the dance floor, weight room, YMCA, insurance desk, highways, byways, country roads as well as the race track and buffet table.  Shorty does hold the unacclaimed triple crown of placing in lower ranks of the Lincoln Marathon, North Platte and Grand Island Half Marathons. A little known, insignificant and totally unrelated to horse racing fact is that Martha has run two ultra-marathons in “NoBrainard”, Nebraska. Each race was a different distance as she made a wrong turn or two the first time. Shorty seems to do better on a simple track. 2019 race stats show Shorty winning 1 of the 25 starts for the year with owner of RedHotFillyPepper, Ray Chmiel, feeling very optimistic for 2020. The young and frisky RedHotFillyPepper will be proudly wearing…..the red silks.

Becky "The Boom" Redl 

Brandon ‘Buckshot’ Stritt

Brandon ‘Buckshot’ Stritt was born September 26, 1972 and grew up in Grant, NE.  He loved sports and especially spending time at his grandparent’s farm with the horses. He always had the dream of being a jockey but was told he was too big. This race is his chance to shine.  He’s been preparing for months at our wonderful YMCA in the hopes of becoming the top jockey on the award-winning bouncy horse. Please help his dream come true!!  Bang! Bang! Go Buckshot Brandon! 

Jake "The Snake" Koebel

Billy “The Kid” Davidson

My name is Billy Davidson. I grew up on a farm 13 miles south of the small community of Curtis, NE. I moved to McCook in the summer of 2000. For the last 15 years I have worked at Deveny Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram as a salesperson and Finance Manager. I am living out my longtime dream of having my own family with my amazing wife Amanda of 13 years. We have 4 beautiful children; our 11 year old son Lee, our 9 year old son Cole, our 4 year old daughter Isabelle, and the memory of our beloved son Bernard who we lost at birth in 2014. I am currently a member of the McCook Optimist Club, St. Patrick Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, St. Patrick school advisory board, and the McCook Midget Baseball Association which I am currently president of. I feel blessed that my kids can go to a school like St. Pat’s, where they can get an education that aligns with the Catholic faith as well as that small town feeling I grew up with. As far as the horse race is concerned I’ve got 3 very important goals and they are winning, not embarrassing myself, and did I mention not embarrassing myself?








Miniature Horse Race

small horses


And they're off…..

During the night of the G.I.F.T. Gala, Giddy Up all the way to the North hallway outside the gym for our own G.I.F.T. Gala horse race!!! Lead Jockey, Craig Dickes, will set you up with your very own horse(s) to race. 

Races begin at 5pm and will run consecutively until 7pm. Each race will consist of 6 horses. Each horse may be purchased for just $10. Winner takes half the purse!

Can’t get enough of the adorable horses? Post G.I.F.T. Gala they will be available as a souvenir purchase for $10 located at the auction check-out table.  

Don’t miss out!



Heads & Tails

G.I.F.T. Gala Style!

During the Live Auction, everyone with a strand of beads will stand for a lively game of heads or tails. Led by Master of Ceremonies, Rich Barnett, you will be asked to select your head or your tail before each coin flip. One by one and flip by flip, participants will be eliminated. For each strand of beads you have, you play until you are eliminated or win. When just a few players remain, they will be asked to join the group up front to continue to battle until the last person is standing with beads. 

The last person standing will win $500 cash!


$500 Cash Prize is sponsored by The Coppermill Steakhouse


Purchase your strand of beads for $20 each or 6 strands for $100.