Country music duo played to celebrate local friend and athlete, Johnny Agar
By Zoë Newmann
Sugarland performed a private concert in Rockford Michigan last week.
Before Sugarland’s show at Van Andel Arena, the band played at the Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding, Friday, August, 10.
The country music artists played to help bring awareness to the Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding and to honor a local friend, Johnny Agar, an athlete with cerebral palsy. Johnny Agar competes in triathlons with his father Jeff. The family is a supporter of the Equest Center and is very involved in its events.
Thad Beaty, lead guitarist of Sugarland, is now the Agar’s trainer for the triathlons they participate in. This happened after Johnny and his father participated in Ironman triathlons twice but failed to complete it.
“I am so grateful they came to play for everyone,” Becki Agar, mother of Johnny said.
Due to this relationship, Sugarland asked the Agar family what they could do to help out in the Grand Rapids community, and they suggested the Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding in Rockford.
“Country music and horses go well together,” Johnny said.
The event was a private concert for volunteers, families and friends. The event brought a lot of joy to the community members and anyone who attended. There was a lot of dancing, smiling and laughter that filled the crowd.
“I think it is important for bands like Sugarland to come out to see the community they play in,” Johnny said. “It speaks to what kind of band they are.”
The Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding is a nonprofit organization in Rockford. It has been in the community for 29 years. The Equest Center has used horses as a form of therapy for people of all ages with physical as well as social and emotional challenges.