Staff Report

The Santa Ynez Valley Therapeutic Riding Program will hold its annual Cowboy Ball on Saturday, Aug. 11 at Dr. Gary and Lisa Novatt’s Happy N Ranch in Buellton. The event proudly honors Sandy Collier, an inductee into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame and a recipient of the Monty Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award.

A winner of numerous national riding competitions, Sandy now travels the globe judging and teaching high performance riding clinics. For years, she has generously dedicated her time and skill to the Santa Ynez Valley Therapeutic Riding Program, giving clinics and exhibitions and donating proceeds to the Program. A lifelong sportswoman and seeker of outdoor adventure, she has served the SYV community in many capacities and is on the Board of the Therapeutic Riding Program.

The Cowboy Ball begins at 5:00 pm. Guests will be entertained by live music provided by Cary Park and his 4-Piece Country Band. Hors d’oeuvres and an elegant dinner will be catered by Chef Alfonso Curti of Trattoria Uliveto.

The Cowboy Ball is the major fundraiser for the only accredited therapeutic riding program in northern Santa Barbara County. Santa Ynez Valley Therapeutic Riding uses horses and equine activities as therapy for children and adults with physical, learning, social, behavioral and emotional challenges, regardless of their ability to pay. Some 70-100 students attend the program each week, including Patriot Riders, a free weekly riding program for veterans. Proceeds from the Cowboy Ball allow the nonprofit to provide scholarships to low-income special-needs students. The program treats all ages from very young riders to seniors diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Guests will be treated to a riding demonstration from students currently enrolled in the Therapeutic Riding Program.

Among many exciting items offered in the evening’s auction are a tour, picnic and tasting at Santa Ynez’s newest winery, The Brave and the Maiden, a week at a luxurious condo in Scottsdale, a stunning horse painting donated by Mia Dennee’s Interior design, jewelry, and dinners at many of the Valley’s finest restaurants. Six fabulous desserts will be auctioned, including a Swedish Princess Cake from Solvang Bakery, a decadent chocolate creation from Dolce Catering and Valley favorites from Baker’s Table, New Frontier and Olson’s Bakery. Additionally, a horse riding clinic has been donated by the evening’s honored guest, Hall of Famer Sandy Collier.

To residents of northern Santa Barbara County of all ages who are facing life challenges, the Santa Ynez Valley Therapeutic riding Program offers the unique and proven healing powers of horses.

Tickets for this cowboy chic event are $125 and include wine and beer, hors d’oeuvres and dinner. The Cowboy Ball event is an eagerly anticipated evening in the Santa Ynez Valley. For more information, please contact Robin Serritslev at or (805)325-1544.