Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cowboy Ball to hold a Pow Wow

Annual benefit assists disabled people and more

Express Staff Writer

SETCH instructor Lindsey Jameson works on cognitive function and motor skills with Emma Cochran. Photo by

The Sagebrush Equine Training Center for the Handicapped's "Cowboy Ball" benefit and dance is one of the summer's most anticipated fundraising events in the valley. It will take place at the Sagebrush Arena in Hailey.

This year the benefit is titled the "Sagebrush Pow Wow" and will take place Thursday, July 9, with spirits and "horse" d'oeuvres and a silent auction at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7:15 p.m.

After dinner will be a presentation about the arena's programs, a live auction and music and dancing by the Kim Stocking Band. Tickets are $175 per person. For tickets and reservations call 578-9111, ext.110.

Money raised from the annual event provides equine-facilitated therapy for challenged adults and children. The arena's goal is to give physical, cognitive and emotional benefits to people with a variety of disabilities and encourage them to achieve independence, develop life skills and improve their quality of life.

Chefs for the benefit will include David Fox of Silver Fox Catering and Brent Barsotti. Live entertainment will feature Native American dancers as well as guest speaker Marie Cochran, whose daughter Emma has participated in the Sagebrush program for the past six years. Valley merchants have donated over 100 silent auction items. Live auction items can be viewed prior to the event by visiting

"I had a vision for people who couldn't walk to take them into the backcountry," said Executive Director Kristy Pigeon. "The physical benefits of therapeutic riding are well documented. Riding a horse requires balance, coordination and strength. In the 20-plus years I have been doing this, I have seen enormous emotional benefits and changes in attitude."

Pigeon said programs have been offered to disabled war veterans who have had their legs blown off, participants who need oxygen to breathe and "at risk" teenagers.

"It is an interesting set-up to use a ranch environment and change attitudes and make a difference," Pigeon said. "It is satisfying for all of us and we get the satisfaction from being a facilitator."

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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