Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cowboy Ball benefit inspires and changes lives

SETCH is a valley entity

Express Staff Writer

Katie Gammon has been riding with Sagebrush Equine Training Center for the Handicapped since the age of 4. Photo by

Get out the boots and hats for an evening of fun and inspiration at the "Mustangs and Moonlight" 19th annual Cowboy Ball at the Sagebrush Arena in Hailey. The benefit is for the Sagebrush Equine Training Center for the Handicapped and will take place Thursday, July, 8, at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $175 and are available by calling (208) 578-9111, ext. 110.

"We've had a good year," said Executive Director and founder Kristy Pigeon. "We have a relatively low budget considering what we get done."

Pigeon built the Sagebrush Arena and developed the therapeutic riding program in the summer of 1991 to provide equine-facilitated therapy for challenged adults and children. The goal of SETCH is to provide physical, cognitive and emotional benefits that will encourage independence, help develop life skills and improve quality of life.

"We don't have flash and dash, but we get a lot of work done," Pigeon said. "We all do everything. We have quite a few kids that are at SETCH because they want to be there."

SETCH helps many handicapped people and has several programs for adults and children, including for participants in Higher Ground, the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind and Camp Rainbow Gold.

"We go to Camp Rainbow Gold and set up a portable arena," Pigeon said. "Horse therapy addresses balance and coordination. Riding a horse can help retrain a brain and reinforce sequency [the effects of actions] and animal bonding. Horses are strong and powerful and riding them can conquer fears."

The evening of events at the Cowboy Ball will include a silent auction, complimentary spirits and appetizers, Western cuisine by David Fox of Silver Fox Catering and Brent Barsotti. A short presentation will highlight the training programs. A live auction will feature tickets to the National Finals Rodeo and a dinner party for 32 people at Bistro 44. The evening will conclude with dancing to the Kim Stocking Band. The proceeds will provide therapeutic riding for children and adults with physical, cognitive and emotional challenges.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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