Despite biting breezes and a sprinkle or two, the ninth annual Ride on the Rez fundraiser and barbecue proceeded without a hitch Saturday, Sept. 28. Dozens of riders participated in the event, which raised funds for the students of the Anza Valley Christian School.
After an invocation by Mike Davies, the band of horses and mules – guided by experienced wranglers Steve Silkotch Jr., Tom Parr, Brad Bailey and Bobbi Harris – departed the Costo Ranch a little after 10 a.m. for a four-hour ride in the Cahuilla Indian Reservation.
The equestrians were served sandwiches, chips, fruit and cold drinks out in the hills and returned to the ranch around 2 p.m.
Due to the blustery weather, the customary barbecue dinner and festivities were moved from the ranch and held at the Anza First Southern Baptist Church.
The tri-tip, chicken and ranch beans were enjoyed by everyone. Salads, fixings and desserts were donated by the parents of Anza Valley Christian School students and many others.
School staff, parents, students and church members served the meal and cleaned up afterward.
Organizer Renette Davies was on-hand, keeping everything moving. Local worship musician Chris Cherrington performed on his acoustic guitar during the meal.
Following the dinner, raffles and an auction took place amid much fun and joking. A large number of community members donated jewelry, hat racks, horseshoe art, homemade desserts and more for the fundraising activities.
Auctioneer Davey Osborne wowed the crowd with the singsong bidding wars. Those who were bidding had fun running up the prices on their friends, and a blueberry pie sold for $40 as a result. The donated items raised funds for the school.
Raffle prizes included $50 worth of gasoline from Anza Valley Auto, items from Anza True Value Hardware Store and Western hat racks made by Tom Parr that featured brands from some of the longtime ranchers in the Anza and Garner valleys burned into the wood.
“The day was a success, even though the weather was not the best,” Diane Parr said.
Anza Electric Cooperative, Cherry Tree Service and the Costo Ranch also sponsored the event.
Diane Sieker can be reached by email at email@example.com.