Have you ever completed something, and then wondered how did the time go by so quickly? That is where I am with this year’s SFTR calendar. Many and varied activities have transpired; trail rides and camping just for the fun of it, rides to benefit community projects, parades, educational activities, and other events. It has been a busy year. Thank you to any who have participated in any way during these events.
A special “THANK YOU” needs to go out to all the board members, committee chair-persons, and trail bosses for the time invested in planning and preparing these activities. There are also some members that continually go above and beyond ordinary service to help. They are willing to do anything that needs to be done. Thank you for your help and willingness to do anything. All the planning and preparation would be for naught if our members did not show up for these activities. So, thank you to all our members for your participation as well.
It has been a privilege to serve as your president this year. The support you have given the Board through the years has been phenomenal. We look forward to another year super year. Please exercise your opportunity to vote for your choice on next year’s officers. The ballot is included in this newsletter. You can mail it to our club address or come to the next general meeting and turn it in personally. The next general meeting will be on May 4, at Shinju Restaurant on Sunset.
Recently we had our annual Autism Ride at White Star Farms. It was more than just a ride, it was an event. There was a raffle, an auction, and cookout. The day was beautiful. Over $15,000 was raised for Villa Lyan School. The money will be used to support their therapy riding program at Whispering Manes. Congratulations to Sylvia and her crew for a fantastic event. There were over seventy riders and many non-riders present.
On Saturday, May 16, we are having a workday at SPCA to put up some fencing. It would be sensational to have a good number of volunteers to help. Please contact Augie Saavedra for more details. Many hands make light work. On that note, we have also donated the money for another large shelter at the SPCA. The animals are happy to have the shade.
SFTR ANNUAL BANQUET
94th Aero Squadron on May 30, 2015.
The cost will be $35 per person.
Tables of 8 or 10 (your decision) will be available for reserving. Table must be paid for in advance. Get your family & friends together and get a table! See RSVP form in this newsletter.
Only 7 tables will be reserved.
This year our main dishes will be Chicken Marsala & Pepper Steak along with an array of salads, veggies & desserts.
We are collecting items for the raffle. Please contact Debbie Brunson if you have something you can donate. 305-505-7103.
A Sympathy Card was sent to Jon Henshaw and Laurie Waggoner on the passing of Jon's mom. A Sympathy Card was also sent to long-time member moved to TN, Mitzi Webber, on the sudden loss of her spotted walker, Pokey Mon.
A Get Well Card was sent to trail boss and all-around-go-to-person Andrea Sante who sustained a compression fracture in her back on the Cecil B. Webb camping trip.
Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Please contact Debi Cat-Priest if you need a card sent to a SFTR member.
Larry and Penny Thompson Park to Black Point Marina
On Saturday, March 7th, 20 riders showed up with their riding buddies at the entrance of Larry and Penny Thompson Park. The ride ended at Black Point Marina after a fifteen mile (four hour) adventure. We actually started promptly at 10:00am.
According to the weather forecast it wasn’t going to be a pleasant ride, but fortunately we had a beautiful day with no rain in the horizon. Along the way to Black Point Marina we saw some wild life, hawks and snakes were spotted to name a few. On our way to the Marina we had to cross a couple streets hence the word “adventure”. A few motorists had to honk horns, take videos and pictures. At the half way point of the ride we came upon an area where we were able to let our horses run and take flight. Thankfully, no one earned their “Rough Rider” award. As we neared the end of the run, the riders let their horses walk and enjoy the salty air.
We finally reached Black Point Marina. Man, were we tired! The horses were beat too! A few of the riders stayed with the horses while others were transported back to Larry and Penny Thompson Park to pick up the horse trailers.
Thank you to all the riders joining us on this adventurous day. Hope to see you on the trail soon!
This past Valentine's Day happened to land on a camping weekend for us. On February 13, a group of us headed out in caravan. Augie Saavedra, Carlos Cardenas, Willy Lopez, Dennys, Juana and Nicole Cabrera, Tony and myself met up at Café 27 and hit the road. Upon arrival, the park was pretty empty, so I found my favorite spot and we all arranged our trailers in Indian circle style. In the afternoon, Ariel and Lourdes Remos joined us. Augie, Carlos and Willy took a nice afternoon ride while we set up our camp. Dennys & Juana set up a huge tarp over their tent and are becoming very creative with their ideas.
When the riders returned, we all had great steaks from Vina & Sons (plug for JC ). Dennys did a great job cooking them on the grill over the campfire. Modesta Iturrey and Gina Milhet came over to our camp for dinner and a game of dominoes. We all know how that turned out....Modesta always rules the table!
Behind our camp, we had Dania Budejen, Claudia Quijano, Gustavo Marquez, Melba, David (2) & Melissa Paz who created quite an impressive campsite with their tents, some looking like mini condos, decorated tables with hearts and flashing lights in Valentine's Day theme! Bill Guzman came up for a day ride. He showed up with Ranger just in time to head out on the early ride with Augie and company. He returned for a lunch break, then Dennys and I headed out with him again with Claudia & Tavito and met up with a group that was headed to the lake. It was a long ride, but we got our galloping time in on the way back to try to beat the sunset.
We had beautiful weather the entire weekend. It got pretty cold in the nighttime, but we were all bundled up. Mr. Buddy heaters are great! Everyone had Cuban coffee shots in the morning, by Augie's demands, with "espumita" (foam). Thank goodness I have the family size coffee maker! We went out on a few very nice rides, saw a family of wild pigs, others spotted some deer and we all had a great time. Nicole Cabrera got to do some riding around camp. Everyone was impressed at the fact that she was riding such a well mannered Paso Fino stallion. This was my first time taking my son, Tony, camping with me, so it was a very special Valentine weekend for me. I could not get him on a horse, but he seemed to enjoy walking around camp and listening to George Strait on his iPad. He even came and hung out with us under Augie's awning in the afternoon. I was a happy camper! I need to give a HUGE thank you to Juana for taking care of Tony while we went out on our rides. I couldn't have had this great experience without her.
Augie, Willy, Carlos and Ariel left on Sunday. The rest of us stayed one more night and headed out "on the road again" on Monday afternoon. Can't wait to do it all again soon!!
Sylvia M. Cruz-Alvarez
On Saturday, April 4, we had our 5th Annual Autism Ride Raffle & Auction to benefit the therapeutic riding program for Villa Lyan School for special needs. We were fortunate to be invited to White Star Farms this year where the trailer parking was plentiful, the covered round pen served as a perfect place for our food court, grilling, bake sale and snow cone sale areas. The beautiful landscaping, coral waterfall and koi fish pond made for some great photo opportunities for all our guests. Thanks to Andrea Sante for making this happen and staying on all day in spite of her recent injury. The Stearns family are in receipt of a nice thank you card from me on all of our behalf with some memories of our event.
This year I sacrificed riding to stay behind and welcome the many non-riding guests who were invited. We couldn’t have had a better trail boss to take the reins and lead the group of 71+ riders. Domingo Hernandez really took his duties to heart. He rode the trail twice to ensure the route was safe and any holes were avoided. Then for a few weeks leading up to the event, he tenaciously solicited sponsors for pledges and brought us some valuable raffle prizes made by the many talented artisans specializing in leather work, rawhide braiding, whip making, photography and even some incredibly delicious rum cakes! He alone brought in over $4000 in monetary donations.
Manny Alvarez came in bright and early to meet our wonderful volunteers from the Felix Varela Veterinary Science Magnet Academy that Elena Ramos introduced us to (thanks, Elena!!!) These kids were amazing all day long. Manny put them to work right away doing food prep. He made sure that every detail was addressed so that the food line was always in motion with no waiting. Bill Guzman did a great job at managing everything after Manny left. He kept our grill masters, Mike Garneau and Sonny George cooking up a storm. They did an amazing job making all the food with great timing so that everyone had a hot meal when they returned from the ride. They also kept busy with the crowd of non-riders who started getting hungry by noon time. They must have made close to 200 burgers, not to mention all the hot dogs! A special thanks goes to JC & Lynn Vina for 5 continuous years of support. Vina & Sons has provided our lunch from the very first event. This year, JC actually took the day off so they could join us for the ride and activities. They also donated some great raffle prizes from their collections of horse equipment.
We had efficient helpers at the registration table. Bonny George, Sonni Peles, Juana Cabrera, Deda Maldonado and Miriam Neville were also making sure everyone signed in, donations were registered, sold lunches and kept track of coggins test sales. Dr. Zac Franklin was on site to do testing and generously donated a portion of all coggins tests done that day.
The raffle/auction was led once again, by Mike Maldonado. He did a great job, getting top dollar for all our donated auction items. This year he had Carolina Puig as his dancing side kick. She did a little happy dance whenever she won a raffle prize. And her hubby, Nelson, was in the back bidding away. They left with a truckload of prizes, including the beautiful deer park bench donated by our own Willy Perez, who also helped keep track of all the raffle/auction winnings!
We were truly blessed this year with so many helpers. In addition to all the kids from Felix Varela, I was very lucky to have Dennys & Juana Cabrera and Carolina & Nelson Rodriguez to help me set up the day before and clean up every last item to make sure White Star was left as impeccable as we found it. Juana was meticulous with the handling of all the money up until 10 PM when we finally finished counting and sorting out all the money from each different post. Dennys helped me with all the unloading of chairs, tables and all the “stuff” I ended up bringing back home in my horse trailer, and that was after walking the entire 2 hour trail ride leading his stallion so that Nicole, his daughter, could enjoy the ride. She had a smile on her face all night!
Another dynamic duo who went above and beyond is David Ruiz & Heidi Stibitz. For 2 months they planted themselves in downtown Homestead giving pony rides, selling merchandise, collecting donations, having 50/50 raffles, collecting raffle prizes and getting on Thunder Country 100.3 to talk about our event. This helped get autism awareness on the radio also. The DJ and another guest at the station talked about how autism affected their own family members.
There were so many people who chipped in this year and it would take me the entire newsletter if I go into detail about what each did. These are the special people who helped make this event a success.
Manny Alvarez Domingo Hernandez
Miriam Neville Michelle Carroll
Mike & Deda Maldonado Megan Barnes
David Ruiz Heidi Stibitz
Ben Kroner Willy Perez
Dennys & Juana Cabrera Elena Ramos
Carolina Puig Andrea Sante
Nelson Rodriguez Bill Guzman
JC & Lynn Vina Mike Garneau
Norbert & Darlene Parets Sandy & Kiera Fobb
Bonny & Sonny George Jr Greg Smith
Sonni Peles Megan Fickle
Zac Franklin Gina Milhet
White Star Farms Bethany Cody
Miami Marlins Cristy Torres
We had the cheerful antics of Billy the Marlin again this year. He came in promptly at 1:15, as promised, walked around for pictures all over the food court, with the kids and staff from Villa Lyan and he couldn’t stay away from the koi pond, of course. There were some beautiful group pictures of the kids and even with the Easter bunny, next to the waterfall. The Miami Marlins have been loyal supporters of this event for all 5 years!
I feel very fortunate to have the support of SFTR for the past 5 years. I also speak on behalf of everyone from Villa Lyan School, they are incredibly grateful and humbled at the achievements we have had with this event. We raised over $15,300 this year bringing us to a 5 year total of over $46,000! Every year, our number of riders and participants keeps growing. Thank you to all who attended and those who supported us from a distance. Your donations are doing wonders for a lot of special kids and I hope that the awareness of this condition keeps growing because of what we do here. I look forward to seeing you all again at the 2016 Autism Ride!
FREE: 19 yr old Thoroughbred Chestnut Gelding. Lovely horse, sweet, safe, calm. Needs to retire from lessons and therapy program. Would make a great companion or trail horse. Good home a must. Call Jen at 305 926 8239.
FOR SALE: English Saddle with saddle pad. $200 obo. Freddy 305-297-3460.
FOR SALE: 17.5" Siegfried Stubben Hunter/Jumper Saddle with leathers & irons. $475 or trade for endurance type saddle or something interesting! Naples. SmokyFeatherFarm@gmail. com or 239-595-1003.
BUYING and SELLING used tack: Repairing saddles and tack. Dianne Peles 305-398-0572.
BOARDING: - $475 month. 6 yr old, Reg AQHA gelding, beautiful, flashy grulla dun color. $2,800 obo. Redland Riding Academy 305-323-4038.
High pressure services: Trail Riders need your trailers, barns, or houses cleaned. Call us, get 10% discount for SFTR members. Make it all look new again. Call and ask for David 305-989-3618. See you on the trails squeaky clean..
LESSONS: Dressage training for you and your horse. Becky Lamas, USDF Associate Instructor, Ride Away Stables. 305-525-3573.
FOR SALE: 2009 Shadow LQ 3 horse GN. Stallion stall, slide out w/couch, fridge, microwave, sink, a/c heat furnace, shower, toilet, hay rack, generator. $30K. Call Leah for info. Located in Naples. 239-248-8338.
FOR SALE: 2 grade quarter horse mares. 12 yr old bay mother an 3 yr old gray daughter. Mother used to be a roping horse. Daughter has minimal handling. They are UTD on shots, and deworming. Owner does not want them anymore, so I am helping him to sell them. Asking $1000 each or take both for $1600. Call Heidi: 305-794-1257
In between newsletters you can follow all SFTR activities in our Facebook Page. "South Florida Trail Riders"
FOR SALE: 4 horse Ponderosa Trailer with tack compartment. NEW roof, floor and tires !!!!! In excellent condition.$ 3000.00 Call PH: 305 - 559 - 7868 Donna
BOARDING: Part board $160 includes AM feeding. Your supply your own feed & shavings. Must be a gelding good w/ other horses. Area 167 Ave & 248 St. Stall, paddock, pasture, extended turn out. Great riding area. Michele 305-259-3222.
FOR SALE: '03 2H GN Slant LQ Shadow with 5' short wall: hydraulic hitch, dinette, AC, water tank, awning, well maintained, insulated roof, great for camping. $18,000 obo. Gail 954.464.5426 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR SALE: Leopard Appaloosa Gelding. $1,500. 14.1 hh. Experienced rider required; he has a lot of get-up and go. Stops on a dime. trails, been roped off, barrels and poles. He needs a job. Mindy Friebel if you are interested (317) 294-0928.
PERSIAN CATS FOR ADOPTION: Neutered, have all shots, young, looking for forever homes. Sonni 305-938-0572.
FOR SALE: 5 very used children's English saddles, various barn equip, buckets, feeders, etc. cheap! Mike 305-331-7599.
FOR SALE: Large parrot cage (some rust needs cleaning make an offer Call Mike 305-331-7599.
FOR SALE: 2005 Adams 2 horse slant LQ GN. Loaded, satellite, ac/heat, fully insulated, awning, spare tire, extra ties outside, walk thru door, $19,500 Call 352-874-4903.
FOR SALE: 3 horse steel trailer with tack room. $1,000. No title. Contact Nelson Rodriguez, text me at 305-431-1895.
FOR SALE: Hay. ALSO HAVE: horse transportation, horses boarded. Seasonal or year round houses (horse properties) for rent in palm beach county. Text or call Mordy at 954-234-5900.
FOR SALE: Quarter horses. Rancho del Cielo Lynn & JC Vina always have a few really good ranch horses available. Call for appointment 305-773-4022 JC /305-798-5882 Lynn.