Committee members Sly Keyes and Donna McNab (both of Vernon) have fun selling tickets for the auction during the 18th Annual Horsey Ladies Charity Auction & Banquet Nov. 20.

Committee members Sly Keyes and Donna McNab (both of Vernon) have fun selling tickets for the auction during the 18th Annual Horsey Ladies Charity Auction & Banquet Nov. 20.

Horsey Ladies continue their tradition of supporting local charities

The 18th annual fundraiser goes off without a 'hitch' to benefit North Okanagan Therapeutic Riding Association and Equine Assisted Therapy

The 18th Annual Horsey Ladies Charity Auction & Banquet went off without a “hitch” Nov. 20 at the Spallumcheen Golf and Country Club.

The sold-out event brought together 132 horsey ladies from all over the Interior. More than 100 donated items were on the auction tables, with all proceeds going to a local charity that the ladies vote on this same evening.

“The ladies know this is one of the best socials for those in the (horse) industry, and with Christmas around the corner, they are also here for the shopping, hoping to get a good deal on the auction block or winning something in the Chinese auction for a mere $2 ticket,” said Nancy Roman, with the event’s organizing committee. “But more importantly, it’s all for charity, I think that’s why we sell out weeks in advance every year, and with a waiting list to boot.”

This year’s committee also included Ruby Edwards, Elspeth Manning, Michele Gould, Amy Vaughan, Sheila Sperling, Patti Thomas, Sly Keyes, Donna McNab and Kathy Woodward.

“We really worked well together this year — how many can say that about 10 women making decisions?” said Roman.

Roman added that the public does need to be reminded that this group of Horsey Ladies is neither a club nor a society, there is no bank account or board of directors; they are just a bunch of gals that get together each year to celebrate their love of horses. Anyone can buy a ticket and attend,  whether they have a horse or not.

This year, many gals spoke during open mic over the dinner hour; some simply introduced themselves and some used the opportunity to pitch for their charity of choice. Once votes were tabulated, the top two vote-getters were: North Okanagan Therapeutic Riding Association (NOTRA); and Equine Assisted Therapy (Vernon Women’s Transition House).

“This year, the event raised just over $7,500 and these two groups will both benefit from the generosity of our sponsors, donators and the 132 shoppers,” said Roman. “To date, the Horsey Ladies have raised over $73,000 for local charities and proud of it.”

See their Facebook page, Horsey Ladies Okanagan, for a list of sponsors, photos, and the history of how it all began.