Twin Creek Ranch ‘Cowboy Days’ to benefit local school children

Twin Creek Ranch will host fundraising event “Cowboy Days” on Dec. 1 to benefit Cottonwood School children who want to explore art, music, and the computer sciences. It will be filled with horse competitions, music, food, vendors and raffles.

“With the budget cuts that have been happening over the last four years, we have seen art and music disappear from the curriculum,” Chris Thompson explained. “These things are near and dear to my heart, so I wanted to do something to ensure that those kids with an artistic bent could have a means to pursue those talents.”

Organizers Chris Thompson and Chester Mason have plenty personal experience to motivate them to sponsor this charitable event. Combined, they both have strong ties to art, music, and the computer sciences.

Thompson has been riding and roping since he was a teenager, and this June he won the United States Team Roping Championship with his partner Clint Pierce at the West Coast Regional Finals in Paso Robles, CA.

Thompson is an accomplished guitarist and vocalist with eight albums of contemporary jazz to his credit. He pens most of the songs, as well as arranges and produces his albums. Thompson is also a highly regarded visual artist, producing paintings and sculptures under the name William Christopher. He has held gallery shows in California, Chicago, New York, Milwaukee and Buenos Aires, Argentina. His canvasses range from highly charged abstractions to stylized representational works.

Mason is motivated by his love of art. He is an avid collector and patron. He has made his innovative mark in the aircraft industry as the inventor of Duct-O-Wire – products used in the electrification systems for cranes, hoists, monorails and other moving machinery.

The ranch itself encompasses 800 acres, which boasts crops of organic garlic and alfalfa. It has also has been host to sanctioned team roping events over the past four years.

Some of the events at “Cowboy Days” will be:

Competition by the Hat Creek Mounted Shooters. The competition will commence at 9 a.m. Entry fee is $80 with a 60 percent pay back and awards to the winners.

Gymkhana event hosted by the Anza Lions Club. It will begin at 1 p.m. with a $3 entry fee for kids and a $5 entry fee for adults. Prizes will be awarded.

Team Roping Competition at 4 p.m. Entry fee is $25 for three with a 60 percent pay back and prizes awarded for the average. The roping competition will be separated into Handicap and Open categories.

Horseshoe Tournament. From 1 to 4 p.m., ringers will get their opportunity to show their stuff for an entry fee of $20 with a 60 percent pay back.

Kids from 3-12 years old can get in on the fun with goat roping, gymkhana, or just enjoy riding on the merry-go-round or jump in the jump house.

The event planners will be offering gourmet delights: begin your day with Starbucks coffee and a breakfast burrito, later try a pulled pork, elk, or tri-tip sandwich created by the chefs at Twin Creek. They also offer a simpler fare: BBQ chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, and veggie plates.

Entertainment during lunch will be provided by local musicians Michael Thomas and Craig Downey. During the afternoon and evening, the popular local bands Mark Huston and the Workin’ Men, and the original Barn Yard Boyz will entertain. The evening will also hold a special surprise performance.

With the holidays around the corner, event goers will enjoy the special shopping opportunities the vendors bring, offering everything from jewelry and western art, to self-protection equipment and more. Don’t forget to check out the raffle items donated by these vendors. Pick and choose your favorites; every ticket is a chance to win.

Twin Creek Ranch is located on Highway 79 near the community of Aguanga. Gates will open at 7 a.m. and the festivities will continue until after dark. There is a $5 admission fee, children 16 and under are admitted free. For more information on the mounted shooting event, or on vendor opportunities, contact Susan Blankfeld at (951) 704-9396. For general information, contact Chris Thompson at (951) 290-1513.

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