Are you looking for a unique way to horse camp, relax, enjoy like-minded equestrians and leisurely explore Montaña de Oro trails and park on horseback? Come join in on a fun weekend of camping with your equine partner and friends at Montaña de Oro sponsored by the Coast Mounted Assistance volunteers. From the sands on the beach of the Pacific Ocean to the rocky shale of Hazard’s Peak, the panoramic views are breathtaking, especially if viewed on horseback.
Horse Camping at Montaña de Oro Horse Camp
Each year during the Columbus Day weekend, the Horse Camp at the state park is closed to private reservations and opened up for this fundraising activity. This year, equines, riders and their (human) families are invited to camp for the entire weekend starting at noon on Thursday, October 4 through Monday morning October 8, 2018. Thursday and Friday are unstructured camp-on-your-own days. That of course doesn’t mean that there won’t be 50 other riders and campers available for sharing stories and campfire tales.
Saturday Obstacle Course
On Saturday, October 6, the Coast Mounted Assistance volunteers offer an Obstacle Course, challenging horse and rider with a variety of obstacles that one may encounter on the trail. Successful completion of each obstacle adds extra cards to improve the poker hands dealt out on Sunday during the actual Poker Ride day. Saturday evening holds a potluck dinner for the campers to share dishes in the BBQ area at Horse Camp and, most likely, horse stories.
Sunday (Funday) Poker Ride
Sunday is the Funday with the Poker Ride! Guided rides are offered for those first time visitors to our park. Others may ride on their own following a flagged path or just ride on trails of their own choosing. Poker hand dealing begins at the Registration desk at 8am. Hands are dealt all day up until the BBQ begins at 1:30pm. The top 10 hands that are dealt during the day get first priority choosing from an incredible variety of prizes donated from local businesses. All other poker hands are placed into bag for a random drawing for prizes until all the gifts have been spoken for. Extra poker hands may be purchased for $5 per hand.
A silent auction is also offered for the participants. This is your chance to take home a wide variety of lovely and unique items donated by wineries, veterinarians, tack stores, other local businesses and private individuals.
The full weekend of camping only cost $75 for a stall, a campsite, a poker hand and the Sunday BBQ. The Obstacle Course on Saturday will require an additional $15 per horse and rider team. If a rider can only make it to the park on Sunday for the Poker Ride there is only a $40 fee for the day, the poker hand and the BBQ. Of course, extra Sunday BBQ tickets may be purchased for $15.
Profits go to Coastal Mounted Assistance
All of the profit raised at the Poker Ride is placed back into the Central Coast State Parks Association to fund projects in Montaña de Oro. For more information or to register for the Poker Ride, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Story written by: Peggy Phaklides – Coast Mounted Assistance President
Photo Credit: Lynda Roeller Photography