2018 Equus Awards Dinner

APRIL 21ST, 2018

Shine your boots and get out your party dresses, the equine event of the year happens on April 21, 2018 when the Sonoma County Horse Council puts on the Equus Awards, a celebration of honorees recognized for their outstanding contributions to our unique horse community.

Laura and Jonathan Ayers

Now retired, Laura and Jonathan were Armstrong Redwoods State Park horseback riding concessioners for over thirty years where over 20,000 people rode astride their well-trained Quarter Horse to enjoy the beauty and splendor of the Austin Creek Wilderness and learn about horses, nature and life. Jonathon is a long time horseman who learned about packing in Jackson Hole Wyoming before working on a Texas cattle ranch and ultimately landing in Sonoma County, meeting Laura and starting the redwoods packing business.


Amber Bowen, DVM

Growing up in Sonoma County competing in both Western and English disciplines, Dr. Bowen returned to the area after graduating from the UC Davis Vet School in 2014. When the October fires hit, Amber was at the Fairgrounds large Evacuation Center from day one and stayed through the closure of the center. Dr. Bowen’s calm, tireless and dedicated leadership was instrumental in the enormous success of the rescue and medical management effort during those chaotic October days.

Sue Curry Shaffer

Well-known and long-time local equestrian, Sue is the founder and co-owner of Fairwind Farm in Santa Rosa. She is a USEF “S” Dressage Judge, an FEI Para Equestrian Judge and last year, the only candidate selected to be a United States Dressage Federation “L” Program Faculty Member. She also started a highly successful breeding program with her foundation Oldenburg stallion Donnerschlag who recently passed at age 30.  A consummate teacher, hundreds of riders from near and far have sought Sue out for supportive and enthusiastic instruction in dressage.


Michael Murphy

In many local circles, Michael is, and has been for a long time, the face and voice of the equine community. He has been enmeshed in equine activities and organizations for 37 years and is a founder of the Sonoma County Horse Council and President for 10 years. Michael gives his time freely and enthusiastically for equine interests and has served on many boards, commissions and committees including the Santa Rosa Junior College Equine Studies, Cal Expo, Back Country Horseman of California, the Marin-Sonoma Animal Resources Committee, the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation, and the Sonoma County Fair Board.

Event Documents

Equus Awards Donor Sheet

Sponsor Letter

Sponsor Reg Form



Trailering Safety & Maneuvering Course

April 28th, 2018



Grant Funding Applications


The Sonoma County Horse Council is now accepting grant funding applications from people in the equine community in Sonoma, Napa, Lake or Mendocino counties who suffered non-reimbursed fire losses. Grants will range from $500 to $5,000 and the deadline for Round 3 funding is April 17,2018.

Please see the attachment for more details.

To apply for grant funds and learn more click below.

 Helping Hands

Donate to SCHC Fire Relief Fund

In the midst of these terrible fires, Sonoma County Horse Council knows how critical donations are to recovery and rebuilding for the future. The Council's Equine Disaster Relief & Preparedness fund is an existing fund set-up after the Valley Fire indicated the need for such a fund. Proceeds shall be used to provide relief to local victims with equines and equine businesses and for preparedness programs going forward. Donations may be made online using our secure donation form directly below. Info for donation by mailed check can be found on the donation form as well. 

 Hands of Love

Your support for those in need of assistance is so appreciated and critical in this time of immense challenge. 



About The Sonoma County Horse Council

The Sonoma County Horse Council is a nonprofit organization founded in 1993 to promote the health and well-being of horses, and support horse-related activities in Sonoma County.


Places to Ride & Clubs


Your membership helps unify the horse community into a single, powerful voice. The Council is a resource for the horse community to provide owners and lovers of horses access to information on a range of issues from questions relating to horse ownership and use, to land issues, political concerns, stewardship of the land, and disaster preparedness. Learn more:

Member Spotlight

Equi-Ed has enhanced lives through the therapeutic power of the horse for 24 years. We serve veterans and kids and adults with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities. Equi-Ed is affiliated with Santa Rosa Junior College but functions independently as a non-profit community organization.

.... Click to read more!