STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK
It was Stuart Little, a Welsh pony who thrives on peppermints, that caught Judy Smooke’s eye.
“He’s so cute,” she told her husband Richard as she angled for his support to sponsor the therapeutic riding horse for the year.
A tour of Jay Leno’s Big Dog garage, a mustang safari coupled with paintball competition with an ex-Navy SEAL—these all caught the attention of 440 patrons who sashayed into the new covered arena at Swiftsure Ranch south of Bellevue Thursday night for the annual Cowboy Ball.
Patrons decked out in Stetsons and packing 357s on their hip toasted the Therapeutic Equestrian Center with blood orange margarita slushes and mint juleps. They availed themselves of caterer David Fox’s melt-in-your-mouth beef tenderloin and bacon-wrapped jalapenos.
And they were generous, bidding $25,000 on a trip to the National Rodeo Finals in Las Vegas and $10,500 each for a Yamaha Grizzly ATV, courtesy of South Valley Motor Sports, and a trip to New York, courtesy of Ann Leonardo, Reinstein Ross Goldsmiths and others.
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