Valley Center Vaqueros

Barbara Crawford: Before Barbara knew about the Vaqueros, young girls would ride the bus to her house after school to groom horses learn how to drive her draft horse, Chester. Barbara also had a Morgan, a team of Appaloosas, an Arabian, 1 mini donkey, and several driving ponies. Ken and Barbara would load up the 6-horse trailer and their flatbed with carriages and off to Lakeside driving show they'd go! The girls would enter the shows and have costume changes in the dressing room. The girls grew up, some joined the service, and some married and moved away.  Left to her own devices, Barbara started trail riding and barrel racing, and even joined the Escondido Mounted Posse! Now her main focus is her grandkids (like Jayden Soliz, Valley Center's 2016 Little Miss Rodeo Queen!) and their love of horses.

Leann Lawson 

Madelyn WagnerMadelyn  has been involved with horses since childhood. Madelyn attended Rawhide Vocational College in Bonsall, Ca where she learned veterinary medicine, shoeing, animal science, horse science, rodeo & majored in colt starting. After college, she went on to work for Tom Chown Quarter Horses, a world renowned horseman. Madelyn has lived in Valley Center & has been a Vaqueros member for 35 years! Nowadays, Madelyn, along with her husband & daughter, Madison, enjoy trail riding, camping, & competing in various horse competitions. Madelyn is a board member on the Valley Center Stampede Rodeo & Festival committee as well as the Valley Center Optimist Club. 

​Pat Helly / President Patrick has been around horses all his life: from summers at grandparents’ farms in VT, riding working Morgan drafts, to a NJ ranch where his sons Casey & Corey learned to ride Quarter Horses and ponies, to TX where he met “Miss Heidi” and learned how to ride English and compete in endurance rides. They relocated to Valley Center in 1997, where they were married and established Harmony Ranch Arabians. Patrick is an expert Manure Mover and Tractor Dude, and you can find him helping with rancho work and supporting Heidi’s Fun Shows. He is also a member of the VC Stampede Rodeo & Festival Committee.

Deanne Sanderson / Past President: Deanne and her girls joined the Vaqueros in 2010 after seeing club members ride in the Western Days Parade.  Her first job with the club was organizing people for refreshments at meetings and then she became the welcome lady and a board member. After a polite elbow jab from Heidi Helly, she agreed to run for club President in 2011 and was re-elected in 2013. Deanne and her girls have 2 horses, and enjoy trail riding and fun shows.  In addition to horses, Deanne enjoys scrap-booking and church activities.

​​Dottie Christenson

Approved Board Meeting Notes:

Cathy McCall / Treasurer  Cathy's  love for horses started in 1997, when she couldn’t tell her daughter Allie no anymore when it came to having a pony.  We resided in the city and lived the country life until our family’s dreams came true when we moved to Valley Center in 2011. Cathy is a Grandmother of nine grandchildren.  She loves giving them a chance to be around animals and learn the fun and hard work it takes to care for them. Before moving to Valley Center Cathy worked as a professional photographer in the entertainment industry,and now enjoys photographing our Rodeo Queens, the
Valley Center Rodeo, our shows, and some of our graduates in the community.  

Iris Sparks 

​​​2017 Board Members

OUR MISSION: ​The Valley Center Vaqueros is a family-oriented equestrian club with activities for all ages! The Vaqueros have hosted a wide variety of shows, clinics, & equine events since 1960. In addition, our Young Riders (under 18) and our Drill Posse (18+) participate in community events and parades across Southern California.

Our goal is to improve horsemanship skills, enhance equine care, and increase public awareness through education. The Vaqueros wish to expose our lifestyle to those with no access to horse culture, and to provide after school programs for children not currently involved in traditional athletics.