By Bec Braitling

Templeton Farms is pleased to announce that as of January, Allison Mathy will be joining the Templeton Farms team as a Dressage Trainer. Allison, of Lyric Dressage, is a USDF Gold Medalist that offers training of horse and rider through Grand Prix. Her program is goal oriented with students regularly working toward competitions and achieving their USDF Medals. Allison joins a fantastic group of trainers of multiple disciplines that are currently located at Templeton Farms. Welcome to the Central Coast Allison! Check out www.templetonfarms.com for information on this fantastic facility.

Zee Varian and V6 Ranch

Zera Varian was born into a family with a deep-rooted passion for ranch life and the magnificent horses and cattle that come along with it. Zera, better known as Zee, spent her early years on her  family’s ranch in Culver City eventually progressing to competing show horses herself. She was initially showing jumpers until she happened upon the stock horse classes at a local show and was inspired by riders such as Jimmy Williams and Barbara Worth. This was the instant Zee knew that training and showing the reined cow horse was what she wanted to do, and she found that she was very, very good at it.

Lifetime earnings include a multitude of belt buckles, 13 saddles, 3 horse trailers, and well over $100,000 in cash prizes. One of her proudest accomplishments was when she became the first woman to ever win the 1969 Reined

Cow Horse Open Bridle Championship. Throughout her career Zee has won multiple awards, championships and reserve championships almost exclusively on horses she raised, trained, and owned.

The V6 Ranch in Parkfield was purchased in 1961 by Zee and her husband Jack. They run approximately 1,500 head of stocker cattle each year, purchasing them in fall and selling them in the spring. Zee and Jack have recently begun raising grass-fed beef cattle as well. Currently, they raise 25-30 head of grass-fed beef cattle a year and plan on increasing those numbers annually. The V6 Ranch got its name when the last of their 4 children was born, totaling 6 Varians, or ‘V6’.

Zera and Jack are incredibly proud of the ranch they have built. In 2001 they made the decision to create a Conservation Easement on the property to ensure the ranch cannot be divided or developed. In partnership with the California Rangeland Trust, the 17,000 acre V6 Ranch is now dedicated rangeland providing open space not only for the cattle to thrive but also ensuring the land remains home to all animals large and small.

Inspired by the movie ‘City Slickers’, four times a year (3 times in the Spring and once in the Fall) Zee and her family welcome strangers onto their family ranch. They venture out across the countryside on some of their 25 head of horses, enjoying the sights, smells, tastes and sounds of the sprawling ranch. They’ve been doing this for almost 26 years now, and Zee still enjoys sharing her vast family ranch. Cowboy Academies are also available three times a year where guests are able to experience the real western lifestyle, sometimes for the first time. Cutting, sorting, roping, branding, barrel racing, and pole bending are all skills event participants have the opportunity to participate in.

Zee is a cowgirl through and through, and we are beyond lucky she and her family share her love of the land and the animals on it with us all.

Toys For Tots Trail Ride Wrap Up

The Atascadero Horseman’s Club held the annual ‘Toys for Tots Ride’ on Sunday November 18th. The club has sponsored this event for the past 45 years. This event would not be possible without the participation of dedicated club members and riders from our local equine community.  The spirit of giving provided 82 gifts for needy children and cash donations of  $215 for the Atascadero Loaves and Fishes food pantry.

A huge ‘thank you’ goes out to the amazing club members who volunteered their time and to all who enjoyed the ride.