Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Wild West Casino Night Fundraiser

Our annual Wild West Casino Night is this Saturday night, Sept 10 at the Lakeside Rodeo Grounds. This is our 5th year hosting this event, which raises funds for local horse rescue charities. 

The Wild West Casino Night started as an idea many years ago when the founders of the Victorian Roses Ladies Riding Society were in another re-enactment group that used to have old-fashioned cotillions as a fundraiser. While this dance was fun, wouldn’t it be a smash to have a room filled with poker tables and salty characters bellied up to the bar? This image materialized sooner than later when a friend’s birthday party brought in a company that provided fun gaming tables. Two plus two was added, the one was carried and the Wild West Casino Night was born.

At the time, the Roses were a newly formed club and only had 8 or 9 members. We were also in the process of figuring out what charity we would like to support. Horse rescue was an easy pick as so many of us felt passionately about our equine partners and some of us had even adopted horses ourselves. 

With so few of us, it was a challenge to do the massive amount of work that this event required. We had to gather donations, secure a venue, apply for permits and additional insurance, hunt for sponsors, hire the table company and the entertainment, advertise the event, and be at every station the night of and a million more things. In the end, we pulled it off and nearly 300 people came to the first Wild West Casino Night. As always, we have our village of support staff, donators and generous sponsors to thank for helping us get er done. We were able to raise nearly $5,000 in one night to give to horse rescue.

Things haven’t changed a whole lot in five years. The time is still from 6 to 10 pm and we are still hosting the event at the Lakeside Rodeo Grounds because it is a great mid-location for horse folks from all over the county to converge. Last year we started a grant program in order to help us decide which rescue groups should benefit from the money raised and we donated $6,500 from the event.

So, that’s the history of the event. Now what can you expect this year by coming? Well…you pay just $20 a person to join us. With your ticket, you will be given a Golden Coin. The Golden Coin is taken to the tables and exchanged for $200 in chips. We have nine Blackjack tables, two Craps tables, two Poker tables, a Roulette table and new this year are two old west Faro tables. Companies who help sponsor the event can “claim” a table and advertise on that table however they would like to so you may be playing on Sandy Angione Realtor’s table or San Diego Barns & Buildings’, Hole in the Wall Gang’s or M Power Truck and Diesel’s tables. If you don’t know how to play, that is completely okay because it is just for fun and the dealers aren’t strict like in Vegas. They will help you learn and you will end up having a good time. If you want more chips, you are welcome to buy more Golden Coins for just $10 each.


The end of your ticket goes in a door prize drawing jar when you enter the room and the ticket stub that you have has numbers on it that will be your bidding number if you would like to be a part of the silent auction as well as your number for door prize drawings. Silent auction tables will be set up on one side of the room and include some amazing items like Carrie Underwood concert tickets, Tom’s Hay Gift Certificates, handmade items, a 2 night stay at Stagecoach Campground, fun things to do in the county and anything from jewelry to Legos. A list of what is available at the Silent Auction tables will be given to you in your event program.

The other side of the room is devoted to raffle prizes. Some of the great raffle prizes include Luke Bryan concert tickets, restaurant gift cards, 10 bales of hay from Descanso Hay & Feed and many more things. Each item has a jar next to it where your raffle tickets will go for the item you would like to win. How do you get raffle tickets? You win big at the tables! For each $100 turned in, you will get 2 raffle tickets. Want a free raffle ticket? Come dressed in a Wild West costume!

We will also be having a 50/50 raffle. Members will be walking around selling these tickets. One drawing will be made during the night and 50% of the cash pot will go to you and 50% will go to the charities. Tickets are just $1 each or 6 tickets for $5.

If you want to try your hand at corn-hole for something else to do, we will be offering a corn-hole tournament this year. The winner will take home some cash!

Hungry? The Descanso Junction Restaurant will have a food wagon onsite with a BBQ & Baja menu to choose from. And what is a Wild West saloon without the drinks? Budweiser beer and wine donated by Rock Canyon Vineyards and Country Wine & Spirits is available for purchase for just $5 each. OR you can go for the best deal of the night: limited edition engraved, refillable beer and wine glasses that come with 4 drink tickets each. These are just $20 so you are getting a great glass to take home for FREE with this deal. Be sure and check them out.

Our DJ Gil will keep the tunes going and make important announcements throughout the night. Also new this year, we will have a live auction. We have some ahhhhmazzzing items this year to live auction! How about a 7-day vacation in a Mexican Villa? Or what about a half-day chartered fishing trip for 6 people? Have an upcoming party? How would you like a backyard BBQ for 50 people catered by Phil’s BBQ? We also have a mystery gift at the live auction. Don’t forget…. The money raised goes to charity!

We are proud to have selected four horse rescue charities to support this year. They are Falcon Ridge Equine Rescue, Horses of Tir Na Nog, ResQue Ranch and Star Bright Ranch. All the rescues will have volunteers at the event that you can talk to and find out more information. 

So you will be coming to the event, right? Bring friends! Dress up like a saloon girl or a gunslinger! Help us spread the word so we can make this year the biggest yet and keep updated by liking the Wild West Casino Night’s Facebook page. Tickets are available online at or at the door. See you on Saturday!

Submitted by Margarita Rose

Monday, August 1, 2016

Victorian Sleighs and Essentials

   Sleighing Essentials
Thick snow made traveling in a sleigh a smoother ride than traveling in a wagon. But most sleighs were not covered, so the ride could be very cold. People kept warm by covering themselves with fur blankets and with heavy coverlets called “lap robes.” Lap robes (which were designed to cover a rider’s legs, lap, and feet) came in many kinds of designs and could be surprisingly bright and colorful. They often featured pictures of flowers, horses, dogs, or other sporting scenes. 
People also used foot warmers to keep warm in a sleigh or carriage. These were metal boxes that were filled with hot coals and placed on the floor inside the vehicle. 

Sleigh bells were fastened to horses to signal the approach of someone important (the affluent ornamentally wore bells as a symbol of wealth and status) or to warn pedestrians of an approaching vehicle. Sleighs were unable to stop quickly enough so they needed a warning sound.  To the right are shaft bells.  Below, are another type of bells.
Other essentials include:
Fur muff - below left
Plumes - below right 
Above, an all-original and fully restored Grand Victoria Sleigh or Hudson Valley Sleigh by Brewster & Co. of New York City. Built around 1890, this sleigh seats a driver plus one on the driver’s seat and can carry up to four passengers. Drawn by a team of four horses.
Above, an all-original and fully restored Albany Cutter by Brewster & Co. of New Youk City. Built around 1890, it seats a driver plus one on the driver’s seat and can carry up to two passengers or grooms. Drawn by a team of two horses.
Above, an all-original and fully restored Portland bobsled. Built around 1890, it seats a driver plus one on the driver’s seat and can carry up to two passengers or grooms. Drawn by a team of two or four horses.
Clothing for Sleighs

Bundling up in layers of wool, fur, cotton and linen was the first line of defense. The following passage of people entering an inn describes how they removed their outerwear when traveling:
Passengers were busy taking off coats – one, two and three in succession. Those were the days of bona fide great coats. Nowadays, they have become lessened and merely overcoats. Chins appeared out of their many wrappages of silk, and fur caps are bundled into pockets.
People wore layered clothing made of wool, flannel, or fur. Typical winter outerwear included hooded capes, great coats, scarves, cloaks, shawls, scarves, muffs, gloves, mittens, thick socks, stockings, long wraps, caps, hats, and ear muffs.
Sitting in open sleighs, carts, and carriages, people would tuck comforters, quilts, or blankets around the, and bring umbrellas to protect them from freezing rain. Fur sets and fur trimming made of beaver, fox, bear, and marten were common. Seal skin cots prevented wind and rain from penetrating to the skin, and swans down muffs kept delicate hands warm and protected. A foot warmer heated with coal would complete the traveling ensemble.

Above is a Rein Rail.
My Sleighs
Modern times with an antique Portland Cutter, pulled by Barney, (an Appaloosa), and driven by Victorian Roses Ladies Riding Society’s Priscilla Rose.

An antique Portland Cutter, pulled by Barney, (an Appaloosa), and driven by Victorian Roses Ladies Riding Society’s Priscilla Rose, with Misty Rose as her passenger. A custom frame with wheels was made so that the sleigh could be pulled when there was no snow.

View from the sleigh…it glides silently in the freshly fallen snow.

This Portland Cutter style pony sleigh has wheels attached to the runners so it can be in parades with the Victorian Roses Ladies Riding Society. Zak is pulling it while Priscilla Rose is driving it.

 Submitted by Priscilla Rose

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

19th Century Riding Habits

Here are some examples of riding habits throughout the 1800s.   The year 1837 marked the beginning of the Victorian era, which ended in 1901.


1820s Silk Habit Philadelphia Museum of Art

 This fashion plate (right) shows an early 19th Century habit from 1816. They were frequently made in wools of a darker color.  The habits had influences from masculine garments and military uniforms. She wears a delicate white cravat. New York Public Library's photo collection.

Riding pants were worn by women under their habit skirts as early as the 1830s. These trousers were crafted long and covered the legs completely.
1829-30 habit  Museum of London

Riding spencer circa 1835 From LACMA

An extremely rare brown wool `Amazone' or riding habit, circa 1835-8, the one-piece gown with triple row of satin covered buttons to the bodice, broad collar, the sleeves with pleated mancherons, elongated skirt for riding side-saddle, lined in brown cotton


Below left, Fashion plate January, 1849  Godey's Lady's Book Riding dress for the country.— "Leghorn hat, with a rolled brim, the dress a full skirt of pale drab-colored cashmere, fastened up the front by a close row of very small silk buttons of the same color. A “Jack Sheppard” waist (see Lady's Book for November) of nankeen, with a rich white linen braid embroidery on the front and sleeves. The short skirt, or basque, is trimmed in the same way as the waist, and hued with pale blue Florence silk. Plain linen collar and cuffs, and a blue ribbon neck tie. Gloves as near as possible the shade of the waist."   


Above right, the green habit from the early 1940s has gigot sleeves. As the 40s progressed, habits became more tailored. "The skirts were generally a third longer than a normal hem length, to provide a long drape. Sewn into the front was a loop for a lady to slip around her boot by the outside stirrup, keeping the skirt from flying up. Sometimes near the trailing edge of the skirt was another loop to wear around the wrist or onto a button after dismounting, to ease walking with all the voluminous material. If there wasn’t a carrying loop the ladies would gather the skirt and hold it over an arm. The skirt could trail after getting to relatively clean pavement, cobblestones, &c. Skirts usually had at least one hidden pocket sewn in for a handkerchief" Source


Below left, 1858-59.  Mary Toogood wears a fitted bodice instead of a jacket with a long basque and peplum. Although she does not wear a hoop under her skirt for the photographer, it does look like she is wearing a small bustle to support the peplum of her bodice. source

Right, 1858-59.  "One can clearly see her long fitted button down bodice with it's long skirt like basque. The way her skirt drapes is also visible. It is shorter on the right side and trains to the left so that when mounted, there would be slightly less bulk under the right leg yet still allowing for the long skirt to hang right down on the left side. If the rider rode on an off-side saddle, the habit's skirt would be cut to train on the right side."   see source above


Left, Miss C. Weston from Brady-Handy Collection  At least one skirt elevator visible, between her hands; other places, the skirt seems to be looped up/tied inside.    Right, 1868. You can see her petticoat underneath.

"The best dressed Victorian horsewoman often did without her petticoats when riding and wore nothing more than a flannel chemise with long colored sleeves under her trousers. Ladies’ trousers were of the same material and color as the riding habit. The trousers were sometimes full and flowing “like a Turk’s” and fastened with an elastic band round the ankle, indistinguishable from the skirt. In this riding costume, which was made amply warm by the folds of the trousers plaited like a Highlander’s kilt and fastened with an elastic band at the waist, the Victorian lady could sit down in a manner impossible for one encumbered by two or three short petticoats. Nevertheless, some ladies preferred a quilted petticoat that was not too full. It was lined with silk or glazed muslin." source

Right, “Emma Cochran June 1863": Full-length portrait of a woman identified as Emma Cochran from Ball & Thomas’ Photographic Art Gallery, 120 West Fourth Street, near Race, Cincinnati, O. LC-DIG-ppmsca-10948


Right, "The first “safety skirt” was invented in 1875, which buttoned along the seams to help stop accidents where women were dragged by their horses, and sometimes crushed beneath a rolling mount, during a tumble. This safety skirt later morphed into an apron skirt, which was worn buttoned around the waist, just covering the legs (which were encased in breeches)." Source

Above and below, 1875 green wool habit from the Met Museum.  Detail of draping, hidden under the back of the jacket


Right, military inspired habit with bowler type hat.
Following the fashion trends of the 1880s, riding habits were very form fitting.

"Fashionable women wore dark woollen tailored jackets inspired by men's coats. By the 1880s their dress was so similar that some observers noted that from a distance it was difficult to distinguish very young ladies from young gentlemen. This was no doubt helped by the fashion for wearing bowlers, top hats, cravats, waistcoats and trousers under skirts.  Many women's jackets were embellished with details borrowed from military uniform. Braiding was a popular form of decoration inspired by ornamentation on regimental dress as well as the flamboyant hussar designs. This elegant example is based on the regimental patrol jacket characterized by parallel rows of applied braid across the breast, looped at intervals into designs known as 'crow's feet' because of their distinctive shape."  Source



In 1885, snap fasteners were invented, and shortly after that a new version of the safety skirt for riding was made that would tear open along the line of snaps if a lady fell.

                                                                                                                    Christy's Auctions
The Metropolitan 1890s Riding Habits

Photo from Panhandle Plains Museum in Canyon, Texas. 
"Equestrienne in bowler hat, stylish gauntlets, and with horsehair quirt, stands beside her horse, which has a horsehair bridle and cowgirl-style, double-rigged, heavily carved sidesaddle" late1890s.   
  Above- riding habits from 1895, 1898, and 1900. Bowler hats had become acceptable. The photo is interesting as it shows the woman’s trousers and boots.  Source

Just Because....Side Saddle Ostrich Races!

Submitted by Shenandoah Rose.