Born in Massachusetts and raised in New England, Sandy Collier’s love of horses began at an early age. She competed in her first horse show at the age of 6, then continued to compete in events throughout her school years. After deciding that college was not for her, she traveled across Canada, and in 1972 ended up in Santa Barbara, California. At the age of 19, she found work that suited her at the Tajiguas Ranch where her main responsibilities were feeding, grooming, training and shoeing the ranch’s horses. Saddlemaking, tack braiding and breaking horses were duties that were added to her ever widening range of tasks. With the help of Doug Ingersoll, Sandy began to compete in events of the California Reined Cow Horse Association showing Quarter Horses. In 1979, she moved to Santa Ynez where she worked for trainer Tom Shelly for one year before going out on her own. She managed a full barn while working part-time as an emergency technician for a mobile life support company and then in a hospital emergency room. In the early 1980′s, she began to make a name for herself in CRCHA events with wins that included an open bridle championship, a year-end open hackamore championship and a Snaffle Bit Futurity open finals placing and ladies division reserve championship.
In 1991, Sandy won the herd work preliminaries on Skip To My Joye in the Snaffle Bit Futurity’s open division. Then in 1993, she won the NRCHA World Championship Snaffle Bit Futurity Open Championship on Miss Rey Dry.
To date, she is the only female rider to win the world’s toughest cow horse event.
Trafalgar Square Books is a small, independent women-owned business based on a farm in rural Vermont. We publish quality books on horses and equestrian sport, dog health and training, the natural world of New England, and crafting history and techniques.
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