Board of Directors
Member since 2015, director since 2023. I was raised in North Monterey County. I attended North Salinas High School, Hartnell Jr College, and received a B.S. at Cal Poly/San Luis Obispo. Later I completed a Master’s degree in Special Education.
I grew up riding bareback like a banshee all over the hills of Prunedale. As a teenager I competed in local horse shows, gymkhanas, and team roped (including at the CVT&SC!). I was on the Rodeo Team while attending Hartnell. After college I lived and worked in the Bay Area. In 1981 I moved to Carmel Valley and spent many years at the Monterey County Office of Education as a special education consultant. At age 35 I began riding jumpers and and fulfilled dreams by showing successfully throughout the western US and Canada as an amateur. I admit to loving “the adrenalin.”
I married the love of her life, Steve Bloch, in 1998 and took a hiatus from showing horses. Instead Steve and I traveled the US in our RV attempting to visit as many of the National Parks as possible. Missing competition, I took up showing Golden Retrievers in numerous dog sports. When I heard about Ranch Horse Versatility, I was intrigued, took lessons from Sarah Clifford, and bought my current horse Fred. Fred and I have been extremely successful during the last 8 years, being Western States Champion in the Advanced Amateur Division 7 years out of the 8. I love the thrill of competing and the hard work it takes to be successful.
I love the Club, ride there several times a week, and have been active in fundraising and committee work in recent years. I’ve shown all over the western US and Canada and there’s no place like the CVT&SC. It’s a gem. At a recent fundraising event I challenged the attendees to “become a part of the legacy and join the Club.”
As a board member I want to support, sustain, preserve, and make sure the Club is well-loved for generations to come. I will work unceasingly toward those goals.
SUSAN BANCROFT, Vice President
Member since 2000, board member since 2010.
I’m responsible for the club’s website and the emails sent to members. I also am the Membership Chair. So, when you register online for one of our club-sponsored events, send an email to [email protected] or renew your membership online, it’s me that responds.
Since 2008 I have been the show manager for the Ranch Roundup, the club’s September event, which is an annual community gathering promoting and supporting the rich and unique horsemanship traditions here on the California Central Coast.
I own and manage a 25-acre boarding facility 30 minutes east of the Village, in Cachagua, where I care for my own horses plus a few others.
The Trail & Saddle Club is truly a one-of-a-kind non-profit, dedicated to our Central Coast horse community. It exists only because of, by and for its membership. I encourage all to step up their level of volunteerism and involvement to preserve this treasure for its next 60 years.
Nikolina “Nikki” DiGirolamo, Treasurer
Member since 2004 and Club Treasurer since 2018.
Born and raised in Watsonville, California by Croatian immigrant parents who refused to raise any farm animal that couldn’t be served at the dinner table. Many chickens, goats and sheep passed through our yard, but no pony ever materialized. My early equine life was limited to neighborhood ponies that I begged to ride, and saving pocket change in a shoe box to someday buy my own horse. Some dreams don’t die. After twenty-five years as a banker, three children, and now restaurant owner, my wonderful husband David said it was time for me to indulge my dream at our new Carmel Valley home. Off we went to Arizona to purchase Pepper, a two-year-old roan QH-mix filly, from a Navajo Indian family. Classic first horse story by new horse owners! Remember holding a horse care book while staring at her hooves “Says here to pick the hooves daily.” Oh dear. Finally found some horse sense and hired club trainer, Kristi Whelan, who after witnessing me come off more than once, said on one occasion “Maybe if she had a different name”. This same trainer ended up finding the most perfect horse for me, an American Paint mare, “TucksPlanToTickleMe”, aka “Cosquilla” aka “Ellie”, bred by member Susan Bancroft and started by member Malia Aldrich. She’s beautiful, smart, patient, athletic, and my dream horse. I’m truly blessed! Pepper is now living the retired life at the Indian Springs Equestrian Center’s twenty acre pasture, doing what she does best – Boss Mare.
Through my years as a member, I’ve volunteered as a scribe at the Ranch Round Up, and Playdays, taken on a small landscaping project, and now keep the club books. A perfect day involves heading down to the club for a lesson, schooling or out on the trails. Ellie and I are diligently working on Western Dressage, and like to enter the schooling shows. I love watching the many talented riders and their beautiful horses that come through the club gates, and meeting long time members and feeling their affection for the club, as they recount their favorite horse stories. The club truly is a special place, lovingly maintained by a motivated group of member volunteers, and I feel very fortunate indeed.
KATE KENNEDY, Secretary
I joined the Trail and Saddle Club around 20 years ago so that I would have a place to drive my horse and carriage. At that time there was a small group of members that would drive together at the club, on the trails, and go to events together. It was really fun. I hope my horses, pony, and I have helped some saddle horses and their riders become more comfortable around the carriages! Now many of the drivers have moved on to other activities, but I still do a little driving at the club now and then. I have always loved being there and feel privileged to serve on the board. The membership has always been a special group in my life. Now my goal is to give back so that others may have the same enjoyment of the club that I have had.
Member since 2015, director since 2023. More to come.
Member since 2002, director since 2019. More to come.
Member since 2015, director since 2018. More to come.
– Board member since 2018
– I have enjoyed the club, showing and riding there (Western -equitation, trail, stockhorse) on & off over the last 40! years.
– My favorite horse was my 1st horse “Patches” 14 hand Welsh/Arab Pinto gelding. He was something and I had him until he died at 33 years old.
– I love the club and think it is an equestrian community treasure and being a Board member is a privilege. I am fortunate to be one of the stewards working on behalf of the members to keep the club in the best (physical, economic and social) shape possible. Look forward to seeing y’all there!