Lori Sarner, president of Pegasus Riding Academy for the Handicapped in Palm Desert, was honored as a Woman of the Year today by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors.
Thirty-one women were nominated for the five awards, one for each supervisorial district. Sarner was chosen along with Ofelia Valdez-Yeager from the First District, Jennifer O'Farrell from the Second District, Trish Shea of the Third District and Shor Denny from the Fifth District.
The women are recognized for community service and leadership on women's issues, according to Fourth District Supervisor John Benoit.
"Lori Sarner is known throughout the Coachella Valley for her support of many local, humanitarian causes in addition to her excellent work at Pegasus," Benoit said.
Sarner moved to the Coachella Valley in 1986 and started volunteering at Pegasus. She became program director, head instructor and president, expanding the organization to provide therapeutic horse riding programs to more than 175 people every week. The academy's 12 horses work in programs serving autistic children, the blind, severely disabled adults and children and stroke victims.