Honor on horseback: Memorial camp teaches compassion

Luis Larios, 13, has some fun with his horse, Cindy, as they try

In its 12th year, the Teri Davis Patane Memorial Horse Camp for Kids is giving children a chance to fall in love with horses, just as Teri did years ago.

At 32 years old, Teri died from complications related to systemic lupus – a chronic, autoimmune disease – five months after giving birth to her daughter Jacqueline.

She entered her first equestrian show at 4 years old, and for the next 28 years, horses were her constant companion. The Live Oak High School graduate went on to earn degrees in science from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and San Jose State University, and worked in chemical control for the City of Gilroy.

This week and into next, children between the ages of 8 and 12 – the majority of whom have never touched a horse, let alone ride one – will spend the week at the overnight camp held at the home Teri and her husband, Carmen Patane, bought 14 years ago on Holsclaw Road.

On Saturday, the group will ride into Henry Coe State Park and spend three days camping before returning home. The camp ends Tuesday.

Searching for a suitable way to pay homage to his daughter, who he raised from the time she was a teenager after he and her mother divorced, Lon Davis brainstormed with her friends, husband and brother and founded the Teri Davis Patane Memorial Horse Camp for Kids in 2000.

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