The Pegasus Story
Lori Sarner, President Emeritus
Chase Berke, COO Operations, Program Director
Pegasus started with only a couple of horses and four riders. We now have a stable of 11-14 therapy horses, over 170 volunteers, and over 210 active riders coming weekly to our facility,
off of Cook Street in Palm Desert, California.
Pegasus was originally started in 1981. Lori Sarner, our President Emeritus, started volunteering at Pegasus in 1986.
At that point, the program was struggling and was about to end their valuable service provided to the community. Because of Lori’s
background in Equine Therapy, she "rescued" the program and helped fund and then grow the organization into what it is today.
Lori spent the first 10 years from 1986 - 1996 perfecting the therapy program and educating the medical community on the merits
of Equine Therapy. She grew the program slowly during that time before expanding the organization.
Lori had worked with an Equine Therapy group in England that met on the grounds of Buckingham Palace, whose major patroness was Princess Anne.
Lori also worked with some of the Queen's Horses. Her commitment, love and passion for special needs individuals and horses have helped Pegasus
riders soar beyond limitations. In March of 2013 Lori Sarner was honored with special "Woman of the Year" honors by the Riverside County
Commission for Women and the Board of Supervisors. See Article and other honors in the press about Lori and Pegasus in our archives.
Lori mentored and groomed Chase Berke to eventually become the Lead Instructor and Program Director preparing for the day she would "pass the baton".
Chase is on the Board of Directors and Chief of Operations. Chase started volunteering at Pegasus in 1997 and has volunteered for more than 19
years working with Lori Sarner and her vision for Pegasus.
Our riders come from all three of the Coachella Valley's Unified School Districts from classes with severely and multiply disabled, special needs kids.
Pegasus provides the buses that transport these riders to the Riding Academy at no cost to the rider. Some of our other riders come from Angel View, the
Palm Springs Stroke Recovery Center, Desert Arc, and the Braille Institute and some are referred from the United Cerebral Palsy Association, the Autism
Association, ACT for MS, the Barbara Sinatra Children's Center, Loma Linda Hospital, private physicians and physical therapists.
Pegasus Therapeutic Riding — All Special Needs, All Ages — is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization based in Palm Desert, California. We do not receive
Federal government funding...the only government funding we receive is via those Coachella Valley Cities that offer community grant programs. We are
governed by a Board of Directors and supported by a diverse group of professionals that are dedicated to our mission. Your tax deductible contribution can help!
At Pegasus we know...
The secret of success is to try - The secret of love is to love - The secret of life is to live.
Board Of Directors
- Lori Sarner - President Emeritus
- Peter Solomon - Chairman
- Chase Berke - COO Operations, Program Director
- Curtiss Perry - Treasurer & Secretary
- Chase Berke
- Leanna Bonamici
- Penny Carpenter
- Chelsey Flohe, LCSW
- Catherine A. Eklund Mares
- Carl K. Osborne, Esq.
- Curtiss Perry
- Buck Pruett
- Heath Scarinci
- Kelly Scarinci
- Dick Shalhoob
- Enrique Solis
- Peter Solomon
- David B. Sullivan
- Timothy Vail, DEV.
- Chuck Hodges
High School Volunteer Program
Fr. Andrew Green
Church of St. Paul in the Desert
Co-Founder, ACT for MS
Anthony Cruz, D.O.
Board Certified Psychiatrist
Habitat for Humanity
STAFF & CONSULTANTS
Executive Director, Consultant
Event Production & Digital Media Consultant
Volunteer Coordinator, Consultant
• Chase Berke
VOLUNTEER RIDING INSTRUCTORS
• Chase Berke - Lead Instructor
• Darlene Bjork
• Judy Cordell
• Pete Peterson
• Kathleen Salcedo