Bony Pony Benefit Brings Animals and Carnival Games to Mountain Ranch

On a sweltering day in the Santa Monica mountains, kids and adult guests alike found entertainment amid carnival games, spa treatments, and an array of animals at the Bony Pony Ranch fund-raiser.

By Irene Lacher June 25, 2008, 3:37 PM EDT

The casual scene at the Bony Pony Ranch

Photo: Sky Cassidy/Red Dawn Media for BizBash

Bony Pony Ranch "Western Round Up and Barbecue" Benefit
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Lassoing the logistics for the Bony Pony Ranch Western Round Up and Barbecue at the 26-acre site in Malibu would have been a challenge for organizers under the best of circumstances. But with Sunday's temperatures climbing to a sweltering 112 degrees in the Santa Monica Mountains, event producer Amy Shomer and her crew prepared for the worst—which fortunately didn't happen. Before guests even joined the party, they found large tubs of sunscreen at the check-in tables, thanks to Shomer and the event's host, Bony Pony Ranch owner and Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Frank Ryan. And when ice arrived 90 minutes late, some of the 75 volunteer staffers raced around on all-terrain golf carts to make sure 18 barrels of drinks were distributed around the site by the time guests showed up a half hour later.

The event, a fund-raiser for Ryan's Bony Pony Ranch Foundation for at-risk youth, was designed as a day in the country for 450 children of all ages. Activities abounded for guests who officially qualified as children—carnival games, pony rides, and more—as well as for those who were somewhat older and more concerned with pore size. For them, there was Camp Beauty, a modest home on the property where Anastasia (who only needs a first name to bring to mind brow-plucking prowess around town) did brow shaping, Smashbox Cosmetics applied makeup, and Neil George Salon spiffed hair.

Farther afield were nature hikes supervised by Sports Club/LA trainers, while Ramona Greene & the Native American Tribes directed face, hat, and mini-totem-pole painting for kids at Tipi Village, the ranch's permanent cluster of log cabins and teepees. Around the property were groups of animals, both resident—including Ozzie the ostrich, Tonka the buffalo, and various goats, pigs, horses, ponies, and alpacas—and visiting. The Nature of Wild Works Petting Zoo imported Tara the red-tailed hawk, while Animal Ambassadors brought an African serval and a New Guinea singing dog.

And of course there were abundant snacks: BBQ Express's spread of grilled meats (tri-tip, burgers, and chicken), spicy salads, and desserts, served on tables covered with red or green gingham cloths, carved wooden farm animals, and arrangements of flowers that looked freshly picked. The rare intrepid guest hovered over a fire pit to toast marshmallows for s'mores.

As the afternoon wore on and temperatures began to dip, Next Models strutted down the runway tucked among the tables sporting clothing embellished with Bony Pony Ranch insignias as well as other casual looks provided by the Lisa Kline boutique. Then guests hopped up on the stage themselves and danced to Deacon Jones' blues band until long after the event's scheduled end at 4 p.m.

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