Owner JoAnn Gillespie grew up riding here at this very facility in the 80’s when it was Silver Dollar Ranch. Sliver Dollar was a boarding barn and Quarter Horse breeding farm. During the 90’s and early 2000’s it became Bottomley Farms focusing on English dressage and jumping. Hosting many shows as well as a feed & tack store for the valley. It was a very prolific training barn and many people can claim learning to ride at Bottomley Farms. Halloween 2013 it became Rawking Horse Ranch home to JoAnn Gillespie, her family, and horses. It is now a private equestrian facility open to public as participants and auditors during the many clinics and weekend learning sessions we host throughout the year.
At age 10 JoAnn started boarding here with her first Pony Black Jack. The pair road every inch of these trails and jumped everything in their path. As she grew she moved on to full sized horses and eventually off to Santa Barbara to attend UCSB for college. There she was on the executive board of UCSB West Campus Stables a Co-op barn for Students and Faculty. Enjoying lots of beach riding and the ever exciting Old Spanish Days Fiesta Parade for 13 years.
She then returned to the East Bay in 2000 to raise her son. Upon return she became an active equestrian in the Oakland Hills supporting the MHA Oakland’s Metropolitan Horseman’s Association, East Bay Park District Barns as well as Oakland City Stables. Until
one day she was able to have a place of her own. Coming full circle back to the place where it all started.
She now has a home for her family and horses together. What little time ranch life leaves she uses to campaign her Morgan horses as RWK Morgans her Morgan Sport Performance Horse Program. Showing primarily English Hunters for 35 years she has recently fallen in love with Cowboy Dressage, Doma Vaquera, and Natural Horsemanship. Riding for the East Bay Park District Mounted Patrol and still riding in Parades keeps her busy as well.
She has aspirations to learn the art of driving carriage horses. That is why she likes keeping Rawking Horse Ranch a Venue for all disciplines as you never know what could be next for you and your equine partners.
Rawking Horse Ranch sits adjacent to Briones Regional Park, 6,117 gorgeous acres of wilderness, with access to 27,000 acres of EBMUD watershed. These spaces give way to all the trails your heart could desire. We also have wonderful neighboring equestrian facilities of all disciplines which creates a lovely environment for the equine lover. This is an amazing natural rural setting right in the heart of the bustling East Bay Area. We are 15 minutes from Orinda, Lafayette, Martinez, and Pinole in the heart of the East Bay. Please visit the Briones Link to learn all the great things our wonderful township has to offer.