Real Estate and Equestrian Passions Support At-Risk Youth

LAKE OSWEGO, OR – Riding horses since only 7-years old, Laura Piccard, a broker with Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty, Lake Oswego, realizes how fortunate she has been to be able to combine her two greatest passions – horses and real estate. Inheriting her mother’s love of riding, Laura claims that it’s in her blood. Taking care of the horses and cleaning stalls fueled her appetite to ride, as she began competing at an early age. Now, as an adult, Laura maintains an affinity for equestrian activities and any opportunity to ride. An avid equestrian and a horse owner, she is a frequent competitor in hunter jumper horse shows across the Northwest.


Laura has lived and worked in Brussels, Belgium before entering real estate. Having experienced another culture, she has developed a network of relationships with international clients, enabling her to better serve their particular needs and understand that there are unique lifestyle attributes that they might find appealing in the Portland area. With over 10 years of industry credibility, Laura’s exceptional talents in navigating property transactions highlight her invaluable advice, guidance and care to her clients in all stages of their process. Being associated with an iconic luxury brand is what initially drew Laura’s interest in working with Cascade Sotheby’s, but it was also the fact that they were differentiated by their reputation for a high-level of customer service. It’s not just about price point, it’s the story that you’re delivering to the buyer. Laura’s equestrian background has made her an authority on horse properties. Her current listing at 33207 SE 6th St., Mt. Laurel/Washougal, WA, perfectly illustrates the type of residence she relates to. View the property video.


The Oregon High Desert Classics (OHDC) is held in sunny Bend, Oregon on the beautiful 40-acre J Bar J Youth Services Ranch. The two-week hunter/jumper competition showcases top riders from the Western United States and Canada and includes junior athletes and Olympic competitors. With snow-capped mountain views and grass arenas, this show is sure to inspire. The show offers an array of amenities such as six arenas, six schooling/lunging rings, on-site barns for up to 600 horses and great dining and shopping just six miles away in Downtown Bend. Over $150,000 in prize money is at stake as horses and riders of all ages and levels compete throughout the week in classes such as the Grand Prix and USHJA International & National Hunter Derbys. Sponsorships help create the show ambiance and are instrumental to the success of OHDC and J Bar J Youth Services to continue to provide services through their six programs. Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty is a white-ribbon sponsor of this year’s events: Pre-Adult Equitation, Ariat® National Adult Medal and the OHJA Jr/Sr Medal. Laura is scheduled to compete in the Adult Equitation 40-49, the Ariat® Medal and the OHJA Junior/Senior Medal events.


J Bar J Youth Services offers innovative options for at-risk children, youth and families working toward self-sufficiency and personal responsibility. The program outcome is to produce healthy adults who contribute to society. Founded as a working ranch for juvenile offenders, the agency has grown and now includes eight program areas to address the growing needs of challenged youth in our community.  Stephanie Alvstad, Executive Director, J Bar J Youth Services, says, “The Oregon High Desert Classics raises money to support at-risk youth. We have found the horse show community to be very generous in their compassion for the challenges our youth have to overcome. This show has contributed more than $2.6 million towards helping kids over the past ten years. We couldn’t do what we do without you. Thank you!”


A former resident of the homeless teen shelter summed up his experience with this; “The LOFT (homeless shelter program) has helped me with many things. They helped me get back in school. They help me with my medical and dental needs. They make sure I am eating well. Most of all, the staff at the LOFT makes me feel like there is someone who cares.  Another youth who graduated from the Ranch had this to say; “J Bar J influenced me to become not only a productive member of society, but someone who I don’t mind looking at in the mirror in the morning. I learned how to take accountability for my actions and create a life for myself that I’m proud of.”


The horse show also provides a venue for youth involved in the programs to work. Boys from the Ranch interview for positions as groundskeepers and kitchen staff for the show. The money they earn is often put towards any restitution they need to pay. Girls from the Academy at Sisters serve as wait staff for multiple events under the Patrons Tent during the two weeks of the show. Community service is a strong value in all of our programs and the horse show is a perfect opportunity for the kids to help out.


Originally called the High Desert Horse Faire in 1989, this event was transferred to J Bar J Youth Services in 1992 and renamed the Michelob Classics. J Bar J owns a forty-acre cattle ranch east of Bend and operates a rehabilitation program for boys that have been in trouble with the law. The boys provided the labor needed to transform the property into a suitable show facility. To establish the grass rings, the fields were laser leveled, going down about six feet to put in rock and gravel. This provided a solid base for the grass rings. The boys continue to work the show every year, which gives them the opportunity to earn money to pay restitution. Learn more about J Bar J Youth Services.


Everyone has a different story to tell. Everybody has a different experience to share. And I love that I get to share the stories and experiences of my clients. To learn more about Laura Piccard, watch her broker film.


categorized in About CSIR, Bend, Central Oregon, Farm, Ranch & Vineyard, Lake Oswego, Oregon Coast, Portland, Sisters, Southwest Washington, Sunriver, The Pearl, Vancouver, What to Do


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