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Horseback Adventures

- March 1st, 2021

From the Black Range Mountains of New Mexico to the Oregon wilderness, memories await to be made

Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch
Winston, New Mexico
(575) 772-5157

Serenity and solitude are concepts not often discussed, much less experienced, amid the turmoil of life in the 21st century. You’ll find them at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch! Here, beneath the tall Ponderosa pines, in the cool higher elevations of the Black Range Mountains of southwest New Mexico, the quiet is such that you can hear the approach of an eagle from the beat of the air beneath his wings. Large herds of elk frequent the meadows, streams and lakes nearby.

Buckling up

- March 1st, 2021

West Coast Ranch Horse concludes its Winter Series

From Horsetrader staff reports

Kelly Miller of Perris and Walla Walla Whizdom shined in several classes, including firsts in Open Ranch Trail and Open Ranch Halter. (Katie Wise / ShezaShootingStar.com photo)

TEMECULA — West Coast Ranch Horse wrapped up a super Winter Buckle Series on Super Bowl weekend Feb. 7 at Tucalota Creek Ranch in Temecula.

Preparing for breeding success

- March 1st, 2021

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

Well, it is March and breeding season is here. I thought it might be a great time to talk about equine reproduction and some of the options available to horse owners in our area. Things to consider in preparation of getting your mare in foal are the mare preparation, how you will receive your semen, and who is going to be inseminating the mare.

Reckless gets a spa day

- March 1st, 2021

War hero’s memorial good as new

From Horsetrader staff reports

The crew of Sculpture Services of Colorado — Jo and Davis DeDecker and Mary Casey — visited the Sgt. Reckless monument at Camp Pendleton Jan. 30 to give her a “spa day” and return the Korean War hero to her stunning self after four years of facing the coastal elements.

CAMP PENDLETON – As author Robin Hutton visited the Marine Corps base here last September for the 70th anniversary celebration of the Inchon Landing, she was looking forward to walking past the striking monument of Sgt. Reckless — the fruit of years’ worth of dedication of both her and artist Jocelyn Russell. As she neared the Pacific Views Event Center, disturbance set in.

From Horsetrader sales staff

Buck Brannaman is back! He will return for a two-stop clinic engagement in Southern California in April. Come learn from one of the most respected horsemen in the industry, as he shares his insight, skills, and techniques on achieving a better relationship with your horse.

“First up, on April 9-11, Buck Brannaman will be in Los Angeles County at the JPK Ranch in Agua Dulce for his Foundation Horsemanship and Horsemanship 1. There will be no spectators this year — except for family and friends of riders. Riders will need to reserve and pay for their guests in advance, and numbers will be limited. Bring a chair and your own food and water. Also: please, no dogs. The clinic will observe all CDC and health department protocols. Call Sally at (213) 247-7157 to reserve your spot.

Rush to judgement

- March 1st, 2021

By Sheryl Lynde | Horsetrader columnist

After careful consideration, a buyer selects a horse for purchase. Within 30 days of ownership, however, the buyer notices subtle changes in behavior. With time, the unwanted changes become more prevalent, and new vices surface.

The buyer calls the seller for advice, only to hear, “well, the horse never did that here.”

Frustrated, the buyer begins to feel that perhaps the horse was misrepresented. The horse they now ride is not the horse they rode while at the seller’s.

Who is right? They both are.

An ‘Army of One’

- February 1st, 2021

Lynn Brown leaves a legacy of horses in our communities

Special to the Horsetrader

Lynn Brown and her beloved Andalusian, Nova. (Courtesy photo)

LOS ANGELES – Lynn Brown, whose public advocacy for horse interests in Southern California and beyond was unparalleled, died Jan. 1 after a brief illness.

A lifelong rider with a relentless passion to protect equestrian rights, the choice for an equestrian lifestyle, and the right of horseback riders to the peaceful enjoyment of public trails, Lynn passed away at home with her son, Christopher, at her side.

Lynn was the only child of J. Woodson Brown, a Texas businessman and cattle rancher, and Genevieve Brewster, a Southern Belle. She was raised in Southern Colorado on a cattle ranch. From the time she could walk, she rode.

An accomplished horsewoman, Lynn trained and rode several horses over the years throughout Griffith Park. Some of her most memorable were Nikki, her mustang; Cleo, her Tennessee Walker; and Nova, her magnificent Andalusian.

For anyone who knew or worked with Lynn, she was unsurpassed in her advocacy, working tirelessly for 25 years to keep Griffith Park safe for equestrians and hikers, trail runners and birdwatchers.

Lynn Brown (center, in blue) and more than 100 riders from 17 organizations in the City of Los Angeles’s official Day of the Horse ceremony in October 2014 at City Hall. The annual event, sparked by the volunteer L.A. Equine Advisory Committee, reminds civic leaders of the importance of horses in their great city. (Betsy Annas photo)

During a three-year period from 1999 to 2002, Lynn engaged a coalition of community leaders, neighborhood councils, environmental organizations and horseback riders to protect the heritage horse and hiking trails within the Park. In a room of 200 angry and concerned equestrians, she started what would become a citywide effort to maintain L.A. Parks safe for its Western Heritage. In the process she became a true ally to the Sierra Club, Los Angeles Neighborhood Councils surrounding the Park, activists from Committee to Save Elysian Park, riders from the Burbank and Glendale Rancho communities and other local groups and organizations.

When Los Angeles City Planning once again revised its Bicycle Element, Lynn, as Deputy National Trail Coordinator for Equestrian Trails, Inc. (ETI), secured critical amendments to preserve historic dirt trails for safe riding experiences, again working with coalitions from prior battles.

Her success relied on four principles: seeking allies (locally and across California); writing fine advocacy articles and letters (her much beloved “talking points”); listening to others; and acting strategically. She could commandeer an army of advocates. A friend once remarked that she was “an army of one.”

To this day, the peaceful enjoyment of Historic Griffith Park and its Trails are due directly to the diligence and skills of Lynn Brown.

Beginning in 2005, she became a member of the Griffith Park Working Group, which was set up by the L.A. Recreation and Parks Department. Over the next several years came guiding influences, including A Vision for Griffith Park, Urban Wilderness Identity that champions the Park for its bio-diversity, native species, unstructured aesthetic and continued emphasis on the wilderness values as exemplified by equestrian uses in the park. Approximately 2,000 horses board adjacent to the Park, either in backyards or in boarding stables, as well as in horseback rental stables. Vision recognized the significant Park use by either owners or guardians on a daily basis.

In February 2009, Lynn worked with the late Councilman Tom LaBonge to accomplish a milestone in the city of Los Angeles: the official creation by the L.A. City Council of the Los Angeles Equestrian Advisory Committee, a 16-member citizen committee representing equestrians from all Council districts and the Mayor’s Office. Convened and managed by the L.A. Recreation and Parks Department, the LA-EAC soon began serving riders from South L.A., the Valley, the Westside — every Council District, and representing the diverse populations of the city who shared a common love for horseback riding. She helped raise funds for the Compton Junior Posse, now the Compton Cowboys. She arranged a carriage/team for Councilman La Bonge in the Toluca Lake Christmas Parade. She was thrilled to see the growing representation of Black Cowboys in the MLK Parades in 2018 and 2019. She brought back to prominence the recognition of the Day of the Horse at the Los Angeles City Council.

Without her diplomatic and persistent skills, the important representation of the horse community would not exist today.

She assisted the Rancho residents of Glendale and Burbank, and the Atwater community of Los Angeles, as a practiced voice in opposition to bad development and in support of good development. a few weeks before her death Jan. 1, 2021, she was instrumental in educating and securing opposition from local elected Burbank officials over a “proposal” for an aerial tram that would tear out the only public riding arena, Martinez Arena, in Griffith Park.

She was a polished and accomplished writer and frequently contributed articles to Western Horseman and California Horsetrader on a range of issues: Griffith Park, the Ranchos of Burbank and Glendale, how to make friends with a bureaucrat. As a consummate communicator, her candor and advice were sought and effective. She made many friends over the years with General Managers, Superintendents, Park Rangers and the much-beloved maintenance staff. Every year, she provided flowering bulbs, Honeybaked Hams and personal notes and cards to them.

Lynn is survived by her son, Christopher and daughter Feather. And the many friends she made from all walks life who shared her passion and love for the healing power of a horse. A Celebration of Her Life will be announced at a later date.

‘21 is on!

- January 31st, 2021

SCRCHA launches season with ‘January Kickoff’

By Sue Carter / for the Horsetrader

Charles Stevens takes his Smartest Hotshot to the Open Spectacular title at the SCRCHA January Kick Off event held Jan. 8-10 at California Ranch Company. (Danger Dingo photo)

TEMECULA — Ready to dust off 2020 and hit the show pen, the Southern California Reined Cow Horse Association launched its new season Jan. 8-10 with the Cow Horse Kickoff at California Ranch Company.

Beautiful weather, a great group of competitors and a return to a favorite venue added up to a super weekend that featured cutting and herd work on Friday and cow horse classes Saturday and Sunday.

On Friday, Roy Rich on Cat From Ipanema, owned by Rocking J Ranch, and Non Pro Melvin Reynolds on his Heatt started the weekend off by taking home a check and bragging rights in cutting. Rich and Cat From Ipanema also captured the Open herd work class, while Jeffrey Heyer, trained by Bob Grant, rode his PaddysStarlightChic to the Non Pro crown.

Saturday and Sunday’s cow horse classes were competitive with many familiar faces, as well as those out of the Southern California area, polishing their horses before heading to he NRCHA “Celebration of Champions” in Fort Worth, Texas, Feb. 9-20.

Tresha Geltner and Remedy To Shine, owned by Judith Adkison, vie in the herd work. (Danger Dingo photo)

The standouts in Open divisions were Grant in Open Bridle on Cynthia Baker’s Nic It Smartly, Rich and Very Smart Look, and Caitlyn Showalter on Brazilian Belle, owned by Mary Houston. Charles Stevens, fresh in from Hawaii, rode his Red Voodoo Remedy to titles in both junior horse classes. Rich also took the Circuit Championship in the Open Bridle, and Tresha Geltner riding Judith Adkison’s Remedy To Shine was Circuit Champion in the Limited Open Bridle.

Winning the Non Pro Bridle division on Saturday was the familiar pair Rachel Reedy, who trains under Sunni McCormick, aboard her Uno Whats Right. Sunday’s Non Pro Bridle winner was Tracy Lynch, who also trains under McCormick, aboard Jim Putnam’s CD Rock Slide. Lisa Fonsen, who trains with Rich, won her divisions riding her RJ Where’s My Sock. Non Pro Bridle Circuit Champions were Lynch (Non Pro Bridle and Intermediate Non Pro Bridle), Fonden (Novice Non Pro Bridle), and Catherine Deel (Non Pro Hackamore), who trains with Rich.

Nancy Nyjordet went home with the Non Pro Limited Circuit title after a winning performance with her Chickaroos Chance. (Danger Dingo photo)

The well-attended boxing division went to Nancy Nyjordet, another McCormick-trained rider, who took home the blues and the Non Pro Limited Circuit title on her Chickaroos Chance. Other Circuit Winners included Brenda Brown-trained riders Alexandra Veen in the 5K Division on her A Boy Named Su and Sheila Nash in the 1K riding her King Of The Coast.

In the Spectacular, Stevens won the Open on his Smartest Hotshot, with Fonden capturing the Non Pro on her RJ Where’s My Sock and Nyjordet winning the Non Pro Limited on her Chicaroo’s Chance.

More online: https://bit.ly/12Ascrcha

Del Mar Horsepark (Horsetrader photo / Gordon Stevens)

DEL MAR — The 22nd District Agricultural Association has conducted a second public hearing in less than three weeks to explain details of its closure of the Del Mar Horsepark for 2021. Del Mar Fairgrounds officials who manage the popular facility announced the closure in December, then held on online meeting Jan. 12 to a dismayed, rapidly growing list of petitioners against the move.

A second online meeting on Jan. 29 when California Horsetrader went to press, was scheduled at 1:30 p.m.

In a December email, 22nd DAA board President Richard Valdez said that continuing with an equestrian presence at the 64-acre Horsepark would require “a significant and immediate investment of funds to address water quality requirements, which is simply not possible given the dire effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the fairgrounds’ revenues.”

Before the Jan. 12 meeting, advocates of keeping Horsepark open for equestrian shows, a riding school and other activities released a report that the facility’s water issues likely originate outside the property.

In a published report, testing lab ALS Group USA Corp. of Irvine examined water samples taken during seasonal rains Dec. 28 upstream and downstream from the horse park. The upstream samples showed significantly higher amounts of coliforms, pollutants that come from human and animal waste.

Carla Echols-Hayes, a Solana Beach resident and horse park advocate, told the San Diego U-T newspaper that the results “indicate that the Horsepark is not the source of any additional contaminants to the San Dieguito River Valley waterways.”

Potential litigation by environmental groups was another cause of the closure, according to a Rancho Santa Fe Post article Jan. 24 by Phil Trubey. In the article, Valdez said that although they had not received any litigation threats, it was the possibility of such a lawsuit from San Diego Coastkeeper and Surfrider Foundation that made them decide to cancel all horse activities at Horsepark for all of 2021. Valdez cited a lawsuit settled in 2018 brought by Orange County Coastkeeper against Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park, a multi-use facility that hosts soccer tournaments and large horse shows. According to the report, in settling that lawsuit, the city of San Juan Capistrano paid Coastkeeper $1.9 million in attorney fees and also paid an additional $1 million directly to environmental groups.

In his article, Trubey said he asked both San Diego Coastkeeper and the Surfrider Foundation their respective positions on Horsepark.

Matt O’Malley, Executive Director and Managing Attorney for San Diego Coastkeeper, told RSF Post that the group has not threatened any lawsuits on the Horsepark, and “we do not wish to shut the park down.”

Also in the article, Alex Ferron, chair of the San Diego Surfrider Foundation, said “Surfrider is not currently involved with this issue — or rather, have no horses in that race.”

The Horsepark is located next to the San Dieguito River about two miles east of the fairgrounds. Fairgrounds staff will attempt to move horse shows to the fairgrounds, where there have been infrastructure upgrades “that can accommodate large-scale equestrian events.” Part of a recently completed two-year, $15 million infrastructure project were upgrades at the fairgrounds that include a holding pond, a constructed wetlands treatment area and other improvements to the racetrack infield. The fairgrounds has also built a stormwater treatment plant to comply with state and local regulations designed to protect nearby waters.

To be added to the mailing list that receives Horsepark updates from the 22nd DAA, send your request to planning@sdfair.com

Riders enjoy the trails in San Marcos. (Horsetrader photo)

SAN MARCOS – An advisory five-person trails committee — none of whom are equestrians — voted 5-0 in a virtual meeting Jan. 13 to recommend to the City of San Marcos that e-bikes be allowed on the city-run trail system.

The matter now moves to a Feb. 17 Parks and Recreation Committee meeting. City staff will be recommending that the Parks and Rec Commission request the trails advisory council to further explore and analyze e-bikes on city trails —and to bring back any findings or policy changes. Parks and Rec would then determine whether or not to recommend approval to the City Council at a future date.

Public comments received by Feb. 10 will be included in the agenda packet. All public input should be emailed to toshinski@san-marcos.net with “public comment” in the subject line.

Under present municipal code, e-bikes and other motorized vehicles are prohibited on San Marcos City trails.

More online: https://bit.ly_1trailmtg