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Dodging the bullet train

Horsepeople unite to fight new, proposed Lake View Terrace route

From Horsetrader staff reports - January 15th, 2015

Artist rendering of High Speed Rail crossing Big Tujunga Wash and proposed tunnel in Lake View Terrace.

Artist rendering of High Speed Rail crossing Big Tujunga Wash and proposed tunnel in Lake View Terrace.

Horsepeople in Lake View Terrace and surrounding areas have a few words for the State High Speed Rail Authority about a new proposed path for the futuristic 220-mph bullet train through their community: Not so fast.

Three alternative routes surfaced in December after an original plan for the leg from Palmdale to the Burbank airport, a 51-mile stretch along the Highway 14 corridor, was criticized by residents and officials. Called the East Corridor, the newest trio of alternative routes cuts through Lake View Terrace and would impact horse ownership throughout the San Fernando Valley. Further, the redirection of the Highway 14 route would require a 35-mile tunneling beneath the San Gabriel Mountains and the Angeles National Forest, with the bullet train screaming from a tunnel and over the Tujunga Wash, an equestrian paradise.

Who are the Movers & Shapers of your horse community?

Volunteers who take the reins and look ahead guide futures

From staff reports - January 1st, 2015

1501AwpcoverWhen Lynn Brown first took to the Griffith trails on horseback, the daughter of a Texas rancher saw a piece of half-buried steel rebar sticking up from the path, and she called the City of Los Angeles. They fixed it.

Twenty years later, Brown remains vigilant – and effective. Her view has expanded beyond her beloved local trails, as she now is Vice President of the Los Angeles Equine Advisory Committee, an official City advisory body she helped launch in 2009 that reports directly to the 15 L.A. council members.

Entering its seventh year, the EAC has an impressive achievement list on behalf of equestrians, from protecting vast city horse trails to fending off extreme activists attempting end-runs to squelch horse ownership. Tireless campaigns by Brown and her colleagues have provided insights, none greater than the importance of positive community involvement.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates

RANCHO SANTA FE — Microsoft founder Bill Gates has purchased the 229-acre thoroughbred training center in Rancho Santa Fe formerly owned by weight-loss icon Jenny Craig, and reports in the U-T San Diego newspaper indicate he plans to turn it into a facility for hunters and jumpers.

The father of a teenager who jumps competitively, Gates paid $18 million for the facility in a deal that closed Sept. 12. The sale is one of San Diego County’s highest-priced deals for a home this year. Gates also owns a home in the Del Mar Country Club.

SAN DIEGO –A year after a controversial death of a horse at a San Diego training facility, reining horse trainer Mark Arballo pleaded not guilty Oct. 2 to a felony charge of animal cruelty.

Tamra Smith

Tamra Smith

TEMECULA — Next Level Eventing and Tamra Smith have aquired Twizted Syster, also known as “Chloe,” a 7-year-old, Irish Sport Horse mare.

Twizted Syster, previously owned by the Team Express Group, was purchased for Smith via a group of syndicate members who will now comprise the Twizted Systers, LLC.

Twizted Syster was originally imported in 2012 to be ridden by Heather Morris of Lewisville, Texas, but was later sent to Smith to be sold by Morris, a close friend of Smith, following the mare’s allergic reactions to elements in the Texas area.

What kind of horse drives? Find the perfect horse for the job

By Patricia Demers - October 15th, 2014

About Driving6th in a series
In the last issues, Patricia gave her insight into how a driver gets started. Now, she moves into the next step.

Most horses enjoy being driven, and some even excel at it more than riding. The breed of the horse is not important, nor is the size — other than finding the perfect horse for the job intended. My first requirement is that the horse does not go into full training until itÕs mature enough — mentally and physically. Personally, I usually like to start a horse at three years old or older. Next, I look for a good mind and calm attitude. I want a willing and obedient equine who will take to training. It should be sound with fair conformation. Older, well-trained saddle horses often take to driving training quite well.

Talent shines

Sydney Hutchins claims show jumping West win

Special to the Horsetrader - October 15th, 2014

Sydney Hutchins, whose horse Sorcerer was also named Best Horse of the finals, soars to the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals West title at Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park Sept. 20-21.

Sydney Hutchins, whose horse Sorcerer was also named Best Horse of the finals, soars to the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals West title at Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park Sept. 20-21.

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — The 2014 Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search Finals West came to a thrilling close with the show jumping phase and the challenging Final Four test on Sept. 22.

The competition provides an ultimate canvas for developing young riders to test their skills at a level of competition resembling the top of the sport. Just a few weeks prior, four of the best show jumpers in the world contested similarly in the Final Four at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. And as noted above for these top four, rails and time faults played a role in the final results at the Games as well.

After three solid phases and performing well in the final four test, the 2014 championship went to Sydney Hutchins, whose horse Sorcerer was also named Best Horse of the finals. Savannah Dukes was second, with third place awarded to Mitchell Endicott and fourth to Michael Williamson.

The Story

By BECKY HANSON - January 2nd, 2014

Becky and David Hanson

Becky and David Hanson

John O’Hara photo

I accidentally grew into being a horse trainer, after graduating from college with an English degree and a certificate to teach high schoolers. That is a long chapter that, now, doesn’t matter. It isn’t The Story.

I was a parent’s dream as I entered adulthood, a textbook evolution: graduated high school, graduated college, married a good man, got employed, saved a little money, and produced two perfect grandchildren for my parents. Surrounded by good friends, family, and clients, I lived in an idyllic setting and for almost 20 years. I worked in the sand, day-in and day-out, side-by-side with my husband, David, while our children grew and flourished in the country. But, again, that isn’t The Story.

Something to cheer

San Diego County OKs new equine zoning that portends revitalization

From Horsetrader staff reports - September 19th, 2013

Supervisor Dianne Jacobs

Supervisor Dianne Jacob

SAN DIEGO — Owning and boarding horses in San Diego County became easier Sept. 11 when the Board of Supervisors approved a revised, tiered horse ordinance that could reinvigorate the region’s equestrian industry.

In the works for several years, the Equine Policy and Ordinance Development project updated the county’s zoning ordinance with regard to equine uses in unincorporated areas. With the Board’s vote, a long-standing need to obtain a major-use permit for small stables was eliminated — only operations with more than 100 horses on 10 acres or more now face such a requirement.

Kathy Higgins photo

Smart Boons with Corey Cushing

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — On the heels of a dominant year in working cow bridle competition, Smart Boons has been retired from the show pen as he embarks on his new career as a breeding stallion.

Under trainer Corey Cushing, the striking 8-year old red roan stallion (Peptoboonsmal X Smart Little Easter) recorded two major 2012 wins in his first year in the bridle — the Magnificent 7 at Horse Expo in June, then the World’s Richest Stock Horse event at the National Stock Horse Association Futurity in August — and pushed his lifetime earnings to almost $200,000.