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2018 rendering of Atwater Bridge

ATWATER VILLAGE—A long-awaited bridge spanning the Los Angeles River that was built to accommodate equestrians was closed before its grand opening celebration when a horse had to be euthanized following an accident Jan. 17 on the new structure.

Grant Berg, 2006-2020

TEMECULA—Grant Berg, who inspired many worldwide both inside and outside the equestrian community with his courageous battles with chronic health afflictions, passed away Jan. 8.

Grant, born on Mother’s Day, May 14, 2006, is survived by his parents, Mike and Kristi Berg, his brother Gavin, grandparents Max and Sue Berg, grandmother Tina Bevan, grandfather Ted Brough, and Ian Bevan.

Justin Wright, NRCHA Million Dollar Rider

SANTA MARIA—Justin Wright’s 17-year journey as part of the National Reined Cow Horse Association’s competitive circuit has reached a benchmark as the NRCHA’s newest One Million Dollar Rider.

The 33-year-old native California trainer has come a long way.

Horsewomen of Temecula Wine Country

PASADENA—The Pasadena Tournament of Roses has selected 17 equestrian groups to ride in the 131st Rose Parade on New Year’s Day, and the list includes 13 units from California—including the Horsewomen of Temecula Wine Country (California Horsetrader article, August issue).

Presented by Honda, this year’s parade theme is “The Power of Hope,” and equestrians participating in the Rose Parade will showcase a variety of breeds as well as unique tack and costumes. All riders must have previous parade riding experience. In addition to riding in the five and a half mile-long Rose Parade route on Wednesday, Jan. 1, these equestrian groups are invited to take part in Equestfest presented by Wells Fargo, which will take place on Sunday, Dec. 29, at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. During Equestfest, groups perform trick riding, drills, dancing and roping skills, and attendees can walk through the stables and speak with the riders.

Buck Martin, City of San Marcos Parks and Recreation Director, at TOVEA meeting

SAN MARCOS—Horses are an asset to the community, say San Marcos city staff, and future improvements to equestrian facilities are on the way.

That was the message from Buck Martin, City of San Marcos Parks and Recreation Director, and Art Sotelo, Public Works Manager for Parks and Landscape, at the Feb. 25 community forum held by the Twin Oaks Valley Equestrian Association.

Hoof Haven Farms after the Feb. 14 flood

FALLBROOK—With nearly six inches of rain over two days, the Fallbrook area had more precipitation than it could handle— and Hoof Haven Farms is still recovering.

More than a third of the farm’s 40 horses had to be evacuated Feb. 14 when a small creek swelled to a raging current that overtook a crossing to several pens on the property, then changed course and wiped out all the pens that boarded senior horses.

“Pumkin”, a 4-year-old Palomino gelding by HF Mobster. (Courtesy photo)

“Pumkin”, a 4-year-old Palomino gelding by HF Mobster. (Courtesy photo)

LAS VEGAS, Nev.—With a record-setting sale-topper and an overall average of $25,800, the Twombly Performance Horse Sale Dec. 7-8 proved a hit attraction at the Mandalay Bay Resort. Held during the National Finals Rodeo in the Roper Cowboy Marketplace, the sale-topper went for $100,000 and attracted bidders from 26 states and Canada.

The top five averaged $50,900, and the top 15 average was $34,500.

When the hammer fell on Lot 4, “Pumkin”, became Twombly’s all-time, high-selling horse! The beautiful 4-year-old Palomino gelding is an own son of HF Mobster. He has had reining training and went to a repeat buyer in Arizona, show officials said.

Lot 15, “Doodle”, who found a new home with repeat buyers from Kansas, sold for $42,500. The son of Mister Dual Pep is a finished reiner with earnings and is a gem to ride on the ranch.

NEW YORK—The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals announced that it has granted $125,000 to three organizations to support their efforts to create one-of-a-kind, innovative programs that keep owned horses out of risk and in their homes.

The ASPCA Equine Welfare Safety Net Innovation Grant Program inspires new thinking and initiatives to improve equine welfare and expand safety net services for equines. The grant program supports new initiatives designed to identify owners with at-risk horses to deliver services and resources to help keep horses in their homes or provide access to euthanasia to alleviate suffering.

LANCASTER—Many folks told Madison Fay Wagner this would not be a good year for her to run for the Miss California Rodeo title. At 19, they said, she was too young—most candidates are in their 20s—and they also told her there were too many other strong candidates.

But the Valley Center native stuck to her plan and not only ran, she won the coveted title.

“I was told that I didn’t have a chance,” says Wagner, who became eligible for the pagent last spring when she was named queen of the Valley Center PRCA Rodeo. “I took this as incentive to ride even more, study even harder, and practice, practice, practice. While advice is well-intentioned, it can also be misplaced. Have confidence in your ability and don’t underestimate yourself.”

SAN MARCOS—The City of San Marcos has a new mounted ranger, Cortney Pache, patrolling its extensive trails system, and she is looking for volunteers.

Cortney Pache

Cortney Pache

Mounted patrol volunteers are sought in order to assist the City by providing safe and enjoyable trail use for park visitors and the community. Applicants must be an experienced rider aged 18 or higher, have their own or have reasonable access to an equine in good condition and sound health, and be able to get to Walnut Grove Equestrian Park or Double Peak Park and its surrounding trails.

Horses have some guidelines to meet, too, and they are available online at: san-marcos.net/outdooradventures.