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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

The power of ‘why’

- August 28th, 2020

By Sheryl Lynde | Horsetrader columnist

I always want to know why a horse does what he does. If he bucks…why? If he rears…why? Is he fearful…why?

This question kept me up at night as I thought about a troubled horse or colt that had come to me for help.

When Smokey arrived, he was a wreck waiting to happen. He was three at the time and had 30 days of prior training. He had a level of fear that was going to get someone hurt. I led him into the round pen to give him room and time to settle, but as I walked out he spooked and fell to the ground.


- August 1st, 2019

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

Every year around this time, I like to remind everyone how important it is to keep an eye on some things to help your horse navigate its way through this time of year.

As with all year round, water is very important. With the added stress of hot weather, it is very important to supply endless cool, fresh and clean water. Things that can decrease water intake are hot water, dirty water, different water or contaminated water. Please, check the water often to make sure it is pristine. If traveling, a trick my assistant likes to use is to give her horse a second water bucket with a sports drink mix in it for about a week prior to going to the event. Then, at your destination, you can add the sports drink mix to the new water to hide the different taste!

Arizona Rein

- November 2nd, 2018

Bob Avila was headliner presenter at the Best of The West Boot Camp clinic.

Bob Avila was headliner presenter at the Best of The West Boot Camp clinic.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—With more than $100,000 in added prize money and some of reining’s biggest names, the Arizona Reining Horse Association’s The Best of the West highlighted the season for the host Arizona Reining Horse Association. The show featured the fund-raising Reining Boot Camp, designed for green, rookie and non pro riders who were introduced to other reiners, local affiliate volunteers and multiple trainers and had their maneuvers evaluated without the pressure of a show. Boot Camps benefit the RHF Dale Wilkinson Memorial Crisis Fund, helping reiners enduring hardships.

More online: http://bit.ly/811_AZRHA

Happy (and safe) trails

Former mounted officer Mo Parga is bringing up new volunteers

- June 1st, 2018

1806A CoverSAN MARCOS — If you drove past the Walnut Grove Equestrian Park arena on a recent Saturday about lunchtime, you may have seen the mayhem.

There were loud protesters shoving signs at 15 people on horseback, including some kids. There were smoke bombs, loud music, and some large, strange-looking beings.

But all was OK. The riders also had complete control — with the help of Mo Parga.

Parga, a San Diego native who retired last month after nearly 33 years in the San Diego Police Department, was one of the clinicians at the City of San Marcos Day of the Horse May 20 in one of the county’s only municipal equestrian facilities. For years, Parga headed the now-disbanded mounted unit with the SDPD, but her passion for horses, community and volunteerism has spawned a new chapter — helping to form, train and coach volunteer patrols for local community trails.

“I have a love for the volunteers, and if I can help promote more volunteer mounted trail groups, I’ll be happy,” says Parga, who lives in El Cajon with her husband, a retired narcotics sergeant on the SDPD, and their horses. “The trail volunteers are good PR and eyes and ears for the rangers — not enforcement. San Marcos is going to have some eyes and ears for the rangers on the horses.”

Horse Vacations

- March 1st, 2018

Here are some get-aways when you want to escape from everything except your horse

Coffee Creek Ranch
Trinity Center, Calif.
(800) 624-4480

Coffee Creek Ranch

This 367-acre guest ranch is nestled in the Trinity Alps Wilderness Area of Northern California. Coffee Creek, an excellent fly-fishing stream, runs wild year-round for a half-mile through the ranch where you can pan for gold, tube and fish. Planned activities include horseback riding, bonfires, trapshooting, bingo, volleyball, line dancing and archery, to name a few. The outdoor pool and creekside Jacuzzi spa are perfect places to watch the stars while your mind and body soothe back-to-nature.

Hearty breakfasts are served in the ranch house or out on the trail, as well as poolside lunches and western barbecues under the stars! Coffee Creek’s professional chefs prepare all your meals from garden-to-table, using the freshest herbs, vegetables, and fruits. Special diets can be accommodated.

Specially-designed Summer Youth Programs are offered from June 9 to August 24, with great savings at the beginning and end of summer. Programs include Bronc Busters teens 13-17; Junior Wranglers 6-12; Cowboys & Cowgirls 3-5 have special pony rides, and a Kiddie Korral for those under 3 is FREE. Wilderness Pack Trips to one of the 42 sparkling alpine lakes (summer through fall) are also offered. See ad on page 64

Dude Ranchers’ Assn. of North America
(866) 399-2339

The very welcoming Dude Ranchers’ Association, representing over 100 of the best dude ranches and guest ranch vacations in the West, is a great resource for vacations throughout the continent. Founded in 1926, the Dude Ranchers’ Association was formed to preserve this special way of life and the wonderful environment in which dude ranching takes place. When you vacation at a member ranch, you can be sure of a quality vacation. Membership requires a rigorous two-year inspection and approval process that ensures guests are treated to genuine western hospitality combined with the lodging industry’s highest standards.

A vacation experience like no other destination, the association’s ranches offer all-inclusive vacations that are perfect for solo travelers, multi-generational families and corporate events. Horseback riding, hiking, fishing, swimming, cycling, zip lining, white water rafting, rodeos, camp fire sing-a-longs, western dancing, fine dining and more await your discovery.

There is a little cowboy in all of us, and the Dude Ranchers’ Association is ready to help you find yours. See ad on page 61

Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch
Winston, N.M.
(575) 772-5157

Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch

You’ll find serenity and solitude at Geronimo Trail Guest Ranch! Beneath its 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. Eighty-five miles from the nearest stoplight, evidence of the intrusion of modern man is virtually absent. Yet the mountains and canyons evoke the heritage of the American cowboy and abound with relics of Native American societies who have gone before us. By horseback you will explore the pristine, 3.3 million-acre Gila National Forest with its spectacular deep canyons, crystal clear, spring-fed streams, high mountain overlooks, open meadows and sweet-smelling Ponderosa forests. You will learn about the Mimbres people who lived here from 200-1150 AD and will have opportunities to explore cliff dwellings and pit houses as well as see pictographs and pottery shards left behind by these ancient people! This special place is open March through mid-November. See ad on page 66

Heartline Ranch
Chiloquin, Ore.
(541) 887-9013

Heartline Ranch

Cowboy Bob has been working with horses for many years, using natural horsemanship methods. Heartline Ranch, down the road from Crater Lake on the Crater Lake Highway, offers horse rides in Klamath Falls and a horsey campground for those who travel with horses. Cowboy Bob has taken more than 1,000 people on trail rides all throughout the Rocky Mountains and Oregon. Bob’s wife Kori is a professional artist (www.KoriGuyArt.com) who has an intuitive way with horses and does her art while we are riding. You’ll experience trail rides through some of the most beautiful country in the Northwest. You can ride Heartline’s trustworthy mounts or bring your own, as the 450-acre ranch beside the Winema National Forest has campsites that include two 12-foot x 12-foot stalls for your horses. For the adventurous, ther is a full-sized, authentic teepee to rent. There is also an outdoor arena and plans to put in an obstacle course. Heartline Ranch’s season usually begins in May, but it really depends on the weather, which has been crazy! See ad on page 60

Hondoo Rivers & Trails
Torrey, Utah
(435) 425-3519

Hondoo Rivers & Trails

Since 1975, Pat Kearney and Gary George have taken great pride in their tradition of providing personalized service for those interested in exploring the backcountry of Utah’s Colorado Plateau. Headquartered in the canyonlands at Torrey, Utah, near Capitol Reef National Park, Hondoo offers a full schedule of custom day or multi-day horseback riding, hiking and jeep tours, featuring camping or inn lodging. Hondoo implements low-impact and “leave no trace” techniques such as small group size, well-maintained equipment and top-notch horses. Guests can enjoy the stunningly diverse Utah landscape and dark skies, red rock formations and canyons, pristine meadows, alpine forests and lush green meadows surrounded by mountains—both in solitude or with group itineraries. They’ll create a customized itinerary for you, your family or your group. Hondoo is locally owned and operated with a long history and deep familiarity of the landscape and region. Other activities include fishing, wildlife viewing and even simply a quiet picnic within places such as Zion National Park, Bryce National Park and a multitude of State Parks. See ad on page 60

Hunewill Guest Ranch
Bridgeport, Calif.
Summer (760) 932-7710 • Winter office (775) 465-2201

Hunewill Guest Ranch

Hunewill Guest Ranch is located on the eastern slope of the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains bordering Yosemite National Park. The ranch has been family-owned and operated since 1861. It has been a working cattle ranch since the late 1800s, and a dude ranch since 1931. All-inclusive stays of various lengths feature amazing horseback riding, great meals, cozy cabins, and activities for all ages. Singles, couples, and families are welcome. Bring your own horse or ride one of Hunewill’s. The season is May through October with its annual cattle drive in November. The Hunewill Ranch is scenic, historical, and a great place for a fun, rejuvenating vacation. Rates vary depending upon length of stay, single or double occupancy, and children’s ages. From $258 – $2,945 per person. See ad on page 33

Lake Cuyamaca Cabins
Julian, Calif.
(760) 765-0515

Lake Cuyamaca Cabins

About an hour’s drive from San Diego, Lake Cuyamaca is a picture-book, 110-acre lake that is proof positive that good things come in small packages. Situated at an elevation of 4,600 feet in an oak and pine forest, it is surrounded on three sides by the 26,000-acre Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, which is 52 percent wilderness. Lake Cuyamaca is the perfect getaway for one day or up to 10 nights. Few places in San Diego County offer the pristine views that greet your eyes wherever they may wander!

Stocked with over 38,000 lbs. of trout annually, Lake Cuyamaca is the only San Diego lake that is able to stock trout all year long. Besides fishing, there are many other activities for the avid outdoorsman and the whole family.

The Lake Cuyamaca cabins with lake or Stonewall Mountain views are a newer installation to the park, offering full kitchens and bath and sleeping up to six people. There’s also an ADA accessible cabin that sleeps four. Unique to these cabins are the complimentary horse corral for your equine friends, or choose a complimentary motor boat for the avid fisherman. The cabins are just steps to the Rancho Cuyamaca riding and hiking trails. If you have heard about “Horse Glamping”, this is it! See ad on page 63

Monterey Bay Equestrians 17th Annual Poker Ride & Campout

Monterey Bay Equestrians

Enjoy a weekend of camping with your horse at the 17th Annual Monterey Bay Equestrians Poker Ride & Campout, April 13-15 at the Los Robles Horse Camp on the north shore of Lake San Antonio, just above Paso Robles. Ride at your leisure through miles of rolling hills and moderately challenging trails with spectacular views from the north shore of the lake. Enjoy hearty and scrumptious meals catered by the famous Mansmiths, starting with dinner Friday night and ending with breakfast Sunday morning. Taste premium wines from Central Coast Wineries and take home a souvenir wine glass. Sign up for the Obstacle Trail Challenge with a customized buckle for Advanced 1st place and a trophy for Novice. Horse Camp includes corrals, hot showers and flush toilets, arena, round pen, manure bins, wash racks and miles of trails. Cost is only $38 per rig, per night. Meals and activities are additional and optional. For more information, visit montereybayequestrians.org, or email Sunday Minnich at sminnich@redshift.com. See ad on page 62

Rancho Oso Guest Ranch & Stables
Santa Barbara, Calif.
(805) 683-5687

Rancho Oso Guest Ranch & Stables

Bordered by the Los Padres National Forest and the Santa Ynez River, Rancho Oso RV Camping offers acres of beautiful scenery and endless opportunities for horseback riding, hiking, and photography. Spectacular forest and mountain scenery combined with the rich history of Rancho Oso provide one the most memorable riding and recreational experiences found anywhere in California. Explore 310 beautiful acres of its RV camp filled with history that dates back to 1845.

Visit the adobe, stables, stone lodge and the unique amenities we have to offer at Rancho Oso. Rancho Oso encourages you to participate in its recreational events and entertainment, or sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery and wildlife native to the beautiful area. Rancho Oso offers full hook-up RV sites, upgraded cabins, Conestoga wagons, big corrals, arena, round pen, heated pool and spa, delicious weekend meals and camp store, and it provides overnight guests with all the comforts of home. This is horse-glamping at its finest. Ranch Oso is also just a scenic 30-minute drive from Solvang and the Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez wine country. See ad on page 59

Rock Creek Pack Station
Bishop, Calif.
(760) 872-8331

Since 1947, Rock Creek Pack Station has been offering wilderness and outdoor vacations in the Eastern Sierra, under the ownership of the London family. The London family is dedicated to serving the public, taking care of the land, making sure the horses and mules of the operation have happy and meaningful lives, and that the crew has a good time and is fairly compensated for their hard work and dedication. You can experience all the beauty of the Eastern Sierra that naturally comes with Rock Creek Pack Station’s many rides, excursions and packing schools.

One of the most popular rides is the “Parent/Child Trail Ride” in the John Muir Wilderness—it is three days of camping, riding, fishing and fun. The four-day “Mustang Trip” allows Rock Creek to track wild horses and relive the Old West in the seldom-visited Pizona area of the Inyo National Forest. The “Owens Valley Horse Drive” is the most exciting four days of the year, as you move horses and mules between Rock Creek’s range in the Owens Valley and to its Pack Station in the high Sierra. Or, let Rock Creek Pack Station plan your private all-expense trip for any size group or join an open ride. The 2018 season schedule is online now, so book your trip today! See ad on page 59

One hour north of the Golden Gate Bridge, The Point Reyes Country Inn and Stables is your headquarters for days of relaxation, outdoor activities and fine dining. Located a close distance to the Point Reyes National Seashore, the Golden Gate National Recreational Area and Tomales Bay State Park, the Country Inn makes for an excellent base for exploring the mile of coastal trails.

Point Reyes Country Inn and Stables
Point Reyes Station, Calif.

Point Reyes Country Inn and Stables

There are three levels of accommodations for the equestrian enthusiast. The Groom’s Quarters, over the stables, consists of two studios, each with queen bed and kitchen, and an additional room with three twin beds for total accommodations for seven; it is well suited for groups. The Bed and Breakfast is a five-bedroom inn with an inviting living room with large fireplace and French doors leading to a sunny deck overlooking Point Reyes Peninsula. All come with private baths, one king or queen bed per room, and welcoming balcony or deck. Two intimate Cottages on the Bay, located seven miles from the Inn and Stables in the village of Inverness, are romantic, private, and have the best views of Tomales Bay in the area. Each sleep two adults and have full kitchens. The cottages are a tranquil oasis.

Horse accommodations include a 10-stall stable, six outdoor pipe corrals and three large paddocks. One can trailer a short distance to the Point Reyes National Seashore and venture out to over 100 miles of wooded trails with pastoral/ scenic views, and long sandy beaches. See ad on page 65

Ten Broek RV Park, Cabins & Horse Hotel
Ten Sleep, Wyo.
(307) 366-2250

Ten Broek RV Park, Cabins & Horse Hotel

Ten Sleep, Wyoming, offers spectacular views of the Big Horn Mountains to the east and red buttes to the south and west. Located on Highway 16, the main tourist route from Mount Rushmore to Yellowstone Park, the area around Ten Sleep is 85 percent public land. With great back country roads for scenic drives, archaeological sites, unique rock formations, wildlife viewing, and breathtaking mountains, lakes and streams; horseback riding, hiking, biking and fishing opportunities abound.

Darell and Bonnie Ten Broek, have been welcoming travelers from across the U.S. and abroad, many of whom return year after year. Ten Broek RV Park, Cabins, and Horse Hotel is a hub of activity serving as basecamp for adventurers on the road. Their meticulously maintained RV park offers 52 full-service pull-through RV sites, six cabins and three bunkhouses with heat/AC, grassy/ shaded tent sites and great facilities for your horses (with hay and feed available).

Just walk across the street to the friendly little town of Ten Sleep with a grocery store, coffee shop, ice cream parlor, senior center with exercise equipment, a 12-year school, convenience store, motels, churches and saloons (one with a steakhouse). The 4th of July weekend brings an exciting rodeo and the three-day music festival in August has the mountains singing. See ad on page 65

InGate graphicPat Parelli will be teaching a natural horsemanship clinic Southern California May 12-14 at the Ingalls Park Arena in Norco. This year celebrates 35 years of the Parelli Program, which teaches riders how to gain leadership with their horses, how to better communicate, and how to get the best results. Pat’s coaching focuses on safety, ethical treatment and effectiveness.

The Parelli program is for horses of all breeds — western, English, gaited horses or other types of riding. Pat is a master teacher who helps riders correctly develop a foundation so that horses accept additional training that leads toward specialization in a particular discipline. It’s the foundation to all disciplines and recreational riding. Pat helps people solve problems so that they can gain more enjoyment with their horses — and reduce accidents.

Saddlebred dies of EHV-1 in L.A. County

Returned Oct. 30 from Las Vegas horse show

From Horsetrader staff reports - November 4th, 2016

BURBANK — State officials confirmed Nov. 4 that two ill horses at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center have tested positive for equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) after they had returned Oct. 30 from a horse show in Las Vegas, Nev.
One of the horses, a 5-year-old Saddlebred,horse in stall was euthanized Nov. 3 because of the severity of its clinical signs, the California Department of Food and Agriculture reported.
Out of an abundance of caution, the CDFA has issued a quarantine for exposed horses at the facility and has implemented enhanced biosecurity measures. All exposed horses will have temperatures taken twice daily and will be observed for clinical signs compatible with EHV.
While the CDFA investigates the source of the virus and monitors for any potential spread, officials and L.A. Equestrian Center staff encourage owners of horses exposed to the area to follow basic protocols in the days ahead:

Stories of Summer

By Pam Maley / for the Horsetrader - August 4th, 2016

A Father-Daughter Bond
Petite and sweet-natured — and at the same time, powerful and competitive — Josephina Nor Lantzman is a truly elegant rider. Known as Phina, she has worked with a number of trainers, but she says that her father, Fabio Nor, is the best coach a daughter could have. Together, they seem to be able to bring out the potential greatness in a horse.

Fabio has a strong history in the racing industry, and it was at the racetrack that a very young Phina got her first ride — on an exercise pony, in the stall. She was two years old, and Fabio says that he knew then that she had a special gift with horses. When asked what is her favorite thing about them, she says, “Their smell, their eyes . . . everything about them. I just love them.”

Beach Slide

CRHA Aug. 3 show hits Huntington Beach

From Horsetrader staff - August 21st, 2014

Rebecca Armour and San Cielo Ray went home from the CRHA Slide On The Beach reining event on Aug. 3 with four titles, including the Non Pro championship.

Rebecca Armour and San Cielo Ray went home from the CRHA Slide On The Beach reining event on Aug. 3 with four titles, including the Non Pro championship.

Roberta McCarty photo

HUNTINGTON BEACH — Like the weather, reining competition heats up in the summer, so the California Reinng Horse Association took its schedule to the beach for an Aug. 3 show at the Huntington Beach Central Park Equestrian Center.

The headliner was non-pro Rebecca Armour, who took her San Cielo Ray to titles in Non Pro, Intermediate Non Pro, Limited Non Pro and Novice Horse Non Pro divisions. Monica Albair was judge at the one-day event, which also had Jack and Linda Baker qualifying classes.

The next CRHA event will be the big one — The Challenge, scheduled Oct. 22-26 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center.

MORE INFO: www.calreining.com