Go to FastAd#:
Be Sociable, Share!

A rising voice gets heard

Los Angeles Horse Council is on the trail to preservation

From Horsetrader staff reports - March 4th, 2010 - Feature Article

SHADOW HILLS – With the same spirit that has launched nations, a group of horsepeople in northeast Los Angeles has organized to get its due representation. And it’s working.
The agenda is an ambitious one:

  • License all Los Angeles horses
  • Educate city sanitation on horse manure as a resource
  • Fix anomalies in city codes that deal with animal keeping
  • Establish an equestrian “Bill Of Rights”

The nine-member board is just as ambitious, led by President Royan Herman, owner of Peacock Hill ranch and a self-described hot tempered Irishwoman who mixes hard work and passion into her heartfelt cause.

“I just fry when I see injustice being done and people who are involved can do something to prevent it,” says Herman, 67. Her experience in community groups began when she served on the Foothill Trails District Neighborhood Council, one of more than 80 such ad hoc committees in L.A. The irksome issue that sparked horsepeople of Shadow Hills, Lakeview Terrace and La Tuna Canyon to create the Los Angeles Horse Council was manure. When the Department of Sanitation moved to disallow delivery of manure by local commercial barns to a mulching facility, Herman says it put them in a jam.

Royan Herman of Peacock Hill Ranch in Shadow Hills and President of the L.A. Horse Council

Royan Herman of Peacock Hill Ranch in Shadow Hills and President of the L.A. Horse Council

“Such stunts are not new in local government,” says Herman, so to protect the equestrian industry, the new L.A. Horse Council is preparing the submit the Equestrian Bill of Rights (see sidebar) to the Los Angeles City Council for adoption and enactment.

The group hopes for 5,000 petition signatures by summer and has collected about 2,000, Herman said.

“And they’ve all been the hard way,” she notes. “Going to Equine Affaire, going to equestrian events, going to a tack store and setting up a table — any place we can stand where people will sign a document or stop long enough to sign a document.”

The drive is to show the council the weight behind equestrians in Los Angeles.

“We hope to have enough bonafide signatures to put in front of the City Council and say, `please take this seriously’,” said Herman, who was recognized in 2009 with the Spirit of Johnny Carpenter award for outstanding service in equestrian communities.

“We want them to understand that this is not a joke. We are not a splinter group. We generate $7 billion in the state and in the city close to $1 billion a year — would you please consider that we exist?

L.A. Horse Council President Royan Herman goes over a petititon for the Equestrian Bill Of Rights with Sharon Thorpe Rutz of Shadow Hills, owner of Cowboy Café.

L.A. Horse Council President Royan Herman goes over a petititon for the Equestrian Bill Of Rights with Sharon Thorpe Rutz of Shadow Hills, owner of Cowboy Café.

“What this is about is very simple. It’s something we’ve always wanted – not a Bill of Rights, just recognition of a viable group that deserves to continue. What we’re doing is riding on the coattails of this bicycle advisory committee, and they have submitted to the City Council a bicyclist Bill Of Rights.”

The group’s campaign to license horses in Los Angeles is moving at a fast trot, too. In a few months, the census of horses has more than doubled with the L.A. Horse Council’s efforts, from about 1,800 to 3,800. (Form is available on the LAHC website: http://www.losangeleshorsecouncil.org).

“That’s giving us a little better voice,” Herman said. “At least they know to check with the horse people. What they are hearing from us for the first time is that we really don’t care whether they utilize that $14 license fee to maintain trails or whether they throw it wherever. All we’re attempting to do is create a correct census so that when the time comes to speak for horsepeople, they are forced to recognize that there are quite a few horsepeople. Folks are getting that.”

The group also gets out and rides together. On April 10 at Griffith Park, the L.A. Horse Council will put on an ACTRA trail ride along with the Gene Autry Museum to raise funds.
“The money will go to the horse council to try and help with the bill of rights and any other problems we’re facing,” said Herman.

To learn more about the Los Angeles Horse Council or to obtain a form for licensing a horse, go to: http://www.losangeleshorsecouncil.org/

To download a file of the Los Angeles Horse Council’s Equestrian Bill Of Rights, click here.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Comment

All fields must be filled in to leave a message.