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CHATSWORTH — Chatsworth equestrian community leader Mary Kaufman, a longtime president of ETI Corral 54, died unexpectedly March 24 on the second anniversary of the death of her favorite horse, Ace.

Kaufman, 68, who had endured a months-long battle with a troublesome hip replacement, also served of the board of the Chatsworth Neighborhood Council and was chair of the equestrian committee and chief organizer of the Council’s annual Day of the Horse festival.

Kaufman was appointed by Councilman Mitch Englander to the Los Angeles Equestrian Advisory Committee and was active with the West Valley Volunteer Mounted Patrol. She hosted Mayors Eric Garcetti and Antonio Villaraigosa, and Council Members Greig Smith and Englander and other dignitaries on horseback tours of Chatsworth’s hills and trails, promoting the need to preserve the rural environment.

Her community involvement was far-reaching. Kaufman visited local schools to educate kids about horses and equestrian safety while encouraging participation in the Annual Day of the Horse Poster Contest and awarding scholarships to contest winners.

As a result of her work with the San Fernando Valley Fair Board, Governor Schwarzenegger appointed Kaufman to the 51st Agricultural District where she served on the Board for the San Fernando Valley Fair. Having worked for the Foundation that managed Los Angeles Pierce College’s Equestrian Facility, Kaufman provided insight to facilitate the Fair’s negotiations with the College.

A native of Oakland and former resident of Calabasas, Kaufman moved to Chatsworth where she bought and remodeled a ranch on Chatsworth Street. That’s where she kept her horses: Oscar, a Palomino Quarter Horse; DeOsa, a bay Peruvian Paso; and Raven, a black Tennessee Walker, along with her dogs, Winston and Merlin.

According to her friends, after all the remodeling was done on her ranch in 2012, Kaufman said she loved being able to stand on the rear deck and look out on the backyard with her horses and dogs, saying “This is all I need — it’s all here in front of me, and I never have to leave.”
Among her survivors are her daughter, Karen Martell, son-in-law Ted Martell, granddaughter Chelsea Martell, grandson Timothy Martell, sister Jo Hays, and nephews Patrick and Shaun McGimsey.

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