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An ‘Army of One’

- February 1st, 2021

Lynn Brown leaves a legacy of horses in our communities

Special to the Horsetrader

Lynn Brown and her beloved Andalusian, Nova. (Courtesy photo)

LOS ANGELES – Lynn Brown, whose public advocacy for horse interests in Southern California and beyond was unparalleled, died Jan. 1 after a brief illness.

A lifelong rider with a relentless passion to protect equestrian rights, the choice for an equestrian lifestyle, and the right of horseback riders to the peaceful enjoyment of public trails, Lynn passed away at home with her son, Christopher, at her side.

Lynn was the only child of J. Woodson Brown, a Texas businessman and cattle rancher, and Genevieve Brewster, a Southern Belle. She was raised in Southern Colorado on a cattle ranch. From the time she could walk, she rode.

An accomplished horsewoman, Lynn trained and rode several horses over the years throughout Griffith Park. Some of her most memorable were Nikki, her mustang; Cleo, her Tennessee Walker; and Nova, her magnificent Andalusian.

For anyone who knew or worked with Lynn, she was unsurpassed in her advocacy, working tirelessly for 25 years to keep Griffith Park safe for equestrians and hikers, trail runners and birdwatchers.

Lynn Brown (center, in blue) and more than 100 riders from 17 organizations in the City of Los Angeles’s official Day of the Horse ceremony in October 2014 at City Hall. The annual event, sparked by the volunteer L.A. Equine Advisory Committee, reminds civic leaders of the importance of horses in their great city. (Betsy Annas photo)

During a three-year period from 1999 to 2002, Lynn engaged a coalition of community leaders, neighborhood councils, environmental organizations and horseback riders to protect the heritage horse and hiking trails within the Park. In a room of 200 angry and concerned equestrians, she started what would become a citywide effort to maintain L.A. Parks safe for its Western Heritage. In the process she became a true ally to the Sierra Club, Los Angeles Neighborhood Councils surrounding the Park, activists from Committee to Save Elysian Park, riders from the Burbank and Glendale Rancho communities and other local groups and organizations.

When Los Angeles City Planning once again revised its Bicycle Element, Lynn, as Deputy National Trail Coordinator for Equestrian Trails, Inc. (ETI), secured critical amendments to preserve historic dirt trails for safe riding experiences, again working with coalitions from prior battles.

Her success relied on four principles: seeking allies (locally and across California); writing fine advocacy articles and letters (her much beloved “talking points”); listening to others; and acting strategically. She could commandeer an army of advocates. A friend once remarked that she was “an army of one.”

To this day, the peaceful enjoyment of Historic Griffith Park and its Trails are due directly to the diligence and skills of Lynn Brown.

Beginning in 2005, she became a member of the Griffith Park Working Group, which was set up by the L.A. Recreation and Parks Department. Over the next several years came guiding influences, including A Vision for Griffith Park, Urban Wilderness Identity that champions the Park for its bio-diversity, native species, unstructured aesthetic and continued emphasis on the wilderness values as exemplified by equestrian uses in the park. Approximately 2,000 horses board adjacent to the Park, either in backyards or in boarding stables, as well as in horseback rental stables. Vision recognized the significant Park use by either owners or guardians on a daily basis.

In February 2009, Lynn worked with the late Councilman Tom LaBonge to accomplish a milestone in the city of Los Angeles: the official creation by the L.A. City Council of the Los Angeles Equestrian Advisory Committee, a 16-member citizen committee representing equestrians from all Council districts and the Mayor’s Office. Convened and managed by the L.A. Recreation and Parks Department, the LA-EAC soon began serving riders from South L.A., the Valley, the Westside — every Council District, and representing the diverse populations of the city who shared a common love for horseback riding. She helped raise funds for the Compton Junior Posse, now the Compton Cowboys. She arranged a carriage/team for Councilman La Bonge in the Toluca Lake Christmas Parade. She was thrilled to see the growing representation of Black Cowboys in the MLK Parades in 2018 and 2019. She brought back to prominence the recognition of the Day of the Horse at the Los Angeles City Council.

Without her diplomatic and persistent skills, the important representation of the horse community would not exist today.

She assisted the Rancho residents of Glendale and Burbank, and the Atwater community of Los Angeles, as a practiced voice in opposition to bad development and in support of good development. a few weeks before her death Jan. 1, 2021, she was instrumental in educating and securing opposition from local elected Burbank officials over a “proposal” for an aerial tram that would tear out the only public riding arena, Martinez Arena, in Griffith Park.

She was a polished and accomplished writer and frequently contributed articles to Western Horseman and California Horsetrader on a range of issues: Griffith Park, the Ranchos of Burbank and Glendale, how to make friends with a bureaucrat. As a consummate communicator, her candor and advice were sought and effective. She made many friends over the years with General Managers, Superintendents, Park Rangers and the much-beloved maintenance staff. Every year, she provided flowering bulbs, Honeybaked Hams and personal notes and cards to them.

Lynn is survived by her son, Christopher and daughter Feather. And the many friends she made from all walks life who shared her passion and love for the healing power of a horse. A Celebration of Her Life will be announced at a later date.

‘21 is on!

- January 31st, 2021

SCRCHA launches season with ‘January Kickoff’

By Sue Carter / for the Horsetrader

Charles Stevens takes his Smartest Hotshot to the Open Spectacular title at the SCRCHA January Kick Off event held Jan. 8-10 at California Ranch Company. (Danger Dingo photo)

TEMECULA — Ready to dust off 2020 and hit the show pen, the Southern California Reined Cow Horse Association launched its new season Jan. 8-10 with the Cow Horse Kickoff at California Ranch Company.

Beautiful weather, a great group of competitors and a return to a favorite venue added up to a super weekend that featured cutting and herd work on Friday and cow horse classes Saturday and Sunday.

On Friday, Roy Rich on Cat From Ipanema, owned by Rocking J Ranch, and Non Pro Melvin Reynolds on his Heatt started the weekend off by taking home a check and bragging rights in cutting. Rich and Cat From Ipanema also captured the Open herd work class, while Jeffrey Heyer, trained by Bob Grant, rode his PaddysStarlightChic to the Non Pro crown.

Saturday and Sunday’s cow horse classes were competitive with many familiar faces, as well as those out of the Southern California area, polishing their horses before heading to he NRCHA “Celebration of Champions” in Fort Worth, Texas, Feb. 9-20.

Tresha Geltner and Remedy To Shine, owned by Judith Adkison, vie in the herd work. (Danger Dingo photo)

The standouts in Open divisions were Grant in Open Bridle on Cynthia Baker’s Nic It Smartly, Rich and Very Smart Look, and Caitlyn Showalter on Brazilian Belle, owned by Mary Houston. Charles Stevens, fresh in from Hawaii, rode his Red Voodoo Remedy to titles in both junior horse classes. Rich also took the Circuit Championship in the Open Bridle, and Tresha Geltner riding Judith Adkison’s Remedy To Shine was Circuit Champion in the Limited Open Bridle.

Winning the Non Pro Bridle division on Saturday was the familiar pair Rachel Reedy, who trains under Sunni McCormick, aboard her Uno Whats Right. Sunday’s Non Pro Bridle winner was Tracy Lynch, who also trains under McCormick, aboard Jim Putnam’s CD Rock Slide. Lisa Fonsen, who trains with Rich, won her divisions riding her RJ Where’s My Sock. Non Pro Bridle Circuit Champions were Lynch (Non Pro Bridle and Intermediate Non Pro Bridle), Fonden (Novice Non Pro Bridle), and Catherine Deel (Non Pro Hackamore), who trains with Rich.

Nancy Nyjordet went home with the Non Pro Limited Circuit title after a winning performance with her Chickaroos Chance. (Danger Dingo photo)

The well-attended boxing division went to Nancy Nyjordet, another McCormick-trained rider, who took home the blues and the Non Pro Limited Circuit title on her Chickaroos Chance. Other Circuit Winners included Brenda Brown-trained riders Alexandra Veen in the 5K Division on her A Boy Named Su and Sheila Nash in the 1K riding her King Of The Coast.

In the Spectacular, Stevens won the Open on his Smartest Hotshot, with Fonden capturing the Non Pro on her RJ Where’s My Sock and Nyjordet winning the Non Pro Limited on her Chicaroo’s Chance.

More online: https://bit.ly/12Ascrcha

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

Riders enjoy the trails in San Marcos. (Horsetrader photo)

SAN MARCOS – An advisory five-person trails committee — none of whom are equestrians — voted 5-0 in a virtual meeting Jan. 13 to recommend to the City of San Marcos that e-bikes be allowed on the city-run trail system.

The matter now moves to a Feb. 17 Parks and Recreation Committee meeting. City staff will be recommending that the Parks and Rec Commission request the trails advisory council to further explore and analyze e-bikes on city trails —and to bring back any findings or policy changes. Parks and Rec would then determine whether or not to recommend approval to the City Council at a future date.

Public comments received by Feb. 10 will be included in the agenda packet. All public input should be emailed to toshinski@san-marcos.net with “public comment” in the subject line.

Under present municipal code, e-bikes and other motorized vehicles are prohibited on San Marcos City trails.

More online: https://bit.ly_1trailmtg

New horse owner guide

- January 31st, 2021

By Daniel H. Grove, DVM

Horse And Rider photo

With all of the changes in the last year due to COVID-19, people’s lives have shifted. One benefit I see is that people have been forced into outdoor activities. This has led to an increase in horseback riding lessons and horse ownership. For all of those new horse owners out there, I thought a little insight into the costs of ownership and some items you should have on hand as a new horse owner.

The expensive part of owning a horse starts after the purchase. While there is often time a significant upfront investment into owning a horse, it really is, usually, just a drop in the bucket. Let us look at a list of things you should budget for in your monthly expenses with horse ownership.

1) Board. Food and board are a constant recurring expense. Expect to pay between $250 to over $500 per month

2) Training. If you are new to the hobby, you are going to need help learning the ropes. Expect to pay from $200 per month for a few lessons each week to well over $1000 per month for full training.

3) Farrier. You thought your kids’ shoes were expensive! (I know my mother was always complaining when my shoe size changed frequently) Horses are significantly more. Expect to pay $75-$500 every 6-8 weeks, depending upon your horse’s needs.

4) Veterinarian. I am going to lump deworming, vaccines, dentistry and all other types of veterinary care into this category. Expect to pay at a minimum $500 per year. This does not include any emergencies. To put a high number on the other end would be just a wild guess. It is highly dependent upon any conditions that require long term medication or surgeries. The good news is that insurance is available to help with those unexpected expenses.

Well, there is a sampling of the ongoing expenses you can expect with horse ownership. From a veterinarian’s point of view, here is a list of things you should have on hand

1) Halter and lead rope. Some might think this is obvious, but I have been on appointments where the owner did not have one and expected me to be able to deal with their horse that was not used to one.

2) Thermometer. A 10-second thermometer works great. Yes, it does need to be taken rectally.

3) Brushes, hoof pick, and other grooming items. You need to be able to help keep their coat and feet clean!

4) Fly spray. Whenever livestock is around, these pests follow!

5) A Fly mask. See number 4!

6) Fly sheet, blanket, cooler. These items might be optional, depending upon your locale

7) Your veterinarian’s phone number handy. You need to have this in case of an emergency. There is nothing more stressful than trying to find help when you really need it. Develop a relationship with your veterinarian prior to needing them for an emergency. There are many practices that do not even see emergencies for patients that they have not done routine work for in the past.

Well, hopefully I have given you some foresight into some of the expenses of owning a horse and some things to have on hand. These lists are very basic and definitely not all inclusive. Each horse home will have different requirements and levels of care they are able and/or willing to give to their horses. If you are going to jump into horse ownership, make sure you have at least open eye open prior to doing so.

It is a ton of fun, but you are dealing with a life and that is going to require some care. Good luck!


From Horsetrader sales staff

Obstacles aren’t insurmountable, especially for distance riders! Instead of their usual in-person convention this March, the American Endurance Ride Conference decided to go virtual with their 2021 Unconventional Convention. Participants can watch live on both days, March 6-7, and content will remain available to watch throughout the month.

Open to interested equestrians in the U.S., Canada and around the world, the convention features eight seminars that will appeal to everyone from new riders to experienced endurance enthusiasts. Vendors will have virtual booths, and many are offering convention-only specials. The convention also includes raffles, including one for a Treeless Saddle, valued at more than $3,000, donated by Saddle Up LLC. Awards and virtual get-togethers for various regions are scheduled for Friday afternoon, with the national awards ceremony presentation on Saturday to close out the convention.

“Although our in-person conventions are always terrific, going virtual this year will allow many more people to experience an AERC convention,” said AERC Executive Director Kathleen Henkel. “The opportunity to see so many eminent speakers for such a low cost is one that should appeal to trail riders and distance riders alike.”

The seminar schedule can be accessed in real time, which allows attendees to present questions and comments to the speakers. Can’t make one or more of the seminars live? The seminars can be watched at any time through March 2021.

Through Feb. 18, the cost to attend all convention activities is $60 ($50 for current AERC members). Additional household members are an extra $10. After Feb. 18, the cost increases to $65 for the first attendee.

For full details, schedule and speaker bios, and a link to convention registration, see http://AERC.org/2021conventioninfo.pdf

We would like to congratulate incoming California Reining Horse Association President, Tom Foran — not just for his office, but also to Tom and his wife, Daphne, on the birth of their son, Wyatt! Tom, a longtime CRHA member and supporter, and Daphne run Foran Performance Horses in Santa Clarita. He says he’s excited to serve as CRHA President again, and he’s looking forward to 2021.

“The past year has been very challenging, and I think Mike Berg did a fabulous job as president,” said Tom. “In fact, the entire board met the many difficulties of 2020 and positioned the club to have a very productive and fun-filled 2021.”

For more info on CRHA, see ad on page 39. The Foran Performance Horse ad is on page 27.

Thinking about a new barn? North Coast Barns can deliver with The Millennium Barn. Modular horse barns have been constructed the same way for years, but North Coast Barns has implements newer technology and has changed the direction of barn production with state-of-the-art state of the art materials as well as considering the long-term environmental impact of the materials used. The Millennium Barn, exclusive to North Coast Barns, is a steel skeleton with the wall material consisting of a man-made tongue and groove product designed to replace wood. The composite material is specifically designed to perform in the harshest of climates while maintaining its beauty and durability — with the least amount of maintenance. Imagine — no painting, no warped boards, no rot, a resistance to insects, and the beauty of wood without the problems inherent with wood construction. That is The Millennium Barn, currently available in three colors: cedar, slate and mahogany. For more info, see the North Coast Barns ad on page 44.