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June 1, 2020


19


are a lot of people who don’t like rodeo. What is the claim this time?


DALE: Same old story. One of the folks on the animal control board went to the PBR. Now, the four cowboys got hurt and zero bulls got hurt. But she decided that it shouldn’t be any more. So we got news of it across our equine advisory desk. Now, I may be an old bull rider, but I started with litle britches. junior rodeo. High school rodeo. I was No. 2 in the nation in college rodeo in 1983. I had a full-ride scholarship. My sister did also. There are a lot of folks out there in the whole rodeo industry. But the beautiful part about it was at the Equine Advisory Commitee meeting, we had a bunch of peo- ple who were siting there talking together. and I mentioned there is going to a ban on rodeo. And these folks had been coming to our meetings for so long. I had a hunt- er-jumper lady who raised her hand and said, “if they are aſter rodeo now, wont they be aſter us next?” I about fell out of my chair. Now we were a community. Now we’ve got stuff going on where we are together — it doesnt mater what your discipline is, what kind of horse, where you keep your horse. Like I try to tell people — even if you want to own a horse one day or want to rent a horse — if you like the lifestyle, get involved. That’s one reason I’m very proud of some of the work we’ve done with our EAC. We’ve started making that kind of impact.


HT: And the conenction of horse and rider is at the root.


DALE: I find that we’ve taken horses as part of our outreach downtown to City Hall. Literally, in the middle of the city, we had horses there. You see people come out with a suit and who were too busy for anything else, and they’d walk up to the horse. You get to see a whole different side of people. One of our favorite city councilmen was Tom LaBonge, who with Wendy Greuel actually


started the Equine Advisory Group back in 2009. I saw Tom — he’s great with people and can talk all day — get around a horse, and he turned into this whole other person.


HT: Many of us are living in an urban envi- ronment, and you are dealing with what is going on within the community of Los Angles. That’s not out on the range any more. A lot of challenges hit us. What are some of the things we can do about disasters and preparation?


DALE: I like to say L.A. is kind of a city with a litle bit of country. We have a whole differ- ent breed of coyotes and a lot of time, they are the problem. Like I said before, we have to learn to come together on zoning issues to fight people who want to move next door to you. They will love the big property, but next thing you know, they build — we call them a McMansion — and they look over the fence and suddenly see the dust and start yelling, “hey you got to get your horses out of there!” That’s why we encourage people to get


involved. And get your horses licensed. I know a lot of cowboys, and horse owners, ask “why would I want to license my horse?” Well, what it does is it establiehes that you have horses — and you are there. For us, as a communcity that wants to work with the city, we need to show an economic impact. For instance, Texas has more horses than California. California spends almost an extra billion dollars a year in taking care of our fewer horses than Texas does, because we live in an urban environment. In greater Los Angeles, we’ve found that


there are 40,000 horses there. But think about all the horses that are there, and all the outside folks who touch base with that one horse, and we found there’s about 11 people — talking everything from the horse shoer to the veterinartian to the owner, to the rider, the trainer, feed stores, the people who make Horsetrader magazine — we’re all invested in this. It’s not just one horse. It is a huge, huge industry.


HT: What is the “Vulcan Pit”?


DG: Well, when the high-speed rail was going to come across the back of the ranch, Dave DePinto of Save Angeles Forest for Everyone (S.A.F.E.) called me and said, “Dale I want to bring some folks over to see the ranch. They they want to help us with the fight against the high-speed rail”. So they came over to the ranch, and we were standing around talking and I said to a lady, “ma’am, do you have horses?” SHe said, “yes, I do — I keep them in Alabama and my board’s about $1,100 a month.” I told her she must have hunter jumpers, and she started laughing — and she, indeed, did have hunter jumpers. And, we’ve been friends ever since. She was with Vulcan Materials Company, and she said, you know, Vulcan has wanted to do something for the horse community because it’s just good outreach, and we have these mining pits. They are big mining pits — the one pit that


we’ve actually been offered is 150 acres. It’s 150 ſt. deep with a sandy botom — beautiful ground. You could put a riding arena in there right away, which we plan on doing. What they’ve done is offer us this pit for the next 20 years, so instead of from now on, next fire people trying to evacuate and find places to go — this 100-acre pit we’re hoping to have 200 to 500 corral pens set up there so the next time there’s a fire, you drive directly to the Vulcan pit. You drive down in there. We put together a 501-3C, we’re organzied, we’re geting donations. We’ve already got our first $25,000 donation. We’re going to buy corral panels. Just like if you were going to a roping or a rodeo — just a line-up of 12x12 pipe coral panels but with enough room . We’re hoping in the next 10 to 15 years we’ll have enough room to get 500 to 1,000 horses down there. We’ve already talk- ed to local feed stores, when there’s a red flag warning and they think there might be a fire, they’ll deliver hay. There’s water down there.


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