Bad news from the LA Times:
A flurry of recent stable closures has generated talk where equestrians gather about whether the Southern California horse culture can survive the sprawl of suburbia and its relentless appetite for onetime ranch land.
In December, a collection of ramshackle stalls near the city of Industry abruptly shut down, forcing out a small group of Mexican immigrants who had boarded their horses there at low cost.
The stables had been a gathering place for vaqueros from Zacatecas and Guerrero, and the closure prompted some of the families to give up their horses altogether. The loss follows the disappearance of many other stables along the San Gabriel River watershed.
Weeks later, officials in Orange County announced they might turn the county’s Fairgrounds Equestrian Center into a parking lot — the latest of many Orange County casualties. “There used to be stables all up and down the Santa Ana River, more than 20,” said Jim Meyer of the advocacy group Trails4All. “Now there are two left . . . and one of them is up for sale.”
The picture in other urban-adjacent areas around the state is similar.
Earlier this month, the Cevalo Riding Academy in San Jose closed its doors — the land prized for homes over equines even in this post-bubble environment.
Other stables giving way to homes or parking lots include the Wild Horse Valley Ranch in Napa, the equestrian showgrounds at the state fair in Sacramento and San Diego’s famed Miramar Stables, said Deb Balliet of the Equestrian Land Conservation Resource, an advocacy group based in Lexington, Ky.
It’s happening all over the country, but California “is being really hard hit,” Balliet said.