October 2017 - 8080 Place

Rest, relaxation and strengthening for equine athletes.

by Cheryl Erpelding

After many years of working out of the busy Portola Valley Training Center in Northern California, successful dressage and event trainer Heidi McRae has created a horse paradise in Bonny Doon, located above the UC Santa Cruz campus. Horses, like humans, deserve some down time and 8080 Place is a perfect complement to trainers who have full-on training and showing barns. Whether a top equine athlete needs a vacation from the show circuit, requires some specialized rehabilitation, or just needs slow and easy trail rides and long turn-outs, 8080 Place is an equine oasis.

8080 Place’s beautiful barn.

Heidi McRae lunging one of the guests.

8080 Place has a team of veterinary, massage and top farrier care providers. Each horse can have a customized program from turn-out, effective trail and hill work, or arena work on excellent footing, to name a few of the options. The onsite owner/manager handles all of the horses’ needs.  Horses are fed quality hay four times a day, get a custom evening bucket of feed and are stabled in large 18’ x 24’ comfort mat stalls.

Horses needing veterinary care or rehabilitation are under the supervision of Carolyn Wollenberger, DVM, CVA or the owner’s personal vet is also welcome to treat horses at 8080 Place. Dr. Wollenberger is a 1995 UC Davis graduate who specializes in equine sports medicine and rehab. She utilizes the latest diagnostic and therapeutic technologies as well as acupuncture. She comes with 15 years of racetrack experience and now focuses on performance horses of all disciplines.

Sports massage therapy is available at 8080 Place. Desiree Mann, CMT has been a certified massage therapist since 1992. Desiree was raised in the Bay Area. Her love of horses led to a career as a horse trainer, in which she realized the value of massage for improving athletic performance and reducing recovery time for both horses and riders. She offers Trigger Point Therapy and Myofascial therapies. Desiree is caring and really listens to her clients, and blends various techniques to customize sessions to meet their individual needs.

In addition to having trails and pea gravel turn-outs to help stimulate good hoof growth, farrier service is provided by DJ Fiske. DJ’s 18 years of experience are packed with passion for his clients’ horses. “I have shod horses of all sizes, breeds and disciplines,” the farrier comments.  “The one thing I have found is no horse can be shod the same.  They all have different conformation and issues to take into consideration.  With that in mind I alleviate the leverage that flairs of the hoof capsule create and then fit the foot with a shoe that is appropriate for the work that horse is doing.  By having the skills to make my own shoes and put modifications on those shoes I can compensate for conformational defects the horse may have and enhance the comfort of the horse.  For the horses that I work on, I just try to minimize my impact to the natural movement of that horse.”

Large stalls with four feedings per day.

Desiree Mann, CMT, regularly treats the horses at 8080 Place.

Heidi’s main focus is overseeing 8080 Place, and she is also bringing along a 7 -year-old Dutch Warmblood mare in dressage and show jumping. She thanks Peter Breakwell for finding the horse.
8080 Place is sponsored by Gravity Saddle Maker, which shares a like-minded business philosophy of providing high quality to select customers.  Gravity offers traditionally english custom saddle making in USA, using the finest buffalo leather from France. They pride themselves on providing the ultimate in service to a small, selective and appreciative clientele.

To learn more about 8080 Place, or to receive the password access to the website, please call 408-859-8504 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .