September 2015 - Flying Changes
Written by CRM
Tuesday, 01 September 2015 23:23

Farewell Garry McClintock

Pine Valley Mountain Rider Martin Jorgensen provided this tribute to longtime San Diego horseman, saddlemaker and vaquero advocate Garry McClintock. Garry wrote colorful and informative columns for California Riding Magazine for many years and we know how much he will be missed, though never forgotten.

“We are saddened over this news and sending prayers to Garry’s family.

As most of you know, our good friend, saddlemaker and mule rider Garry McClintock was diagnosed with prostate cancer over eight years ago. Subsequently he was involved in a traffic accident that resulted in serious injuries and required extensive rehabilitation.

Despite all this he maintained a positive attitude and continued to work in his shop, creating some of the best saddles and tack available.

Garry passed away peacefully yesterday (mid-August) afternoon at home surrounded by his family. They have asked for privacy at this time and are requesting that people do not call the house or stop by. Any cards, messages, orinquiries should be forwarded to the shop at McClintock Saddle Works, PO Box 129, Descanso, CA 91916 or 619-445-3946.

Garry was a vital component of the equestrian community in San Diego for many years and his shop has always been a clearinghouse for information about trails, riding and tack.

I personally have had the honor of knowing Garry since the mid-1970s and I am proud to call him my friend. He will be sorely missed by all.

One of the things that Garry was known for best was his celebration of the vaquero traditions and lifestyle that was called Vaquero Days. For many years Garry organized and ran this event every year in Descanso. Over the last few years the event has been downsized, being held the last two years in Old Town State Park. It gives the public the opportunity to see how roping and cattle work was done in the days of the Dons and rawhide riatas, a lifestyle and true art form rather than just a job.

Garry was more than just a master saddlemaker- he was a recognized expert on the traditions of early California, including those of the vaquero and the Soldados de Cuero (Leatherjacket soldiers), those hardy individuals who led the first European settlers across the desert to California. Garry not only read everything he could find on the subject, he went out of his way to enlighten others about the ways and traditions of these rich cultures.

Although everyone will find their own way to remember Garry, some of his friends (myself included) feel that one of the best ways to remember and honor him would be to continue what he started: Vaquero Days. What it will be, when and where is being discussed at this time, and we are looking for ideas and support.

Please do what you can to help us continue Garry’s dream.

Information concerning services and/or a memorial will be provided as soon as it is available.”

Vaya con Dios my friend.

Martin Jorgensen

Gateway Farm is heartbroken over the loss of their beautiful stallion, BGS Silver Bullet ('Billy').

Gateway Farm Hit by Fire

Boarding and training facility and sporthorse breeders Gateway Farm was hit by fire early in the morning on August 18. They suffered the heartbreaking loss of one stallion, BGS Silver Bullet, and the main barn was destroyed along with everything in it, including tack, feed, medications, etc. The farm is located in Acampo, near Lodi.

Owner Liz Jenner emphasizes her gratitude for firefighters and others who helped to save the eight other horses that share the property. Two days after the fire, Liz said she is “overwhelmed” by the response of those within and beyond the equestrian community. A site has a good headstart on donations that will help to replace at least some of the things that can be replaced.

For more information and to find out how you can help, search Gateway Farm on GoFundMe and Facebook.

Bethany Wallace Relocates

Dressage and eventing trainer Bethany Wallace of Dreamtime Sport Horses is pleased to announce her move to beautiful Willowbrook Stables in Sonoma County. Bethany offers dressage training through the FEI levels as well as eventing training, and is ARIA Certified.

Her new “home away from home,” Willowbrook Stables, is a 40 acre facility that boasts a 70-horse stable with two pristine barns, a covered arena and outdoor jumping arena with state of the art footing, and many other amenities.

Bethany will be accepting new clients there in September. Please check out her website at or contact her via email or phone: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , 619-850-5923.

Helen E. Button

Oakhurst resident Helen E. Button died Aug. 11, 2015 at the age of 88. She was born Sept. 15, 1927 in LaGrange, Kentucky, to parents Drane and Alliene.

She had a masters degree in natural history, was an elementary school teacher and was the owner/instructor of a horseback riding school. She was also an instructor at Camp Strawderman, an all-girls camp in Virginia, where she worked as a summer counselor from 1946 through 1986. From 1952-54, she served with the U.S. Army in occupied Germany.

Mrs. Button loved anything to do with horses, including teaching, riding, and painting; she enjoyed the arts, classical music, theater, opera, and raising Jack Russell Terriers.

Donations can be made in her name to Camp Strawderman Scholarship Fund (c/o Margaret Gouldman), 10902 Brookwood Ave, Marlboro, MD, 20772; or to the Nature Conservancy of Virginia,

(obituary published in the Sierra Star.)

Flying Changes welcomes your submissions. Please tell us about what’s happening in your life and/or at your barn: births, deaths, engagements, marriages, new management and barn moves. Please send your reports to Kim F. Miller at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Photos welcome!