News & Features
August 2018 - Tahoe Donner Equestrian Center
Written by by Nan Meek
Friday, 27 July 2018 18:35
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Base camp for equestrian vacation adventures in North Lake Tahoe

by Nan Meek

Tucked away in the sleepy mountain town of Truckee, perched above I-80 along Donner Lake in the heart of the High Sierra, Tahoe Donner Equestrian Center is North Lake Tahoe’s vacation haven for horse lovers from June 1 through the end of September.

Vacationing horse lovers of all ages and abilities can find just the right equestrian activities to make marvelous memories, from trail rides with your own horse or guided rides on Tahoe Donner’s experienced and well-trained trail horses, to pony rides and horsemanship camps for young equestrians, to private riding lessons and special events. Short- and long-term horse boarding makes a vacation getaway with your horse as easy as making a reservation.

Exploring the Sierra on Horseback

Trail rides through high mountain forests and upland meadows lush with wildflowers and wildlife offer sightings of quail, grouse, squirrels, rabbits, marmots, beavers, deer and the occasional mountain lion or black bear. California’s largest aspen grove, just minutes from the Equestrian Center, makes the aspen trail one of Tahoe Donner’s favorites, especially in September when its brilliant colors paint the landscape. Another favorite trail winds down into the Euer Valley, where a pristine river flows through verdant meadows encircled by stands of pine, fir and cedar that climb the surrounding mountains and provide shaded trails.

Camping at Tahoe Donner’s Alder Creek Campground provides a taste of the great outdoors along with indoor conveniences such as bathrooms and showers, while a variety of rental accommodations available nearby through Airbnb and other online sources caters to tastes from basic to luxurious. With convenient access to Lake Tahoe, Reno and a wealth of recreational amenities throughout the Sierras, Tahoe Donner is a base camp for equestrian vacation adventures and family fun. 

Best Kept Secret in the Sierras

Unique among equestrian vacation destinations, Tahoe Donner is one of America’s largest homeowner associations, with nearly 6,500 properties and 25,000 members enjoying over 7,300 acres in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Located 25 minutes from Lake Tahoe, the association operates a wide variety of recreational facilities, some open to members only, others open to the public. The Equestrian Center is open to everyone.

Tahoe Donner Equestrian Center offers the best long- and short-term horse boarding options in the Lake Tahoe region. Monthly, weekly and overnight boarding options accommodate the needs of every owner and every horse.

“Horse boarding at Tahoe Donner is particularly great for travelers passing through for a night or two, especially since Tahoe Donner Campground is just down the road and many short-term rentals are available nearby,” says Krystal-Rae Mecham, manager of Tahoe Donner Equestrian Center. “We can accommodate up to 27 boarded horses, and horse owners don’t need to be Tahoe Donner members to board here.”

All boarding includes twice-daily feeding of up to two flakes of grass and/or alfalfa hay, and daily watering and cleaning. Partially covered 12’x24’ and deluxe 24’x24’ pipe paddocks are available, all providing great access to more than 60 miles of the Tahoe Donner Trail System. Equestrian staff members tend to the horses by day, and a dedicated caretaker stays with them overnight.

Trail and Pony Rides

Tahoe Donner Equestrian Center is home to 20 geldings and three mares that spend their summers on trail rides and in the arena. They enjoy many perks including frequent treats, baths and rubdowns, plus all the love they can handle from riders and campers.

“It’s awesome to provide opportunities for everyone in the family to experience these beautiful animals,” Mecham says. “We have pony rides for ages 2-6, trail rides for ages 7 and up, and horsemanship camp for ages 8 and up. Parents and grandparents can have a great experience with kids, or send them with our amazing guides for an unforgettable ride.”

Guided one- and two-hour trail rides are offered every Wednesday through Sunday, and pony rides are available for children under the minimum trail ride age of 7. All riders are matched with a trail-wise horse based on their size and experience. A new ADA-compliant loading ramp – one of several recent upgrades – makes it easy to mount up and head out, and experienced guides lead the way.

Private lessons and group rides are also available.

Horsemanship Camps & Events

Each summer, the Equestrian Center is home to multiple sessions of five-day horsemanship camps for riders ages 8-14. A four to one student to instructor ratio provides highly individualized instruction.

“As a parent, it’s amazing to see your kids develop so much self-confidence and self-esteem in a week of working with the horses,” says Trish Collins, a Tahoe Donner member whose son Trey and daughter Isabelle have attended camp multiple times. “They work with the same horse all week and are able to develop a real relationship, and it shows.”

The Equestrian Center hosts special events all summer long to unite and celebrate the equestrian community. Events this month and next begin with a Saturday Night BBQ Aug. 4 and include several Cowgirls + Cocktails trail rides with after-ride cocktail socials, and Pancakes & Ponies family breakfast get-togethers.

Tahoe Donner offers a range of recreational amenities beyond riding, to round out vacation fun for riders and the rest of the family. The Tahoe Donner Golf Course is the highest-elevation course in Tahoe and one of the premier public courses in the High Sierra. Bike rentals and family-friendly bingo on the lawn offer more family fun. Home rentals from Tahoe Donner members via Airbnb or similar services include access to the private Beach Club Marina on Donner Lake, along with pools, fitness center, tennis center and much more located within Tahoe Donner. Plus, historic Truckee and legendary Lake Tahoe are minutes away.

For more information, visit or call 530-587-9470 for equestrian reservations, or 530-587-9400 for general information.

August 2018 - New Cal-Bred Thoroughbred Award
Written by Alicia Anthony
Friday, 27 July 2018 18:33
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Retired Racehorse project debuts new award at Thoroughbred Makeover this October.

The Retired Racehorse Project debuts a special award for the 2018 Thoroughbred Makeover that honors horses bred on the West Coast. Sponsored by the Georgia B. Ridder Foundation, in honor of After the Finish Line, the $2,500 award will be presented to the top-scoring California-bred at the competition, taking place Oct. 4-7 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY.

July 2018 - The Gallop: Wild Horse Update
Written by Alicia Anthony
Saturday, 30 June 2018 23:39
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Wild horses & burros get partial good news in the current Interior Appropriations bill.

The Fiscal Year 2019 Interior Appropriations bill approved unanimously by the Senate Appropriations Committee on June 14 would keep in place prohibitions against killing healthy wild horses and burros or selling them for slaughter.

“We appreciate that Senate Appropriators are listening to their constituents, who expect America’s wild horses and burros to be protected in keeping with the spirit of the law,” said Neda DeMayo, president of Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation. “We will remain vigilant against policies and practices that would cause wild horses and burros to suffer — directly or through third-party sales — including a needless push to perform dangerous, costly and unproven field sterilization surgeries on wild mares and jennys.

July 2018 - Triple Crown Arenas
Written by CRM
Saturday, 30 June 2018 00:22
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Thirty years of experience combines with cutting edge expertise on riding surfaces.

For over 30 years Triple Crown Arenas has been providing Southern California with equine construction services that have ranged from a simple hot walker and barn pad to full turnkey commercial properties.

In this time, the owner of Triple Crown Arenas, Ron Johnson, has learned quite a few lessons about what makes a horse property successful and has been able to take that knowledge and improve on the services that he offers the Southern California horse world.

July 2018 - Taking A Break
Written by CRM
Saturday, 30 June 2018 00:18
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No Santa Barbara National this year.

The management and directors of the Earl Warren Showgrounds, in consultation with Langer Equestrian Group, as the manager of the annual Santa Barbara National Hunter Jumper Show, have made the decision to cancel the 2018 horse show.

June 2018 - Dutch Treats
Written by photos & text by Kim F. Miller
Thursday, 31 May 2018 19:25
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West Coast Dressage Convention brings Edward Gal & Hans Peter Minderhoud to Southern California.

photos & text by Kim F. Miller

Scott Hayes, Edward Gal, Monty Roberts, Hans Peter Minderhaud

West Coasters are getting a little spoiled with the caliber of coaches brought in from afar these last few years by Scott Hayes Productions. On April 21-22, Dutch Olympians Edward Gal and Hans Peter Minderhaud came to the peacefully gorgeous El Campeon Farms in the Los Angeles area’s Hidden Valley. They worked with seven horse/rider pairs each day, the same pairs each day except Saturday the finale was Sabine Schut-Kery and her budding Grand Prix star Sanceo, while on Sunday, Dawn White O’Connor worked with the 9-year-old, Esperanza, by the accomplished Dutch Warmblood sire, Jazz.

June 2018 - Bingo! Moments
Written by by Nicole Bhathal, CDS Southern Regional Director • Photos: Nancy Albright
Thursday, 31 May 2018 19:19
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Melissa Creswick continues a learning legacy during Linda O’ Carroll Memorial Adult Amateur Southern Clinic.

by Nicole Bhathal, CDS Southern Regional Director • Photos: Nancy Albright

In 1997, the California Dressage Society started a series of clinics to honor Linda O’Carroll, who donated an endowment to fund Adult Amateurs’, education. For two decades, amateur dressage riders who normally would not have an opportunity to train with top professionals receive the chance to learn from the best due to the generosity of Mrs. O’Carroll. Each CDS Chapter sponsors at least one qualified rider annually.

June 2018 - Intercollegiate Dressage Association Nationals
Written by by Alexa Corse, Stanford Class of 2019
Thursday, 31 May 2018 19:15
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First-timer’s reflections on a unique team experience.

by Alexa Corse, Stanford Class of 2019

The announcer’s voice resounded throughout the indoor equestrian arena at Lake Erie College, the site of the Intercollegiate Dressage Association National Championship last month: “Our next rider is Alexa Corse.”

I reminded myself to breathe and rode into the arena. The cavernous space was surprisingly quiet, until the judge at the arena’s far end rang a small, old-fashioned bell. That was my cue. I rode down the centerline of the dressage court—the 20x60 meter area bordered with low, white rails—in which I’d perform Training Level Test 1.

May 2018 - The Gallop: Harrisburg, Here We Come!
Written by by Kim F. Miller
Monday, 30 April 2018 19:57
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Stanford Equestrian riders celebrates their 13th year of topping the IHSA Zone 8 Finals. From left are Head Coach Vanessa Bartsch, Cecilia Lang-Ree, Jillian Rogers, Caroline Soane, Claire Womack, Anna Salamone, Kelsi Okun, Hannah Ankeny, Alexandra Ulmer, Assistant Coach Tina Davey.

Stanford wins 13th consecutive intercollegiate zone championship in region rapidly getting bigger and better.

by Kim F. Miller

Intercollegiate Horse Show Association competition is bursting at the seams in the national organization’s Zone 8, especially in the primarily Northern and Southern California Regions 1 and 2. Participation growth is such that Region 2 has a moratorium on new teams and Region 1 is close to needing one as leaders work on expanding capacity to accommodate more schools that want to join the circuit.

May 2018 - Aid For Working Horses
Written by CRM
Monday, 30 April 2018 19:52
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Brooke becomes official charity of FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018

The Organizing Committee of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon and Brooke USA are proud to announce that Brooke (sister charity of Brooke USA), the world’s largest international equine welfare charity, has been chosen as the “Official Charity for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 (WEG).” The games will take place at Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina, this September 11 through 23.

WEG, which takes place every four years, is the major international championship event for the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI)-regulated disciplines of Jumping, Dressage and Para-Equestrian Dressage, Eventing, Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining.

May 2018 - World Cup Jumping: Beezie Beats All!
Written by by Louise Parkes
Monday, 30 April 2018 19:48
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Reserve champ Devin Ryan and fourth-placed McLain Ward make it a near USA sweep in Paris.

by Louise Parkes

America’s Beezie Madden (54) held on to win the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2018 title in Paris Sunday, April 15, but she didn’t do it the easy way. In a cliffhanger of a second round she faulted for the first time over three tough days of jumping when last to go with the brilliant Breitling LS. And the crowd had to hold their breath until she crossed the line to a roar of approval, separated by just two penalty points from compatriot Devin Ryan (36) in second place.

August 2018 - In Loving Memory of Doug Herthel, DVM
Written by CRM
Friday, 27 July 2018 18:30
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August 11, 1946 — July 11, 2018

Doug Herthel lived an extraordinary life. Not simply due to the impact he made as a veterinarian, but more so because of the person he was. A thinker and a problem solver, Dr. Herthel had a brilliant mind and relentless passion for veterinary medicine, the patients he treated and the clients whose friendships he valued beyond measure. His life’s work was inspired by his endless curiosity, pursuit of science and deep love of the horse. His greatest source of joy and that which defined him, however, was the family he built alongside his treasured wife, Sue. He was a man of great compassion, with a generous spirit and thoughtful approach to the way he practiced medicine and treated those around him. In Doug’s presence, new and old friends felt appreciated and valued.

July 2018 - Sunsprite Warmbloods
Written by by Kim F. Miller
Saturday, 30 June 2018 23:27
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Emilee Libby and Sunsprite’s Fleurette. Photo: Marcus Greene Outdoor Photography

All-around athletes, great brains and a wee bit of playfulness distinguish prominent sporthorse program.

by Kim F. Miller

Google “Sunsprite” and several definitions come up. There’s a rose by that name and a “wearable sun and light tracker” that improves energy, mood and sleep. But ask anybody in the eventing world what Sunsprite means and the answer is Pamela Duffy and Don Trotter and nearly 20 years of producing talented, versatile sporthorses under the Sunsprite Warmbloods banner.

Despite their big presence on the eventing scene with horses, volunteerism, sponsorship and cheerleading, Sunsprite Warmbloods is actually a small program. Since getting started in 2000 at their modest-size property in Temecula, Pam and Don estimate they have produced between two and five babies a year.

July 2018 - Youth Polo
Written by CRM
Saturday, 30 June 2018 00:20
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San Diego County program brings newcomers to the game.

The Lakeside Polo Youth Foundation is dedicated to inspiring and educating a new generation of polo players at Lakeside Polo Club in East County San Diego. Kids learn horsemanship, polo skills, and teamwork on the beautiful grass field and polo arena at River Valley Equestrian Center, not far from the Lakeside Rodeo. With its emphasis on a strong work ethic and positive atmosphere, the innovative LPYF encourages children to learn and improve their game.

June 2018 - Western States Horse Expo
Written by CRM
Thursday, 31 May 2018 19:30
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Popular programs return for event’s 20th anniversary in Sacramento.

This month’s Western States Horse Expo marks the event’s 20th anniversary. For the last two decades this exposition has celebrated the spirit of the horse, the equestrian and rural lifestyle with all that they encompass. Happening June 8-10 at Cal Expo in Sacramento, this has been the premier event of its kind, and has been one of the most trusted resources for innovation, inspiration and education within the equestrian community unlike any other!

June 2018 - Anique Equestrian
Written by CRM
Thursday, 31 May 2018 19:22
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California-based new cooling shirt line is off to a hot start.

There’s enough cute and effective sun shirts out there that it’s somewhat surprising a new entry would venture into this crowded field. But dressage rider and marketing consultant Kelly Artz felt otherwise. Frustrated with the many shirts she tried, Kelly decided she could do better. The result is Anique, a new equestrian sun shirt line that incorporates flattering fit and pretty details with hard-core cooling and sun protection and perspiration management. Made in Los Angeles, the soft seamless knit shirts are woven with a cooling smart yarn and UV protection.

June 2018 - WEQx Games
Written by CRM
Thursday, 31 May 2018 19:17
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Gladiator Polo & U-25 U.S. Open Jumping Championship among proposed competitions for WEG-concurrent event.

Plans for the inaugural 2018 WEQx Games™ are taking shape under Mark Bellissimo and the Tryon International Equestrian Center in Tryon, N.C. The competition intends to have nine spectator-friendly equine competitions that highlight the accessibility, diversity, athleticism, and passion for horses and horse sport for athletes of all ages.

June 2018 - Represent!
Written by photos: Kim F. Miller
Thursday, 31 May 2018 19:12
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Young West Coasters venture far afield in international dressage and jumping competition.

photos: Kim F. Miller

Hayden Zadel & Triskel De Kerlive

Ben Ebeling and Behlinger are among three pairs chosen by US Equestrian for the 2018 Dressage European Young Rider Tour, which is linked to the Discover Dressage™ USEF/USDF Emerging Athlete Program. Combinations are required to earn at least two scores from the FEI Young Rider Team Test and two scores from the FEI Young Rider Individual Test in CDI-Y events between January 1, 2018 and April 30, 2018 to be considered for selection to the Tour. As a part of FEI CDI-Y events, at least two FEI Young Rider Freestyle test scores must also be earned. The accomplished equestrian son of Olympian Jan and Amy Ebeling, Ben will compete with teammates Callie Jones from Kentucky and Anna Weniger from North Carolina.

May 2018 - Horse People Keri Potter
Written by by Kim F. Miller
Monday, 30 April 2018 19:54
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Photo: Kim F. Miller

Slow horsemanship carries rider to the winners circle.

by Kim F. Miller

Nobody could beat Keri Potter’s time aboard Bitalica in the jump-off for the $80,000 FEI CSI3* Grand Prix on Easter eve in San Juan Capistrano. That’s kind of funny because not being in a hurry with the 12 year old Oldenburg has been the secret to their increasing success together. Owned by Julia Koetting, Bitalica “just kind of fell into my lap,” explains the seasoned Grand Prix rider. “We weren’t looking for each other.”

May 2018 - Werth Wins World Cup
Written by by Louise Parkes • photos: FEI/Liz Gregg
Monday, 30 April 2018 19:50
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America’s Laura Graves chases her right to the line.

by Louise Parkes • photos: FEI/Liz Gregg

In a dramatic conclusion to an extraordinary battle between two mighty forces, Germany’s Isabell Werth (48) posted a back-to-back victory at the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final 2018 in Paris, France on Saturday, April 14.

May 2018 - The Aggies Go Varsity
Written by CRM
Monday, 30 April 2018 19:47
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UC Davis doubles West Coast representation in the National Collegiate Equestrian Association league.

Friday the 13th was a good day for collegiate equestrian sports. That’s the April day when UC Davis announced it had chosen equestrian as one of two new women’s varsity sports to maintain its commitment to Title IX compliance. Beach volleyball is the other.

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