Archive » September 6, 2012
By Pat Murphy Contributing Writer
Some of the most prestigious horse establishments in the Valley are going to open their gates to guests of the upcoming Santa Ynez Valley Horse Farm Tour. It will take place on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 1-4 in the afternoon.
It is a fundraiser to help support the Santa Ynez Valley Equestrian Center and the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Society Museum and Carriage House. Tickets are only $40 and include a wine and hors d’ oeuvre reception at the museum after the tour. Reservations can be made by check or credit card at the museum, 2596 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez 93460 or by calling (688) 688-7889 or at www.santaynezmuseum.org. What will visitors see? Tour guests will meet some of the most famous Arabian stallions in the world. This farm has sold their line-bred horses to royalty and breeders across Europe and the Middle East. Their beauty will take your breath away. You’ll also be able to stroll through their stables that were included in the glossy Rizolli book Stables, by writer Kathryn Masson. This book featured some of the most unique and charming horse stables in America. At each of the farms, you’ll enjoy local artists who have brought their pallets and brushes to capture equine beauty.
Guests will also visit a horse farm with an owner so revered throughout the United Sates that a national horse show was dedicated to him. You’ll see priceless parade saddles and jeweled costumes, objects of art and memorabilia from famous film personalities. This entire museum is dedicated to horses and riders. Also entertaining you will be a costumed French side-saddle rider, explaining its history and demonstrating this lady-like talent from centuries ago.
At another famous location you will be guided into the intricacies of the latest treatments available to maintain equine health, their amazing state of the art techniques and their recovery systems. Especially impressive are the gentle ways that horses are cared for as they awaken from an anesthetic. It practically makes you want to be a horse. It’s no wonder that their clientele is international.
You will also visit with the sterling silver horse Giacomo, who was the winner of the 2005 Kentucky Derby! He captured the title with a thrilling victory with the odds 50 to one against him. At the first turn, he was lagging behind in 18th place but thrilled the crowd by weaving his way through all the front-runners and capturing the blanket of roses. Now his offspring are proving that he’s also an excellent sire.
You’ll also see how a Thoroughbred Farm runs. Then you’ll visit their race track, see race horses working out and meet the famous retired jockey Jerry Lambert. Jerry is a record breaking rider having captured three consecutive Gold Cup races at Hollywood Park, riding Native Diver! This had never been done before. He also won a famous $250,000 match race riding Convenience for owner Loren Vavin against Fletcher Jones’ Typecast. The famous jockey Bill Shoemaker was riding Typecast. But this was nothing new for Jerry; he rode against the most famous jockeys of his time.
Riding race horses can be a dangerous sport, in one race the bit broke in the horse’s mouth and Jerry came off his horse backward. Three horses ran over him and left him with a broken ankle, broken ribs, a crushed cheekbone and a puncture lung.
“The helmets and protective vests that jockeys have now make things a lot safer,” he says. These days Jerry Lambert oversees the race track at Magali Thoroughbred Farm. Early mornings, he’s in the viewing stand watching the 2-year-olds breeze by as they are first introduced to the racetrack. He also checks older “lay-up” horses for soundness and gives the exercise riders tips. You may want to get his autograph.