Bob Brown, the new owner of California Ranch Company in Temecula, sat in the bleachers Saturday, June 20, to watch the competition happening in front of him for the first time in several days.
Before Saturday, Brown was running around the sprawling ranch making sure the sold-out Outback Cuttings event which began two days earlier and ran through Sunday was running smoothly and the participants were happy.
Brown was thrilled to see it all coming together nicely and to see the animals competing.
“It’s a livestock exhibition show, and in a sense, horses can’t exercise themselves, they can’t care for or feed themselves,” Brown said. “These are performance horses, so they have to be worked. What we’re here to do is make sure that they stay, like athletes, in the best shape that they possibly can. And that’s what we’re about – taking care of the animals.”
The event was not open to the public for spectating, but competitors from all around came out to the ranch for the cutting event.
“We’re blessed in a lot of ways and we had a good turnout,” Brown said. “People want to get their horses out. When you have 53 acres you have an ability to social distance and do the things that horses need to do – get out and get exercise. We have cattle that have to get moved and worked. It was kind of a perfect world. There’s nothing better than being here in Temecula to do that. Everything has gone well so far. Everyone’s good. And practicing all those things that we’re supposed to do.
“We’re in different times, you just have to be cautious about all those things. (COVID-19) is real,” he said.
Brown said that hosting events like this on his property is important to him and important to the area.
“You’ve got the wine country and we’ve got, I think 47, 48 wineries out here,” he said. “And none of it would be here, but for cattle, ranchers and horses from cowboys. What we want to do, and it’s really important to us, is to keep that heritage alive.
“Rancho Temecula, the original ranch down here, had some of the old wagons and some equipment and things that we were able to keep and have here on the ranch. We have Heritage Park and we have a 53-acre ranch, and it’s a community equestrian ranch. That’s what it’s for. It’s for the wine country, equestrians zoning and everything that we were about. What we want to represent is the lifestyle to keep it alive. Western heritage and Western culture and horses and cattle,” he said.
During the four days, there were classes and workshops, live music on an outdoor stage as well as wines and beers by Chapin Family Winery and catering by Johnson Catering and Events.
“That’s very important to my wife and me and my family to embrace and host these events,” Brown said. “We hope as time goes on that we can do more and be more open and public. We want to invite all the wineries and all the people and everybody around and have them come here and enjoy and see a piece of history, living history with cattle and livestock and horses and cowboys. That’s what the California Ranch Company is all about.”
Jeff Pack can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.