ANGC now features unique hitch and dine.
By Jackie HOUCHIN
On Friday, the new community-built horse corral at the Angeles National Golf Club was officially opened in a ribbon-cutting ceremony that featured champagne for the human guests and apples and carrots for the 15 horses that attended.
Certificates of Appreciation were awarded to the ANGC by L.A. city Councilman Paul Krekorian’s office, the Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce, and by the offices of County Mayor Mike Antonovich and senators Carol Liu and Bob Huff.
Krekorian Field Deputy Mary Benson also presented certificates to the 15 people who donated materials, expertise and hours of physical labor to complete the project. A sign in the corral lists their names. In turn, the Golf Club gave Benson a plaque acknowledging her original idea and “prodding” efforts to “get it done.”
Already a well-maintained white-railed horse trail fronts the golf course property on Foothill Boulevard, but as part of the city’s Conditional Use Permit, ANGC was required to provide “a hitching rail” for the equestrian public to use.
Previously, according to project manager and ANGC overseer Matt Bennett, horses were tied to lamp posts in the parking lot while their riders enjoyed a meal in the restaurant. Wincing, Bennett recalled the “bit of a mess” that the maintenance crew had to clean up each day.
“We knew the work had to be done, but we didn’t know how to go about it,” recalled Bennett. “Mary Benson got the ball rolling.”
Benson, wanting to follow through with the terms of the permit, came up with the corral idea.
“We needed a location, above the high-water mark, away from the public, and secure, but with easy access to riders,” she said.
An area inside the gated maintenance yard was selected. Benson asked stable owner Dale Gibson to draw up the design. After that, the community stepped in and got it done.
“They went above and beyond what we expected,” said Bennett, remembering the bulldozing and pipe welding that went on for several months. “It’s a real labor of love.”
The corral is a sturdy three-rail welded-pipe enclosure, approximate 24-foot by 42-foot, on a 12-inch raised bed of decomposed granite. It has self-closing gates for horses at the street and the parking lot plus a convenient step-through gate for owners. It features a central lamp post, mounting block, and water tubs with hose bibs. A covered trash barrel with several rakes and shovels reminds owners to pick up after their horses. While no limit is posted, the corral would probably accommodate 15 to 18 horses at a time, depending on their size and disposition.
The corral, currently open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., is patrolled by the Foothill Mounted Patrol. A surveillance camera is also focused on the corral and owners can view their horses from inside the restaurant/bar.
Already riders are looking forward to using the new facility. A group of five riding friends is planning a birthday lunch next week. Others also mentioned how easy it will be to “ride over for lunch.”
Clearly both the golf club and the equine community will benefit from this new addition.