The Fullerton Recreational Riders (FRR) were established in 1961. We are an association of horse riders in the city of Fullerton. The group promotes horsemanship and supports equestrian activities through trail rides, camp outs, all aspects of horsemanship shows and games for fun and competition of horse riders. Affiliated with the Equestrian Trails, Inc. (ETI), it is also known as Corral No. 28.
We are registered with the California State Horseman’s Association (CSHA), under Region 12. CSHA is a statewide organization whose purpose is to sponsor, cultivate and foster interest in fine horses and good horsemanship and to give aid and support to every type of activity concerning horses.
FRR maintains an arena located at the Laguna Lake Park along Lakeview Drive and Euclid Avenue, with facilities that include a snack shack, a storage unit, an announcer booth, three grandstands, a lighted show arena, a warm-up arena, permanent restrooms, tables and benches for meetings and picnicking, and wide parking spaces for horse trailers and accessories.
We try to plan the programs for our general meetings so that they will not only be highly educational but also completely enjoyable to anybody who wishes to attend. Our trail coordinator plans monthly rides so that we may enjoy riding as a group while discovering new places.
Our riding arena is located at Laguna Lake Park and from it we can ride the 26 plus miles of dedicated recreational trails connecting numerous city parks and creating many hours of enjoyable riding. During the many days the riding ring is not used for shows, it serves all equestrians in the area. This ring and the accompanying facilities were built through the efforts and with the money of the Club, along with the approval of the City.
Our association’s junior group is known as the “Reckless Riders“, and is supervised by adult advisors. They elect their own officers and organize “play days” which are shows containing events geared toward fun and games for our local young riders. The Reckless Riders also maintain an active social program. Our junior group encourages all members under the age of 18 to join in their fun.
Fullerton is a unique place as the city and the Club work together towards their goals and accomplish a great deal that could never be if the two worked alone. We are both striving to make Fullerton a safe and enjoyable community for the avid horse person, promoting all aspects of horsemanship, whether the horses are costly show stock or inexpensive but loveable backyard pets.
Here’s a short history about the area by Betz Kuttner’s article in the Fullerton Observer.
1940: In the late 1940’s, about 6,000 men, women and children owned and rode some 9,000 horses in Orange County alone (Gordon Grant, LA Times 1969). The riders of California spent millions of dollars during those times on feed, tacks, veterinarians, trailers and other necessities that made horse riding one of the largest sports in the state. Pleasure riding in Fullerton was at its height.
1951: In 1951, a loose organization of about 1,000 horse-owning families, better known as the Sunny Hills Ranch Town Riders, regularly met for trail rides and to exchange information or “horse talk.” Sharing horse problems and trails, they emerged as simple horse lovers and recreational riders, and elected Bill Jewett as their president. Real estate development in the 50’s, however, gobbled up landed estates, orange groves and bridled trails as new residents were built. The still requirement for horse owners to have some 30,000 sq. ft. of land to be able to own a horse forced the riders to either move somewhere else or give up their hobbies. The riders gave up their old Sunny Hills riding facility at Valencia Mesa Drive, fondly remembered by old timers as the Beckman Ring, and quietly disbanded.
1960: At the onset of 1960, the remaining riders and new horse owners began re-organizing. In 1961, Robert McNary, with the help of Harold McCabe, incorporated the now well-established FRR and became its first President. With more enthusiasm and fervor, the new group reformatted their intent and purpose, and approached the City Council for the much needed space to further improve their activities. Family participation increased two-fold. The city officials were convinced that this legitimate organization would be an advantageous group if they had a permanent area in which to meet.
1962: In 1962, the site of the defunct Pacific Electric Railroad, consisting of some 26 acres bordering Laguna Road and Euclid and adjacent to the Laguna Lake Park, was approved for use of the FRR, with the end clause that the riders “will build the facilities and maintain its upkeep.”
undaunted by the enormity of the challenge by the City Council, the riders put their heads together and re-assembled the old Beckman Ring, contributing not only supplies and financing, but also their muscle and labor during their free time, to build the arena. They registered with the ETI, produced top rated horse shows, introduced horsemanship classes and joined the prestigious CSHA. Year after year, the Fullertonian riders won accolades in horsemanship from these organizations.
1968: Eventually in 1968, additional facilities like the storage shed for props during shows and the canteen were finally built.
In coordination with the City Council, bridle trails were improved and renamed after the proponents of safe horse riding. An underpass originally designed as a storm drain at Bastanchury and Euclid crossroads was redesigned to accommodate the the increasing demand for horse trails.