By Jessica DiCostanzo
Brooke Carter is the definition of a “horse girl” who has dedicated her life to San Juan Capistrano’s equestrian community. Brooke is a lifelong Western rider, part owner and general manager at American Horse Products, President of the Las Vaqueras Women’s Riding Club and an active Large Animal Disaster Team (LART) volunteer.
Brooke had a strong role model in her mother, local equestrian and community advocate, Diane Carter.
“My mom had a strong love for horses since she was young and passed that same love on to me,” she said. “We kept our horses at our home, so I was responsible for my horses’ care since the age of 7. This was a valuable time that taught me how to truly care and appreciate all the work that goes into being a horse owner.”
“I started showing horses in 4-H when I was 9 years old and showed in Western Pleasure and competed in Gymkhana,” Brooke continued. “When I was 15, I started to team rope and competed in high school rodeo. I was able to represent my district in team roping, breakaway, goat tying and pole bending.”
“While at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, I had the privilege of competing on the rodeo team while also focusing on my degree in agricultural business,” she said. “Recently, I have started to branch out into cattle sorting and enjoy trail riding in between team roping jackpots. Horses have taught me responsibility, compassion and the strength to become a successful businesswoman.”
Do you know someone who would like to learn more about horses? Brooke recommends “starting with riding lessons, then lease a horse prior to buying one, to see if you have enough time to care for them properly and enough money to provide that care.”
Regardless of whether you are an equestrian or horse enthusiast, Brooke encourages anyone who likes horses and appreciates the unique quality they bring to our city to “stay active and keep informed!”
“Go to the Equestrian Commission and City Council meetings, support the stables, buy local, donate to horse-related fundraisers and get on the San Juan Capistrano Equestrian Coalition’s online mailing list for news and updates,” Brooke advised. “You can also stop in at American Horse Products—you will find all your horse needs, talk shop and hear the latest news.”
Jessica DiCostanzo is a San Juan Capistrano Equestrian Coalition Board Member, lifelong equestrian, and co-founder of equivont.com.
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