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Disneyland Article
Disneyland Opens New Circle D Ranch For Its Horses In Norco

ID:TMS-3602
Source:Orange County Register
Author:Mark Eades
Dateline:June 10, 2017
Posted:June 17, 2017
Circle D Corral
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Disneyland's horses have a new place to roam as stables for the theme park's equine population officially opened in Norco.

Called the Circle D Ranch, it takes the place of the previous Circle D Ranch that was located backstage at Disneyland. That old site is now under construction as part of the "Star Wars" land project scheduled to open up at the theme park in 2019.

"We looked for two years to find a place for our horses, and this location was the perfect fit," said Mikey Trujillo, a Disneyland Ambassador speaking at the ribbon-cutting ceremony held Saturday, June 10, at the ranch.

Besides the ceremony, complete with Mickey Mouse helping to cut the ribbon, the ranch held an open house to allow residents of Norco to visit the ranch and see the large horses up close.

Among the types of horses staying at the ranch are Percherons, Belgians, Brabants, Shires and Clydesdales, with one weighing in at nearly 2,000 pounds.

According to Mary Niven, senior vice president of the Disneyland Resort, the park wanted its new facility to be in a horse-friendly location.

"This new site for Circle D is nearly twice the size of our previous backstage ranch," she said.

The 5.25-acre property in Norco was previously owned in a trust by the DeRuyter family, since the 1950s. It was at one time a chicken egg ranch, and a Christmas tree farm. They were first approached to by a real estate agent interested in purchasing the property.

"For the longest time we didn't know it was Disneyland," said Annette DeRuyter Poyner, one of the family's trustees.

But eventually, during negotiations, they found out and Poyner said they were very happy.

"We thought our parents would be proud that the property is still being kept together and still being used for horses," she said.

Disney officials decided to keep the house, turning it into offices and a break area for the 60 staff members who work at the ranch. In addition, they built a new state of the art stable, with separate rooms for tack and harnesses, and an outdoor station to bathe the 18 horses currently staying at the ranch.

In addition, besides separate indoor/outdoor stalls in the large barn for each horse, there are two large "turnout" areas where the horses can spend time playing or wandering around. There are two circular exercise pens, and a large five-horse exercise circle.

At the back of the facility, is a large well-groomed fenced off section where horses are trained to pull carts and carriages. Disney also stores its various specialty coaches at the facility, including the now restored stagecoach that was one of the first rides at Disneyland when it opened in 1955.

Norco Mayor Greg Newton said the rural-styled city looked forward to having Disneyland's horses in the city.

"I think it's a perfect match to have Disney and Horsetown U.S.A. together," he said.

The horses will normally stay at the ranch, except for their shifts working on Main Street U.S.A. pulling the horse-drawn street cars, or other special events such as parades.

When called for, the horses are taken via special trailers to the park, where they spend three or four days working. When not "on stage," the horses will stay in a barn behind the scenes. Usually only four horses at a time are at the theme park. When the horses are done, they are returned to the ranch.

Mayor Newton said the city looked forward to the economic benefits of having the Circle D Ranch in the city.

"We hope to keep them supplied with all their horse-related needs," he said.
 

 
 
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