March 19, 1936 – June 27, 2019
Born in San Francisco, Marisa did not become involved with horses until her teen years while living in the Los Angeles area. She raised her family in Berkeley and then moved to Walnut Creek in 1975 with her husband Samuel. Marisa taught horseback riding at Grizzly Stables in Berkeley, as well as several stables in the Walnut Creek area and enjoyed both trail riding and showing her horses. She was a key force in getting a riding trail built in the Walnut Creek flood basin area. Marisa was a member of the Equestrian Center of Walnut Creek, Region 5, serving as a Board Member for many years.
Pam McClain was many things…..among the early members of the CSHA Parade Program riding in the
Spanish Lady class, many times Convention Chair, many times Southern Vice President and many times Region President (serving as Region 12 President at the time of her passing in October 2018). While dedicating so much time to CSHA, she still managed to carve out numerous championships breeding/showing her Wire Hair Terriers under her kennel name of Whimsical Wires. There was quite a power house packed inside that tiny woman. Happy Trails Pam, you will be missed.
To all CSHA members current and past, area horsemen, Native American friends, and all who were fortunate enough to know Mr. Donald Fisher.
I am writing this to let all know that we lost a real horsemen. Don age 83 passed away this past week (early October 2017) in Fall River Mills, CA.
Don was a movie stunt man, a professional horse trainer and judge. He was of course a Native American who I believe was Black Foot and Cherokee. His Indian name was Chief Rolling Thunder.
Don is survived by a sister Wanda, and her sons.
Don will always be remembered as a survivor, he made it through ill health on numerous occasions including cancer and kidney disease. He had numerous riding accidents and he was beat up at the bank one time. A smaller man would have been killed. Don cut quite a shadow. I think one thing that made him very proud was being a Marine.
Happy Trails, Mr. Fisher and R.I.P.
Clayton “Clay” Edward West
was born on October 28, 1949, in Georgia, and passed away on May 9, 2017, shortly after his attendance at the CSHA State Parade in Ceres. Clay was buried at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon.
Clay served in the military and was retired from the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Department. He was a Gymkhana rider but was probably most visible as a member of the Wild Horse Wranglers Color Guard participating with the team as it developed from “newbie” status into a championship caliber unit and as a “go-fer” for his wife and long-time parader Judy.
While Clay and Judy technically lived in Region 1 as residents of Vacaville, they were members of Region 3 through their membership in the Wild Horse Wranglers.
of Region 2
was born in Oregon on October 18, 1951 and died on March 28, 2017. Mike, as she was known, was a full-blooded Indian and an ordained minister living in Anderson. She became a Gymkhana judge in April, 2007. She is survived by her 3 daughters and son as well as 3 grandchildren.
Bert Hill was President of CSHA in 1976/1977. He and his wife Judy were fixtures in Region 5 for many years. Bert joked that he had so many “president buckles” that he couldn’t wear them all….so he attached them all to a single belt and wore them all at once. Bert passed away in early August, 2016.
Michael Lee Hall
Passed on July 23, 2016
A Christian, a Patriot, a Horsemen, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Uncle and Treasured Friend.
Passed on December 21, 2014
CSHA and the Parade Program in particular mourn the passing of Neil Russell who died the weekend of December 21, 2014.
Neal served CSHA in many ways over the years but one of his highlights was as the Head Judge of the first “all discipline” Judges Commission when it was formed in 1978.
He carried a CSHA judge’s card for well over 40 years and became the first Parade Judge honored with a lifetime license.
Neal competed in the Indian Man Parade class and was very active in the movie/TV industry for a number of years.
He once told another judge, “You’ve seen me lots of times on TV, you just don’t know it.” He “specialized” in derelicts leaning against alley walls.
He was the “go to” guy for many an applicant for a Parade license when it came to discussing the Charro and Indian classes and was ever willing to share his knowledge and understanding with others.
Passed on July 15, 2014
With heartfelt sadness, Vicki’s family announces the passing of this amazing woman on July 15, 2014, from complications of a rattlesnake bite the day before.
Vicki was truly a woman who didn’t just embody the ‘American Pioneer Spirit’, but in all reality was an American Pioneer herself. Throughout her life she forged a trail that mentored, encouraged, and loved all who were blessed to cross her path.
Vicki Kardell leaves behind a legacy that will carry through generation after generation. A legacy that personifies a hard-working, hands-to-the-till, ‘don’t give up on your dreams’, lady.
She will be greatly missed and her spirit will forever live on in our hearts; that spirit of the girl and her pony, riding off into a beautiful Mariposa sunset…
Vicky was very active with CSHA Trail Trails and TRAP. In 2009 she was presented with the highest award TRAP can present, a Supreme Trail Rider TRAP buckle for achieving 5,000 hours of trail riding.
Lin (Linda) Thirion
Passed on July 12, 2014
Lin (Linda) Thirion passed away in Colorado Springs CO at the age of 66. Lin was a long time CSHA Member and served on the Judges Commission.
Lin was born on February 28, 1948 in Denver, Co and was a resident of Bloomington and Riverside CA for over 45 years.
Lin was a French teacher for the Riverside Unified School District at Arlington High School for 33 years.
Passed on June 13, 2014
Condolences may be sent to Jean’s sister, Lee Santos, P. O. Box 517, Hilmar, CA 95324
Passed Away February 18, 2014
Ira Sullivan passed away at his home surrounded by family following a long illness at the age of 81.
Ira was a Life Member and Gymkhana Judge for over 30 years and served on the Judges Commission.
He was held in high regard by all who knew him and will be greatly missed.
Ira touched the lives of many, our condolences to his family.
Ira was a native of Ontario, WI and long-time resident of El Sobrante. Survived by his daughter, Shawn DeMello and her husband, Michael of El Sobrante; sister, Emme Stoddard and brother Nick Sullivan of Hillsboro, WI; grandchildren Katie and Jared DeMello of El Sobrante. Preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Mary Sullivan in 2012.
Ira served in the US Navy in Korea and Japan during the Korean War. He worked as a truck driver for A.H. Thompson Paint Co, Berkeley until he retired in 1998. He also worked as a farrier. Ira was an excellent horseman and a member of Tri-Cities Horsemen’s Assoc and Bayview Horsemen’s Assoc.
Memorial donations, if desired, may be made to the American Parkinson’s Disease Assn, 135 Parkinson Ave, Staten Island NY 10305 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Passed Away February 17, 2014
Gary Gustafson passed away on 2/17/14. Gary’s involvement with CSHA spanned 4 decades as a competitor, an officer and committee member.
He dominated the Silver Mounted Class earning himself the nickname of “Gaudy Gary” among his friends in the Parade Program. Over the years he served as a Region IV Vice President and President, Central Area Vice President, First Vice President and finally CSHA State President 1995 through 1997.
As a Past President, he continued to serve CSHA for a number of years on the Finance Committee ad as Chairman of the Show of Champions. He was a gentle man and with a sense of humor….his standard response to anyone questioning the “GG” on his gold ringer was “No, it doesn’t stand for Gary Gustafson. It stands for Gaudy Gary”….a nickname bestowed on him by his parade friends in 1980 for his outlandish, we mean outstanding, outfits on and off the parade route.
Passed Away February 9, 2014
Jack W. Abraham, Jr. passed away peacefully Sunday, February 9, 2014 in Castro Valley California at the age of 95 years young, where he had lived for the past 60+ years, purchasing his land in 1949. Preceding him in death was his beloved wife of 70 years, Shirley E. Abraham, in September 2013.
Jack was born in Rutland, Vermont. After attending Cushing Academy he went on to graduate from Dartmouth University and University of Alabama, and came to California after being in the United States Air Force, WWII. Upon coming to California after WWII he was an Air Traffic Controller at the Oakland Airport. Soon after he decided to become a Real Estate Broker, opening his own Real Estate company, Abraham Realty & Rental Center, and joining and becoming involved with the Alameda County Real Estate Board for many, many years. It wasn’t long before he also opened his own Mortgage Company, called California Coast Mortgage. His memberships in the community were many, some of which were, Our Lady of Grace Parish, Knights of Columbus, Holy Names Society, Elks Club, Chabot Junior College Board, & Grand Marshall of Castro Valley’s Don Castro Days are just some of his involvements. But his greatest passion was that of his over 50+ years in the California State Horsemen’s Association. He held many offices during those 50+ years, from being State President, all the way to being the California State Trails Patrol Chairman and being on the State Board as their Financial Officer and putting together a lot of the California State Horsemen’s Assn. Handbook for it’s over 20,000 members. Jack was extremely instrumental in moving forward the Trails in Redwood Canyon and the opening of the Arena and was a member of the California State Agricultural Board.
Jack is survived by his devoted children, Bonnie Jean (Abraham) Craig, Jack W. Abraham, III and wife Angela, Joel M. Abraham and wife Cindy, and his 10 grandchildren, Julie Lynn & Rick Jeffery, Jennifer, Joel, Jr., Kimberly Abraham, & Nicole (Abraham) Cheshire, Brittney, Kelsey, Jaclynn & Katelynn Abraham and 4 great grandchildren.
Passed Away February 4, 2014
Emmett passed away at the age of 90 in Lufkin, Texas near his family where he had resided for the past 25 years.
Emmett served CSHA in several postions including Region President, So Area Vice President and 1st Vice President.
Emmett owned a horse equipment manufacturing company for 25 years.
During World War II, Emmett served in the 7th Calvary in the European Theater under General Patton.
Our condolences to his family.
Passed Away January 27, 2014
Alice was a long-time CSHA Member. As a teacher at Arlington High, Alice founded an equestrian drill team in 1977. When Arlington lost its’ Agriculture program, Alice moved her team to the Riverside Rancheros Arena.
The Riverside Rancheros Junior Equestrian Team is still going strong.
Alice has been the Region 11 Parade Chair for the last several years.
Passed Away September 17, 2013
Shirley Abraham passed away in Castro Valley at the age of 90, in the loving presence of family.
She was loved by many and will be deeply missed.
She was a devoted wife and mother the rolls she most cherished and enjoyed in her life. Horses were her passion that she enjoyed immensely alongside of her devoted husband.
As well as an avid and active member of the California State Horsemen’s Association for over 45 years.
She is survived by her loving and devoted husband of 70 years, Jack W. Abraham Jr., devoted children and 10 grandchildren.
Our condolences to her family.
Rex Allen Machlan
Passed Away October 13, 2012
Rex Machlan passed away in San Diego on October 13th.
He was a long time life member of CSHA and a Parade Judge.
Rex had a colorful personality and anyone who met him remembers him!
Our condolences to his wife Karen and his family.
Passed Away June 21, 2012
Elizabeth (Betty) Menefee, a longtime North Coast resident whose 50 years of equestrian passion and service earned her induction in 2009 into the Sonoma County Horse Council’s Equus Hall of Fame, died June 21. She was 90.
Betty was born in San Francisco in 1922. Her first equine encounters were as a young girl timidly watching huge draft horses hauling wagons. Later, she overcame her fear on a pack trip during summer camp in Yosemite.
In San Francisco, Betty became a regular at the stables at Golden Gate Park and often played polo on the horse fields at the park. Betty, who would go on to have five children by the time she was 30, found freedom in horses.
Betty competed in endurance riding in the North American Trail Ride Conference and completed the Tevis Cup, a one-day, 100-mile trail ride from Truckee to Auburn.
She was a founder of the 4H Light Horse Club in Sonoma County and in 1957 she joined the Sonoma County Driving and Riding Club. She served as the club’s treasurer, vice-president and president. She was also one of the club’s horse color guard, representing the club in events such as the Rose Parade.
Betty was a valued member of CSHA and served as the state secretary for 15 years.
Passed away on July 9, 2012
CSHA member and past State Patrol Chief, George Gillette, passed on Monday July 9th, 2012 of melanoma.
Donations may be made to CSHA in the name of George Gillette for any of the Juniors/Youth programs.
Passed away on June 15, 2012
Frank Hall, a member of Region 11 and CSHA Past President (1973 – 1974) passed away at the age of 74 on
Friday, June 15, 2012. Frank was also a Past President of ETI.
He was one of the major players in development of the Coast-To-Crest trail that spans over six state counties and is one of the 27 official California State Parks trails that link mountain, valley and coastal communities.
A 35-year resident of Norco, he served four terms as a city councilman and two terms as mayor and helped
make the town into the equestrian-based community that it is today.
For more information on Frank’s life and contributions, please see the following link:
Passed away on April 21, 2012
Peggy and Dino
Long-time CSHA member and parader Peggy Narducci passed away on Saturday, April 21, 2012.
Peggy was 95 and competed in parades until just a few years ago.
We are all sure that her fabulous horse Dino was there to greet her.
If you would like to make a donation in Peggy’s name, they can be made to the following organizations:
CSHA Parader’s Grant
PO Box 1228
Clovis CA 93613-1228
Please note on the check that it is a donation in Peggy’s name.
UC Davis, Center for Equine Health
Contributions can be made to the UC Regents and sent to:
School of Veterinary Medicine
Office of the Dean – Development, UC
PO Box 1176
Davis CA 95617-1176
Donations to UCD can also be made online at
Passed away in March 2012
The members of the CSHA State Patrol were deeply saddened with the passing of “Deputy Chief” John Poon.
John was a man with a kind word and smile for everyone. A man of incredible integrity and loyalty, and always an enthusiastic member of the State Patrol. John’s strong sense of ethics and principles are greatly missed by all who have known him and served with him.
John came to the State Patrol after retiring from BART, and his passion and skills soon led to him being asked to be Deputy Chief – North. John willingly accepted this position and served CSHA for 9 years in his leadership capacity. Many of John’s family became actively involved in the State Patrol, as Patrol Officers and volunteer.
The membership of the State Patrol express their deep and sincere sympathy to the Poon family during this period of loss, and invite and encourage all members of CSHA join them to keep John’s positive contributions and memory alive within our organzation.
Passed away on February 18, 2012
Judy was a life member of CSHA and wife of Past President, Bert Hill
She was very active in CSHA and Region 5 where she was Treasurer for many years along with other chair positions.
passed away the week of February 13, 2012.
Dave was CSHA Judge Lin Thirion’s husband and a member of Region 11
passed away in early February, 2012, after a short illness.
George was Chris Pearne’s husband.
Chris was Region 11’s Treasurer’s and a long time active member of ETP.
Past Region 5 President
Passed away on April 21, 2011.
Ken was President of Region 5 for several years beginning in 1992. He was the founder of Region 5’s annual Spring Stampede. He believed it was the venue to showcase all the CSHA programs and bring riders of different disciplines together. It was also an opportunity to “meet and greet” with the non-horse public and to promote the horse industry. The Spring Stampede was such a success it is going into it’s 21th year!
He was a member of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Posse and Shriners and believed the youth were the future of horses and always said “The best thing for the inside of a kid is the outside of a horse!”
Ken will be missed by all who knew him.