Loren Booth

Reining Renaissance Woman

Loren Booth is a fifth-generation native California, President and owner of Booth Ranches, mother, philanthropist, horsewoman, Quarter Horse breeder, and reiner, not necessarily in that order, and she keeps all those balls in the air with style and grace.

Booth Ranches, LLC, founded in 1957 on 40 acres by her father Otis Booth, has become one of California’s major orange grower-packer-shippers. Loren has been acknowledged as the agent of growth in recent years, as the ranch has expanded to its present 7,500 acres near Orange Cove in the San Joaquin Valley.

She attended California State University, and in 1998, completed the California Leadership Program, a two-year program to which she credits much of her success and vision. She has served as Chairman of the Board since 2009. Loren also chairs the Hills Valley Irrigation District, which, along with all of California, is navigating some major challenges with the long-standing drought. Booth Ranches is part of the Friant Water Authority which diverts water from the San Joaquin River to over a million acres of Central California farmland. As the water supply diminishes, water must be allocated, and Friant has received a zero allocation the last two years.

To date, sadly, Booth Ranches has had to let dry or sell a substantial amount of its acreage. “But,” says Loren, “we have a great operation and wonderful employees, and we’re working our way through it.

In 2007 she bought a beautiful piece of pristine land along the Kings River, with a lovely park at one end. Loren is on the Board of Directors of Childrens’ Institute, Inc. (CII) in Los Angeles, an organization that helps children overcome the devastating effects of violence, abuse and neglect, and she uses the park to provide a camp for the children of CII in the spring and fall. Booth Ranches provides tents, sleeping bags, and other camp- ing gear, along with meals and activities for the four-day sessions.

Already assembling a broodmare band, in 2009 Loren began developing her horse facilities. She chose to locate the foaling barn and pastures near her house at the center of the citrus groves. “We raise 12-18 babies a year,” she said, “and it’s a joy to be surrounded by the horses, and watch the foals grow and play.”laren_booth_orange

In 2010, trainer Tracer Gilson and his wife Tricia came on board. Together with Loren, they designed the training facility at the other end of the new property, away from the park. It was, says Loren, “very much a joint effort.” While Tracer takes on the training duties, Tricia manages the mares, babies, yearlings, all PR, advertising, photography and videos, and preps babies for sales.
“When the yearlings turn two years old, training begins in earnest,” says Loren. “After the Futurity in Oklahoma City in December, we take a couple of weeks off, then start the two-year-olds in training.”

Asked to tell us some of the things that she loves about reining and competing, she says, “It takes you away; you are one-on-one with the horse, and totally focused. There’s not a better place to be. It’s a nice community of people.” As to the horses, she says, “All of our horses are Quarter Horses; they have amazingly good minds.”

Loren injured her knee last December, but is now back to riding. “My first horse show in a while is com- ing up soon. My daughter Blair has been riding and showing for me, but now I’m getting my horse back!” she says with a smile in her voice. We wish Loren and Sheza Smart Wimpy a winning return to the ring.