California Riding Magazine • March, 2008

Flying Changes

WCAR Welcomes Kathy Hobstetter

West Coast Active Riders (WCAR) placed an ad for an executive assistant and received a tremendous response. A number of qualified applicants with varied backgrounds applied, and after lengthy discussions and interviews the Executive Committee chose Kathy Hobstetter for the position.

Kathy brings with her many years of experience from multiple areas, including trainer, active committee member, writer, photographer and magazine publisher. The Executive Committee feels her positive energy and vision are both ideal for WCAR.


John “Dakota” Pickle, 1947-2008

Hot rod enthusiast, cowboy and trail aficionado John “Dakota” Pickle passed away on Jan. 2. As a longtime Ramona Trails Association member and former president, every November John organized the annual trail ride from Ramona to Brawley (no roads or highways) to attend the Cattle Call, where the local group was honored with a special campsite above the fairgrounds. 

John was also very active in the Single Action Shooters Society and for years worked to raise funds to aid therapeutic riding programs for developmentally disabled children in the San Diego area. He helped put on many fund raising activities, events and group rides in order to help the cause, which was one he strongly believed in.

He was also the founder of The Over the Hill Gang, a hot rod club made up of smaller groups in northern San Diego County. The club eventually expanded to numerous chapters as Over the Hill Gang, but John thought that the original intent of the club had been lost; so he re-founded original The Over the Hill Gang.

Also a sought-after artist whose drawings were incredible in detail and rich in history, John was asked to render the look of downtown Ramona in 1987 for future development. He fell in love with the area and became a Ramona resident very soon thereafter. Always a giving and caring individual, John also donated various pieces of his artwork to fundraisers throughout the years.

John is survived by his wife, Elaine; two daughters, Linda (Benjamin) Barrett of Ramona and Laurie (Joe) Lake of Surprise, AZ; two sons, James and Brian Shrout, both of Ramona; grandchildren, Amanda and Robert Barrett, and Ashley Lake; as well as by two sisters, Teri Pickle and Liz Schuck, both of Half Moon Bay.

This memorial was respectfully submitted by Karen Carlson, vice president of the Ramona Trails Association.


California Morgan Breeder, Janie Coats, 1933-2007

Janie Coats, 74, passed away on Dec. 30, 2007 in Delhi following the effects of a lifelong illness.

Janie met an extra special 1952 classmate, Roy Coats, and the two eloped in 1953. The newlyweds headed to Anchorage, AL, in 1955 while Roy served in the U.S. Army and she continued her career in banking. They returned to their home in Delhi and lived there for 53 years.

It is difficult to speak of Janie alone without mentioning Roy, as they were inseparable throughout their life together, doing everything together. They shared management of the nationally acclaimed liquid feed business, Ideal Lab, but the true passion was evidenced in their love of animals, which was consummate and ongoing.

They were nationally known for the breeding, raising and showing of Morgan horses, the highlight being a Ladies Park Harness World Championship in Oklahoma City where Janie was crowned “the best.” In addition, there were a multitude of state and local horse awards. Also, a large herd of registered Shorthorn cattle were maintained on the ranch throughout their lifetime and they also were shown and won a United States reputation. Janie loved her dogs. She raised and showed Doberman Pinchers and Australian Shepherds enjoying the companionship, training and competition of her “kids.” Of course that included a variety of pets such as dogs, cats, a donkey, chickens, pot bellied pig and sheep, to name a few! It was through these activities that lifelong friendships were established, maintained and treasured.

Upon the death of her husband in 2006, she continued to keep the farm running, never complaining and planning for the future. Janie is survived by numerous nieces and nephews along with many friends; she will be sadly missed. Memorial contributions can be made to Alley Cat Guardians, P.O. Box 576061, Modesto, California 95357.

This memorial was contributed by Modesto Bee.