“There is nothing else like our fence clamp on the market,” explains Renae Becker, owner of Trio Ranch, located in the high desert of Agua Dulce in northern Los Angeles County. “I would go to hardware stores looking for a clamp like this, and the sales people would say, ‘you know, people are always asking for something like that.’ I kept thinking that if I need something like it, surely, there were others that did too. I truly thought when we did a patent search we were going to be washed out, but there really is nothing else like this.”
Trio Ranch’s 90-degree fence clamps give horse enthusiasts and ranch owners a way to securely attach chain link or corral panels at a perpendicular intersection. The brackets are heavy duty, zinc coated, so they will never rust, and are attached with a carriage bolt, allowing for both strength and easy use. Like many inventions, Renae’s vision of the 90-degree clamp came from a need at her own facility.
Renae founded Trio Ranch for her two kids, Karly and Ryan; but it quickly grew into much more. A police officer in Glendale, Renae used her ranch as a home base of operations for an equestrian youth group for underprivileged and “at risk” youths from L.A. County. Renae did her best to give the children and teenagers involved in the program their “own” horse to work with. As a result, new horses are constantly coming onto Trio Ranch, and they were regularly rearranging corrals to accommodate additional horses.
“We would buy corral panels from estate and garage sales, but they never match up perfectly. The ranch is also our home, and we wanted it to look beautiful as well. We were constantly sinking extra poles, wire wrapping rail intersections or paying someone to weld fencing together. The problem with welding and cementing poles is the labor, cost and permanence. I had welded prototypes for my 90-degree clamp in my garage for three years, but I was told they were too expensive and impractical to be mass produced.”
Her salvation came from an unlikely source when she met a cowboy friend, Junior Penfold, co-owner of Versafab, on an ETI ride across the Mohave Desert. Junior and Renae were friends for over a year, before she asked him what he did for a living. On a camping trip to the desert she explained her idea for a 90-degree clamp to Junior. Renae was shocked and delighted when he said that he would have no problem making it.
“I can’t say enough good things about Junior and everyone at Versafab. They are just wonderful. Junior has been there every step of the way; he made my prototype and has also been trying to teach me some business savvy,” says Renae. “I was a little discouraged when I went to Equine Affaire and someone came up to me and said, ‘you better sell them fast, before you know it they will be turning them out for five cents a piece in China.’ But I really believe that there are still people, especially in the horse industry, that have that pride in “American Made.” The quality of our clamps is exceptional, and I am proud that they are made in the U.S. I stand behind my product.”
For more information about Trio Ranch’s 90-degree fence clamp visit www.trioranch.com, call 805-890-5495 or e-mail
TrioRanch@aol.com. Continue to check their website for new products this spring.