RANCHO SANTA FE — At a November board meeting, the Rancho Santa Fe Association’s board of directors received updates on the improvements and happenings at the Osuna Ranch.
The property, which is owned by the Association, houses a 180-year-old Adobe home and working horse ranch.
Arnold Keene, who serves as the Association’s fields operations manager, shared how he began overseeing the efforts at the ranch about six months ago.
“There is good energy out there these days,” he said, referring to Osuna.
Keene pointed out to the Board and Covenant members who were present that his responsibilities at Osuna were to offer a new set of eyes — he looked at the existing practices, observing whether any changes needed to be made.
Currently, one significant item in the works is going through a protocol to determine if the Osuna can acquire a national historical designation.
“We just sent them some final information that they requested. We met with the lead architect out there three weeks ago, and this is a process to bring the entire property under the national historic designation,” said Keene, adding how this would raise Osuna to a whole new level of significance.
The Osuna has a building that is circa 1830, he noted.
“It’s one of the oldest buildings in California, so this is a very important issue we’re working on,” he said.
According to Keene, other moving parts that have been addressed pertain to the equine portion. While feed vendors have been switched, jumping arena changes have been made, including hauling in fresh sand as well as a new piece of equipment that has made the arena safer, he said.
Keene also pointed out the $15,000 grant they received from the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club.
According to Keene, the grant enabled them to landscape the entire perimeter of the adobe that was compatible to its historic theme.
“With the landscape and with the materials we were able to purchase, our crew installed boxes and plants and irrigation systems for landscaping,” he said. “There’s a whole different feel when you go out there.”
As for happenings, Keene said that Celebrate Osuna, which took place in June, was a great event, describing it as one of the biggest events they’ve ever had out there. Other events included Rancho Days and the Farm to Table outdoor dinner that sold more than 100 tickets and raised $12,600.
“Half of that will go to the Osuna Fund for future restoration and the other half of that goes to the Garden Club for some of their future projects,” Keene said.
Keene also commended his crew for their work behind the scenes for these special events, which included the setup and planning.
“They deserve a shout out,” Keene said.