Ballena Vista Farm employs a team of horsemen & women who are dedicated, experienced, knowledgeable & who have a genuine love of equines. Following is a short biography of some of them:
MANUEL OCHOA, Farm Manager – Manuel has occupied the Farm Manager position since 1991. Manuel has over 40 years of experience in the equine industry, many of them working with the legendary trainer Charlie Whittingham. A respected horseman, Manuel oversees every aspect of the Farm, concentrating on reproduction/breeding, training, & horses sent to the Farm for rehab & lay-up. A father & grandfather, Manuel & his wife reside on the Farm.
MIGUEL (“MIKE”) JIMENEZ, Broodmare Manager – Miguel joined BVF in November, 2007, after spending 16 years as the Assistant Manager at Valley Creek Farm. Following in the footsteps of his father, a retired jockey who galloped Sunday Silence & Runaway Groom, Mike spent 5 years in the Whittingham barn walking hots & grooming horses. He is Manuel’s “right hand man”, assisting with the entire Farm operation. His responsibilities also include client communication & discussing stallion seasons with owners during breeding season. Mike, his wife & 2 daughters are Farm residents & he enjoys coaching his daughters’ soccer & softball teams in his spare time.
BECKY OCAMPO, Office Manager – Becky joined the Farm in February, 2007. She is responsible for all accounting tasks (including monthly invoicing), HR duties & Payroll processing, as well as assisting the Operations Manager with his responsibilities.
JEANNE DAVIS, Sales and Marketing – Returning to Ballena Vista in the fall of 2011, Jeanne has over 25 years in the Thoroughbred Industry. She graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a BA in Ag Business Management/Farm Management in 1981. Jeanne has worked for El Rancho de Jaklin as Assistant Manager, previously for Ballena Vista Farm as Office Manger and for Ren- Mar Thoroughbreds as Manager. She is also the current secretary for the California Thoroughbred Farm Manager’s Association. Jeanne and her husband Randy enjoy music and reading. Their son Matthew is attending UCLA.
MARCELINO GORDILLO, Grounds Manager – Marcelino has been with the Farm prior to its groundbreaking in 1983. He & his crew ensure that the grounds & facility are kept in tip-top shape, both from a visual & serviceable standpoint, taking pride in making the Farm a showplace for residents, both human & equine, as well as for clients & visitors. He is a father & grandfather & resides on the Farm with his family.
MARTIN CHAVEZ, Trainer – Martin is responsible for the initial breaking & training of horses on the Farm, as well as supervising the other riders. An employee of the farm for many years, he also serves as a groom & exercise rider. His association with Manuel spans 20+ years. Martin resides on the Farm with his wife & children, one of whom, Cesar, aspires to become a jockey.
JUAN RINCON, Stud Manager – Juan oversees the very important care & activity of our stallions. Also a long time employee like many at BVF, he assists in the breeding shed & serves as the stallions’ groom. Like Martin, he has been an associate of Manuel for over 20 years. He & his family are also Farm residents.
VETERINARY CARE – Dr. Gary Cranney, founder/owner of Cranney Veterinary Services in San Marcos, is the primary veterinarian for BVF; in addition Dr. William Talbot of Palomar Equine Practice also provides service to the farm. These experienced professionals in equine care & reproduction ensure that all horses receive the proper veterinary care, including timely vaccinations & parasite control. Drs. Cranney & Talbot have a combined 5 decades of experience in equine reproduction & are among the most well-respected in the field.
NUTRITION-Dr. Steve Jackson of Versailles Kentucky has joined the BVF staff as our nutrition consultant. Dr. Steve Jackson received his B.S. in Animal Science from Texas A&M, followed by a PhD. in Equine Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky. He spent 15 years on the faculty at UK where he taught the horse Science courses and directed the Horse Nutrition research program. After serving as the Vice President for research at Kentucky Equine Research for 7 years, he founded Bluegrass Equine Nutrition in 1997 and serves as its owner and president. Jackson consults with farms all over the world in the areas of nutrition and management. He currently is a consultant for such farms as Lanes End, Darley, Pin Oak, Spring Hill Farms, Denali, Taylor Made, North Hills in Japan and Stud TNT in Brazil to name a few. He and his wife operate Jackson Purchase Farm in Versailles Kentucky where they breed and raise a small number of horses to race and sell.
FARRIER CARE – Experienced farriers Jason Job, Chris Roseberry & Luis Perez visit each week to provide their expert services to horses on the Farm, & are available for on-call assistance as needed.
Of course this list is only a partial one. Many supporting employees lend experience & dedication to the care of each equine resident of the Farm.
We invite you to call us for an appointment to visit Ballena Vista Farm & meet the staff!