After contacting the top dressage riders and dressage ring specialists in the field, local retired businessman Dave Cox developed a professional facility at the Valenti Estate and Saddle Club in Rancho Santa Fe. He researched, then financed what became one of the best dressage facilities in San Diego County. After the ring was built, Cox was its caretaker until his death Sept. 3.
On Nov. 19, a memorial plaque in his honor was installed at the dressage ring, naming it the Dave Cox Arena. Original Rancho Santa Fe Saddle Club owner Richard Rosenblatt was on hand for the dedication of the plaque, designed by bronze sculpture artist Célou Bonnet, who immigrated to the United States in 1981 from Provence, France.
A celebrated rider, Célou came to California to work for renowned thoroughbred racehorse trainer Charlie Whittingham, then learned the technique of working with bronze from Bill Yancy at the Hammerman foundry in Escondido.