Gary Holt was a prominent trainer of American Saddlebreds, Hackney Ponies, and Andalusians on the west coast and Utah. For nearly 45 years, from the 1960s through 2002, he along with his wife, Colleen, were actively training. A fixture for many years showing and training on the western side of the country, Holt was influential to west coast American Saddlebred circuit for years. Gary Holt first worked for Joe Biles, who had some American Saddlebreds, ponies and walking horses, then went on his own, taking in all types of horses to train in the 60’s. Barbara & Bill Blacklaw brought an Arabian for him to train, which was the start of 10-year relationship as they transitioned to ASBs and Road Horses. He was an integral part in developing the farm into the prominent American Saddlebred training and breeding operation. During his time there he managed their stallions Plainview’s Commander (47304S*) and Prim Style (52673S*). He trained CH Starheart’s Ballerina (78972M*) during his time working for Gordon Wilson in Salt Lake City, UT.
Gary Holt Stables operated in southern California the next 15 years, first in the San Diego area for Bernice Neil’s Kennelbee Farm, working such prominent horses as Delilah and Geneva June, before moving to the L.A. area. Notable west coast customers and champions in many divisions were Marge MacLaughlin’s What a Thrill and Longview’s Genius, Joey Di Martino’s Fancy Trick, Rolls Royce, Gold Lame and Slick City, Janet Lyttle’s Stealth and Royal Inheritance, Shari Rainwater’s Night Idol, Barbara Currie’s Wing’s Fame and harness pony Late Nite’s Mighty Fine, Andrea Green’s Half Time, Sherry Morrow’s Preferred Moment, Shannon Riley’s Storm Lord and Commander’s Gaylord, Toni Glaser’s Winter Love, Beverly and Michael LaPorta’s Bounty Chips, Dianne Jackson’s Blackberry Danish, The Windhover, Northern Model and many more . Gary also worked for Dr. Gene Scott and Michele Macfarlane at her Scripps Miramar Ranch.
One of Gary’s last show ponies was a pony owned, bred and raised by Barbara and Al Rotter. Gary broke and introduced Pacifico’s Standing Ovation at the Seaside Horse Show in 2001. Pacifico’s Standing Ovation famously went on to win multiple world and national titles in his prolific almost 2-decade show career.
Holt also founded the original Seaside Horse Show in Ventura in the mid-’80s and managed the show until he moved to Oregon in 1992.
Heartfelt sympathies and prayers go out to the Holt Family for their loss. Donations in support of Gary’s aftercare can be made by contacting: Michael Boyko, Joseph P Reardon Funeral Home, Michael@reardonfuneral.com, (805)643-8623. Cards or expressions of sympathycan be sent to: The Holt Family, 4530 Arch St, Somis, CA 93066.