Guide to the Silvergate Riding Club and Balboa Mounted Troop Records MS 207

Finding aid prepared by Lauren Rasmussen
Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.
San Diego History Center Document Collection
1649 El Prado, Suite 3
San Diego, CA, 92101
February 23, 2012

Title: Silvergate Riding Club and Balboa Mounted Troop Records
Identifier/Call Number: MS 207
Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 2.75 Linear feet (4 boxes)
Date (inclusive): 1924-1994
Abstract: The collection contains materials for the Silvergate Riding Club and the Balboa Mounted Troop, two equestrian societies that were based in San Diego in the mid to late 20th century.
creator: Balboa Mounted Troop.
creator: Silvergate Riding Club.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Lauren Rasmussen on February 23, 2012.
Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

Preferred Citation

Silvergate Riding Club and Balboa Mounted Troop Records, MS 207, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Pages of scrapbooks are fragile and brittle.


The collection is arranged into two series:
Series I: Silvergate Riding Club Records
Series II: Balboa Mounted Troop Records
Items within each series are arranged by subject. Scrapbooks remain in original order.

Separated Materials

Original photographs separated to the SDHC Photograph Collection, 2000/091.1-op thru 2000/091.134-op.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accesion number 980318.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of records from both the Silvergate Riding Club and the Balboa Mounted Troop. Administrative materials from both groups include histories, by-laws, officer and membership rosters, meeting records and announcements, newsletters, and correspondence. Horseshow programs, publicity correspondence, related newspaper articles, and photographs of members and activities are also included for both the Club and Troop. Scrapbooks include articles, photographs, event flyers and programs, and correspondence.

Biographical / Historical Notes

The Silvergate Riding Club was founded by Rachel G. Wegeforth in 1924 as a private equestrian society. Originally named the Silvergate Riding and Driving Association, the Club operated out of the Balboa Park Riding Academy and focused on western riding instruction. The co-ed group also hosted a multitude of social activities, including trail rides, picnics, scavenger hunts, and breakfast functions. In 1933, the Balboa Park Stables and the organization’s clubhouse were destroyed by a fire. That same year, the Club began hosting their popular horse shows. The shows, which attracted up to 800 participants, were held annually until 1986, with the exception of 1943 during World War II. After the 1933 fire, the Club, in preparation for the California Pacific International Exposition, rebuilt the stables and a large riding arena in south Balboa Park near San Diego High School. In 1946 they founded the Bridlewise Club, a junior riding organization, to promote horsemanship among San Diego youth. Construction of the crosstown freeway (later called Interstate 5) in 1960 forced the Club to move from their Balboa Park facilities to Bonita Valley Farms, a ranch run by a member, Robert Bradley. From 1978-1983, the Club's annual horse shows were held at Dehesa Farms Equestrian Center in El Cajon. The Club officially dissolved in 1994.
The Balboa Mounted Troop, a dressage drill team, was organized in 1935 and was the only women’s English riding group in San Diego County. Like the Silvergate Riding Club, membership was by invitation only. The Troop shared facilities, instructors, and several members with the Silvergate Riding Club, though the two groups were separate organizations. The Troop's first public appearance was in 1935 at the California Pacific International Exposition. In 1937, they chartered their first charity horse show to benefit the Boys and Girls Aid Society of San Diego. These shows lasted until 1947, but the Troop maintained their ties with the Boys and Girls Aid Society for years to follow. The Troop also hosted a number of social activities, the most popular of which was the Troop’s annual Easter “Bunny Hunt,” first held in 1952. Participants on horseback searched for decorated Easter eggs. Brunch was later served and a cash prize was awarded to the winner. As with the Silvergate Riding Club, the Troop was forced to move to Bonita Valley Farms in 1960 due to the freeway construction continuing to share facilities with the Silvergate Riding Club. Weekly meetings were held on Thursdays, with an hour of drill followed by a social coffee hour. The Troop formally dissolved in 1985.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Balboa Mounted Troop.
Balboa Park Stables.
Bonita Valley Farms.
Boys and Girls Aid Society of San Diego.
Bradley, Robert C.
Dehesa Farms Equestrian Center.
Derr, Rowena
Jacques, Dorothy
San Diego National Horse Show Association.
Silvergate Riding and Driving Association.
Silvergate Riding Club.
Simpson, Harry
Wegeforth, Rachel Granger
Balboa Park (San Diego, Calif.)
Bonita (Calif.)
Eventing (Horsemanship)
Horse shows
Horse shows -- English performance classes
Horse shows -- Western division and classes
Horse sports
Horses -- Training
Riding clubs
San Diego (Calif.)
Show riding
Trail riding


Series I:  Silvergate Riding Club Records

Box-folder 1:1

Club history, 1964-1973 and undated

Box-folder 1:2

By-laws, 1960 and undated

Box-folder 1:3

Officer and new member lists, 1924-1978

Box-folder 1:4

Club rosters, 1960-1986

Box-folder 1:5

Membership cards and dues, 1964-1985 and undated

Box-folder 1:6

Meeting notes, 1966 November 29

Box-folder 1:7

Correspondence, 1963-1986


Thank you notes
Horse show planning and sponsorships
Box-folder 1:8

Newsletters, bulletins, and announcements, 1962-1985 and undated

Box-folder 1:9

Events, 1964-1994


Club invitations
Planning notes, such as event seating charts
Invitation to Club Christmas party (December 18, 1944) notes official disbanding of the Club.
Box-folder 1:10

Horse Show rider list, 1964

Box-folder 1:11

Horse Show programs, 1962-1967

Box-folder 1:12

Horse Show programs, 1968-1977

Box-folder 1:13

Miscellaneous Horse Show programs, 1959-1961


Programs for shows not hosted by Club, but instead participated by Club, such as the Romano Ranch Riders Horse Show.
Box-folder 1:14

Publicity, 1962-1969


Drafts of articles and speeches to promote Club activities
Correspondence with various news outlets, such as the San Diego Union
Box-folder 1:15

Newspaper clippings, 1962-1974

Box-folder 1:16

Photographs (copies), undated

Box-folder 1:17

Scrapbook one (1 of 3), 1948-1990 and undated

Box-folder 1:18

Scrapbook one (2 of 3), 1954-1990 and undated

Box-folder 2:1

Scrapbook one (3 of 3), 1968-1991 and undated

Box-folder 4:1

Scrapbook two (1 of 3), 1944-1967 and undated

Box-folder 4:2

Scrapbook two (2 of 3), 1967-1973 and undated

Box-folder 4:3

Scrapbook two (3 of 3), 1974-1987 and undated

Box-folder 2:2

Scrapbook two, loose materials (1 of 2), 1960-1967 and undated

Box-folder 2:3

Scrapbook two, loose materials (2 of 2), 1971-1984 and undated

Box-folder 2:4

Miscellanea, 1966-1991 and undated


Silvergate Carnival award ribbon
Drafting of a male member of the Silvergate Saber Corps
Newspaper articles on subjects of Club interest and on Club family members and friends
Box-folder 2:5

Miscellanea, 1964


Wooden plaque commemorating Ann Kempf’s lifetime membership

Series II:  Balboa Mounted Troop Records

Box-folder 2:6

Troop history, 1965 and undated

Box-folder 2:7

Constitution, by-laws, and Troop rules, 1947 and undated

Box-folder 2:8

Officer lists, 1954-1975

Box-folder 2:9

Troop rosters, 1963-1978

Box-folder 2:10

Meeting announcements and minutes, 1969-1970

Box-folder 2:11

Correspondence, 1954-1976


Thank you notes
Dues reminders
Payment invoices
Personal member correspondence
Box-folder 3:1

Newsletters and announcements, 1960-1985 and undated


July 21, 1985 newsletter pertains to the disbanding of the Troop and the closing of the Troop banking account.
Box-folder 3:2

Events, 1962-1975 and undated


Planning notes
Box-folder 3:3

Horse Show programs, 1941-1945

Box-folder 3:4

Publicity, 1950-1980 and undated

Scope and Content

Event press releases
Publicity correspondence
Box-folder 3:5

Newspaper clippings, 1963-1975

Box-folder 3:6

Photographs (copies), undated

Box-folder 4:4

Scrapbook, 1950-1965 and undated

Box-folder 3:7

Scrapbook, loose materials, 1950-1974 and undated

Box-folder 3:8

Miscellanea, 1948-1975 and undated


Parade award ribbons
Troop membership application
Troop stationary
Copy of Troop song
Newspaper clippings