This interview originally appeared in Horse Trader Magazine
Horse Trader (HT): Dale, are there any similarities in the role of a movie stunt rider and running as a candidate for L.A. City Council? Dale Gibons (DG): Being on budget and being on time are the most important things dealing with the city and, especially, on set. In either place, if you get known for being undependable, a big spender and never on time, you are not going to be very popular.
HT: It’s been pointed out that “stunt man” is just one item on your resume. You’ve been president of your local neighborhood council that works closely with the Los Angeles City Council on neighborhood issues, you are the current president of the Equine Advisory Board, working closely the last seven years with the L.A. City Council on equestrian issues. And you’re a businessman in L.A. going on 18 years now.
DG: For the neighborhoods, I’d like to strengthen the neighborhood council’s voice, which is more in tune with local issues. As for horses, L.A. is second only to Texas with the number of horses, a big economic business for L.A. I’d also like to see more filming brought back to L.A. Many jobs and tax revenue was lost to other states when L.A. took away tax incentives to filming.
HT: You have been working to make a difference for years — ranging from your water reclamation project to leading the L.A. Equine Advisory Council. What’s your message to horse people as far as getting involved in their communities?
DG: United we stand, divided we fall. My message is to stand together — yes, it’s the motto of Kentucky, where I’m from. But most equestrians want to go ride and be left alone. I tell horse people and non-equestrian voters in this district that we REALLY need to stand together. One person rarely makes a big difference, but a community that stands together can make great things happen. Horse people are very independent, self-sufficient folks, but a loner can easily be picked off by wolves and there are lots of wolves out there. The other thing is to stand for your community.
HT: What are the pressures horse communities face?
DG: A realtor told me a long time ago, “we fight and we fight, and one day we win.” And that’s how our ranchlands disappear, to developers who have a lot of money. But once the lifestyle is gone, it’s gone forever.
HT: Different types of horse people bring different strengths to the community. What are the urgent items to address in northern Los Angeles? What are some of the ways horse people can get involved?
DG: First, just stand together. Infrastructure, homelessness, zoning, water conservation and retention of rain runoff. These are just a start.
HT: What’s your vision of having horses in the mid part of this century?
DG: I have watched the equestrian lifestyle slowly fade away. I understand its not cheap, but kids that grow up around horses are the most respectful, caring and responsible kids I know. Taking care of something or someone else is a huge responsibility, and it leaves an impression on kids. I hope our lifestyle survives, it shouldn’t be just for the wealthy, but a choice for everyone who wants it. Captain Kirk loved horses in the future.
Read the entire Horse Trader interview with Dale Gibbons online at http://bit.ly/703_Dale.