In 1970, at the insistence of a friend, Alice Giovannini, an active San Francisco resident and wife of Dr. Andy Giovannini, a successful orthopedic surgeon specializing in joint replacement, visited a fortune teller. The woman read her tarot cards and told Alice that she would someday leave San Francisco, a city she enjoyed to the fullest, to live in the country. And she told her that horses would become an important part of her life. Since Alice had just renovated their San Francisco house in St Francis Woods and had never spent a moment in her life thinking about horses, her fortune sounded absurd. She and her friend, another doctor’s wife, laughed it off. In 1975, the family visited a friend who ran a Peruvian Paso breeding program. Unexpectedly, Andy fell in love with a yearling colt and bought him. He then learned that few facilities would keep a stallion. It was either sell Huando or geld him. Refusing to geld him, the colt was brought to Walnut Creek where he could run and grow. Mares were purchased to keep him company.
By 1978 the land in Walnut Creek, 4 acres, had become too small to accommodate the number of horses. Alice, who by now had become the major lover of horses in the family, bought 12 acres on Tassajara Road between Danville and Pleasanton, now know as La Jolla. Alice then studied “Equine Reproduction” and “Horse Care” at UC Davis. Over the next 20 years, Alice built a large breeding facility. She eventually assisted in the birth of over 100 foals and owned hundreds of horses that she actively bred, doing her own artificial insemination when needed. The ribbons and trophies that overflow their display case tell the story of their success as Peruvian Paso breeders and competitors. When Andy’s favorite stallion, Maximo, a son of Huando, died in 1988, Alice decided to discontinue the breeding operations, known back then as AAG Ranch.
By the year 2000 a life without horses was too much and Alice opened La Jolla Equestrian Center, also known as La Jolla Equestrian Academy, a premier boarding and training facility for English riding in the Northern California, East Bay region. Alice is retired now, but the Giovannini family is committed to keeping La Jolla a wonderful place to ride and board your horse. On-site Manager, Lourdes Giovannini, along with a top-notch on-site ranch crew, off-site management and administration and 4 on-site trainers maintain a peaceful oasis for the horses. If you seek a good home for your horse, and value the wonderful peace of mind that a horse can bring to your life, please consider making La Jolla “home” for your horse. Contact us for a tour!