Lou Dillon was the first standardbred trotter that broke the 2.0 mile in 1903. Born 1898 in Santa Rosa and owned by the Pierce Brothers' stock farm, Lou Dillon was an unlikely candidate because of her unteachable nature. Her owner decided to place her with Millard Sanders, who managed to train her and she rewarded him and her owners with her remarkable speed. She went on to become a champion trotter and later traveled to Europe and Russia on exhibition.
Dana DiRicco and her husband, veterinarian Glenn Benjamin, own a dozen 2,000 pound, 18 plus hands tall, giant Percheron draft horses and an award-winning wine-grape vineyard. These giant draft horses are shown in Canada and throughout the United States, as well as participating in parades. They are also farm animals and work in the vineyard. A third-generation Sonoma County native, DiRicco attended Ursuline High School, Santa Rosa Junior College, and UC Berkeley. She has taught at SRJC for over twenty-seven years in the Applied Technology Department. Her first non-fiction book, “And Then Came Hera” was published in 2013, an account of DiRicco’s foray into the Draft Horse world, starting with a desire to save young draft horse foals, a by-product for the production of Premarin, from being slaughtered.
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