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Golden Eagle Farm, a 560-acre horse-breeding operation in Ramona, will close October 31, according to the Daily Racing Form. It was founded by the late John and Betty Mabee in 1972 and at one time had 400 horses on the property. It was considered one of California's top farms and got national recognition.

John Mabee started a small grocery store that grew into the Big Bear chain of 30 stores, which he sold in 1991. Mabee was controversial: he bought the Golden Eagle Insurance company in 1984. It was not highly rated. The California Department of Insurance, worried about the amount of debt on the company, seized it in 1997. For awhile, Mabee owned 20 percent of the Chargers.

John Mabee died in 2002 and Betty died in 2010. Their son, Larry, died in 2012.

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Comments

Founder Oct. 24, 2014 @ 12:12 p.m.

Anyone else her the galloping as Big Developers race to acquire what will surely become the next SD regional "node" that just has to be developed, since it cannot stay just a picturesque farm any longer since their is money to be made?

Maybe they will call it, New Ramona or Far Out East $D...

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Don Bauder Oct. 24, 2014 @ 12:20 p.m.

Founder: Oh yes. I would bet money that this will go to developers. Best, Don Bauder

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Visduh Oct. 24, 2014 @ 12:24 p.m.

Old Jawn was a piece of work. He bought that insurance company when the US insurance industry was going through one of its (identity) crises, and was charging breathtakingly high premiums for insurance on race horses, if they would write a policy at all. Mabee decided that if he owned his own insurance company he could keep the premiums down, and also make a bundle off other horse owners who needed such insurance.

But didn't he and the then-state insurance commissioner, Quackenbush(?), have some shady connections and dealings toward the end?

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Don Bauder Oct. 24, 2014 @ 1:02 p.m.

visduh: Yes, Mabee was insuring horses for fat fees, and that raised some eyebrows. And, yes, Quackenbush left California in disgrace. He was suspected of steering insurance company funds into his reelection campaign. That was in the year 2000. In 2006, I located him as a cop in Florida. You can find that blog item through our search engine. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Oct. 24, 2014 @ 1:04 p.m.

AlexClarke: Are you referring to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) or People Eating Tasty Animals (PETA). No horse meat for me, thank you. Best, Don Bauer

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shirleyberan Oct. 24, 2014 @ 2:03 p.m.

The Del Mar race track advertises a new Bing Crosby racing season this November. Are there any horses to race after all the carnage of previous seasons? Did you see the guy on the Chargers team who could barely walk and still in the game this weekend? No more killing fields of any kind, dumb moneygrubbers.

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Don Bauder Oct. 24, 2014 @ 9:05 p.m.

shirleyberan: The players, most of whom become millionaires, or multi-millionaires, find they can barely walk, or they have lost mental function, by the time they are in their 50s. Maybe then it occurs to them that they were dumb moneygrubbers. On the other hand, many seem to survive physically and mentally -- and economically, too. They are not dumb. Best, Don Bauder

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shirleyberan Oct. 24, 2014 @ 9:26 p.m.

I meant the violent-sports team-owners (and coaches) who don't put player's wellness before profit are dumbgrubbers. I can respect the men who make money playing football. I hate seeing that kind of obvious brain trauma when they're doing it, ie Jahleel Addae. They lie about how injurious the "game" is as do the horse racing major players lie about why the animals are falling.

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Don Bauder Oct. 25, 2014 @ 7:46 a.m.

shirleyberan: You won't get any argument from me that pro sports team owners are moneygrubbers. I don't think many, if any, are dumb, however. Look at how many city governments they have conned. Best, Don Bauder

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shirleyberan Oct. 24, 2014 @ 9:45 p.m.

No I wasn't watching a damn football game, the footage of the poor guy was on the news.

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Don Bauder Oct. 25, 2014 @ 7:47 a.m.

shirleyberan: I watched that game and didn't see the incident. Now it is all over the news. Sounds pretty gruesome. Best, Don Bauder

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