Gata Rein Ranch, owned by Steve and Denise Santagata, was brought to life by Denise’s love for horses. “I have always loved horses and wanted to learn more about them,” Denise said about her passion. “My brother-in-law had trail horses at his home and invited me over to ride. So, of course I went every day!”
Denise’s love for all things equine was obvious and her desire for knowledge continued to grow. “I wanted to become a better rider, so I started taking lessons with Francis Mercier, who was working at a near by training facility.” Under the guidance of Francis, Denise’s was gaining skill and confidence. It wasn’t long before the trainer introduced her to his passion – reining. “I was fascinated by the reining horses and I would try to do the maneuvers on my trail horse, but I’m sure you can imagine how well that worked.”
Eventually, the Santagata’s purchased their first reining horse, Patrasha’s Prince, or Prince Charming as Denise lovingly calls him. “He was really too much horse for me, but it didn’t keep me from loving the experience every day.” As her love for everything reining continued to grow, so did Denise’s passion for her horses.
Denise and Steve were determined to offer the best training services possible at their facility. They have devoted a lot of time and effort to finding the best compliment of NRHA Professionals to run the ranch and build their training program. Currently, that team consists of Bill Bowen and his assistant trainer, who strive together to maintain a program that keeps our horses competitive at a local and national level. Throughout the season, they attend 2-3 shows per month, including local affiliate shows as well as NRHA major events. In addition to training programs for your horses, Gata Rein Ranch offers Non-Pro coaching and lessons. From the beginner to the seasoned exhibitor, we have a program to suit every level of rider.