The opening of Fairbanks Ranch Country Club coincided with the 1984 Olympic Equestrian Endurance Event held on the property on August 1, 1984. A bronze sculpture named Victory’s Gate commemorates the event and stands at the entrance gate of Fairbanks Ranch Country Club.
Once part of a historic Spanish land grant, Fairbanks Ranch was purchased by Douglas Fairbanks in the 1920s. The famed silent film star in the early 1900s brought such roles as Zorro and Robin Hood to the big screen. He and his wife Mary Pickford, known as “America’s Sweetheart,” owned more than 3,000 acres, which they called Rancho Zorro after the film The Mark of Zorro. It as a peaceful retreat from the hubbub of Hollywood and as a private getaway in which to entertain friends.
Fairbanks Ranch became a haven for the recreationally minded. The pristine environment and opportunity for enhancement first sparked the eye of builder and developer Raymond A. Watt. In 1977, Watt painstakingly began the complex task of assembling Fairbanks Ranch from eight separate entities and set about making his dream a reality. Watt set forth to develop his vision of Fairbanks Ranch Country Club, which he felt would enhance the lifestyles and the value of the properties of community residents. He recruited prestigious local businessmen who would become Founding Members and finance the development of the club. They had no trouble finding members and quickly developed a waiting list to join. Ted Robinson Jr. was hired to design the golf course, and construction began in 1980.
Fairbanks Ranch Country Club’s global impact and refined image was solidified when the International Equestrian Federation chose it as the site of the 1984 Olympic Equestrian Speed and Endurance Test, although all other Olympic equestrian activities were held in the Los Angeles area. The site was granted the royal stamp of approval by the president of the International Equestrian Federation, His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, during his historic visit to Fairbanks Ranch. Prince Philip
expressed his gratitude in this letter to the members of Fairbanks Ranch
In 2009, a video documentary of the Club was created to commemorate its 25th Anniversary. The program features interviews with founding members, historic footage, fantastic storytelling and a glimpse into Fairbanks Ranch's past. (Click on the white arrow below to see video.)