THOUSAND OAKS : Horse Owners Move After Winning Fight

After fighting Thousand Oaks City Hall for three years to keep Ragtime, a well-known miniature stallion, Patty and Richard Fairchild have moved from their rented house on Shady Brook Drive to the city's horse country five miles away.

"It seems crazy," said Patty Fairchild, who spent $40,000 in legal fees fighting to keep Ragtime at their tract house. "We could have rented anywhere. We just ended up here."

She said they looked for a home in all areas of Thousand Oaks and the surrounding areas, but ended up renting a house on Paige Lane in the city's horse country.

"The house just seemed to fit the bill," Fairchild said of the three-bedroom blue-and-white house. And the neighbors are already warming up to the 27-inch horse.

Ragtime achieved national attention in 1987, when the city ordered the Fairchilds to remove the tiny horse from their property. Thousand Oaks officials argued that the horse violated city codes prohibiting such animals from being kept within 40 feet of residential dwellings.

But in the last year, a Ventura Municipal judge ruled in favor of the Fairchilds, saying the miniature horse should be considered a domestic pet.

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