Sandhu Arabians, big plans for Tehachapi
July 20, 2019
In September of 2018, Tehachapi became the home of a breeding facility for the world-renowned Sandhu Arabians. The Brite Valley ranch became the third of four facilities owned by veterinarian Balpal (Billa) Sandhu, DVM. Dr. Sandhu said it was the green of the valley, the four seasons and the availability of groundwater for the horses that drew him to Tehachapi.
The ranch had been on the market for two years when his friend and owner of Old Town Pizza brought it to his attention. The Brite Valley ranch will become the major breeding facility for Sandhu Arabians and now houses over 60 horses.
Sandhu Arabians are known as premier Arabian horses bred and trained to be shown, excelling in breed, performance and other horse shows. They have been added to the stables of the royal family of Quatar, shieks of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates and have found homes in Latin America and Europe. Dr. Sandhu's daughter Muskaan is a United States and Canadian National Champion in four riding classes: halter, hunter, country and English.
Dr. Sandhu's first facility was located at his home in Norco, Calif. where he has lived with his family for many years. He eventually added a 10-acre facility in Aqua Dulce near Santa Clarita, which is now primarily a training facility. The newest ranch of the four is located in Scottsdale, Ariz. and will also be a training facility. The public unveiling of the Tehachapi Sandhu Arabians ranch was at an event held on June 18 for many of the area's horse lovers. Sandhu treated everyone to a never-to-be-forgotten evening of show horses and delicious Indian food.
Balpal Sandhu grew up in India where he first became a veterinarian. He came to the United States in 1995 to study at the University of Missouri, Columbia and he did his internship there. His first veterinary job in the U.S. was in Seattle and he finally moved to California in 1999. Sandhu completed his residency in orthopedics and neurosurgery at the Antelope Valley Veterinary Center on Avenue M in Lancaster specializing in small animals. He opened his small animal clinic in Lancaster in 2009 and it now operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The newest Tehachapi project for Sandhu is Sandhu Arabian Trucking. He purchased his first truck last October and is now operating six trucks and trailers. He feels that Tehachapi is a natural hub for long haul and short haul trucking and sees a great future for the industry here.
Other visions for the future include a 5,000-square-foot restaurant complex located on N. Mill St. next to Tractor Supply. Sandhu said he currently envisions three restaurants under the roof including an Indian Tandoori fusion restaurant, an Italian franchise and a burger restaurant. He said it will not be a fast-food type but a destination restaurant that will bring customers from all over. The project has been initially approved by the Planning Commission and he hopes to have it well under way by next spring.
When asked if he would be putting on horse shows in Tehachapi he said "perhaps." He has thought about possibly doing one or two a year. However, there is no doubt that Dr. Billa Sandhu will be making a big imprint on Tehachapi in the near future.