The Rescue and Capture of Mr. Robert "Bob" Ramsey

By DeeDee Conrad on Feb 26, 2019 at 10:15 AM in Stories From the Barn

The Rescue and Capture of Mr. Robert "Bob" Ramsey

The Rescue and Capture of Mr. Robert "Bob" Ramsey

This is the history and story of the capture of Mr. Robert "Bob" Ramsey, the Barbados Ram, that is now residing at Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Center, 4420 Calle Real, Santa Barbara. This all began in September 2016, when several motorists reported to local law enforcement that a "ram with large horns" was walking along San Marcos Pass eating roadside grass between Painted Cave Road and the 2100 block of Highway 154. Both local residents, as well as other motorists, would report their sightings multiple times per week to the California Highway Patrol, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office, and County Animal Control personnel who would respond to that area in an attempt to locate the reported ram.

The Rescue and Capture of Mr. Robert "Bob" Ramsey

On more than one occasion, First Responders did, in fact, observe the reported "ram with large horns," but he always eluded capture. Bob was extremely knowledgable of the area of "Windy Gap" and the Maria Ygnacio Creek are where he always made his escape from First Responders. Bob would most often be walking on the shoulder of the highway, keeping the roadway and guardrail between himself and the traffic. The "Legend of the Ram with Large Horns" spread among the entire San Marcos Pass Mountain Communities and this information was finally given to the property owners, the Arnoldi Family, where Bob was always fleeing and living for the past three months.

During the first week of December 2016, the California Highway Patrol and Santa Barbara County Animal Control responded numerous times to the "Windy Gap" area in an attempt to capture Bob. At one point, Highway Patrol attempted to "escort" Bob with their red lights and sirens, but to no avail, Bob eluded them as always.

Later during that same week, the property owners, Butch Arnoldi and his son Guiseppe observed Bob grazing on the large green flat strip of land on the ocean side of the highway. They completed their ranch chores and drove down to that section of the ranch property in an attempt to capture Bob by bringing him grain and water, hoping that they would get Bob's attention and earn his trust. They were able to get within ten feet of him, but as usual, Bob eluded capture once again. They set up a corral/blind area and returned the next day. Again, they got within ten feet of Bob, but he managed to escape capture.

Due to the several near misses involving traffic accidents and the several responses by First Responders, Mr. Arnoldi contacted County Animal Control and requested names of individuals that may be interested in assisting in the capture of livestock. He was given the names of a local and long-time cowboy, Mr. Ralph Lastin. Contact was made with Mr. Lastin and he met Mr. Arnoldi at the property and a gameplan was formulated. Mr. Lastin, his canine, Mr. Marco Valdivia, and Mr. Will Ingram, joined Mr. Arnoldi and his son at the ranch on December 10, 2016.

The date arrived and the plan was ready to be executed. Two men would hike down the main trail in an attempt to locate Bob while the others covered possible escape routes coming out of the canyon. Bob was located down under an oak tree at the last switchback just above the Maria Ygnacio Creek. Mr. Lastin walked the trail rim and positioned himself below Bob, cutting off the escape route. Bob made an immediate attempt to flee. Mr. Lastin lassoed captured Bob midair with one throw of his rope. Bob had finally been captured! Bob was led up the trail for almost a quarter of a mile and placed in the rear of the waiting ranch truck. Mr. Lastin brought Bob home and through Animal Control, Bob was later adopted by Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Center and named Mr. Robert "Bob" Ramsey. It is unknown how Bob got to that area of San Marcos Pass as no one reported him missing or lost, but the legend and capture of Mr. Robert "Bob" Ramsey had a successful and happy ending for everyone, especially Bob as he is now the official mascot of Hearts!

Photographs of rescue and capture provided by the Arnoldi Family. Research and documentation provided by Ugo Peter "Butch" Arnoldi.

Photography by Emily Hart-Roberts

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