What is CLEEF?
Camp Lockett Event and Equestrian Facility (CLEEF) is located on 167 acres of property in the mountainous area of southeast San Diego County. Camp Lockett was designated a California Historic Site in 2009 and was the home of the 10th, 11th and 28th Cavalry during World War II. These Cavalry Units included the famous “Buffalo Soldiers” and the 10th & 28th Cavalry were comprised entirely of African American soldiers. The Buffalo Soldiers were charged with protecting and defending the southern border of the United States.
Establishing an Equestrian Facility on the Camp Lockett grounds was long envisioned by the County of San Diego, but funding constraints overcame that ambition. CLEEF, a 501 (c) 3 corporation was formed by local citizens specifically to accomplish the goal of establishing and operating a unique Equestrian Facility on this historically significant and beautiful site.
CLEEF now owns 167 acres; our original lease of 83 acres plus an additional 84 acres having been transferred, through escrow, to CLEEF in 2016. Our property is owned and managed by CLEEF as a community asset and non-profit. With no paid Board Members or staff, we rely totally on volunteers for property maintenance, and donors for improvements.
The impact of this facility provides a quality destination for equestrian enthusiasts from throughout the southwest region of San Diego County. Our plans include a re-creation of the Buffalo Soldier equestrian obstacle course, a “mini-museum” and artifacts dedicated to the Buffalo Soldiers, and various arenas for equestrian events, some of which have been completed. Additionally, we now offer limited horse camping availability.
The Camp Lockett property is located approximately 1/4 mile from the trailhead for the Pacific Crest Trail and would serve as an ideal location for travelers embarking on the famous 2200 mile trek. The Pacific Crest Trail is reserved for hikers and mounted riders and stretches from the U.S. Mexico border to the U.S. Canada border.
Our future plans also include equestrian educational programs for disadvantaged children from throughout the southwest region. Our intent is to schedule events and activities that provide recreational opportunities for our local residents, and draw visitors to our area to support our local historic sites and businesses.
This project fills a significant void within the County of San Diego for a quality equestrian destination. It will preserve the history of the Buffalo Soldiers, and provide a wonderful equestrian experience for riders of all ages. CLEEF will provide a “look back” at the rich history of the area, and bring awareness of the contribution that Camp Lockett and the Buffalo Soldiers provided during their tenure at this site. Additionally, all revenue generated above operating expenses will be returned to the community through High School Scholarships, financial support to local non-profits, and similar activities.