Donette Marie Wyatt was born and raised in Stockton, CA, where she grew up in the country surrounded by horse stables. When Donette was just a little girl she always wanted to be around horses. She would spend the first eight years of her life watching and listening to the trainer next door, Mr. Marvin Mayfield, giving riding lessons and watching people ride. At 8 years old she saved $200.00 and bought her first horse. Immediately after getting her horse she began to perfect her riding skills by riding for hours and practicing every day. She started competing in local schooling shows and play days. As time went by and doing very well, people started to ask her if she could ride their horses and help them. While working a full time job she began little by little riding more horses and showing them.
Donette was a natural, after a few years her riding talents were noticed and eventually she was asked to work for a trainer she admired. So she moved and rode stallions and numerous breeds of horses and learned patience and how to ride each horse as an individual.
Returning to Stockton, Donette began training and teaching full time. Together with her mother, Loraine Wyatt, who was already leasing and managing Sperry Ranch Stables as a boarding facility, they soon turned it into training and boarding facility. Donette began training young horses from ground driving to the show ring. She won many awards and taught students to do the same.
In 1993 she met the love of her life, Larry D’Alonzo country line dancing. Where she literally ran into him and then asked him to dance. It was love at first site and they were married that same year. Within a year together they built D’Alonzo Ranch Equestrian Center, training, boarding and event facility. She continues her career training horses, giving riding lessons and together they put on monthly shows. Year round.
Donette’s feels very fortunate for all the support and opportunities in her life and will never forget where she came from, The small local shows where she got started with her $200.00 dollar horse that taught her so much. Since opening her own ranch she has strived to create an atmosphere where riders and horsemen alike can have fun and still achieve their goals. She wants to give all riders, horses and trainers’ young and old the opportunities that were available to her. Donette strongly believes that honesty and integrity is very important, and supporting the horse industry and treating horses and people fairly is a major key in keeping the ranch successful and the horse industry strong. She has always wanted to help make dreams come true, even the little ones, because sometimes, that is as far as some people get and that’s ok if it makes them happy.
Larry graduated in 1976 from California State University Stanislaus with a major in Physical Education and minors in Business and Biology, and received his Secondary Teaching Credential to teach the following year. He put himself through college by painting houses on weekends.
Not finding a teaching position in an area where he desired, he continued painting and obtained his Painting Contractor’s License C-33.
In growing his painting business, he partnered with high school friend and formed Dalonzo Johnson Painting Co. They concentrated on painting new multi unit construction projects and had numerous employees. Over time the two expanded into remodeling homes and changed their business name to Creative Additions.
After a few years Larry partnered with another high school friend and formed Concote Corporation, a construction and coatings Co, They started buying open lots and building speculation homes while continuing doing large multi unit painting projects. One of their highlight projects included being a feature builder in the gated country club community called Brookside. Building exclusive custom homes.
Larry then acquired his Real Estate License so he could sale the homes they were building.
Rather than purchasing lots from other builders, they decided to buy open land and develop their own home lots, subdivisions, apartments and condo projects Their developments included subdivision in Galt (mid range homes) Santa Cruz and Stockton (custom homes) and South Stockton (1st time buyer homes) apartment complex in Lodi, and condo projects in Lodi and Aptos.
Larry also obtained his own General Construction Lic. (B) under the name D’Alonzo Development.
Then comes Donette and Larry’s world changed. From city boy to country boy.
Did we also mention the D'Alonzo's own four Mongolian BBQ Restaurants? It's true.
Larry and Donette D’Alonzo, a husband and wife team who are the owners and operators of D’Alonzo Ranch Equestrian Center, They purchased land in 1994, with Larry’s knowledge of financing, construction and development, along with Donette’s love for riding and training horses, it was destined that they build their own ranch and share their passion with others. Within a year D’Alonzo Ranch Equestrian Center was built and officially opened for business in January 1995.
Below are their stories.