The Nash family purchased the Circle Z Ranch in 1975, after being longtime guests. At their home in Novelty Ohio, the family also ran a farm, where they were active in Hunter/Jumper events, Fox Hunting, and managing their hay operation, along with owner oversight of the Circle Z Ranch.
When Mrs. Nash suffered a stroke in 2009, her son Rick and his wife Diana Nash took over as acting owners of the ranch. Rick has a strong background in English riding, having showed in Hunter/Jumper divisions as well as Fox Hunting. He is also an accomplished rider in western saddle. Diana has ridden western for much of her life, having grown up in a rural area in Montana. During her college years, she worked summers with her brother in Yellowstone Park guiding sight-seeing and fishing pack trips by horseback. After marrying in 1993, Rick and Diana made their home in Missoula, Montana, where Rick is owner/operator of a car restoration business, and Diana worked for 15 years as a Registered Nurse. Our son Preston is still completing his studies, and has spent many days at the ranch.
Diana now spends her winters at the Circle Z, assisting with the overall management and marketing of the ranch. Rick still operates his automotive restoration shop in Missoula, and spends part of the winter at the ranch. Diana loves trail riding with the guests, and enjoys helping the younger horses, and is very interested in horsemanship. She has attended several horsemanship clinics, most recently with Carlos Tabernaberri and Mark Rashid. Hosting guests and managing the ranch along with the Lortas has been a source of joy and accomplishment for Rick and Diana’s continued commitment to the ranch and surrounding area.
We spend our summers in Montana during the ranches off season, while Preston is home from school. We are both are very involved with a horse rescue sanctuary, where our devotion to the overall well being of horses is exemplified in our works. We are both supportive of many non-profits in Montana as well as Arizona. We enjoy traveling, hiking, water and snow sports, and being on their Montana property. Being able to share this phenomenal property with the hundreds of guests who visit each year is very rewarding, and we truly enjoy the ranch life with our staff and guests.
Circle Z Ranch General Managers Jennie and George Lorta
We are excited to welcome you to Circle Z Ranch! Collectively, we have lived and worked at the Ranch over 75 years. Married for 34 years, we have had the pleasure of raising our sons, Chad and Miko, here at Circle Z. And now, our grandchildren are enjoying ranch life as well.
Both of us grew up embracing all the joys of ranching. George’s family owned a ranch in Mexico where he learned to ride, shoe and rope. Similarly, my grandfather owned a ranch where he taught me to ride and rope. Our love for the sport resulted in our love for each other. We met years later while participating at a rodeo in Sonoita. At the time, George was already a part of Circle Z Ranch. Fast forward a few years, George and I are married, have started a family, and we’re all working together at the ranch. It is only natural to humbly think of Circle Z Ranch as our home.
Over the years, we have enjoyed meeting new people and building relationships with our guests. We are grateful to have numerous staff return season after season who are here to enhance your experience while visiting the Circle Z. We take pride in our amazing horses and the incredible riding experience they provide our guests. Our horses are well taken care of and it is evident in their happy and friendly demeanor. You’ll be amazed by the desert oasis here at the Ranch as you ride through the unique landscapes with spectacular views.
We very much look forward to meeting you and encourage you to let us know if you have any questions or concerns. We’re happy to be of service to you!
At the ranch, you’ll discover that we keep true to the idea of a “family run operation”. Miko Lorta, George and Jennie’s son who grew up on the Circle Z Ranch, is now the Corral Foreman. You will find him at Los Corales, planning your rides and taking care of your horse. Miko’s love for horses was instilled in him as a young boy at the ranch.
Miko competed in junior rodeos that led him to finals in Oklahoma and New Mexico. He also did some stunt work at the age of 8 in the TV Series “I want to be a Cowboy” and “Young Riders”. Miko also played many sports including football, which lead him to become an All Star player for the Arizona High School team. Currently, his hobbies include competing in Team Roping events, training horses, and of course, teaching their daughter to ride.
Chances are, you’ve already interacted with Miko’s wife, Yesenia. As the office manager, she’s arranged your stay and answered your questions. While she doesn’t have much experience on the saddle she will at times join a ride. Yesenia spent most of her childhood learning to play new instruments including the violin, cello, clarinet and trombone. She competing in cross country and track meets as well playing soccer. She now spends much of her time coaching their daughter’s soccer team. However, her greatest pleasure is watching her daughter follow daddy’s footsteps.
During your visit, you may meet our daughter, Camila. She’s a little girl with a big personality who aspires to be a wrangler. She enjoys meeting the guests and “hosting” movie night. She spends most of her time being a regular kindergartner and playing soccer. You may find her down at Los Corrales with her daddy, getting ready for a ride or in the office assisting her mom.
We are very thankful for the opportunity to meet you and we’re available to answer any question.
Miko, Yesenia and Camila Lorta