2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.
Del Mar, California.
By Joy Lyn Oleson
When the Del Mar National Horse Show celebrated its 60th anniversary in
2005, it joined the elite few horse shows in the United States that
thrive into their golden years. The Del Mar National Horse Show has
been referred to simply as ? Del Mar? for generations.
Mar is, and has always been, an outstanding national show. Showing at
Del Mar means you?re heading for seriously intense competition. It
means you?re gearing up for some white-knuckle go?s either on the trail
course, dressage arena, or over fences.
Mar at one time or another has been the biggest, or the toughest, or
the richest. Del Mar continues to be the most prestigious horse show in
Southern California. To win at Del Mar is to win big.
Many of today?s horse show superstars rode here as juniors, amateurs,
and some even started as lead-line competitors at Del Mar. As you watch
the young riders here, realize you may be witnessing tomorrow?s
superstars in the making. If you?ve shown at Del Mar, it?s an
experience you just never forget. If you?ve enjoyed Night of the Horse,
Evening of Musical Freestyle, or Grand Prix of Del Mar, it?s an evening
you always remember. Being a part of this horse show?s history, and
carrying on its tradition, is what makes Del Mar so special.
the beginning, the show was a part of the annual San Diego County Fair.
In 1946, 350 competitors rode for a part of the $20,000 purse and
points to become champions at the show.
Over the years, the Del Mar National became so popular and so big, it
outgrew the Fair and became a separate event in 1979. The show and the
venue evolved over time. The show was in an arena near the racetrack
grandstand at one time, on the track in front of the grandstand at
another and in an arena built adjacent to the racetrack chute, near the
stable. The rings and locations changed over the years, as did whether
being a horse show exhibitor also got you into the Fair for free.
kinds of breeds competed in various disciplines at Del Mar. Today it?s
Western, Dressage, and Hunter/Jumper, but the show started out with
gaited horses, hackney ponies, saddlebreds, hunter/jumpers, stock
horses and more. At one point, draft horses and mules competed, too.
Mar now offers more than $300,000 in prize money and attracts more than
3,000 horses during the three weeks of competition. The show takes
place in the $5.4-million Del Mar Fairgrounds equestrian complex. The
Del Mar Arena is one of only two equestrian venues in the West to ever
host a World Cup, which it did in 1992. Del Mar through the years has
quite a few "firsts" in its history.
For more information:
?2005 22nd District Agricultural Association
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