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Del Mar National Horse Show Celebrates 60th Anniversary

by By Linda Zweig | Apr 13, 2005, 12:28 PM

The 60th anniversary celebration of the Del Mar National Horse Show begins on April 21, 2005, with Western Week and a spectacular Saturday night showcase of equestrian talent and entertainment, Night of the Horse, presented by Mary’s Tack & Feed.

One of the nation’s largest and esteemed horse shows, the Del Mar National draws hundreds of North America’s finest horses and riders to the Del Mar Fairgrounds Equestrian Center every year, and this year’s 60th Anniversary dates are April 21 to May 8.

The show starts with the Night of the Horse presented by Mary’s Tack & Feed on Saturday evening, April 23. Beginning at 7 p.m., the night features John Payne, the “Notorious One Armed Bandit.” Payne’s act consists of trained animals herding a small group of cattle up and on top of a flatbed and trailer. Payne’s company won the “Specialty Act of the Year” Award from the Professional Rodeo Cowboys’ Association from 1989 through 1996.

Other acts of the night include: the Riata Ranch Cowboy Girls, a precision acrobatic all-girl trick riding and trick roping team; The Galloping Gossips, a team of square-dancers on horseback; the Dancing Morgans, bridle-less tandem riding with two beautiful mares; and the horsemanship skill and roping of Thomas and Nancy Garcilazo, among others. This year’s Night of the Horse will debut the first-ever chuck wagon races. Musical entertainment starts at 5:30 p.m. and will feature Hill Country, the official band of hit country radio station KSON 97.3 FM.

Western Week is full of daily competitions which fill four arenas and includes four AQHA/PCQHA Shows Split/Combined, Youth State Qualifier, PCHA Open Horse Show and NRHA Show. Highlights of the week include the $500 Triple Crown Feeds Challenge of the Breeds Invitational on Thursday and Friday, April 21-22, and the $500 Sliding Contest, sponsored by Del Mar Feed and Tack and Equine Facilities Management on Friday, April 22.

Night of the Horse Stampede Show Box seating offers dinner for six persons on Saturday night, April 23 and may be purchased by calling the Del Mar Fairgrounds Box Office at (858) 792-4252, or request a box seat order form by fax to (858) 259-0296. Individual grandstand tickets for evening and weekend competitions are $10 or $15. Tickets can be purchased through the Del Mar Fairgrounds Equestrian Office at (858) 792-4288.

Dressage at Del Mar
April 28-May 1 marks the second week of the 60th Anniversary Del Mar National Horse Show. This week is dedicated to the equestrian discipline of dressage, and features the spectacular Evening of Musical Freestyles on Saturday, April 30 at 7 p.m. The Evening of Musical Freestyles features the USEF HP Qualifying Competition for the 2005 Grand Prix Championships, showcasing the highest level of dressage a horse and rider can achieve, with the added impact of music.

Past Olympians and U.S. Champions expected to attend Dressage Week include Debbie McDonald, Guenter Seidel, Steffen Peters, Charlotte Bredahl, Jan Ebeling, Hilda Gurney, Leslie Morse and Marie Meyers.

Daily competition will fill four arenas and includes USEF HP Intermediaire I Championships, 2005 North American Young Riders Region 7 Selection Trial, and Qualifying Competition for U.S. Young Horse Championships.

Ringside Musical Freestyle box seating includes gourmet hors d’ouevres and wine baskets for the Saturday April 30 night performances, and may be purchased by calling the Del Mar Fairgrounds Box Office at (858) 792-4252, or request a box seat order form by fax to (858) 259-0296.

Jumping Action
The 60th Anniversary Del Mar National Horse Show culminates into an exciting finish with the Hunter/Jumper CSI*** Week of May 3-8. The last week of the three-week horse show held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds Equestrian Center,