California Riding Magazine • March, 2013

The Gallop
Pebble Beach Shows No More

by Kim F. Miller

The Pebble Beach Equestrian Center's nearly 100 years of hosting equestrian competition came to a close early this year. The Pebble Beach Company, which owns the facility, has long been contemplating non-equestrian uses for parts of the property where the Equestrian Center is located. The area that had been used for show rings and stabling will be converted to a staging area for the Concours d'Elegance, an annual car show, and parking lots for that and other events.

Tim Postel, who has managed the facility and many of the competitions held there since 1992, says that, although it wasn't a surprise, it's definitely sad news. In making the announcement, he thanked the equestrian community for supporting the events over the years and encouraged all to support other special venues before they suffer similar fates. "Pebble may be gone," he said. "But it will not be forgotten."

At presstime, 1,232 people had signed the "Save Pebble Beach Horse Shows" petition on signon.org. The goal was 2,000 signatures and the plan was to present the petition to the Pebble Beach Company in hopes they would reconsider.

The non-show activities at the beautiful, vintage equestrian center will continue, although this summer may see some inconveniences due to the construction process. Ongoing activities include boarding, kids camps and trail rides that wander through the beautiful Del Monte Forest and along the rugged coastline.

A gallery of wonderful photographs on the Equestrian Center's website and its Facebook page illustrates the venue's place in West Coast equestrian history. The facility first saw action in 1920 with the Horseback Field Day at Del Monte, which included steeplechase and a mounted tug of war, explains the History page on the Center's website.

Once a stable and arenas were completed, the Del Monte First Annual Horse Show and Riding Competition for Children was held in August of 1924. Fifty entrants turned out to compete in 12 events and San Francisco socialites, and some from Los Angeles, enjoyed the action. The Equestrian Center's long-time manager Dick Collins cemented the tradition as chair of the Summer Horse Show in 1946. Ever since, the venue has hosted riders from beginning to international levels in dressage, hunter/jumpers, eventing and polo. At one point, it hosted as many as 900 horses a week and the Pebble Beach Jumping Derby was a popular summer fixture up through last year.

The venue will, indeed, be much missed.