The Del Mar International’s celebration of its 10th year as a fixture on the hunter/jumper circuit is a sure sign that time is flying. Organizer Dale Harvey recalls that he had traditional goals for the competition when he conceived it, but it has grown to be anything but in the last decade.
Set for two weeks at the Del Mar Fairgrounds this year, the Del Mar International I will take place Oct. 14-18, followed by week II Oct. 21-25. Saturday night’s $50,000 Antares World Cup Qualifier (the fourth in what are now 13 “West League” qualifiers) is one of several marquee classes for week I. The Young Jumper Championships, sponsored by Mary’s Tack & Feed, the $20,000 Junior Amateur Classic, the final FEI Childrens Jumper qualifier and the fan-friendly $1,000 Dog Agility event are additional highlights that week.
Week II is highlighted by a lower Grand Prix class on Sunday, with fences at 1.45 meters and $25,000 in prize money on offer. Friday night’s exciting team competition, the $5,000 Prix Des Nations, will be followed Saturday with the Five Bar and Double Slalom jumping events. The International II also spotlights the USHJA Zone 10 Hunter Championships.
All in all, it’s a mix of classes that are often as fun for spectators as they are for exhibitors. Many carry on the International’s tradition of offering European style jumping competition with an emphasis on what’s fun for fans.
With the completion of the Del Mar Arena’s roof this past April, Harvey is happy to be hosting back-to-back weeks of the show at the Fairgrounds for the first time. (Last year, one of the weeks was held at nearby Del Mar Horsepark.) “This gives participants the opportunity to compete at several different levels throughout the two weeks,” Harvey notes. Customer feedback is critical to shaping his shows. “We try to be responsive to what people ask for and to their comments during each show.”
A two-time World Cup Finals contender for Canada, Harvey has played a key role in developing the West Coast circuit as both a veteran show manager and a founder of West Coast Active Riders. In addition to managing the Del Mar International, Harvey has managed hunter/jumper week at the prestigious Del Mar National Horse Show since 1997. Great facilities and the pleasant seaside location make Del Mar a favorite venue, but Harvey’s reach extends beyond that. He also manages the newly developed Sacramento International Horse Show, which he launched with Northern California horseman Rudy Leone. The SIHS is preparing for its sophomore season with two weeks of competition Oct. 27-Nov. 1 and Nov. 4-8. The Sacramento International’s second week was prompted by tremendous response from exhibitors. Like the Del Mar tournaments, the SIHS is graced with a World Cup qualifier and a slate of top flight and spectator friendly classes.
Harvey acknowledges that the economy will likely take some toll on participation at both Del Mar and Sacramento, but at presstime entries were rolling in nicely and he was confident of another great year at both venues.
After Sacramento, the show organizer dons his HITS Thermal hat. As that huge circuit’s liaison with high performance jumping contenders, Harvey has parlayed his exhibitor relations acumen into helping Tom Struzzieri’s management team make a success of its new desert venue.
For more information on the Del Mar International or the Sacramento International visit www.jumpdelmar.com or call Dale Harvey at 714-785-4755.