Thermal, Calif. – Feb. 4, 2020 – Desert International Horse Park (DIHP) in Thermal, California, has announced its newest equestrian event, Desert Dressage, an FEI Dressage World Cup™ Qualifier combined with a CDI3*/CDI1*/CDIAm/CDIU25/CDIY/CDIJ/ CDICh/CDIP/CDIYH and a national show. The event will take place from Nov. 19-22, 2020 with the official jog occurring on Nov. 19 and will provide an opportunity to compete in the CDI ring for high-performance dressage riders based on the West Coast who have had a void in quality competitions since the cancellation of West Coast Global Dressage Festival.
“We are thrilled to welcome dressage riders to Desert International Horse Park and to have the opportunity to host our first FEI dressage event combined with a World Cup™ Qualifier,” says Steve Hankin, President and CEO of DIHP. “We have been hard at work improving our horse park. We believe dressage riders will really enjoy the experience here.”
This coming November will be the first time a dressage event will take place at the Desert International Horse Park: “As with our jumping events, we have assembled a great team for the event, including Thomas Baur and Monica Fitzgerald. We are excited to expand the use of the horse park beyond show jumping events. Thomas has been working with us closely and we are confident this partnership will bring new opportunities for the dressage community on the West Coast,” notes Hankin.
Thomas Baur is the current Sports Director of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida; and has served as the Discipline Manager of Dressage and Para Dressage Tyron WEG in 2018 and the Event Director of the World Cup™ Final Omaha in 2017.
“I am looking forward to organizing my first CDI in California. There are a number of dedicated and talented riders and horses on the West Coast who require good competitions to continue to grow the sport,” Baur commented and added that he is eager to work alongside the new owners and management at the West Coast facility: “They have made a huge effort to make significant improvements to the facility, my main goal is to offer a well run show that meets the needs of horses, riders, owners and grooms and provide the best atmosphere and conditions possible.”
Monica Fitzgerald, the current Competition Manager of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, has been appointed as the Office Manager for Desert Dressage. The show will take place in the horse park’s Grand Prix Arena with the Freestyle portion occurring on Saturday, Nov. 21 under the lights. The prize list will be available on Desert International Horse Park’s website late summer 2020.
The facility recently came under new management in August 2019 when four West Coast equestrian families joined together to acquire the property. The vision for the horse park is driven by a horses-and-customers first philosophy, which has been strongly noted by its exhibitors.
“It’s a breath of fresh air. It’s really nice to be at a show with so much room to ride, great footing, and great course design. I couldn’t be happier to be here,” said Adrienne Sternlicht, winner of the FEI Jumping World Cup™ Thermal last November.
Since the acquisition, the new management has upgraded the footing in all twelve competition rings, built new shade structures, added tents and new stabling options, added new signage across the property for a better customer experience, and taken other strides towards the safety of both horse and rider.