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58th Del Mar National Horse Show features 3 weeks, 6 nights of world-class competitions

DEL MAR Fairgrounds - From Western to Dressage, and Jumpers to Sliders, the 58th Annual Del Mar National Horse Show will feature an assortment of equestrian competitions during three weeks of competitions in beautiful San Diego that are sure to please any horse enthusiast.

The Del Mar National is held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds Equestrian Center and is renowned for its competition, excitement, pageantry, and picturesque location. The event is one of the nation's most prestigious annual equestrian shows in the United States, attracting hundreds of North America's finest horses and riders who will compete in three distinct disciplines with more than $300,000 in prize money at stake.

Beginning April 17, with nearly a week devoted to each of three major disciplines, the Del Mar National is literally three horse shows in one. For three consecutive weeks, world-class horses and riders vie for more than just prize money; they'll compete for the prestige and honor that comes with holding a Del Mar National title.

Uniquely American riding skills highlight Western Week April 17-20. The week features competitive classes in Trail, English and Western pleasure, speed events, and NRHA reining.

Elegance reigns when Dressage week enters the Arena April 24-27. Dressage is the most elegant of equestrian sports. Known for its impressive blend of strength and artistry, Dressage is recognized as the "black tie and tails" event of the Horse Show.

Hunter/Jumper Week wraps up the Del Mar National Horse Show, April 30 - May 4. Jumper and Hunter competitors will thrill audiences with breath-taking athleticism and daring speed over high jumps of colorful design during these exciting competitions.

The 5,000-seat Del Mar Arena plays host to six great evenings of equestrian performances during the Del Mar National Horse Show, with reserved and box seats
available for each performance.

The Western Showcase is a new evening of competitions for the Del Mar National! The Showcase includes several different competitions: The Challenge of the Breeds, the Sliding Contest, and the USA Equestrian Reining Seat Medal Finals. The Challenge is open to two entries of each breed, which must compete in at least three of the four Challenge classes: Pleasure Driving, Trail, Hunter Under Saddle, and Western Pleasure (mandatory class). The $500 Sliding Contest is open to any breed and any rider; and the winner is determined by the longest paralleled sliding tracks, from a best of three runs. The Reining Seat Medal Finals offers a unique twist to the traditional Reining patterns as it combines the customary maneuvers with equitation to create a picture of complete horsemanship.

The "jewel" of Western Week is an evening of horsemanship and elegance when Night of the Horse presents "Horses Through the Centuries," on Saturday, April 19 beginning at 7 p.m. This extravaganza will feature 18 acts of magnificent horses, skilled equestrians, and beautiful music. The regalia of horses and performers will honor the many breeds that have been influential in shaping the equestrian world. Spectators will see bridleless reining, antique carriages, miniature drill team, world champion vaulting, Olympian and Western Dressage, Lusitano and Andalusian dancing horses, Roadster Ponies, Arabians, Icelandics, world-class Holsteiner driving competitors, mule reining, pole bending, pack train, and dressage Mules!

The "Evening of Dressage Musical Freestyles", on Saturday April 26th, is the grandiose event of Dressage Week. This pageant presents the most impressive display of musical freestyles in one night. Several of the world's best dressage horses and riders will present their unique, individual musical freestyles in the Del Mar Arena. Recent competitors include Guenter Seidel on Nikolaus 7, Debbie McDonald on Brentina and Beaurivage, Stephan Peters on Grandjur, and Leslie Morse on Kingston. Reserved Box seats for eight include special gourmet wine and hors d'oeuvres baskets.

Hunter/Jumper week features three major events, the $25,000 Surfside Grand Prix on Thursday, May 1; the $25,000 Del Mar National Open Equitation Championship and $5,000 Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic, on Friday, May 2; and the $75,000 HBO Grand Prix of Del Mar sponsored by Budweiser - an American Grand Prix Association even on Saturday, May 3. All shows begin at 7 p.m.

The $25,000 Surfside Grand Prix is a qualifying competition for the $75,000 HBO Grand Prix of Del Mar. Spectators will be treated to Olympic-caliber show jumping in this highly competitive class. As many as 60 horse entries could be competing in this class.

The $25,000 Del Mar National Open Equitation Championship and $5,000 Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic will fill the Arena, Friday, May 2. The final two rounds of the Open Equitation Championship will be shown over an advanced equitation course with an emphasis on riding style, technique, and accuracy. The competition is open to all riders, including professionals and trainers.

The $75,000 HBO Grand Prix of Del Mar presented by Budweiser -- an American Grand Prix Association event is the crowning competition of the Del Mar National. The Grand Prix will be recorded for a televised broadcast in June as part of the AGA's Bud Sports tour. The event was won last year by Jenni Martin on Pop Socks, owned by Temecula Valley Equestrian Center. Top contenders for this year's show include Nicole Shahanian-Simpson, Richard Spooner, Susie Hutchinson, Hap Hansen, Sarah Baldwin, Mary Tyng, Rich Fellers, Mandy Porter, Will Simpson, John French and many more!

Weekday admission to the Del Mar National Horse Show is free from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., during the entire run of the Horse Show. Individual tickets for all of the evening and weekend competitions are now on sale through Ticketmaster by calling 619-220-TIXS (619-220-8497). Tickets may also be purchased on the Internet at Box seats may be purchased through the Del Mar Fairgrounds Box Office by calling 858-792-4252.

Del Mar National Horse Show Highlights
Western Week:
-- Friday, April 18, 7 p.m. Western Showcase
-- Saturday, April 19, 7 p.m. Night of the Horse presents Horses Through the Centuries
-- April 19 - 20, USAE Reining Seat Medal Finals
-- $3,000 Added NRHA Show, April 19 - 20
-- 4 AQHA Split/Combined Shows and Youth Qualifier
-- PCHA Open Show
Dressage Week:
-- Saturday, April 26, 7 p.m. Evening of Musical Freestyles
-- USET Grand Prix Championships
-- USET Intermediaire Championships/Pan American Games Selection Trials
-- North American Young Riders Selection Trial
-- US Young Horse Championships Qualifier
Hunter/Jumper Week:
-- Thursday, May 1, 7 p.m. $25,000 Surfside Grand Prix
-- Friday, May 2, 7 p.m. $25,000 Del Mar National Open Equitation Championship and $5,000 Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic
-- Saturday, May 3, 7 p.m. $75,000 HBO Grand Prix of Del Mar presented by Budweiser

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