March 2017 - What’s Happening...
Written by Kim F. Miller
Tuesday, 28 February 2017 03:18

California Riding Magazine Event Calendar

AIG $1 Million Jumping
March 19 in Thermal

The AIG Million Grand Prix starts at 2 pm at HITS Coachella Desert Horse Park on Sunday, March 19, but savvy spectators will be there well before then to stake out seating for this popular class. Plus, you can catch the Parade of Champions at noon, featuring the second-half and full-circuit champs in various divisions, and the leadline class that precedes the Grand Prix.

This year, the big class was made smaller: the fence heights were dropped from Olympic/World Cup height of 1.6M to 1.5M. Some riders were unhappy about this lowering of standards, while others were happy that it created a nice stepping stone with a lot of prize money. Entry rules also changed so that riders can enter two horses in the class.

Whatever your opinion on the new difficulty level, this is always an exciting, well-presented class and the stands are usually packed well before the start bell rings. Do like the locals: bring cool beverages and personal shade devices and arrive early.

Tailgate, anyone?

For more info, visit

Buck Brannaman Clinic
March 31-April 2 in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank will host noted horseman Buck Brannaman providing instruction at two levels. The morning session is Brannaman’s Foundation Horsemanship and in the afternoon, it’s Horsemanship 1.

The new Foundation class is for the green rider or a green horse who may feel the need for additional groundwork prior to riding. During each of the three-day sessions half of the class is dedicated to working the horse from the ground in preparation for riding, with the second half of the class on horseback.

Horsemanship 1 is for the green horse and rider already comfortable in the snaffle bit along with aged horses needing continued work. This is the first stage of progressing into the bridle with all basic movements introduced. All levels of riders - no matter what discipline - will benefit. The class features strictly dry work - no cattle. All maneuvers stress the vaquero style of riding and are appropriate for horses from first level snaffle to experienced bridle horses. Hackamore horses are also welcome.

Spectators are welcome and there’s plenty of seating in the covered LAEC Equidome. For more information, contact Sally Sandor or Sandy Pellegrin, at 323-662-8085 or by e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Carl Hester Is Coming!
April 8-9 in Del Mar

SH Productions is delighted to announce that Olympic dressage gold medalist and European champion Carl Hester MBE will be the headline presenter for the 4th Annual West Coast Dressage Convention, April 8-9 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

With past West Coast Dressage Conventions held in Langley, BC at Thunderbird Show Park, SH Productions plans to accommodate all of the North American west coast by alternating the event between the Pacific Northwest and South Coast of the continent.  The event will also include presentations from other elite industry professionals in the fields of breeding, health and wellness, and horsemanship.

Olympian, European Champion and respected author, Carl Hester brings to the event his renowned teaching and training skill, demonstrated by his mentorship of Olympian Charlotte Dujardin. A part owner of the phenomenon Valegro, it was Hester who bought the gangly youngster and was a major influence on his rise from rejection to concurrent Olympic, World and European Gold and a World No 1 ranking - leaving a trail of broken World records in his wake.

“Our new partnership with Carl Hester and his team for this 2017 event is extremely exciting,” says Scott Hayes, president and CEO of SH Productions, Inc. “The event adds so much to our roster of elite riders and trainers which includes Charlotte Dujardin, William Fox-Pitt, Adelinde Cornelissen and Anky Van Grunsven that we have brought to North America for exclusive educational events to give local riders inspiration and access to top level training.  Watching these productions grow over the past three years has been a dream, and for 2017 we will envision even more growth in Southern California.

“We believe it is extremely important to support the industry in many different areas, and we look forward to bringing the event to California just as much as we do with it returning to Pacific Northwest in 2018.”

More Information, rider applications, VIP packages, tickets and sponsorship opportunities are available at

Emerging Athletes Application Deadlines
May 5

The United States Hunter Jumper Association will stage two Emerging Athlete Program training sessions on the West Coast this summer. The first is set for July 12-16 at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank, with Joe Fargis and Anne Thornbury. The second will be held July 19-23 at the Sonoma Horse Park in Petaluma, with Geoff Teall and Nanci Synder. There’s also a session set at the Colorado Horse Park in Parker, CO., July 25-29, with Kip Rosenthal and Nanci Synder.

May 5 is the deadline to apply for all of these sessions. Presented by Dover Saddlery, the EAP is a wonderful opportunity for up-and-coming athletes to advance their riding and horsemanship knowledge under the guidance of top professionals and Olympians,” says EAP committee chair Sally Ike.

Applications are online at

Does your special event deserve special coverage in California Riding Magazine’s What’s Happening Event Calendar? If so, let us know and don’t forget a photo. Send it all to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or call her at 949-644-2165. Our deadline is the first of the month for the following month’s issue. Please submit your events by April 1st for the May issue. It’s the place to be and it’s free!