The Horse Circus: 5.2.14

The Horse Circus

We pretend to go to the horse show but everyone really knows it’s a circus!

Bring on the clowns! And the horses too!

Every Friday Counter-Canter Culture features the important US and International Horse Shows currently under way.

Del Mar National 2014 Banner

69th Annual Del Mar National Horse Show

This weekend it seems all eyes, belonging to a horse lover or not, are on that famous racetrack, Churchill Downs.  But only a stones throw away from another well-known track, Del Mar, one of the west coasts finest horse shows is reaching its grand finale.  The 69th Annual Del Mar National Horse Show began two weeks ago with western competition, and dressage took center stage last week.  Now it is the hunter/jumpers turn, and they are ready to bring the heat!

Riders will vie for more than $200,000 in prize money during Hunter/Jumper Week, April 29 – May 4, which features the $25,000 Surfside Grand Prix, today, May 2 at 6:30 p.m., the $100,000 Grand Prix of Del Mar, Saturday, May 3 at 6:45 p.m., and, new this year, the exciting $10,000 Speed Derby of Del Mar also on Saturday evening.  It’s not too late to get in on all this action live over on the USEF Network.

Last weekend brought some of the biggest names in United States Dressage down to Del Mar with impressive results.  Jan Ebeling and his famous mount, Rafalca, claimed a notable second place finish with their highest score as a pair ever, coming in just behind the always amazing Steffen Peters and Legolas.  See Peters and Legolas’s winning freestyle here, in which the team coolly piaffes to David Bowie’s “Under Pressure.”  Once again, we at Counter-Canter Culture are excited by Peter’s musical selections!

Third place finishers Brian Hafner and Lombardo LHF are also a team to watch.  This pair has been together since Lombardo was just a 4-year old prospect and Hafner was merely 15 himself.  Now, a decade later, these two are showing what hard work and dedication can achieve. Hafner is looking forward to a possible trip to the USEF Festival of Champions in June and recently received a $25,000 Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize from The Dressage Foundation. Not bad!

Brian Hafner at Del Mar 2014

Brian Hafner and Lombardo LHF

Along with all the top-notch competition, folks at Del Mar have been treated to some wonderful demonstrations.  During week one, the Night of the Horse and the Wild West Show brought old fashion merriment to the western crowd.

Del Mar Night of the Horse banner 2

Del Mar Wild West Show 2014

Meanwhile week two dressage fans saw Friesian Focus pull off some sensational horsemanship.

Fresian Focus Del Mar 2014 2

Fresian Focus at Del Mar 2014 1

All in all, it makes you wonder if a few young bucks running around in a big circle should be the only horses in the headlines this weekend!  We say get out there and enjoy it all!


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