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New Heights
Showpark Committs Giant Funding to Show Jumping Future
“The way the State of California is the giant coffer and the mixing begins.
stepping up in regards to the Grand Prix With the computer programmed, the
field at the Showpark venue, is definitely dirt mixes and meshes as it works its way
a statement of their commitment, belief up and out along the very long arm of
and confidence in the future of the the machine. The arm slowly swings all
facility. For the State to spend as much the way across the field and then back; it
money as they have working on the moves back a few inches, and then does
footing, it speaks volumes about their it again as the sand mixture is spit out
vision with us,” said Robert Ridland. at the same depth and consistency. In
“There is no question that the show the end, the entire field is the same with
jumping sport is appreciative of their no variations in depth, sand mixture,
efforts and the work involved.” moisture or consistency. Only then is
When footing is “worked on” and the Santa Ana Bermuda grass rolled out
changes are made, the thousands of and more seed distributed to take root
general horse showing enthusiasts and weave itself together.
really have no idea what achieving great
“At some point, grass on all fields
footing involves. Possibly, one of the gets past its useful life for jumpers
biggest misconceptions is about the and it becomes a problem with no
process that it takes to create the base solution. In this case the Showpark’s
our horses jump the big jumps on. It grass field hay day had come and
is not as simple as pulling up old grass gone, all the way down to the roots
and laying down more turf, nothing
and base underneath,” commented Robert Ridland. “We had reached a point where we
could be farther from the truth. The
just said ‘It’s time’ and the right thing to do was start from scratch. Timing was the hard
entire grass field, and dirt below, is
part since the best growing time for grass is also the best showing time for our horses.”
removed to a depth of about 2-3 feet
Responsible for acquiring approval and funding for this project is 22nd DAA General
and everything starts again. Drainage
Manager Tim Fennell, facility manager Maryne Blincoe and Robert Ridland. “All I did was
is of the utmost importance as well as
offer my opinion,” said Robert. “The real thanks go to Tim and Maryne, and of course, the
everything else put in place on the way
State of California for making this happen. They truly worked hard and get the credit.”
“up” in the field/footing remake.
The size and cost of the equipment
involved is nothing short of breath
taking. Turning the corner on Via De
La Valle, the biggest swinging sand
slinging machine possible was on
the field to do the work. A million
dollar state of the art machine, it is all
computerized in order to guarantee
consistency. Three specialty types of
dirt are stacked around the field; and one
by one, a load of each is dumped in to
Photos © Kathy Hobstetter
Thermal Improvements in the works for 2008!
Dale Harvey, in his new position with HITS, has reported the following to Bernie Traurig, WCAR Chairman...
*FOOTING: Bart Poels from Holland is a new hired footing specialist
Testing to take place November 6th with WCAR and USEF representatives
*Main road paved
*Covered Ring for World Cup Qualifiers,near the FEI barn
*Raised covered platform for riders and trainers at Grand Prix Oval
*Upgraded restaurant
*LIGHTS: GP ring & schooling area, Hunter ring #1, schooling area
*2 Jumbo Trons in main ring
*Hunter ring #2 expanded and bigger
*High Speed Internet
*Jumps -
*Camper spots paved
Massive new inventory!
*Wash racks improved
New Jumps every week in all the rings!
Decorations and course decorator!
*Permanent vet building
*Improved speaker system to the barns and rings
*Weekend traffic control
*Better office layout for easier entering
*Shade at all rings for spectators & horses
*Credit cards
*VIP catering upgrade w/high level chef
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