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The Annual Del Mar National Horse Show Celebrates Its 70th Anniversary

A San Diego County institution is celebrating a major birthday this year, and you’re invited to join the party!

The San Diego National Horse Show marks its 70th anniversary in 2015, kicking off on April 16 with the start of Western Week. The high-stepping, hoof-pounding action takes place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, an easy 20 miles north of downtown San Diego and the Sofia Hotel. The coastal setting’s beautiful—as are the elegant steeds from around the world that’ll be strutting their stuff in the arena.

San Diego’s Illustrious Horse Show

The Del Mar National Horse Show is one of the country’s great equestrian events, and certainly one of the largest, longest-running, and most thrilling in the West. The event began in 1946 as a component of the San Diego County Fair; that year, 350 riders competed.

Some three decades later, the show had grown so much that, in 1979, it officially became its own affair. Seventy years on, the Del Mar National Horse Show is vibrant as ever. In its first year, the show had a $20,000 purse; today, several thousand horses are in the running for better than $350,000 in prize money.

The 70th Anniversary Event

The horse show comprises three themed weeks of competition and performances. Western Week runs from April 16 to 19; Dressage Week from April 23 to 26; and Hunter/Jumper Week from April 28 to May 3.

Each week is marked by a special Saturday-evening event. For Western Week, the 2015 “Night of the Horse” will feature daredevil horseman Tommie Turvey and his equestrian stunts; Bobby Kerr and his pair of wild-born Nevada mustangs; and some international flavor in the form of pintsized Icelandic horses and graceful Peruvian Pasos.

Dressage Week’s showcase happening is the “Evening of Musical Freestyles” on April 25, while Hunter/Jumper Week promises, among other competitions, the $100,000 Grand Prix of Del Mar on May 2.

Join the Celebration

Get in touch with the Sofia today and book your accommodations for the Del Mar National Horse Show. It’s quite the spectacle every year, but the 2015 go-round promises to be especially exciting!