Grand Prix Jumping and a Glass of Wine : Destination Horse Shows

We are all familiar with the idea of “Destination Weddings”:

 

  • exotic or tropical locales
  • vacations with a special purpose
  • fabulous food and drink

Well the horse show industry is following suit.  The “Destination Horse Show” is fast becoming a reality!

  • Wine tasting
  • top-notch boutique accommodations
  • special events
  • art shows
  • shopping
  • beautiful landscapes

. . . all of these things can be a part of the new horse show experience.

Camerone & Lindsay Archer

A Glimpse of Destination Horse Shows Past

Back in my earlier horse show days, a horse show usually meant meeting up with riding friends from near and far, cramming several of those friends into a hotel room, drinking water from a hose, eating frito-boats with our fingers, exploring an exotic location like Fresno, or roughing it with tent camping (as experienced at Wild Horse in Napa, CA).  Occasionally we were treated to an exhibitor dinner… and those dinners made an impression.

My horse show travel memories include the time a friend and I ventured away from an event in Woodside, California. I took her for a drive into “The City” where we experienced the sights and sounds of San Francisco. We were both Cal Poly college students  – she hailing from the local small town of San Luis Obispo, I happily away from the suburbs of Los Angeles. She had never seen high rise buildings before. Oh, how she marveled at them, and how I marveled at her, marveling at them.

Horse Shows Now Promoted as Unique Destination Locations

Ultime Espoir & Barbara Chapin PR Horse Park signaage (1024x703)

Today, we are seeing a trend in horse show venues and exhibitors who are looking to augment the “show experience” with other activities.  Paso Robles is an ideal Horse Show Destination Location – wineries, boutique accommodations, beautiful scenery, an intimate and exclusive setting, and great shopping are all available within miles of the showgrounds. Horse show promoters are taking notice of the offerings and are bringing a whole new set of admirers to enjoy the Central Coast.

adorableWest Palm Events is one such promoter bringing four weeks of Hunter/Jumper shows to the Paso Robles Horse Park each year.

The Spring Series starts soon!

  • The Memorial Day Classic (May 25-29, 2016)
  • Central California Classic (June 1-5, 2016)

The Fall Series is in the works!

  • The Central California Fall Classic (November 2-6, 2016)
  • Central California Oak Tree Classic (November 9-16, 2016)

A full-scale Grand Prix Jumping Series is part of each Show, taking place on the Saturdays of each show week.

Getaway Horseshows

“We advertise these shows more like getaway shows rather than point-gathering shows,” Danielle Ballard, West Palms Event Management Marketing and Event Manager, explained. “We push the value of the local Paso Robles amenities, especially as the location is right in the heart of California.”

Calipaso Winery, the official winery of West Palms Events' Central California Horse Show Series

Calipaso Winery, the official winery of West Palms Events’ Central California Horse Show Series

“The week kicks off with a Trainer Welcome party at CaliPaso Winery,” Danielle continued. “The party is sponsored by Round Meadow Farm.  Everybody loved this venue last year. CaliPaso Inn is also a sought-after, premium place to stay for the show.”

Sculpterra Winery and Sculpture Garden will have art pieces on display at the horse show throughout the two weeks in Spring. Saturday nights, May 28 and June 4, boast a VIP dinner ($150.00 per person). Friday nights, May 27 and June 3, competitors and spectators who are able will enjoy a complimentary wine tasting party and the Uryadi’s Village Fundraiser on June 3. Danielle is looking forward to the VIP dinners this year.

June 4 will feature an Art and Wine Reception during the Grand Prix where artists will be painting on location at the Paso Robles Horse Park.  Danielle explained the vision behind the reception, “The Art and Wine Reception is a West Palm Events idea. We worked really hard to find wineries to participate, and took into consideration the different ages of competitors. We made sure this event was planned in a safe and proper manner.” Spectators are welcome and the complimentary tastings and Art and Wine Reception will enhance the experience of the thrilling CWD Grand Prix of Paso Robles Presented by Travel Paso.

The West Palm Events Paso Robles Fall Show series have their own special events, like a fundraiser, plus the wine tasting, the Grand Prix jumping classes and a huge end of season Art and Wine party. “That was a huge hit last year,” Danielle recalls.

“Paso is a more exclusive type show with an intimate size so we can easily make it a destination,“ Danielle continued. “There is so much more to do there than show!” The opening season in 2015 introduced many competitors to Paso Robles who were so intrigued they made plans to return without their horses.

Flags at the Horse Park (683x1024)

Paso Robles Horse Park is a top-notch venue. Photo: Sarah Williams

The Paso Robles Horse Park  is a top-notch facility that is meticulously maintained. The open layout makes it comfortable for the competitors, horses and vendors.

On the knoll (1024x682)The grass knoll provides spectators with a comfortable place to view the entire showgrounds. So, take the time to experience this destination location and view some exciting jumping during the Grand Prix events. There is no entrance fee and locals are welcome to come and enjoy the wine tasting at these West Palm Events Paso Robles destination horse shows. Get the full schedule from West Palms Events website. Click here for driving directions.

Photos, unless otherwise noted: Alden Corrigan Media

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Former Pony Clubber, Eventer and Dressage rider who balanced training and showing with getting a college degree (from Cal Poly SLO), becoming a wife and raising a family.

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