San Juan Capistrano, CA – The Blenheim Spring Classic III kicked off on Tuesday, April 12, marking the start of the 2022 Blenheim EquiSports show season and the debut of an extensive number of facility upgrades made to the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano, CA.
In December 2021, the San Juan Capistrano City Council directed staff to initiate negotiations with Blenheim to finalize details regarding the management of The Riding Park for the next 20-30 years. In the months since this long-term commitment from the city, Blenheim management and staff have been hard at work improving the facility for the benefit of competitors and spectators alike.
“We are delighted to welcome competitors back to The Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park to kick off the 2022 show season”, said David Portener, Executive Vice President for Blenheim EquiSports. “The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Referring to the improvements made throughout the park, several competitors told me that there is a feeling of commitment and permanence.”
Most notable among the enhancements is an all-new sand and fiber grand prix arena, the Grand Looke Arena, located adjacent to the previously existing Oaks International Grand Prix Field. Warm-up arenas located on the east side of the property have also been expanded by 20 percent, and new thermal, vented turf blankets have been purchased and utilized to enhance the grass footing and the turf’s ability to recover quickly between events. In the stabling area, additional 12’ x 12’ clear span stalls have been installed.
“We love the new Grand Looke Arena and schooling area,” said Nicole Haunert of Tristar Farms. “We are so excited about all the improvements!”
Exhibitors and spectators alike are now also able to enjoy an enhanced viewing and hospitality experience, thanks to the addition of an all-new restaurant, spectator seating, and a new VIP club.
The new International VIP Club serves breakfast and lunch daily and offers lounge furniture and tables with front-row views of the Oaks International Grand Prix Field, the Ortega Field, and the Pacific Field. For general spectating, new grass berms have been created alongside the new Olympic and Grand Looke arenas, and berms along the Oaks International Grand Prix Field have been expanded. For a new dining experience, guests can visit The Riding Park Café, located by the Ortega Field and operated by award-winning chefs.
Competition highlights of the Blenheim Spring Classic III include a $15,000 USHJA Professional National Hunter Derby and a $10,000 USHJA Junior/Amateur National Hunter Derby on Thursday, April 14, a $25,000 Grand Prix on Friday afternoon, and the $20,000 Markel Insurance 1.35m Bronze Tour Classic on Saturday, April 16. For a full schedule, and to learn more about Blenheim EquiSports, visit theplacetojump.com.
Scenes From The Show
Photos by Amy McCool Photography and Sydney Lowe