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'Western Week' kicks off the 2003 Del Mar National Horse Show

Del Mar Equestrian Center -- The Del Mar National Horse Show kicks off its annual equestrian extravaganza with four days of Western competitions beginning on Thursday, April 17.

The Del Mar National horse Show at the Fairgrounds Equestrian Center is renown for its competition, excitement, pageantry, and picturesque location. The event is one of the nation's largest and most prestigious annual equestrian shows in the United States, attracting hundreds of North America's finest horses and riders who will compete in three distinct disciplines with more than $300,000 in prize money at stake.

Uniquely American riding skills highlight Western Week April 17-20. Western Week features competitive classes in Trail, English and Western pleasure, speed events, and NRHA reining. The competitions begin daily at 7:00 a.m., in the three arenas that make up the Del Mar Equestrian Center.
Western Week is highlighted by two special evening events; one consisting of Western competitions, called the Western Showcase, and the other celebrating the varied relationships between horse and rider, called the Night of the Horse.

The Western Showcase, on Friday, April 18, at 6:00 p.m., is a new evening of competition for the Del Mar National. The Western Showcase includes several different Western horse events including: The Challenge of the Breeds, the Sliding Contest, and the USA Equestrian Reining Seat Medal Finals.

The Challenge of the Breeds is open to entries of each breed of horse, which must compete in at least three of the four Challenge classes: Pleasure Driving, Trail, Hunter Under Saddle, and Western Pleasure (mandatory class).

The $500 Sliding Contest is open to any breed and any rider with the winner being determined by the longest paralleled sliding tracks, from a best of three runs.
The Reining Seat Medal Finals is a national competition that offers a unique twist to traditional Reining patterns as it combines the customary maneuvers with equitation to create a picture of complete horsemanship.

The Western Showcase promises to become a future highlight of the Del Mar National. Reserved admission to the Western Showcase are $8 - $10.
The "jewel" of Western Week is an evening of horsemanship and elegance when the Night of the Horse presents a program titled: "Horses Through the Centuries," on Saturday, April 19, beginning at 7 p.m. The Night of the Horse presentation is a spectacular equestrian extravaganza that is unequalled by any other show in San Diego.

"Horses Through the Centuries" will present a stunning array of equestrian talent and entertainment. The line-up includes more than 20 acts that will showcase the many and varied breeds of horses and how they have served man through the ages. The show will feature magnificent horses, skilled equestrians, and beautiful music. Spectators will see bridleless reining, antique carriages, miniature drill team, world champion vaulting, Olympian and Western Dressage, Lusitano and Andalusian dancing horses, Roadster Ponies, Arabians, Icelandics, world-class Holsteiner driving competitors, mule reining, pole bending, pack train, and dressage Mules!

Admission for the Night of the Horse is $15 - $10 Reserved seating. In addition to the reserved seats, the Night of the Horse show offers a "gourmet dinner package under the stars" with the purchase of ringside Box Seats for six. The dinner package is $300 for a 6-seat box.

The Night of the Horse performances are clean, wholesome entertainment for the entire family. Even Horse Show enthusiasts are bound to see something they've never seen before!

Tickets for the Del Mar National are now on sale through Ticketmaster by calling 619-220-TIXS (619-220-8497). Tickets may also be purchased via the Internet at Dinner box seats may be purchased through the Del Mar Fairgrounds Box Office by calling 858-792-4252.
For more information regarding Western Week, please call the Del Mar Equestrian Center at 858-792-4288. Or visit


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