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$25,000 Equitation Championship adds "twist"to traditional competition

Del Mar Fairgrounds --- The $25,000 Equitation Championship on Friday, May 2, during the Del Mar National Horse Show at the Del Mar Equestrian Center, is an equestrian event that is truly unique to this horse show.

While Equitation classes are not new, the $25,000 Del Mar Equitation Championship sponsored by Monarch International, puts several new "twists"on an old tradition.

Simply put, Equitation is defined at as the act and art of riding on horseback.

At most horse shows, equitation classes are for Junior or Amateur riders; however, the $25,000 Equitation Championship is open to all riders, including professionals and trainers.

"It is unusual where junior and amateur riders have the opportunity to compete against the top professionals, particularly in this type of format," said Dale Harvey, Manager of the Hunter/Jumper week competitions at the Del Mar National, and creator of the $25,000 Equitation Championship.

The competition is over an advanced equitation course, 3'6", and is based on points awarded by judges. Each rider is graded on position, accuracy in executing the course, and riding style and technique.

The Equitation Championship will be held over four rounds of competition.

For the first round, riders will compete over a jumper-type course of 10-12 obstacles. The time allowed will be set at 400 meters/minute. There is a mandatory 1-point deduction per second, or fraction thereof, for exceeding the time allowed.

Only the top 25 riders from round one move to the second round; and the highest scoring eight riders from the first two rounds combined, will advance to the $25,000 Championship, on Friday, May 1, at 7 p.m. in the Del Mar Arena.

The order of go for the final two Championship rounds will be drawn prior to the competition. Scores from the final two rounds will determine the winner.
The biggest "twist"to the competition comes on the fourth and final round of jumping, when each rider must switch mounts. This "switch"is done by a random draw.

Prior to entering the competition Arena, the Rider is given the opportunity to take only two warm-up jumps consisting of one oxer and one vertical with the new mount before competing. Riders will be under the supervision of the USA Equestrian, Inc. steward. The round will be judged over a course of 8-10 jumps. The round will not be timed and there will be a mandatory 4-point deduction for any jumping faults.

The $25,000 prize money will be awarded to winning riders in the following amounts: 1st $15,000; 2nd $5,000; 3rd $2,500; 4th $1,100; 5th-8th $350. The winning rider will also receive an Antares saddle and a $1,000 gift certificate from Golden Horse Jewelers.

Tickets to the $25,000 Del Mar Equitation Championship sponsored by Monarch International are $8 for grandstand seats and $12 for box seats. Individual tickets are available through Ticketmaster by calling 619-220-TIXS (619-220-8497). Tickets may also be purchased via the Internet at Box seats may be purchased through the Del Mar Fairgrounds Box Office by calling 858-792-4252. Or visit

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