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January 28, 2013

No More Horse Shows For Pebble Beach

The Pebble Beach Equestrian Center (Calif.) will no longer host horse shows or dressage competitions.

The area used for equestrian competition at the Pebble Beach Resort, owned by the Pebble Beach Company, will be flattened and converted into a grass turf area, which will be used to unload cars for the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, an annual car show. The polo field will become a driving range.

“It’s an area that has been used for many, many years for many multiple events,” said Tim Postel, manager of the equestrian center since 1992. “The Pebble Beach Company has been pursuing developing some of its property in that area for almost 20 years. So it’s not something that’s just kind of happened.” 

Postel said the company entertained several scenarios to add a driving range, and the ultimate solution was to sacrifice two permanent riding arenas and space used for temporary rings and stables during shows.

Since 1924, the Pebble Beach Resort has hosted horse shows, dressage competitions, polo, steeplechasing and flat racing.

“I got my first blue ribbon when I was 2 in 1959 at the summer horse show; our family’s showed there every summer since then. We have a long history of going to Pebble Beach. It’s pretty sad,” said Postel.

The equine facility also houses a boarding and lesson program, summer camps and guided trail rides through the Del Monte Forest. In total, the Pebble Beach Company owns 5,300 acres along the coast.

The new development won’t permanently affect the riding program, but Postel said his team is still navigating how to run the upcoming busy summer season through the construction.

“It’s a unique place, and it’s very sad for the industry,” Postel said. “I encourage people to get behind other very special places in our sport and protect them and find ways to make sure they go on for many, many years. They’re slipping by the wayside.”