Desert Circuit Week VIII Finale

by | Mar 8, 2020 | Newsletter | 0 comments


Our final week of our inaugural Desert Circuit is quickly approaching and is packed with exciting classes, events, and championships to conclude the circuit. Our schedule is filled with highlight events beginning on Thursday through Sunday. These past seven weeks have been wonderful to share with our exhibitors, trainers, vendors, and sponsors and we cannot wait to enjoy Desert Circuit Week VIII.

Week VIII welcomes the first World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) week for the Southwest Region in 2020. We are eager to kick-off WCHR competition here at our desert home. Additional prizes for the High Point and Grand Champions will be awarded in the following sections: Adult Hunter, 3’3” Amatuer Owner Hunter, 3’6” Amatuer Owner Hunter, 3’3” Junior Hunter, 3’6” Junior Hunter, Children’s Hunter, Children’s Pony Hunter, Pony Hunter, Conformation Hunter, Green Hunter, and Performance Hunter.

Throughout the week, we will also be welcoming the North American Youth Championship (NAYC) Zone 10 Junior and Young Rider Selection Trials to our Grand Prix Stadium. The NAYC Training Class and Jog will take place Thursday afternoon, the NAYC Junior Qualifier will take place Friday afternoon as part of Class 611. $7,500 Jr/Am/A-O & NAYC Jr Qualifier 1.40m, and the NAYC Young Rider Qualifier will take place Saturday afternoon as part of Class 414. $25,000 Jr/A-O/Am Classic & NAYC YR Qualifier 1.45m.

On the schedule, you will also see a majority of the Young Jumper Championship (YJC) classes moved to the Grand Prix Stadium. We hope this allows for the horses in these classes to gain more experience and further their training. 

Friday brings our $40,000 Stübben Grand Prix to the Grand Prix Stadium. The course will be designed by Marina Azevedo of Brazil. If there are ribbon placing athletes not previously qualified for our Inaugural $250,000 Invitational Grand Prix, the top two athletes will be given Wild Cards for the $250,000 Invitational Grand Prix on Sunday.

We will also welcome USEF Officials on Friday to host a Safe Sport Town Hall for our exhibitors. A Junior Rider Open Q&A with Sonja Keating, the Executive Vice-President and General Counsel for the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), will be from 10-2 PM in VIP. Immediately following the $40,000 Grand Prix, we will hold the Safe Sport Town Hall from 4-5 PM in VIP. 

Saturday brings the final Hunter Derby in our Marshall & Sterling Hunter Derby Program: the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. This will be the only derby of the season to be held in the Grand Prix Stadium. The jog, sponsored by Marshall & Sterling, will be at 7 AM and the class will begin at 9 AM, sponsored by BUTET. The winner of the derby will receive a custom BUTET Practice Saddle. There is a warm up in the Grand Prix for derby riders Thursday afternoon (Class 1601).

Later Saturday evening in the Grand Prix Stadium, we will also host the R.W. Mutch Equitation Championship, not before 4 PM. The Championship is named in honor of Ronnie Mutch, a beloved trainer, judge, and horseman. The class consists of two rounds and riders are responsible for walking the course, schooling their horse, and competing in the championship without any communication from their trainer. There is a warm up in the Grand Prix for R.W. Mutch Equitation Championship riders Thursday afternoon (Class 1601).

During the R.W. Mutch Championship, we invite you to join us for a viewing party, hosted by Andalusia Country Club. The party is open to all exhibitors and will take place in VIP. Complimentary food and drinks will be provided. The viewing party will run for the duration of the R.W. Mutch Championship.

At 4:00 PM on Saturday in the EQ International Riders Lounge, there will be a memorial to honor the life of legendary horseman, Richard Keller. Please RSVP to Allison McEachern at (831) 915-5676 or email

On Sunday, we welcome the accumulation of top riders from Weeks I – VII who have qualified and are competing in our $15,000 U25 Invitational, sponsored by EquiFit, and $250,000 Invitational Grand Prix. The $15,000 U25 Invitational welcomes back the top 15 riders who have accumulated the most prize money in the $1,000 U25 Classic Weeks I – VII. The $250,000 Invitational Grand Prix will challenge the top 30 riders who have accumulated the most prize money in the two Grand Prixs Weeks I – IV and VII as well as the FEI CSI3* Diamond Tour classes during Weeks V and VI. The winner of the Invitational Grand Prix will also walk away with a complimentary one-year lease of an STX Van.

Between our $15,000 U25 Invitational and our $250,000 Invitational Grand Prix, we will celebrate everyone’s success during Desert Circuit with our Parade of Champions at 10 AM. There, we will congratulate the Second Half Circuit Champions and the Full Circuit Champions for Desert Circuit 2020. We will also crown our Great American Insurance Group Leading Hunter Rider and the Irene Neuwirth Fine Jewelry Leading A-O Hunter Rider. The Leading Hunter Rider will receive one ton of Purina feed and the Leading A-O Hunter Rider will receive a piece of jewelry from Irene Neuwirth Fine Jewelry. During this time, we will also be celebrating the retirement of Triumph, owned by Farber Farms LLC.

After the Parade of Champions we will welcome not only our Leadline class, but also our Parent/Adult Leadline class. Parent/Adult Leadline is open to all parents whose children/juniors have competed in any division at Desert Circuit 2020. Parents will be led at a walk with optional work at the trot. Awards will be presented based on the judge’s impressions in a variety of categories including: suitability of mount and rider (or lack thereof); most obvious first time in the show ring; most likely to have actually shown before; or best theme. Please complete the Horse, Rider, and Handler Bio in the office prior to the start of the class.

At the completion of the $250,000 Invitational Grand Prix, we will turn back to the Great American Insurance Group Rider program and crown our Leading Jumper Rider. The winner will receive a custom Top Jock Tack Trunk. Top Jock offers a wide range of high quality boxes including horizontal trunks, vertical lockers, grooming boxes, saddle racks and more. 

As you can see, we have a jam-packed Week VIII for our exhibitors and we cannot wait for you to experience it! Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram, @deserthorsepark, to see the fun happening in real time! You can also text DIHP to 474747 for time sensitive updates at the horse park.