DIHP Newsletter #2
Time is flying…we are now only 36 days away from the start of NSS. Obviously, the topic we get asked about most is footing. We have been working with Equestrian Services International (ESI), the arena and footing company out of Wellington, FL; on a comprehensive plan for both preparing and maintaining the footing during the shows. We are committed to having a facility with “great footing.” Views about footing vary dramatically, but we think our plan will address the most important concerns and allow everyone to provide input as we go along. With over 1.125 million square feet of competition and warm-up areas, the most square footage of any facility in North America, developing a plan was no small task…
On the footing itself, our plan is to replace both the Grand Prix ring/schooling area and Hunter 1 prior to the start of NSS. The new footing is what we believe should be in all of the rings eventually. However, since it is new, we need to see how it will ride and understand the challenges of maintaining it to the standard that you expect in the desert. We expect to complete the work on these rings by mid-October and they will be constantly groomed and watered until the start of competition so they will not be “new rings” by the time you ride on them.
We will solicit feedback from everyone on these rings during the ten weeks of competition, and if folks are satisfied and we are comfortable we can maintain them well, we’ll proceed to install the footing in additional rings during the summer of 2020. In the meantime, we are scraping all of the other rings and bucket mixing to address the issue of consistency across rings and schooling areas. When needed, we will also be adding additional sand and footing to the other rings to be certain we have sufficient footing in each ring and to ensure the footing will allow water to reach the base.
Regarding footing maintenance during the shows, you’ll likely get tired of the blue ESI tractors. We will run four tractors and four drags during the show, a significant increase over previous years, and we will run a night shift for watering to ensure the rings get adequate water. Obviously, this maintenance program will evolve over time as needed. Hopefully this gives you a sense of our commitment and why footing is our number one investment in terms of dollars.
Remember, entries close October 2.