DIHP Newsletter #9
We look forward to welcoming everyone next week for the beginning of Desert Circuit 2021. Hopefully you are as excited as we are about the schedule and special events during the eight-week circuit. We wanted to share a few thoughts and updates as we await your arrival.
It’s certainly disappointing to still be facing the pandemic now, a year after we saw the first signs of it at the end of Desert Circuit 2020. We are all ready for it to end. Unfortunately, the pandemic is going out with a fury and we face an even more challenging situation this circuit than we did this past fall. We have had strong support from everyone – exhibitors, trainers, vendors, sponsors, our team, and all of the relevant oversight organizations watching us. We continue to update our protocols to ensure we can create a safe environment for everyone. WE NEED YOUR HELP! We need everyone to adhere to the critical protocols – wear a mask unless you are on a horse, stay six feet apart (even from your best friends), and take advantage of all of the disinfectant stations around the property to wash your hands frequently. We are going to be very strict in enforcement. Remember as we do this, we’re all on the same side and want the same result, everyone stays safe and we continue to operate.
In addition to the extra precaution when you’re on the property, we will also have extra rules when entering the property. On a periodic basis, we’ll be spot-checking for valid credentials by asking for your phone number. While this may add some time at the entrance gate, we think it is important to make sure we limit access to the people who can legitimately be at the horse park.
We have made a number of changes to our team to continue to improve our ability to run a first-class competition and provide a great experience.
The most prominent change is the addition of Pat Boyle to our competition team. Pat will serve as Technical Coordinator – Hunters/Equitation along-side Skyler Brittner, who will serve as Technical Coordinator – Jumpers. Both will be assisting Phil DeVita, the Competition Manager. With 13 rings running during most of Desert Circuit, we wanted to make sure we had the depth needed. Pat obviously brings a wealth of experience, as well as a passion for great hunter rings.
Another change, a bit less visible, but quite important, is a new Chef for our VIP kitchen. We welcome Wes Brittner to the team. Wes is the Chef at the VIP restaurant at Thunderbird. We’re excited about tasting his food here in the desert, as well as having an expanded baking program on site with home-baked pastries and bread each day. Be on the look-out for an expanded catering menu soon as well.
We still have a long way to go to improve the facility. But every chance we get, we invest to make DIHP the place we all want it to be. The break between circuits was just four weeks this year, but we did have time to complete a number of additional projects. We have replaced the lights in the Grand Prix arena and warm-up area to the latest in stadium lighting technology. We are excited about having our first competitions under the new lights this circuit. In addition, we are finalizing the installation of a new, large video wall in the Grand Prix ring. Both of these improvements will add to the Grand Prix experience for riders.
We have replaced the footing in Jumper 4 warm-up. The initial feedback has been quite positive. Should the footing perform well over this circuit, we’ll continue to use this new footing for additional rings.