Thermal, CA – Dressage is returning to the desert for a third season, as Desert International Horse Park (DIHP) prepares to welcome back Desert Dressage to its elite venue in Thermal, CA. After a successful second season with wins from emerging athletes to Olympians alike, the desert is quickly becoming a haven for dressage sport on the West Coast.

Steffen Peters (USA) and Suppenkasper. Photo by Terri Miller

Spanning four separate weekends between October 2023 and January 2024, Desert Dressage will bring four National shows and three CDI World Cup Qualifiers, including various qualifying events from FEI North American Youth Championships to Para-Dressage National Championships and beyond.

Dates for Desert Dressage are as follows:

  • October 27-29, 2023: National
    November 16-19, 2023: CDI-W/National
    December 14-17, 2023: CDI-W/National
    January 4-7, 2024: CDI-W/National

“The 2022/2023 season allowed us to continue to raise the level of dressage at our venue and on the West Coast as a whole,” remarked Steve Hankin, President and CEO of DIHP. “We have made extensive improvements to the property, which have been well received by the dressage community. We are proud to serve as a significant base for top dressage riders and horses, allowing them opportunities to compete at both the national and international levels. We are thrilled to welcome another season and to continuing to serve the dressage community for years to come.”

“After the highly successful 2022/2023 season, we are very happy to offer the next edition of Desert Dressage at DIHP,” commented Thomas Baur, Sports Director – Dressage. “This fantastic venue has everything to offer as the premier destination for dressage on the West Coast and beyond. The three CDI-W events will be held in the Grand Prix Arena alongside the National classes in the nearby hunter rings. We are very excited about the 2023/2024 season and look forward to seeing an even more successful competition season ahead.”

Last season, American Olympic silver medalist Steffen Peters, based in San Diego, CA, took the win in all three of the CDI-W World Cup Qualifying events with his longtime partner Suppenkasper. The duo qualified and went on to the FEI World Cup Finals in Omaha, NE, where they took a fourth-place finish, as well as the highest placing for the United States.

“So many people ask me, ‘Why are you not in Wellington?’ I think it’s phenomenal that Thomas [Baur] put two divisions out here. I feel almost obligated not to miss it,” Peters remarked of his experience so far at DIHP. “Everything is taken care of. The crew here are working hard and [the show] is phenomenal. It’s a fantastic place to compete and we always like the fact that we can camp with our RV in the back so we’re close to the horses. It’s a fantastic venue. I think it would be a great place for the World Equestrian Games.”

More details will be announced regarding the Desert Dressage season in months to come.