Tuesday, Sep. 26, 2023

The Ridland Group Granted 20-Year Lease Of The Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park



The San Juan Capistrano City Council (California) has approved The Ridland Group’s 20-year lease of the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park.

Accomplished equestrians Robert Ridland and Hillary Ridland, chief executive officer of the Ridland Group and Blenheim EquiSports, have managed the Riding Park since 1998 and have been instrumental in the development and growth of equestrian competitions held at the 67-acre facility, including hosting the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup USA at the venue in May.

The Ridland Group began negotiating terms of the newly approved lease in December 2021. 

“After so many years of effort, we can now look to the future of the riding park, not only as an unrivaled international equestrian venue but also as a facility for a multitude of community and recreational activities that all the citizens of San Juan Capistrano can enjoy,” said Hillary. “The recent success of the Nations Cup of the United States showed the world the potential of the riding park to play a key role on the West Coast during the lead-up to the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.”

With the approval of The Ridland Group’s 20-year lease of the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park, the facility will continue to host community events and top-caliber equestrian competitions, like the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup USA held in May. McCool Photography Photo

As part of the new lease term, approved June 20, The Ridland Group will make water-quality improvements, in accordance with the state’s Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations guidelines, as well as numerous other infrastructure enhancements. 

The riding park hosts numerous horse shows and community events, including more than a dozen weeks of national and international hunter/jumper competition, the upcoming Rancho Mission Viejo Rodeo and the MissionFest country music festival. As part of the lease agreement, the riding park will remain open to the general public who wish to enjoy the space or spectate any of the equestrian events at the venue.


“We’ve been working on [this agreement] for a long time,” said councilmember John Taylor, who voted in favor of the lease agreement that passed 3-1. “If anybody went out to the Nations Cup—it was my first time to see that—it was pretty phenomenal. A lot of it’s open to the public. Take your kids or grandkids out there and watch one of these events. They’re just incredible.”

Also voting in favor of The Ridland Group’s lease were councilmembers John Campbell and Mayor Howard Hart.

“There’s a continuity that’s required, a long-term commitment to The Ridland Group,” Campbell said. “They did demonstrate magnificently at the Nations Cup the potential of the riding park. The future is wide open to us as a community to take advantage of the services and things it will provide.”

Hart added that the lease protects the property from any state efforts to negate open space zoning laws.

“That’s a big deal,” Hart said. “We’re protecting a valuable resource for our community. It helps solidify what is, in many ways, the heart of our equestrian community in San Juan Capistrano and the future of our equestrian community.”

The new lease will go into effect on July 1.




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