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Favorite Bay Area, CA Shows?

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  • Favorite Bay Area, CA Shows?

    I am in the East Bay, there are so many shows to chose from, which are your favorite and why?

    Which shows do you love enough to travel to?

    This will not only be my first year showing, but my first year riding dressage period. My mare is also green. What facilities have the best footing, best parking, and are the most horse friendly?

    I don't mind traveling a bit.
    On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

  • #2
    Thanks for posting this thread. Can't wait to hear the input then we can all plan to meet at one of the shows this spring or summer!
    A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton

    Comment


    • #3
      I boarded my horse for some time at Yarra Yarra Ranch in Pleasanton, and they always put on good shows. The footing is excellent, they have shows right through the winter in their indoor arena. The two outdoor rings also have good footing, and depending on the size of the show, the one at the back can be used as a show ring or warmup. Lots of parking, and one can drive completely around the facility which makes getting in and out easy. They also have (limited) stalls available for overnight stay if applicable.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Here's the list of shows close to me I am considering, comments?

        I hear one thumbs up for Yarra Yarra. I am trying for Feb but might have to wait until March depending on my ability to figure out dressage. How about Denville Kanani?

        February
        8 Yarra Yarra Pleasanton
        14,15 Denville Kannani Pleasanton

        March
        8 Yarra Yarra Pleasanton
        14,15 Denville Kannani Pleasanton

        April
        2,3,4,5 Golden State Rancho Murieta
        11,12 Denville Kannani Pleasanton
        26 Yarra Yarra Pleasanton

        May
        2,3 Hossmoor Martinez
        8,9,10 Starr Vaughn Elk Grove
        14,15,16 Woodside Spring Dressage Woodside
        23,24 Dressage Derby Vacaville
        30 Carmel Valley Pebble Beach
        30 PEC Dressage Wilton

        June
        6,7 Denville Kannani Pleasanton
        7 SFP Chapter Webb Ranch Menlo Park
        14 CDS EB Chapter Summer Show Livermore
        20,21 Dressage Derby Vacaville
        26 Marin Chapter CDS Petaluma
        27 Hossmoor Martinez
        28 Yarra Yarra Pleasanton

        July
        18,19 Adult Amateur Championships Menlo Park

        October
        1,2,3,4 CDS Championship Show Rancho Murieta
        On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

        Comment


        • #5
          Here are my impressions

          Yarra Yarra - parking is good. Footing is good. Warmup is by the road - so horses need to be good with traffic and is outside. So if it rains- you are wet. 2 show rings - the outdoor one can be a bit "scary" and windy. Indoor is fine, almost no room to get around the dressage court when it is set up - so tight quarters.

          Denville Kenani - parking is tough but well organized. 1 small covered warmup - but good because it is covered so makes it easy to show there in winter. 1 main show ring that is covered. Good footing. One of my more favorite places to show.

          Starr Vaughn - excellent facility. Temporary (aka tent) stabling. Excellent footing, warmups, show rings etc. Great place to show.

          Woodside - not my favorite, neither footing wise, parking or setup. I avoid it if possible.

          Vacaville - footing is not to my preference so dont' go.

          Rancho Murietta - another favorite big show. Plenty of room, parking, footing, rings etc - all fine. Just a bit of a haul!


          I will start my show year at DK in Feb. Hope to see some of you there!
          RoseLane Sportponies
          Golden State - 2012 Bundeschampion & 2014 USDF Horse of the Year
          Golden West - 2014 & 2015 Bundeschampion Pony Stallion
          Petit Marc Aurel- FEI Dressage Pony Stallion

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by honeylips View Post
            Denville Kenani - parking is tough but well organized. 1 small covered warmup - but good because it is covered so makes it easy to show there in winter. 1 main show ring that is covered. Good footing. One of my more favorite places to show.
            Thanks! Do you know if they have stabling since it's a 2 day show?

            I will add that I am at Hossmoor, so I will be showing there. We are small, but we have great new footing both in the uncovered warmup and the covered show ring. Obviously I will be there.

            I was shooting for DK in February too as show #1, if they had stabling I was thinking of stabling Saturday and showing Sunday morning.
            On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

            Comment


            • #7
              Perfect Pony-
              Any dressage schooling shows scheduled for Hossmoor in 2009?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by honeylips View Post
                Here are my impressions

                Yarra Yarra - parking is good. Footing is good. Warmup is by the road - so horses need to be good with traffic and is outside. So if it rains- you are wet. 2 show rings - the outdoor one can be a bit "scary" and windy. Indoor is fine, almost no room to get around the dressage court when it is set up - so tight quarters.

                Denville Kenani - parking is tough but well organized. 1 small covered warmup - but good because it is covered so makes it easy to show there in winter. 1 main show ring that is covered. Good footing. One of my more favorite places to show.

                Starr Vaughn - excellent facility. Temporary (aka tent) stabling. Excellent footing, warmups, show rings etc. Great place to show.

                Woodside - not my favorite, neither footing wise, parking or setup. I avoid it if possible.

                Vacaville - footing is not to my preference so dont' go.

                Rancho Murietta - another favorite big show. Plenty of room, parking, footing, rings etc - all fine. Just a bit of a haul!


                I will start my show year at DK in Feb. Hope to see some of you there!

                I have to second most of this post - although I haven't shown at Yarra Yarra or DK, what I've heard from others who show there, seems to be consistent.

                I LOVE Starr Vaughn - excellent facility, easy parking, mostly excellent footing, even the snack bar is fabulous! You can get permanent stabling if you request and pay a bit more - and it is NICE permanent stabling. Since I have a stallion, I always request it and pay the extra $20. Nice big indoor arena and several outdoor rings. BEAUTIFUL facility!

                I also really like Rancho Murieta - again, easy parking, lots of it, stabling is generally good, lots of rings, and they've done a lot of improvements to footing in the last several years. TWO indoor rings, one of them large enough to fit two show rings in, the other used for warm up, and MANY outdoor rings.

                I also avoid Woodside - hate it. If it rains, you are in a swamp - and may not escape!

                And Vacaville - some unusual things to be aware of - it is ALWAYS windy there, and they have BIG flags at the end of the show ring. Which means flapping, snapping, scary for many horses. I've seen many MANY scary incidents there due to those flags. Definate home court advantage to the horses who are use to it. Parking is very TIGHT! On the plus side, they have some fabulous season high point awards!

                PEC - has done some improvements over the past few years too - they now have two show rings, improved footing in the indoor too. Parking can be a little tight, but otherwise, a nice facility, well laid out.

                Another show series - if you are willing to drive as far as PEC - check out Dressage In The Almonds. Lovely facility, parking is pretty good, two show rings and very LARGE outdoor warm up, nice quiet place near Lodi. They run several USDF shows each year.

                We sure are lucky to have such choices, aren't we!?!?!?
                www.MysticOakRanch.com Friesian/Warmblood Crosses, the Ultimate Sporthorse
                Director, WTF Registry

                Comment


                • #9
                  Denville doesn't not have stabling. Their prize list says they can arrange very very limited stabling at NEARBY barns. Their facility is very full and you just have to show out of your trailer. They also expect you to only be there for a few hours surrounding your ride time. So it isn't normal to come in early morning and hang out all day with your horse and ride later. There just isn't that much room in either the parking area or the warmup. The DK shows and the Yarra Yarra shows are considered locally to be "trailer in" shows.
                  RoseLane Sportponies
                  Golden State - 2012 Bundeschampion & 2014 USDF Horse of the Year
                  Golden West - 2014 & 2015 Bundeschampion Pony Stallion
                  Petit Marc Aurel- FEI Dressage Pony Stallion

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I haven't shown at Yarra Yarra in a while, but I do like their shows a lot. I can't stand the parking issue at Denville Kanani, so I don't go to their shows.... but in fairness, its a haul to get down there, so I like to have all sorts of extra "what if" time which means I would be hanging around and that doesn't work there.

                    The other East Bay specific place I like is La Jolla. Footing is good, parking is good, covered warm-up with a full short side of mirrors, staff seems very nice, and they have the BEST sound system for riding a freestyle. Speakers up on tall poles evenly spaced along both long sides of the dressage court gives a "surround sound" feel that you can hear equally well wherever you are in the ring. Definitely a must show location if you are doing a freestyle in my opinion.

                    Vacaville, I love. But I've always done well there and my horses have had zero issues with the flags (its a godsend to have a good SNAP! of a flag as I come down centerline with one of my boys though!). Personally for me, the footing is some of the best around. Parking is tight, but very doable, space to lunge separate from everything else, covered warm-up and yes super duper prizes. Robin, in the show office is terrific!

                    PEC runs really nice, covered warm-up, but I've had issues with the footing. I showed there last summer and the outdoor was terribly dusty with a few drifty spots my horse and a couple others I saw kept having issues with. For whatever reason though, a couple of my horses (the ones who like Vacaville) are spooky dork wads at PEC. And if you ride freestyles.... last summer it was a kid holding a boombox in his lap that kept skipping so I got a judges comment of "probs. w/editing?"

                    Woodside = 2 thumbs down.

                    Starr Vaughn- always go there. I love it. Wonderful place for those of us who haul in. My one request would be to have two sets of speakers for the main ring that are at opposite ends of the ring so that you don't have a corner with low sound level and then get up by F and get blasted.

                    MEC- Footing is hit or miss to me there. With 2 covers they can run the smaller 2-3ring shows like the one in Feb totally under cover. But the Festival show in April with 5 rings.... no. And some of the rings do not do well after a rain... others do fine. Those shows can be lovely all week or horrifically wet all week. I only show at them if I really feel I need the extra shows and am brave enough for whatever weather may come. (I once had to stop mid-test because lightning struck the show grounds elsewhere and there was a tornado warning- par for the course for some east coasters, but NOT typical out here!) Main indoor is great for freestyles.

                    Finally... I think the sleeper show around is Dressage in the Almonds in Lodi. LOVELY footing, great parking (on grass), great show manager (husband is a Giant's fan so bonus points there), 2 brand new show rings that are easy to spectate and yet quiet to ride in, and good prizes too (bags of feed and such) I hit those shows as often as I can.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      La Jolla is nice - but no shows in 2008 and none on the schedule for 2009 either....
                      RoseLane Sportponies
                      Golden State - 2012 Bundeschampion & 2014 USDF Horse of the Year
                      Golden West - 2014 & 2015 Bundeschampion Pony Stallion
                      Petit Marc Aurel- FEI Dressage Pony Stallion

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        LOVE the feedback! Note to self: add the Lodi shows!

                        Oh, I never thought to ask about sound. My mare is practically bombproff, except for sounds. A loud sound system that is inconsistent will set her off. The only times I thought she would buck me off were at shows with big PA systems. I guess I just have to go and hold on.

                        I really cannot wait to start going to some shows. I love the fact that dressage has set times, it will be such a wonderful change from sitting around all day waiting for classes.

                        As for the Hossmoor schooling shows, I don't know!
                        On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My show gauge is based largely on the weather conditions and how far the show is I try not to go to the hot weather shows. If the temp is more than 90F I try not to show and prefer covered arenas. So some of the show grounds are off my list b/c of the weather conditions. I can get a heat attack too easy. But I do volunteer on some of them instead.

                          I love Pebble Beach (huge show up to 5 arenas) since it’s a historic facility and location that your significant other, husband, kids can enjoy as well. I love weather there, since it’s the same weather as in my native country: cool, foggy and slightly windy I love that they have ocean front trails that I can take my mare to in-between the shows. Be aware of the dozen flags violently flapping on the wind at the side of the main show arena – my mare kept rearing up next to them… It’s a 100+ miles away from me and very pricey, hotels are about $300 per night in Carmel. All the big wigs come from all over US/Canada to show there. I do volunteer there more than I show there.

                          I really enjoyed Coastal Classic in Watsonville put by Santa Cruz chapter (medium size show). They also have a covered arena for warm up and great sound system with an announcer who will read your test for you. The draw back is the strawberry pickers who are picking strawberries right next to show arenas bobbing in and out of the strawberry bushes – many horses are simply mesmerized by them, but my mare did quite well with them, only one spook. They have wine tasting at the show and gourmet cooking at the premises, needless to say there are quite a few people watching dressage with a glass of wine in hand (or 3rd glass of wine in hand ) Watsonville is a great little ocean side town with lots of things to do after the show.

                          My favorite small neighborhood show is Danville Kanani (really small show with 1 arena). They have both arenas covered: so you are sheltered from the rain and hot sun all the time. Unique, fun prizes. This is probably where I show the most. Minus is the very narrow road with endless speed bumps and a very tight parking. Warm up arena is busy and small, but since it’s covered, I’ll take it over the large, but uncovered warm up. Show arena can be windy and several years ago there were cows running along the show arena but I didn’t see them for the last several years. This is my first choice to show in rainy and hot months!

                          My favorite place to show if the weather is right is Yarra Yarra (medium show up to 2 arenas). It’s on the high end show facilities with a meticulously manicured barn, restrooms and a great footing. There is plenty of easy parking with wide turns. Minuses are that the warm up arenas are not covered, so in the rainy months, you might get quite wet before you go in for your test and during the summer months you might get cooking from warming up under the 100+ F sun. Warm up arena is busy if they are running 2 ring shows, but great if they are running 1 ring show.

                          I volunteer all over the place, but it’s a different point of view when you scribe all day and don’t have to deal with parking, stabling, warm up and such, so even I love many more show places, I’ll reserve my opinion on them since it’s based mostly on volunteering.

                          I do about 5-12 shows per year, my mare is easy to spot sicne she has lots of chrome – come say “hi” if you’ll be around.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Can't believe no one's mentioned "Dressage in the Almonds" at Mar Val Stable in Lodi.
                            Great people running it. Brand new dressage arena. Two warmup arenas. One board fencing, one pole fencing. It's only about 1.5 hr. from Concord/Walnut Creek/Danvillle area.
                            Only REAL negative is that the mid-summer shows can be awfully HOT - but that's true all over the East Bay. It just you get mugginess from the Delta added.

                            Denville-Kenani- yeah, parking's an issue, but I haven't had that much difficulting coping. Unfortunately, I've got a greenie now, and they don't offer Intro, so I won't be showing ther euntil at least mid-to-late summer. Probably do mostly Yarra Yarra and Lodi. I have the funniest recorded ride from Denville-Kenani - Doing 2nd level, doing last ride of the day - 6PM - and Dennis H. turned out the lights as I turned down the center line for my final halt. On the tape, all you can see is my horse's blaze and my blazing white breeched thighs. ROFLOL

                            I usually do some Marin shows, also. Used to do the one they held at that stable on Vineyard - don't even know if that still exists, since I retired old guy from showing a couple of years ago, and am only starting with the youngster.

                            Is La Jolla even going to have any more shows. Chapter show sas at Yarra Yarra this year.....

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Another vote for Starr Vaughn Equestrian! I love showing there! Great footing, easy to get around and a wonderful staff!

                              Also, Vacaville is a lovely facility with great footing as well. I photographed 2 of the Derbys (June & Sept) very little wind (sounds like this summer was not the norm) and beautiful to photograph! Starr Vaughn is also a beautiful location!

                              You can check out the photo galleries of the SVE, Derby's & PEC at
                              http://tamarawiththecamera.smugmug.com

                              Both shows are lots of fun and very exhibitor friendly!

                              Just wanted to add that I had the wonderful opportunity to photograph 2 dressage shows at PEC this past summer too! These shows were very well run and showed attention to detail to make exhibitors happy.
                              http://www.tamarawiththecamera.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                One note about Denville Kanani, I hear that they are thin on boarders at the moment, so permenant overnight stabling should be more available now than in the past when they used to be VERY full.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Sandy M View Post
                                  Is La Jolla even going to have any more shows......
                                  Not likely, but do check out a new show location at Hossmor in Martinez - they had their first recognized shows last year and it was a success, so they are doing it this year again. The same show manager as La Jolla chapter shows use to have - she was also elected as a 4th best show manager in the country.

                                  Sandy, I can't believe that you didn't mention MHS!!! I left it for you to describe it - love this show - it's like camping in the huge redwood forest! But most DQs have a heart attack there!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by honeylips View Post
                                    Yarra Yarra shows are considered locally to be "trailer in" shows.
                                    It seems like it was just a few years ago, I remember when Yarra Yarra had their "show barn" only open for the people who trailered in to shows. Some trainers would come on Fridays and leave on Sundays - with dozen of their horses! Now the barn is so full, that "show barn" turned in to a boarding barn.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Dressage Art View Post
                                      Not likely, but do check out a new show location at Hossmor in Martinez - they had their first recognized shows last year and it was a success, so they are doing it this year again. The same show manager as La Jolla chapter shows use to have - she was also elected as a 4th best show manager in the country.

                                      Sandy, I can't believe that you didn't mention MHS!!! I left it for you to describe it - love this show - it's like camping in the huge redwood forest! But most DQs have a heart attack there!

                                      Well - that's why. The parking is iffy, if picturesque, and while it is a beautiful show, it CAN be a wee bit exciting. Here's a pic of the MHA arena, for those who may have not seen it:



                                      A lot of interesting things can pop out from those trees.....

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