New Footing Draws NARG President and Olympian Chris Kappler to Horse Shows by the Bay

Jumper Schedule Allows Young Horses and Up & Coming Riders Multiple Opportunities to Gain Exposure

Footing has been named the number one item of concern for the North American Riders Group (NARG), and likewise for Horse Shows by the Bay as it's been moved to the top of the agenda by owners and organizers at Flintfields Horse Park.  Vast improvements are being made in the footing for the 2011 season.

“Last year, when NARG surveyed our event for their Top 25 list, we received great ratings on everything but the footing; this year we’re going to make sure we correct that issue,” states show owner and manager, Alex Rheinheimer.  “It’s just as important to us and our facility owner – Karin Flint – that for this year and for the future our footing is top notch”.  

David Steffee of Steffee Surfaces is set to install an ebb and flow footing system in the Grand Prix Ring and it’s warm up area plus completely re-do the two main hunter/dressage competition and warm up arenas.   This type of system has been used in various high performance arenas nation-wide including the FEI Schooling area at the Winter Equestrian Festival, Havensafe Farm’s dressage training facility in Wellington, FL and the Cleveland Metro Park’s main competition ring.  

Olympic rider Chris Kappler will be showing at Horse Shows By the Bay this year for the first time. “I have never shown at Horse Shows by the Bay and I always heard it was a really nice show. I think the footing has hurt them in the past, but now that they are putting in an ebb and flow ring in the Grand Prix ring and schooling area, they won’t have that issue anymore,” he said.  “We are trying to work with North American Riders Group to support the shows that are making the effort to improve.  And as such, I am trying to go to more shows in North America that are making the effort. They are doing a really good job and I am looking forward to Traverse City this summer,” noted Kappler.

Horse Shows by the Bay was ranked twentieth last year in the NARG Top 25 rankings for Horse Shows in the United States.  Commenting on the rankings, Rheinheimer stated, “We were certainly pleased with the outcome of the survey – to be placed squarely on the list among so many other prestigious horse shows was awesome – however it was disappointing to see the low footing scores, especially knowing how much everyone loves our horse shows.  All of us at Horse Shows by the Bay are confident that footing will no longer be an issue.”  David Steffee and Steffee Surfaces break ground on the new footing mid-April, 2011.  

Besides superior footing, Horse Shows by the Bay will offer many opportunities for jumper riders during their four weeks of competition, July 6 -31, 2011.  The series is very inviting for professionals with young horses, providing classes for five, six, seven and eight year-old horses. There are also multiple events for up and coming riders looking to advance. Every week there will be a $30,000 Grand Prix, a $10,000 Open Jumper Welcome, a $10,000 SJHOF JR/AO Jumper Prix, a $5,000 NAL Low JR/AO Jumper Classics, NAL/WIHS Children’s and Adult Jumper Classics and Young Jumper Championships qualifiers.  

Grand Prix Ring course designers include internationally renowned Guilherme Jorge and Michel Vaillancourt plus JP Godard and Chris Brandt all of whom are endorsed by NARG.  In addition to the wide selection of classes, the facilities and surrounding area make Horse Shows by the Bay the ultimate place to show during the summer.

Horse Shows by the Bay has now become a regular stop for exhibitors during the summer horse show season. Entries are now open, and being taken on a first come, first served basis through June 1. Rheinheimer went on to say, “Typically we sell out - I expect the same this year, especially when the word gets out that the footing has been changed.  We hope everyone fully understands our commitment to getting it right this time.”  

More announcements and news will follow in the months leading up to this exciting, vacation destination-equestrian festival.

For more information, please visit or call Alex Rheinheimer at 561.723.6287.

Photo: Chris Kappler at Just World International