Desert International Horse Park (DIHP) in Thermal, California, has long been known as the place to compete in Coachella Valley during the winter, offering fifteen weeks of world-class competition from October through May. Last year, Premier Equestrian was honored to be chosen to facilitate upgrades in both the hunter rings and the main Grand Prix Arena—and riders are raving about the improvements.
In the main Grand Prix Arena and its associated warm up ring, Kyle Gould of Four G Surfaces installed Premier Equestrian products: Arion Ebb and Flow Arena, OTTO Sport Arena Base Mats, and Premier ProTex. With these three state-of-the-art products together in one ring, horses and riders can expect industry-leading drainage and unparalleled protection and shock absorption, no matter if they are chasing the clock or performing a pirouette.
“Steffen and I both have been thrilled that the Grand Prix Arena has been upgraded at Desert Horse Park,” says Shannon Peters, FEI competitor and wife of U.S. Olympian and Premier Ambassador Steffen Peters. “It’s so nice to ride on what we have at home—the consistency and resiliency is second to none.”
But it isn’t just the dressage riders who have enjoyed the improvements. Show Jumper and Premier Ambassador Ashlee Bond, who represented Israel in the Tokyo Olympics, raved about the footing at DIHP after she attended the Major League Show Jumping series last December.
The footing was the best it’s ever been,” says Bond. “I’ve been going to Thermal since I was a young kid, and they always had major issues with the footing due to climate. This was the first time it was actually good—it was well maintained and the drainage was exceptional!”
The Arion Ebb and Flow Arena uses an innovative system to water the arena surface from below the footing layer, resulting in a consistent, perfectly hydrated riding surface year-round—even in Thermal’s desert climate. It also readily disperses water from strong storms, leaving the surface not only rideable, but safe and secure enough for even the most demanding levels of equestrian performance. Combined with OTTO Sport Arena Mats—which provide added drainage, stability, and shock absorption—the DIHP Grand Prix Arena now has a surface custom built to support the most elite horses and riders in the world.
“It is amazing to have a world class facility with world class footing, right in our back yard,” says Shannon.
In addition to the renovations at the Grand Prix Arena, Premier ProTex Footing was installed in all seven of DIHP’s hunter arenas, and their two associated warm up rings. Now, competitors ranging from pig-tailed juniors riding in the small ponies all the way to elite athletes competing in the USHJA National Hunter Derby classes, can experience the excellent impact absorption, stability and high traction offered by ProTex Footing’s custom blend of textiles and fibers.
With two consecutive FEI 5* competitions on their calendar for this season, DIHP has already established itself as a world-class horse show venue, setting a new standard for show jumping on the West Coast. The footing improvements facilitated by Premier Equestrian now ensure that DIHP can offer competitors one of the best riding surfaces in North America.