Horses and riders show off skills at Santa Fe Summer Series
With monsoon clouds rolling in Friday, the show jumping was well underway during the Santa Fe Summer Series at Hipico Santa Fe.
The A-rated international equestrian event, now in its second year at the 137-acre horse park just three miles from the Santa Fe Municipal Airport, draws people from around the world to participate in four weeks of horse and rider competitions.
Events are held Wednesdays through Saturday in the Summer Series, which began July 19 and will continue through Aug. 13. But “Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. are the headliners classes,” said Sparrow Campbell, Hipico’s protocol director.
All events at the horse park are free and open to the public. Along with world-class show jumping, visitors can expect to see fine art on display, food and retail vendors, handcrafted beer and wine, and local entertainment. Those interested in a luxury experience can visit Hipico’s VIP tent, which offers dining, live music, gambling and billiards.
“Our community is welcome,” Campbell said. “… You’ll see beautiful, stylistic jumpers who are braided and elegantly turned out, and you’ll see jumpers that go fast and go high.”
Jumper events are timed, she said, so riders want to complete the course as fast as possible without knocking down any obstacles.
Visitors who are not particularly interested in show jumping might enjoy the Ride and Drive competition, in which riders complete a course on horseback and then jump into a waiting Mini Cooper and complete a course with an expert race car driver.
“Anyone can enjoy that,” Campbell said. “It’s hilarious.”
Visitors can also meet horses and riders.
“Most people love to share their animals,” said Ann Marie Cowdrey of Dallas as she prepared for a competition. “They are very proud of them. These are very highly trained sport horses that can clear big jumps.”
And even though riders welcome people who want to see their horses, Campbell said, “it’s always good to ask if you are approaching. Some of these animals are very excited for their competition.”
If you go
What: The Santa Fe Summer Series international equestrian event.
Where: Hipico Santa Fe, 100 S. Polo Drive; about three miles west of the Santa Fe Municipal Airport. Take Airport Road past N.M. 599, where it becomes Paseo Real. The entrance to the equestrian center is on the right and will be marked by a flag.
When: The summer calendar closes Aug. 13; events are held 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, with key competitions Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Learn more: Find more information about the series and Hipico Santa Fe at www.hipicosantafe.com or 505-474-0999.