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Riders showing support after The Desert International Horse Park changes management


After 13 years, The Desert International Horse Park, is now under new management.

“Thrilled to death...beyond death," said Sanjay Bagai.

Sanjay Bagai, equestrian, excited for what's to come as new owners step in.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg. This is just the beginning," said Bagai. "They have only been in ownership for 200 some odd days and so in a year the changes are going to be even more dramatic."

He's not alone when noticing some of the changes.

“Its been really nice they have been really thoughtful, they come to everyone and ask if we need anything or if anything can be improved," said Susan Artes.

Susan Artes, a rider, is preparing to compete in the Grand Prix in March. She talks about the biggest change she's seen before the competition.

“It used to be 1 million dollars and now they have taken that prize money and distributed it out amongst the various weeks so its a little easier I think for most of us so that we don't end up having one bad day in the big money class and being sad" said Artes. "We have a chance to win good money every week.”

Last August, four families from around California purchased the house park and they also purchased the winter circuit part of which takes place at the park.

The facility was previously owned by New York based HITS known as "Horse Shows In The Suns."

One of the new owners, Steve Hankin, told News Channel 3 he and other owners are bringing new passion to the park.

"It's been really really great support from the industry and from local people has been really tremendous," said Hankin. "They have really rallied around what we are doing. They have come with ideas, with sponsorships. They have come with enthusiasm."

Hankin said they wanted to first clean up the property.

But with that came an obstacle.

“Our number one physical challenge was to improve the footing thats what horses go on and that leads to horse safety and comfort," said Hankin.

They also have another focus.

“We work on hospitality just being a great, fun, friendly. You know what can we do type of place," said Hankin. “And then we’re working on the competition, what we do for the riders and horses, and types of classes that they have.” 

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Dani Romero


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