Del Mar Horsepark Water Quality News

The Friends of Del Mar Horsepark sponsored a water quality test at three sites bordering Horsepark in response to the 22nd DAA’s Dec. 12th press release stating that Horsepark was closing to allow “the 22nd DAA Board of Directors to further evaluate the necessary investment required to meet water quality requirements for equestrian activities at Horsepark…” 

Water test results during the recent rainstorm on Dec. 28th indicate that Horsepark is not contributing to water quality issues in the San Dieguito River Valley.  In fact, the source of pollutants are properties further upstream to the East of Horsepark and the hillside above that flow onto the property from the storm drain on Via de la Valle as shown below:

·       Upstream test site: On the eastern border of Horsepark and west of El Camino Real under the road bridge. Total Coliform bacteria count was 1990.

·       Downstream test site: On the western border of Horsepark at the boundary between Horsepark and the San Dieguito River Conservancy. Total Coliform bacteria count was 79.

·       Storm drain test site: Across the street from Horsepark on Via de la Valle where there is a storm drain and basin below the roadway.  Total coliform bacteria count was 2420.  

These tests were conducted by Duncan Mcintosh, an environmentalist and horseman who has worked with multiple horse facilities to promote environmentally friendly barn practices. His family sponsored both the Clean Water Act and the National Resources Defense Council that created and actively enforce the Act. He can be reached at 818-943-7102. 

According to a statement from the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board, “The facility (Horsepark) and its operation continue to comply with the specific conditions and discharge specifications of Waiver No. 6,” as reported in the Coast News on Jan. 7th. “Specific waste handling practices (e.g., regular sweeping of elevated and covered stalls and pick up of manure, hay/straw; wash racks are plumbed to sewer and covered; storage areas are bermed) remain in place to ensure that stormwater runoff is not polluted.”

Instead of being shut down, Horsepark should be leased to a well-capitalized, knowledgeable equine operator which can generate profits for the 22nd DAA, provide needed facility upgrades and water remediation, and retain the public riding school.  Horsepark’s public stables and horse shows cannot be moved to the Fairgrounds due to competing events such as the Fair and horse racing. Two proposals have already been presented to 22nd DAA staff. 

The continued operation of Horsepark is generating wide community support with 9,315 signatures collected on the Save Del Mar Horsepark petition at https://change.org/SaveDelMarHorsepark.

Press release provided by the Friends of Del Mar Horsepark. Further information, test result data, and the Save Del Mar Horsepark petition can be found at the Friends of Del Mar Horsepark website: www.friendsofdelmarhorse.com.  

For the background on this developing story, read this Dec. 19, 2020 article. The next 22DAA Board meeting is scheduled for January 12 at 1:30pm. To hear the livestream, speak or submit comments, visit here

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