The History of Pebble Beach Equestrian Center

From its beginning as a boarding stable to hosting Olympic Team Trials to its present-day rehabilitative programs, the Equestrian Center at Pebble Beach has been a haven for horses and riders alike.

The Early Days of the Equestrian Center

In 1920, Pebble Beach Resorts developer Samuel F.B. Morse cleared a field near today’s Equestrian Center. The purpose was as an airstrip, because many of the Resorts’ visitors and some of the early landowners were aviation enthusiasts who flew their own small planes. However, there were also a growing number of homeowners in Del Monte Forest, including Morse, who required boarding stables for their horses.

So in 1924, the initial stables were built near the airfield. Featuring a rectangular, open-interior courtyard, they were simple board-and-batten quadrangle stables and built at a cost of $12,000.

The Dick Collins Era (1946 – 1979)

Accomplished horseman Dick Collins was selected to take over the Resorts’ equestrian facilities in 1941, but before he could take charge, World War II broke out and Collins, then 33, enlisted. Collins returned to the peninsula after the war and took over management of the Pebble Beach Stables, which were soon renamed the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center.

In the subsequent three decades, Collins did much to establish Pebble Beach as an important equestrian center, including establishing the Pony Club in 1954. Based on the English model for training young riders, it was the first such club in America.

Collins’ prominence in the equestrian world was also on the rise. He was named manager of the U.S. Equestrian Team for the 1955 Pan-American Games, and that was followed by his appointment to manage the U.S. Team at the 1960 Rome Olympics. The 1960 Olympic Team Trials were held at the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center.

Later Years & Expansion (1980 – 2013)

A hay barn was added to the facility in 1970. Then, after Collins retired, the facility was further expanded under the direction of Abby and Jay Foss (1980 – 1984), Derek and Bea diGrazia (1984 – 1992) and Tim Postel (1992 – 2013).

The many upgrades included 20 extra stalls, the addition of a Polo Barn and other buildings and reinstating and expanding the Pebble Beach Summer Horse Trials.

Throughout the years of major events, however, the core daily activity continued to center around the boarding of horses owned by local residents and riding lessons and trail rides. This allowed both locals and visitors to enjoy the beauty and serenity of the Del Monte Forest in a truly unique way.

A New Era for the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center

On July 1, 2013, Pebble Beach Company resumed direct management of the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center for the first time since the Collins era. As a result, we now have 15 full-time employees and five part-time employees who take wonderful care of our horses (and riders) year round.

There are currently about 90 horses at our stables, with roughly half being privately owned and half being part of our trail and lesson programs. In addition, we offer a number of rehabilitative programs like Equine Therapy and lessons for Wounded Warriors.

We take great pride that many of our Pebble Beach horses are rescue horses like Willow, who we found in the Santa Cruz mountains tied up to a broken-down pick-up truck. He was so thin that his ribs were sticking out. Now he has little children jumping over small fences.

We invite you to step back from the fast-paced and noisy world of technology, and instead spend some time on the back of a horse. Explore the beauty of Del Monte Forest as your ancestors might have—and as our founder, S.F.B. Morse, did a century ago—on one of the oldest forms of natural transportation.

Giddy Up & Go to Pebble Beach Equestrian Center

Pebble Beach Equestrian Center

3300 Portola Road, Pebble Beach, CA 93953

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(831) 622-5985

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