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Rebecca Walton
June 18, 2014
Ali Nilforushan Purchases Los Angeles National and Preview
By Rebecca Walton
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 :: Posted 11:50:41 AM EDT

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© Kenneth Kraus/ Ali Nilforushan 3-14-09Ali Nilforushan

Last week, the Langer Equestrian Group announced that Ali Nilforushan purchased Los Angeles National and Preview. Originally from Tabriz, Iran, Nilforushan came to the United States when he was 12 years old. He has been riding his entire life, and is a well-known competitor on the West Coast circuit. Now he will take over as manager of these events, but his show boots won’t be far out of reach!

© Horse in Sport: Pegasus-Ali NilforushanCongratulations on your big purchase! Why did you decide you wanted to buy the dates for those shows? 

I’ve always been a guy that wanted to dabble in that a little bit. This isn’t the first time that I know of that a rider has actually purchased a horse show, so it was always in the back of my mind to try my hand at it. There are certain spins that I want to put on it, my version of it. So when I heard that these two shows might be available, that’s one of our flagship horse shows, so I thought it was time to take a shot at it.

Obviously, being a competitor, you know what you like to see in a well-run horse show, however, have you gone through what a manager has to go through?

The way that horse show management does things is completely different than the way riders want it. So, these concerns will never fall on deaf ears anymore. I think it is also very nice from a rider’s point of view to see something that is needed and to actually have the power to change it.

What do you think are some of the biggest the concerns of the riders out West?

Crowd attendance, footing, I think the biggest thing I would like to try to get a handle on is the footing, and try to get more of a crowd. There’s so many things that I am doing that we would have to have an hour for me to explain all the changes I will make. I truly plan on bringing the whole package. There is an ambiance there, the jumps are good, the competition is good. I have big plans.

What is your plan? Will the shows be at the same location? Will you be working with Larry Langer for management or are you planning on bringing on a different team or will you be the manager with your own team?

It will stay at the same location. There is a transition period. They’ve [Larry Langer] been terrific, they are helping me a lot with the details of it. I am going to bring my own staff, but this year is going to be a transition year.

What made you interested in show management and why now?

The timing was just simply because these shows were available. Shows like this don’t come around often, you know. This is where there is a World Cup qualifier, we have a WCE finals, we have a local LA Finals, there are so many good things there that the opportunity was just too terrific to pass up.

© file: Los Angeles Equestrian CenterLos Angeles Equestrian Center

How do you plan to improve these shows and make them better? Will you be adding any FEI classes – something the West Coast tends to lack?

The following year there is going to be a third FEI class. I am adding a lot of classes where, starting on Wednesday, we will have a significant amount of money starting from 1.30m to 1.45m classes for the non-FEI classes. For the FEI, we will have a $35,000 and a $75,000, possibly even more.

And how do you plan to improve the crowds?

We will work with the local chamber of commerce in Burbank. I also plan on giving away prizes for people in the stands, you know, kind of like surprises every night to make people come and then watch.

I own a concert venue so I brought my concert guys to do the sound and lighting. I truly am planning this a horse show, so we are going to have entertainment, we are going to have ambient music running throughout the horse show, we are going to have a huge dog play area, a huge kid play area, shuttling people throughout the venue. My goal is to one day be one of the top three horse shows in the country.

Both of these shows run against two international events – the National Horse Show and the Royal Winter Fair – how do you plan to entice riders? Or is that a different group of riders?

I think California has always been appealing for people. You know, they’ve always told us they love California, but we’ve never had a horse show that has enticed them and made them want to come. I believe I can build an incredible event and to piggy back off of the two other World Cups, both in front and behind us, that will be plenty for people to say ‘we will go out west.’

© Kenneth Kraus/ Ali Nilforushan Green Sleeps Vioca 1-27-10

Ali Nilforushan and Green Sleeps Vioca 

What are your hopes and dreams for this horse show?

My hope and dream – I hope for this to be one of the top horse shows in the country. I fully intend on pushing to make it that and I love California and I want to build something that we can all be proud of. I want to do it the way us riders want to do it. That is what I hope to do with it. I want to make it something that we are all proud of and something people want to come and participate in.

Are you planning to show or are you just a manager for these events?

I am going to show, I am not a manager.

Well it sounds great, good luck and thank you for your time!

Thank you.

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