'Valitar' Performers Ponder Options Against Show Owners

Performers connected to "Valitar," a production that featured both equine and human entertainers, are pondering their legal options against production owners who shuttered the show, leaving cast members and their horses stranded in California.

Richie Waite, husband of Valitar performer, horse trainer, and director Sylvia Zerbini, said the production opened on Nov. 16 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, in San Diego, Calif. On Nov. 21 the show's producers, Mark and Tatyana Remley, removed their horses and belongings from the fairgrounds and informed cast members by text message that the show was closed due to poor ticket sales, Waite said.

Neither Mark nor Tatyana Remley was available for comment.

Since the closure, the horses have been residing at the Del Mar Fairgrounds under the care of the cast with assistance from fairgrounds personnel, Waite said, and performers have been staying in hotel rooms.

"They left 25 horses and 35 performers stranded without pay or the money to return to their homes, which are mostly on the East Coast," Waite said. "It's a real bad situation, but the people of Rancho Santa Fe have been wonderful."

On Dec. 4 Waite said Zerbini met with a lawyer to explore cast members' options for recovering unpaid wages and travel expenses from the Remleys.

In the meantime, cast members hope a benefit performance will raise the funds they need to transport themselves and the horses to their home bases. That benefit show is slated for today at the fairgrounds' Del Mar Arena, Waite said.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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