Valenti International—The Perfect Trifecta
Rancho Santa Fe-based matchmaker Irene Valenti pictured with Bing Bush, Jr. and Zealous Tale at the Valenti Equestrian Club.
Love was in the air during a recent afternoon with Irene Valenti at the Valenti Estate in Rancho Santa Fe, headquarters for the Valenti Equestrian Club. A gentle wind blew through the tall eucalyptus trees as a groom brought hay for handsome new resident, Zealous Tale.
“He is still figuring things out and getting settled,” said Ms. Valenti, Valenti International Founder, and President. “We are so glad Zealous Tale is here with us – he is quite a character. He has a big personality and everybody loves him,” she said, feeding him a handful of treats while impeccably dressed from head to toe in cream.
Horses have always been close to Ms. Valenti’s heart, both at home in her Equestrian Club and through her charitable foundation. Zealous Tale, a thoroughbred and former racehorse, suffered a broken sesamoid during a routine warm-up. Once recovered, he returned to training, but unfortunately came up sore. His owners decided to retire him, ending his promising racing career. With the help of the current owner, Del Mar resident Bing Bush Jr., Zealous Tale’s story has a happy ending. Zealous Tale is now in his second career as a successful hunter jumper. And he has a lovely life here at the Valenti Equestrian Club.
Welcoming Breeders’ Cup
Ms. Valenti looks forward to welcoming Breeders’ Cup to San Diego for the first time in history. It is the equestrian community’s most prestigious event. As part of their mission to help horses and raise awareness for retired thoroughbreds, Valenti International is sponsoring “Bash at the Beach” which will benefit The Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA). TCA works to provide a better life for thoroughbreds through retraining, rehoming and research. TCA also provides assistance to backstretch and farm workers that care for thoroughbreds. Following the first full day of championship racing on November 3, fans will join owners, jockeys, contenders, trainers, and international media to soak in the atmosphere and enjoy stunning sunsets in Del Mar—all for a cause near and dear to Ms. Valenti’s heart. The Bash will bring together locals and visitors from around the world and will feature Valenti’s love ambassadors and elegant signature touches.
“We are thrilled to be part of Breeders’ Cup excitement, and we look forward to providing fans with an unforgettable first-class experience,” says Valenti. “We are honored to support TCA as Breeders’ Cup comes to San Diego. The more horses we can help, the better.”
Hats & Horses
Valenti International Matchmaking was the first-ever title sponsor of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s Opening Day. Ms. Valenti and her team of love ambassadors wore shades of red and greeted guests at the entrance, in the grand tradition of Bing Crosby. Some VIP guests received the prestigious Valenti Black Card, good towards the Valenti matchmaking experience. Ms. Valenti was a celebrity judge for the “Most Glamorous” category during the Hats Contest and met many fans and well-wishers at the event.
“Spending Opening Day at Del Mar is one of Southern California’s finest events,” says Ms. Valenti. “Both the professional team and clientele of Valenti International share a love of horses and the equestrian lifestyle.” It is a perfect match.
An Equestrian Oasis
Back on her own turf, just five miles from the Del Mar Race Track, the Valenti Equestrian Club encompasses nearly 20 acres. It offers a unique, exclusive boarding and training opportunity and world-class trainers. The grounds include a competition-legal dressage court with mirrors, galloping track, one of California’s largest hunter-jumper arenas and warm-up track, round pen, private lakeside trail within the property boundaries, gated entry, security cameras and on-site staffing 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
It is calm, serene, and comfortable - and is a place filled with love.
The Valenti Foundation
“There have been many times in my life when I have wanted to help so deeply that I stopped at nothing,” continues Ms. Valenti. “It was important for me to recognize my love of giving back, and the Valenti Foundation has really become an integral part of our company today.”
The Valenti Foundation, a 501 (c)(3) charity, was established to transform the lives of those most vulnerable in our community. The Foundation regularly gives back to the San Diego community that embraced Ms. Valenti and her family so warmly 27 years ago. She continues to raise funds and lend support to numerous charitable organizations including Rotary International, amongst others, which share her compassion for those in need.
One of the largest charitable undertakings for Ms. Valenti was her personal involvement in the rescuing of 27 neglected and malnourished American Arabian horses. Ms. Valenti received a call from a woman north of Santa Barbara who was in desperate need to find a home—not homes, plural, but a singular home for her 27 horses. Not daunted by the task, Ms. Valenti quickly recruited individuals willing to help. Volunteers escorted the horses off donated trailers to their new home. A truckload of hay arrived and veterinarians, dentists, and farriers all showed up to assist. They never asked for a single dime for their services.
“We never thought to take photos of everything that was happening. It was unbelievable. The trailers kept arriving, and the horses were coming out starving and very frightened. It was a team effort for certain,” shares Ms. Valenti. And although she credits the close-knit horse community with stepping up and helping when needed, it was Irene Valenti who assembled that army, by simply picking up the phone. Her passion for helping is unrelenting and powerful.
Having grown up on a small farm, Ms. Valenti is happiest surrounded by animals. In addition to the horses, local squirrels, ducks and birds all come out to greet visitors at the Valenti Estate, which also serves as home to Valenti Matchmaking.
The Art of Matchmaking
The concept of matchmaking brings with it a certain mystique – and many people are curious about how the process works. The Valenti Experience does not involve computer surveys or texting. It is deliberately low-tech and traditional. There are no emojis and you don’t swipe right.
“This is not a dating service,” says Ms. Valenti. “It’s a serious business.”
The professional Valenti matchmaking team, including on-staff psychologists, meets and gets to know each client personally. Each client’s preferences, personal tastes, traditions, core values, and character— as well as romantic compatibility—are synthesized into Valenti’s unique matchmaking formula. The Valenti Experience is designed for those with busy, successful lives who are now ready to invest in their personal success.
The process begins with a getting-to-know-each-other session. During this time, clients not only gain insight into themselves but also decide whether Valenti International is the right fit for their needs. Contracts are custom tailored to the client’s individual goals and expectations. Valenti does not offer cookie-cutter services or pricing. The process is exceptionally personal – with an unbreakable commitment to every client’s privacy.
A professional administrative staff, including an in-house concierge, is on hand to help clients throughout the matchmaking process. Details are planned and organized by the Valenti staff. Even details on selecting the perfect table at the perfect restaurant and sending just the right flowers are not overlooked. A client’s request is never more than a phone call away, and someone on staff is always available. Many clients have unfettered access to Ms. Valenti herself - including phone calls on Sundays.
Almost 100% of Valenti’s business is through referrals from clients. “Clients become like family to us, and we are with them every step of the way. It is our deep understanding of each client’s unique story that has resulted in countless lifelong partnerships,” says Valenti.
The company attracts a clientele of exceptional individuals – they are attractive, successful in their own right and hail from all 50 states and around the globe. With 27 years of successful matchmaking under their belts, the Valenti team believes that the more you have to offer, the harder it is to find that special relationship. Ms. Valenti adds, “Our services are unique and may not be the right fit for everyone, but very often we are referred to friends of clients who find that we are just what they have been looking for.”
Love is in the Air
Back at the Equestrian Club, Zealous Tale is getting ready for a photo shoot and there is much discussion about his mane – should it be braided with purple ribbons in celebration of Breeders’ Cup? “It’s a special time,” continues Ms. Valenti. “Knowing he received a second chance reminds us that life is full of wonderful surprises.”
As the sun descends for the day on the Valenti Estate, the peace on the property is palpable. There is, indeed, love in the air. And whether it is bringing joy to a lonely heart, helping horses have a second chance or providing for those in need, the goal for Ms. Valenti and her team has always been to make a positive difference in the lives of others. And that passion to do good puts Valenti International in the winner’s circle.
For more information about Valenti International Matchmaking, Equestrian Club, or Foundation, please visit www.valentimatchmaking.com
For more information about TCA, please visit TCA.org. To make a donation to TCA, please visit www.valentimatchmaking.com/donate
To learn more about Zealous Tale’s story, please visit