Palm Beach Confirms Dropping More Dressage

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Palm Beach International Equestrian Center main arena and venue for 2009 Exquis World Dressage Masters. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Palm Beach International Equestrian Center main arena and venue for 2009 Exquis World Dressage Masters. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, July 29–Palm Beach International Equestrian Center organizers confirmed Wednesday that it will hold only two dressage shows during the 2009/2010 winter circuit, down from four competitions only two years ago.

The confirmation came after Equestrian Sport Productions that manages PBIEC announced the schedule for the 2010 Winter Equestrian Festival for 12 weeks from Jan. 13 through April 4.

The schedule listed a single dressage event, the Exquis World Dressage Masters CDI5* the week of Feb. 3-7.

Michael Stone, ESP Executive Vice President, when questioned about the four show dates licensed to ESP by the U.S. Equestrian Federation, said that although the dressage events ESP was scheduling for 2010 were not listed in the calendar the management company had decided to proceed with the two competitions.

The CDI3* that was held in conjunction with the World Dressage Masters CDI5* in 2009 is scheduled to be held again in conjunction with WDM, Feb. 3-7.

A CDI3* that has been a Wellington staple for many years is scheduled for Mar. 17-21, he said. It is too close to the FEI World Cup in The Netherlands to be a World Cup qualifier in 2010.

The competition around Thanksgiving originally began as Dressage at the Nationals in 2002 and upgraded to a CDI3* in 2008.

Instead of dressage, the Thanksgiving show will feature the Palm Beach Steeplechase that was inaugurated last year at the former Palm Beach Polo Club, now part of PBIEC.

Dressage at other venues in Palm Beach has grown substantially in recent years.

The long-established Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W and Dressage at Equestrian Estates are held in Loxahatchee, adjoining Wellington, as are a series of Welcome Back to White Fences competitions.

The biggest impact has been created by the Wellington Classic Dressage Series at the taxpayer-owned Jim Brandon Equestrian Center with permanent stabling and a large covered arena five miles (8km) from Wellington. The local non-profit dressage club, Gold Coast Dressage Association (GCDA), also hold its competitions at the Brandon center.

The Wellington Classic Series has instituted competitions year-round and will host the U.S. Dressage Federation Region 3 finals Oct. 22-25.

Wellington Classic Dressage, GCDA and the Palm Beach Derby each hold CDI-W World Cup qualifiers, while PBIEC is scheduled to host the Exquis World Dressage Masters CDI5* and a CDI3* in March.

CDIs are the only competitions that qualify horse/rider combinations for the USEF Grand Prix National Championships which will also be the final selection competition for the U.S. team for WEG 2010.