Falsterbo Horse Show Becomes Fifth Exquis World Dressage Masters Event

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Antonia-Axson-Johnson_lr
MUNICH, Germany, May 15—The Exquis World Dressage Masters announced Saturday that the world renowned Falsterbo Horse Show in Sweden will join the lineup of the globe’s richest dressage competitions, bringing to five the number of events making up the  prestigious transatlantic circuit.

This year’s Falsterbo Horse Show July 8-11 will be the first occasion for the new WDM competition, joining Palm Beach, Florida; Munich, Germany; Cannes, France, and Hickstead, England with each one offering €100,000 in prize money plus a €25,000 WDM Rider Award. Total prize money in 2010 will be €525,000.

Swedish company Axel Johnson AB Group made the Falsterbo event possible and will be the presenting sponsor.

The announcement of Falsterbo joining the Exquis World Dressage Masters lineup was made at a news conference in Munich in the midst of the WDM event at Pferd International at the Olympic Stadium for the second year in a row.

The first talks with Falsterbo show director Jana Wannius for a Swedish WDM were initiated by international Swedish dressage rider Jan Brink.

“The fact that WDM has chosen the Falsterbo Horse Show as the fifth venue is a big compliment to our show and Swedish dressage,” Jana Wannius told the news conference. “We have seen an ever growing crowd of dressage fans visiting our show over the last years. I am convinced that the arrival of WDM will have a very positive effect on the future of our show’.

Antonia Ax:son Johnson, Chairman of the family-owned Axel Johnson AB group, said in a video message to the Munich news conference:: “As a business woman, I see wonderful opportunities for our company to tap into an interesting target group. As a sports woman I am so glad to be part of such a positive initiative for dressage. I am really looking forward to this year’s Falsterbo show.”

Anthony M. Kies, CEO of the World Dressage Masters, told the news conference: “WDM has an eye open for upcoming dressage hot spots in the world. Falsterbo, Sweden is definitely one of them. We have heard great stories about the show, the organization and the fantastic fans, which really complement WDM. I welcome our new partner, Axel Johnson AB group, a very successful global group of companies with a great ‘family’ history, without which it wouldn’t have been possible to make this happen’.

Axel Johnson AB group is a family company now in the fourth and fifth generations that builds, transforms and develops businesses within retail trading and trading-related services in the European market, with a focus on the Nordic region. Group companies today comprise Axel Johnson International, Novax, Servera, Svensk Bevakningstjänst, Åhlens and the partly owned listed companies Axfood and Mekonomen. The wholly and partly owned companies in the Axel Johnson AB group have total annual sales in excess of SEK 54 billion (€5.6 billion/US$7 billion) and approximately 17,000 employees.

Axel Johnson AB group is one of three independent groups in the Axel Johnson Group together with the property company AxFast and the U.S. company Axel Johnson, Inc. The Group also has stakes in Nordstjernan. The Axel Johnson Group is owned by Antonia Ax:son Johnson and her family.

Schedule of WDM events in 2010:
Palm Beach, Florida – Feb. 4-6
Munich, Germany – May 13-15
Cannes, France – June 10-13
Falsterbo, Sweden – July 8-11
Hickstead, England – July 29-Aug. 1