Global Dressage Festival Grounds Take Shape
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WELLINGTON, Florida, Dec. 26–Construction of the Global Dressage Festival grounds incorporating a revamped design to make it more “initimate” and friendlier for both participants and spectators is well along with six weeks to go before the first competition.
The bases for four oversized outdoor arenas are near completion while a mountain of the surface that is a mix of sand, felt and fiber grows higher in readiness for when there is less dust to taint the iconic coral-colored footing.
The first of two blocks, each containing 96 permanent stables, is nearing completion. Foundations for the second block have been completed
Another two blocks to be constructed in 2012 will provide a total of almost 400 permanent stalls.
A feature of the GDF grounds will be the covered arena which will be the largest in Florida and one of the largest in North America. The so-called “footers” have been readied to anchor steel beams holding up the roof that will cover an area large enough for three full size (20 by 60 meters) dressage arenas .
An unannounced new feature of the grounds is a raised spectator deck in the middle that provides a view of all arenas and the stable area. The idea is to offer refreshments and some vendors, but mainly to enable spectators to easily view everything.
For longtime residents or visitors to Wellington, a landmark was the giant scoreboard that loomed over the polo fields where Prince Charles watched by his then bride, Princess Diana, played. The polo fields are no more, replaced instead by the Global Dressage Festival grounds and a grass jumper derby field that are part of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.