New York’s Central Park to Host Dressage, Jumping in the Fall

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Central Park's Wollman skating rink at night.
Central Park’s Wollman skating rink at night.

New York’s Central Park will host a Celebration of the Horse presented by Rolex of dressage and jumping under the lights Sept. 18-21, Equestrian Sport Productions Chief Executive Mark Bellissimo announced Thursday.

The event will display equestrian sport against a backdrop of skyscrapers in what the Chronicle of the Horse described as “one of the world’s most iconic venues.” The Chronicle, owned by Mark, will produce the event.

The event will be held in Central Park’s Trump Rink, known as the Wollman Rink, that is a long time public ice skating venue.

The celebration will kick off Thursday, Sept. 18, with a $200,000 Central Park Grand Prix featuring some of the best show jumpers in the world. The grand prix will be televised live on NBC Sports from 7:30-9:00 p.m., giving greater exposure to the Olympic sport.

A celebrity charity equestrian event will be featured Friday night.

A dressage musical freestyle will be staged Saturday night, featuring six of the world’s top dressage riders.

“This brings the national spotlight to equestrian sport, allowing an unprecedented audience to appreciate the horse in the world’s greatest city,” Mark said. “This will be the first live prime time TV event for equestrian sports on a major sports network and an unbelievable time slot for Thursday night on NBC Sports.”

In addition to the nighttime events, there will be a full daytime matinee schedule of educational exhibitions centered around horses and their place in history and culture. The Sunday matinee will present an arena polo competition featuring some of the world’s top players.