Florida’s Global Dressage Festival Revamped for 2015 Expected to Lure More Top Riders

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The 2014 medals podium teams of USA (gold), Canada (silver) and Spain (bronze). © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
The 2014 medals podium teams of USA (gold), Canada (silver) and Spain (bronze). © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, Sept. 23, 2014–A revamped Global Dressage Festival for next winter is expected to lure more top riders to back-to-back big money CDI5* and CDI4* competitions while the finale Nations Cup will likely have a record number of countries to prepare for the Pan American Games.

The 2015 calendar posted by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) kicks off 12 weeks of seven international competitions at the GDF show grounds in Wellington on Jan. 7, the fourth year of the world’s greatest number of CDIs staged at a single venue.

With prize money expected to be boosted from the 2014 total of $580,000 (€422,000), next year’s schedule includes four World Cup events each with more than $50,000 purses that are expected to be hotly contested as the Final of the annual championship will be in Las Vegas in mid-April.

The GDF schedule as posted by the FEI:
Jan. 7-11–CDI-W
Jan. 21-25–CDI-W
Feb. 4-8-CDI5*
Feb. 18-22-CDI4*
Mar. 4-8-Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W
Mar. 11-15-CDI-W
Mar. 24-29– CDIO3* Nations Cup

Adequan, the inaugural title sponsor of GDF when it was launched three years ago at a new multimillion dollar complex that is part of Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, has signed up for another three years.

The sponsorship deal for the first term was believed to be $150,000 a year.

The major proposed change for next winter’s calendar has been to move the CDI4* and CDI5* competitions to one week apart in February that may offer an increase in prize money that totaled $270,000 in 2014.

Steffen Peters of San Diego, California told dressage-news.com that he plans to bring his World Equestrian Games mount Legolas to Wellington to compete in the two events.

In addition to riders from 30 countries that participated in GDF in 2014, many Central and South American countries will, for the first time, send teams for the Nations Cup Mar. 24-29 to prepare for the 2015 Pan American Games to be held in Toronto.

Nine teams started in the 2014 Nations Cup, but only three were from the Americas–Canada, Colombia and the United States. The other teams were Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and second teams from Canada and the U.S.

The addition of several South American countries in the only non-championship Nations Cup in the Western Hemisphere could limit Canada and the U.S. to a single team in the mixed Big Tour and Small Tour format.