Booming Global Dressage Festival to End With Another Record

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Packed spectator stands during Friday night Freestyle competition at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Packed spectator stands during Friday night Freestyle competition at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 15, 2015–The finale week of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival featuring the Nations Cup will set another record for international entries with 338 rides that will bring the total of starts to 1,631 over seven weeks of CDI competitions at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center Stadium grounds.

Foreign riders–25 nations were represented this year–have flocked to Florida and competitors from across the United States and Canada have been drawn to a lineup of events at the same world class show grounds with prize money totaling more than $650,000. Typically balmy shirt-sleeve weather and an appealing lifestyle have seen a large and growing number of equestrians from around the world buying homes and farms in Wellington and surrounding areas to escape winters in which many areas of the Northern Hemisphere have been battered by a succession of snowstorms and bitter cold.

The Global winter circuit started four years ago with a total of 302 starts in five CDIs and grew to 409 with the same number of shows in 2013.

However, the number of Global CDis increased to seven over three months and the number of starts increased to 931 in 2014, a 127 per cent increase over the previous year.

This year has seen a succession of records of Western Hemisphere dressage events during the seven CDI weeks, from a low of 130 the first week to a high of 338 in the 12th week atthe end of March for a total of 1,631 for the season.

The percentage growth in CDI entries from 2012 through 2015 is 440 per cent.

The entries do not include national level classes that sometimes are almost double the international totals.

Scheduling rides in four outdoor competition arenas and a covered arena that has been used primarily for CDI smal tour classes has frequently pushed competition days to more than 12 hourse.

The Florida finale record was, however, surpassed by 370 CDI starts for the first of two weeks of the Vidauban Dressage Festival in France which featured a Nations Cup. Pony, junior, young rider and Under-25 competitions were much larger than American entries for the same divisions.