Global Dressage Festival Prize Money Close to $700,000 in Olympic Year
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Nov. 11, 2015–Prize money at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival circuit of seven international events over 12 weeks next winter will increase to almost $700,000 (€650,000), maintaining its status as the richest lineup of dressage shows in the world.
The fifth year of the Global circuit at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s Stadium complex is expected to be a draw for combinations seeking to qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next summer.
Combinations from Australia, Canada, Central and South America and Europe will be pursuing their Olympic goals with seven CDIs at Global that can count for the International Equestrian Federation individual rankings before the Mar. 6 deadline.
But opportunities for combinations to make teams and fill individual places already allocated will be available until decided by the country of the rider–typically up until a few weeks before the Olympics in August.
Among additions to the GDF schedule are consolation Grand Prix to provide more money-winning opportunities for competitors in Big Tour events that are expected to have a substantial number of entries.
Prize money was allocated as schedules for the competitions were being completed.
A special annual award for a top show management in the United States is being created to honor Lloyd Landkamer, who was manager of Global from its creation until his death from cancer recently.
Further development of the only non-championship Nations Cup as the template for the Pan American Games is also in the works. Consideration is being given to raising the level to require at least one Grand Prix combination on teams up to full Grand Prix squads ahead of the next Pan Ams in Lima, Peru in 2019.
All seven weeks of the CDI circuit include Pony, Junior, Young Rider, Under-25 and the Amateur division that was launched last year.
The schedule for the 2016 winter circuit:
Jan. 13-17 – -CDI-W-Word Cup, CDI1*, CDIAm, CDIJ, CDIP, CDIU25, CDIY
Jan. 27-31 – CDI-W, CDI1*, CDIAm, CDIJ, CDIP, CDIU25, CDIY
Feb. 10-14 – CDI5*, CDI3*, CDI1*, CDIAm, CDIJ, CDIP, CDIU25, CDIY
Feb. 24-28 – CDI-W, CDI1*, CDIAm , CDIJ, CDIP, CDIU25, CDIY
Mar. 3-6 – CDI-W, CDI3*, CDI1*, CDIAm, CDIJ, CDIP, CDIU25, CDIY
Mar. 16-20 – CDI4*, CDI1*, CDIAm, CDIJ, CDIP, CDIU25, CDIY, CDIYH
Mar. 29-Apr. 2 – CDIO3*-Nations Cup, CDI3*, CDI1*, CDIAm , CDIJ, CDIP, CDIU25, CDIY, CDIYH
American riders will be seeking selection to a European squad from which the United States team for Rio will be chosen.
Canadians that are a large segment of the Florida circuit will be seeking selection for the two Olympic individual places pretty much assured and looking to qualify a third to be able to start a team in Rio. However, the selection procedures are mired in a tussle over a move to give preference to combinations that attained the Olympic starting places.
Denmark, with team riders Lars Petersen and Mikala Gundersen both resident in Wellington and standout performers at Global since its inception, will also be looking to join their European-based compatriots in adding to Olympic rankings.
A minimum of three combinations that qualify from the same country through geographic groups and individual rankings enable a nation to field a so-called “composite” team to line up with Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Japan, Spain, Sweden and the United States that directly qualified teams.
The individual place for Central and South America is still up for grabs, as are places in other areas of the world that could take advantage of the single largest concentration of international competitions to earn scores for the Olympic ranking list.
The Global circuit was launched at the show grounds created by an investment of about $10 million from a vacant polo field in 2012. Prize money in the inaugural year was about $270,000.
Participation and spectators exploded over the next four years.
The circuit has become the premier center of dressage shows in the Western Hemisphere and one of the top in the world as a companion to the Winter Equestrian Festival of jumpers and hunters at the same show grounds.
Dressage competitors represent more than 30 nations from throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Although not a part of GDF, the United States national championships of Grand Prix and Intermediate will be staged at the Global grounds next month–a first for the venue.