Global Dressage Festival of 7 Weeks of CDIs Starts, Still World’s Biggest & Richest Circuit
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WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 11, 2017–The Adequan Global Dressage Festival of seven CDIs over the next three months began Wednesday with the World Cup Final at home as the only championship outside Europe this year but the start of qualifying for the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina next year.
Thirty-eight horses from 11 nations underwent the veterinary check of the first of four World Cup events at the Palm Beach International Center Equestrian Center Stadium in the sixth year of the Global circuit that has total prize money of close to $700,000–that was intended to be the highest to date but is being cut back by the FEI, the International Equestrian Federation that governs horse sports.
Global has been so successful, however, that it is scheduled to move next year to new and expanded show grounds at the International Polo Club (IPC), one of the three major show grounds in this South Florida community. .
Mark Bellissimo, who heads up Wellington Equestrian Partners that owns the Palm Beach center that stages the Winter Equestrian Festival of jumpers and hunters and Global for dressage as well as IPC that was acquired last year, told dressage-news.com he still plans to construct a new horse show facility at the polo grounds this year in time for the 2018 winter season.
That work is scheduled to go on at the same time as preparations are underway at the companion Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina for the World Equestrian Games in 2018.
New for this year’s circuit will be spectator judging, its first use in dressage in the Western Hemisphere and expected to be popular at the Friday night Freestyles.
Freestyle programs provided to the judges ahead of time to set out degrees of difficulty for scoring will also be instituted for the first time throughout the Global circuit. The procedure is already a requirement in the World Cup Western European League and will get its first championship test at the Final in Omaha Mar. 27-Apr. 2.
Children’s CDI classes have also been added for the first time as youth divisions are growing.