Wellington’s Global Dressage Festival Cuts Prize Money for 2018

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

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, Dec. 26, 2017–The 2018 Global Dressage Festival with the first of seven international events starting in two weeks will see cuts in total prize money but more Big Tour classes.

With five of the seven schedules approved by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) prize money is more than 15 per cent lower than in 2017 and the total purse will likely dip below $600,000 for the first time since 2014, the inaugural year of seven CDIs for the Global circuit.

The top rated CDI5* scheduled for Feb. 7-11 drops to $189,000 from $200,000 in each of the previous three years. The biggest reductions, though, are in the four World Cup events.

Even so, the winter circuit that has helped boost dressage to unprecedented heights in the Americas will still be the richest lineup of events in the world.

In 2017, each of the four World Cup weeks had $57,500 in prize money covering Big Tour, Small Tour and other divisions.

In 2018, two of the World Cup weeks have been cut to $42,300 and two to $44,400.

However, instead of the bulk of the money being awarded to the World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle, the Grand Prix and Special, the prize money has been split with a CDI3* Grand Prix to be staged for the Special.

The Under-25 division will get a boost, to $3,000 from $900 for each event.

The only previous decline was to the total in 2017 due primarily to the FEI cutting prize money for the CDI4* from its level of the previous to meet a limit determined by the sport’s governing body.

Equestrian Sport Productions that organizes the lineup of 12 weeks of competitions–national as well as the seven international competitions–at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s Stadium complex said changes were made to prize money to balance revenues and expenses.

The first Global event in 2012 has faced opposition from a neighbor whose family owns an estate that sought to have the facility of permanent stabling and a covered arena as well as outdoor competition arenas torn down and replaced with a polo field that was no longer in use. All their claims in a civil suit were dismissed by a jury earlier this month.

The schedule of Global events with total purse in 2018:

Jan. 10-14–CDI-W, CDI3*, CDI1*, plus youth and amateur classes–$42,300 ($57,500 in 2017)
Jan. 24-28–CDI-W, CDI3*, CDI1*, plus youth and amateur classes–$42,300 ($57,500)
Feb. 7-11–CDI5*, CDI3*, CDI1*, plus youth and amateur classes–$215,900 ($232,200)
Feb. 21-27–CDI-W, CDI3*, CDI1*, plus youth and amateur classes–$44,400 ($57,500)
Feb. 28-Mar. 4–CDI-W, CDI3*, CDI1*, plus youth and amateur classes–$44,400 ($57,500)
Mar. 14-18–CDI4*, CDI3*, CDI1*, plus youth and amateur classes–N.A. ($128,000)
Mar. 27-31–CDIO3*, CDI3*, plus youth and amateur classes–N.A. ($72,700)