Florida’s Global Dressage, Winter Equestrian Festivals of 12 Weeks of Competitions Kick Off

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Pan American Games individual gold and team silver medalist in the center of lineup of Christopher Payne, Beezie Madden, Alex-Granat and Michael Stone of Equestrian Sport Productions. Photo: © 2019 Jennifer Wood Media

WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 7, 2020–The Adequan Global Dressage Festival on Wednesdfay opens its ninth year of 12 weeks of dressage competitions with likely more competitors from Europe and Asia than ever before joining Americans and Canadians seeking to earn starts at the Tokyo Olympics.

Global with its seven international events, a top rated CDI5*, a CDI4*, four qualifiers for the World Cup Final in Las Vegas in April and the only Nations Cup outside Europe is key for selection of Canadian and United States teams for Tokyo.

Contenders for the three places on Japan’s team for their home Games are in Wellington as is Agnete Kirk Thinggaard, Denmark’s Olympic team rider as well as a lineup of competitors from at least another dozen nations.

For the first time, the CDI5* Grand Prix to qualify for the Special in mid-February will be staged under the lights on the night before the Friday night Freestyle. The Special is the second phase of the Olynpic team competition.

New to the schedule for this year is the developing Grand Prix to go along with developing Prix St. Georges as circuit-long series at national level.

Michael Stone, president of Equestrian Sport Productions that organizes Global as well as the Winter Equestrian Festival of jumpers and hunters at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, reported on the re-engineering of the WEF International Arena to make it one of the premier facilities in the world.

Over time, he said, all of the main competition arenas including the Global centerpiece ring will be upgradded.

Sarah Lockman, the 2019 Pan American Games dressage individual gold and team silver medalist, told the news conference:

“I brought with me my Pan Am ride, First Apple, and we are really excited to be debuting him in the grand prix this season. One of the great things about being here in Wellington as compared to California as a dressage rider, is there are so many options; there are multiple CDIs and national shows, so it really gives us a chance to pick what is best for the horse and not necessarily what is our only option. I also brought a string of young horses and developing horses, so I’m really excited to try to qualify them for our national championship for young horses.”