World Dressage Masters Palm Beach Tickets Go on Sale

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Anky van Grunsven on Salinero (center) after capturing the 2010 Exquis World Dressage Masters in Palm Beach, Florida, flanked by Isabell Werth on Satchmo and Steffen Peters on Ravel. Photo: Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 7–Tickets went on sale Monday for the Exquis World Dressage Masters to be held at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach on Mar. 10 and 11. The lowest ticket price is $100 for a single seat at one of 80 tables for the Grand Prix and range from $500 to $150 per seat for the combined Grand Prix Special and Freestyle.

International Polo Club Palm Beach, the presenting sponsor of the only CDI5* in the Western Hemisphere, is selling the tickets to the €100,000 (US$136,000) event, one of four in the annual series that was launched in 2009. IPC referred prospective ticket buyers to their Internet site, internationalpoloclub.com or by telephone to 561-282.5334.

John Flanagan of Wellington Classic Dressage, organizers of the actual competition but not ticketing and hospitality, told dressage-news.com: “As of today there are no general admission tickets available, the breakdown that you were given from IPC are the current levels. The outside rings, of course do not require a ticket and are open to the public.

“IPC is handling the box office and catering and were in charge of pricing the tables.”

The IPC ticket office confirmed that no general admission or tickets lower priced than the table seats were being offered.

Ticket prices for individual seats are $100 for the Grand Prix on Thursday, Mar. 10.

For the Grand Prix Special and the Freestyle on Friday, Mar. 11 the prices ranged from $500 per seat or $4,000 for a table of eight, with other price levels of $450, $350 and $150. The prices include a five-course meal with alcoholic beverages included for the higher priced seats.

Members of IPC were offered a 10 per cent discount on table prices and 25 of the 80 tables available were reportedly sold on the first day.

WDM was moved to the Jim Brandon Center with backing by IPC and Akiko Yamazaki, owner of Ravel, after Equestrian Sport Productions canceled the event for Palm Beach International Equestrian Center citing a lack of top European riders that could attract enough spectators to offset the costs of transporting and housing horses, riders and grooms.

Steffen Peters of San Diego, California, and Ravel, winner of two individual medals at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky last year, and ranked 4th in the world head up the list of entries for the event.

Sweden’s Tinne Wilhelmsson-Silfvén, the 20th ranked rider in the world, who is spending the winter in Florida with a stable full of horses including her top mount, Favourit, is also scheduled to compete. Tinne is the rider for Antonia Ax:son Johnson, who heads up the Swedish-based Axel Johnson Group that has extensive business interests in Europe and North America and Monday was named presenting sponsor of the WDM series through 2014.

Canadian Olympian Ashley Holzer and Pop Art, a combination that like Steffen and Ravel has competed in the two previous World Dressage Masters events in Florida, is ranked No. 23  while U.S. WEG team member Tina Konyot of Palm City, Florida, and Calecto V are ranked 28th.

Among the combinations in Europe that have indicated their intention to compete are Germany’s Carola Koppelmann and Le Bo (No. 31) and Anja Plönzke and Le Mont d’Or (No. 34), who competed at WDM Palm Beach in 2010; Michal Rapcewicz and Randon (No. 33) and Katarzyna Milczarek and Ekwador (No. 39) of Poland; Italy’s Valentina Truppa and Chablis (No. 41); Christa Laarakkers and Divoza Horseworld Ovation (No. 43), who competed in Palm Beach last year, and Denmark’s Anne van Olst and Exquis Clearwater (No. 56) who competed at the 2009 WDM here.

Anja and Le Mont d’Or also lead the Nürnberger Versicherunggruppe Rider Rankings that award €25,000 ($US34,000) to the winning rider of the series after the World Dressage Masters in Munich, Germany.

In addition to Palm Beach and Munich, the other two venues are Falsterbo, Sweden and Hickstead, England.