Eight North American Riders Invited to Masters, Limited General Admission Tix for $80

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Steffen Peters and Ravel at the 2010 World Dressage Masters Palm Beach. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 14–Eight North American riders have been invited to compete in the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach, presenting sponsor International Polo Club Palm Beach announced Monday, joining six Europeans who will participate.

IPC said that tickets start at $150, but a limited number of general admission tickets are also available for $80 each for the €100,000 (US$130,000) event scheduled for Mar. 10-11 at the Jim Brandon Center on the outskirts of Wellington. Reservations for tickets can be made online at www.internationalpoloclub.com or by telephone to 561-282-5334.

Of the eight riders, six are from the U.S., and two from Canada. The U.S. riders, including two from California, were selected based on U.S. Equestrian Federation standings.

The North American riders are:

-Steffen Peters of San Diego, California, who will bring his World Equestrian Games double medalist and 2009 World Cup champion Ravel for their third straight Masters appearance in Florida, and ranked No. 4 in the world;

-Ashley Holzer of Canada and Pop Art, her Olympic and WEG partner who will also be competing at their third WDM Palm Beach, ranked No. 25 in the world;

Canada's Ashley Holzer and Pop Art at WDM Palm Beach in 2010. © Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com

-Tina Konyot of Palm City, Florida, and Calecto V, members of the U.S. team at WEG and ranked No. 28 in the world;

-Katherine Bateson-Chandler of Wellington, and Nartan, also a member of the U.S. team at WEG;

-Todd Flettrich also of Wellington and Otto, a member of last year’s U.S. team at WEG;

-Pierre St. Jacques of Anthony, Florida, and Lucky Tiger, a member of the U.S. gold medal team at 2003 Pan American Games and an alternate for the 2010 WEG squad.

-Jan Ebeling of Moorpark, California, and Rafalca, a member of the U.S. gold medal team at the 2003 Pan Ams and an alternate for the 2010 WEG team.

-Evi Strasser a veteran Canadian Olympian who competes regularly on both sides of the Atlantic and is ranked fourth on the Nürnberger WDM Rider Rankings that awards €25,000 after the WDM event in Munich, Germany, based on results of the four-show series.

A wild card will be issued for a third Canadian rider.

The two top placed riders from the Grand Prix test at the Wellington Classic Dressage Challenge II CDI3* that will be held concurrently with WDM Palm Beach, will also be invited to compete.

Steffen, who won the WDM Grand Prix in both 2009 and 2010 and in the freestyle placed third and second, respectively, said: “I’m hoping three’s the charm. Ravel is actually doing better than he was at WEG, according to my trainer Shannon Peters. I’m really looking forward to the Masters.”

The Masters is the only CDI5* in the Western Hemisphere and the only opportunity for North American riders to compete on home soil against Europe’s best, apart from occasional championships. “This is the only chance we have for the European riders to come to us. If the World Dressage Masters can keep on inviting European riders annually, it has a huge benefit for the US, and helps to keep the momentum we have seen develop in dressage in this country.”

The North Americans will be joined by:

-Sweden’s Tinne Wilhelmsson-Silfvén, the 17th ranked rider in the world, who is spending the winter in Florida with a stable full of horses including her top mount, Favourit, owned by Antonia Ax:son Johnson, who heads up the Swedish-based Axel Johnson Group that is presenting sponsor of the WDM series through 2014;

Sweden's Tinne Velhelmson Silfven on Favourit at the WDM in Falsterbo, Sweden in 2010. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

-Germany’s Anja Plönzke and Le Mont d’Or (No. 35), who competed at WDM Palm Beach in 2010 and is atop the Nürnberger Rider Rankings;

-Michal Rapcewicz and Randon (No. 34) of Poland, who competed at the WEG in Kentucky and is a frequent participant in WDM events in Europe;

-Italy’s Valentina Truppa and Chablis (No. 42), who also competed at WEG in 2010;

-Christa Laarakkers and Divoza Horseworld Ovation (No. 41), who competed in Palm Beach last year, and

-Denmark’s Anne van Olst and Exquis Clearwater (No. 57), and Olympic veteran who competed at the 2009 WDM Palm Beach.

The schedule:

Wednesday, March 9 – 1 pm – Horse inspection
Thursday, March 10 – 1 pm – Grand Prix
Friday, March 11 – 1 pm – Grand Prix Special
Friday, March 11 – 6:00 pm – Grand Prix Freestyle