All But One Rider Withdraw from Pebble Beach CDI3* Grand Prix Over Footing

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Sand taken out of the Grand Prix arena at Pebble Beach,

PEBBLE BEACH, California, July 8–Seven of eight rider and horse combinations withdrew from the Grand Prix at the Pebble Beach CDI3* Friday in a protest by competitors over the quality of the footing.

Riders complained before the competition started at the Pebble Beach Equestrian Center that the sand ring was too deep, uneven and hard in the corners.

A large amount of sand was removed but discussions between competitors, show management and a footing consultant failed to satisfy most of the riders.

Only one competitor showed–Cyndi Jackson on Strauss who scored 61.723 per cent.

The panel of judges comprised Linda Zang of Davidsonville, Maryland, Alison King of Hong Kong, Cara Whitham and Joan Macartney of Canada and Gabriel Armando of Argentina.

The Pebble Beach CDI was restored on the calendar this year after a two-year break, in 2009 because of economic problems and in 2010 because the U.S. Open golf tournament was held at Pebble Beach.

The protest was the latest in the chorus of complaints in the U.S. and Canada over the quality of footing at many horse shows in North America.

Competitors at small tour at a CDI in West Palm Beach last winter were allowed to withdraw from the Pan American Games qualifier because of poor footing, Canadian Olympian Ashley Holzer cited the quality of footing at a CDI at the New Jersey Horse Park in Allentown this spring and complaints were made over the footing at the recent CDI-W at Milton, Ontario.

The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center is constructing a new dressage stadium in Wellington, Florida, with multiple arenas with state of the art surfaces which have also been used in rebuilding competition arenas where Dressage at Devon is staged in the Philadelphia suburb.