Dressage Debuts at 2012 College Prep Invitational at Wellington

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Robert Dover. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, Aug. 3–The College Preparatory Invitational will add dressage seat classes to their 2012 event during the Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center Jan. 13-15.

Applications for dressage collegiate classes are available online at www.collegeprepinvitational.com and are due by Oct. 1.

Six-time Olympian Robert Dover will be the judge of the new dressage seat equitation during CPI at which Equestrian Sport Productions, organizer of WEF, is a presenting sponsor.

“I was fortunate enough to ride competitively during my university years, but would have loved to have access to a program which included a CPI back then,” he said. “It will most certainly be of great benefit to dressage in the United States to have stronger grass roots programs for our young riders.

“The Intercollegate Program has always been a great source of continuing training for riders who are at an age when school and riding are difficult to continue simultaneously. The addition of a strong program for dressage will do for our sport what it has done for the hunter/jumpers riders. Using top instructors to work with young riders who are in college will provide for ongoing progress so necessary for talented youth, whether they intend to go on as professionals in the industry or not.”

The CPI dressage seat equitation classes will include movements and exercises required at U.S. Training and First Level and follow rules set by the Intercollegiate Dressage Association.

Equestrian Sport Productions that manages WEF, has assigned two competition arenas–one for hunt seat and one for dressage–as well as tent space for college representatives to the CPI for their event.

Equestrian Sport Productions has been named a presenting sponsor of the 2012 CPI.

ESP principal Katherine Bellissimo said, “The best thing about hosting the CPI at the FTI WEF is that there is an environment for families to experience the love of the horse and competition.”

As the mother of two teenage daughters that ride, Katherine appreciates what CPI provides for young riders.

“We have always had the goal of leveraging the benefits of being a competitive rider with the balance of a great education,” she said. “The CPI strives to make this possible for all levels of riding, which is of great value to the many families who make both a time and financial commitment to the sport. It is a wonderful opportunity to educate the riders and families of the collegiate opportunities as well as provide a forum and venue for the coaches and college representatives to meet and interact with potential student-riders.”

Along with the competition, the CPI will offer seminars and interactive sessions during the show covering college search, recruiting, and scholarship process.

Five scholarships will be awarded to eligible CPI participants, including: CPI Horsemanship Test Award, CPI High Point Hunt Seat Equitation Rider, CPI Essay Contest, CPI Champion of Service Award, and CPI High Point Dressage Rider.