New Footing, Landscaping for Florida’s International Horse Sport Grounds

10 years ago StraightArrow Comments Off on New Footing, Landscaping for Florida’s International Horse Sport Grounds
Lars Petersen checking international quality riding surface installed in a makeover of Equestrian Estates dressage show grounds in readiness for the 2012 winter circuit. © 2011 Ken Braddick/


LOXAHATCHEE, Florida, Dec. 26–New European-style footing has been installed in most arenas and dozens of trees planted to create a park-like look in time for International Horse Sport Palm Beach winter competitions at Equestrian Estates.

Lars Petersen, the Danish Olympian and a partner in the group in the second year of operating competitions at the show grounds that is home to the Palm Beach Dressage Derby marking its 29th anniversary in 2012, said the calendar of four shows will see a “significant” increase in prize money over 2011.

The number of arenas for competition, warmup and exercising horses has been increased to 10 and seven of them will have new footing of a mix of sand, felt and fiber similar to surfaces installed at top international equestrian events around the world.

“Now the only reason any one will have to scratch in the rain is if they don’t want to get wet,” Lars said of the new footing.

Installation of the new footing was key to the Palm Beach Dressage Derby retaining its designation as a World Cup qualifier Mar. 1-4.

Dressage at Equestrian Estates and IHS Blue Hors Invitational scheduled for Mar. 22-25 has also been designated a CDI3*.

The IHS circuit kicks off with the Blue Hors Dressage Premiere Jan. 14-15, a national competition that is being promoted as a centerpiece event with $15,000 in prize money and sponsored by Denmark’s premier breeding operation.

Lars, now 46, represented Denmark for more than 10 years, including Olympic Games, three World Equestrian Games, two World Cup Finals and three Continental Championships with Blue Hors mounts, probably the most famous being Cavan.

With Melissa Taylor, his longtime personal and business partner, he has built a major training operation a few hundred yards (meters) from the Equestrian Estates Horse Park.

One of his new rides is Gredstedgårds Casmir that he was offered by Blue Hors stud after dropping Sune Hansen as their in-house competition rider following the European Championships in Rotterdam this summer.

Gredstedgårds Casmir is a 12-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (Continue x Lisette x Rastell) that was first competed Grand Prix by Andreas Helgstrand in 2007 and was on the Danish team at the European Championships the same year and the World Cup Final in 2008. Sune took over the ride in 2009 and rode the horse at the European Championships in 2009 and the World Equestrian Games in 2010.

The calendar of IHS competitions scheduled for the winter of 2012 is:

– Jan. 14-15 International Horse Sport Blue Hors Dressage Premiere
– Mar. 1-4 Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W
– Mar. 22-25 Dressage at Equestrian Estates & IHS Blue Hors Invitational CDI3*
– April 28-29  International Horse Sport Series Final