Let There be Light–But Not at the Gold Coast World Cup Grand Prix Special

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WEST PALM BEACH, Florida, Jan. 22–Dressage-news.com, which planned complete coverage of this winter’s North American League World Cup qualifiers in Florida and California, walked out of the Gold Coast Opener Sunday in protest at the lack of lighting in the arena where the Olympic Grand Prix Special was being held.

Eleven combinations from Canada, Dominican Republic, Korea, Puerto Rico, Sweden and the United States were competing in the class. The Freestyle of seven combinations in which the scores count toward qualifying for the World Cup Final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, in April, was held Saturday night.

Noreen O’Sullivan, organizer of the competition, said that neither the judges nor the riders has requested lighting in the arena which is covered but during this week’s World Cup event was more like an indoor facility as stands and tents had been erected from the ground to the roof around the ring in preparation for the World Dressage Masters later this week.

“There is no requirement to provide lighting if the judges and the riders don’t ask for it,” she said after dressage-news.com complained that photo coverage was impossible.

Like many horse shows in the United States, no media facilities of any kind–Internet connection, tables and chairs, storage for computers or camera gear required for the media to cover events–are provided at the Jim Brandon Center. Most competitions are outdoors so lighting is not an issue.