Dressage Directly Impacted by Wellington Election Tuesday

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The Global Dressage Festival grounds at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center's Stadium complex . © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 13–An election Tuesday for the Village of Wellington council will have a direct impact on dressage and development of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

The election is for a council to govern for four years the community of about 55,000 people which hosts the Winter Equestrian Festival and the new Global Dressage Festival.

Organizers of the horse shows won approval from the current council to approve construction of the state-of-the-art dressage grounds and associated commercial elements, including a resort condomunium hotel and an equestrian-themed retail plaza.

Several million dollars have already been spent on the dressage facility on the old polo stadium that once was the centerpiece of horse sports in Wellington. However, the polo fields and its concrete grandstand severely damaged by hurricanes was unused for several years.

A slate of candidates is running against development of the facility and was supported by hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign financing from a single wealthy family whose residential compound is on the same road.

The new development, part of the PBIEC complex, was approved by the current council, sent to the Florida legislature in Tallahassee for approval and, if that occurs, will be returned to Wellington for final endorsement.

A new council could overturn the approvals.

Polls close at 7 p.m. Tuesday.