American Equestrians Got Talent Finale Sunday Night

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WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 18, 2017–The finale of the ambitious grassroots American Equestrians Got Talent to raise $600,000 for American high performance dressage will be staged at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival grounds Sunday night.

The finale comes after nine weeks of qualifying competitions, attended each week by 250 to 300 supporters, unique in that the Global circuit of seven CDIs and its companion Winter Equestrian Festival for jumpers and hunters over the three winter months brings thousands of equestrian from around the world.

Robert Dover, creator of the event now completing its second year, heads up the organization that in the nine qualifying competitions over dinner and drinks brought in about $100,000 after all expenses.

“I also hope to make another $400,000 from the Grand Finale and another $100,000 from the team auction if all goes as planned,” he told dressage-news.com. “The success of AEGT would go a long way to delete the shortfall from our budget decrease at the beginning of 2017.”

This year is a non-championship period for the United States, which unlike most countries, gets no taxpayer or lottery funding. However, the U.S. Olympic Committee that is also dependent on individual and corporate sponsors contributes to the equestrian disciplines of dressage, eventing and jumping.

Jolie Burrell, whose event management company was contracted by Robert to help stage AEGT, said the qualifying competitions had pretty much been sellouts.

“The talent has been superb–stars from Broadway, opera, hip hop, dance and poetry,” said the dressage rider based in Wellington. “Four of the performances received standing ovations. The event has been opportunity for visitors–especially family and friends from out of town coming to see their equestrians  have a night out with good food and drink and some amazing performances.”

Jolie was taking time between receiving orders for tables for the finale that is expected to bring in 500 paying guests.

“It has been a real joy to be involved,” she said. “To see all that talent, to hear how much people have enjoyed the dinners with a different international theme each week. And it’s been fun working with Robert who has put his heart and soul into this.”

Contestants in the finale and their chosen sport include:

  1. Alix Who? (jumping)
  2. Cassie Ortiz (dressage)
  3. Laura León (dressage)
  4. Kylie Peitz and Alex Jones (jumping)
  5. Olivia Willis (dressage)
  6. Robyn Marie Lamp and Edgar Miguel Abréu (dressage)
  7. Roberto Gallardo (dressage)
  8. Robert Nichols (endurance)
  9. Zach Duckworth (jumping)
  10. Kyaunnee Richardson (dressage)
  11. Frances Novella (eventing)
  12. Michael Boone (dressage)
  13. Brandon Olavarria (endurance)
  14. Grady Lyman (jumping)