Hampton Green Farm, Discover Dressage Named Official Founding Partners of World Equestrian Center as USEF Still Refuses to Approve International Events
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Dec. 13, 2021
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Hampton Green Farm and Discover Dressage, major sponsors of the sport in the United States, on Monday were named Official Founding Partners of the World Equestrian Center in Ocala, Florida.
The announcement came after the last of three international CDI events for 2021 at the $1 billion family-owned show grounds. Six national dressage events are on the official calendar for WEC in 2022, but the U.S. Equestrian Federation is withholding approval of international dressage and eventing dates in an unrelated dispute over hunter/jumper competitions.
The dressage World Cup and CDI3* competitions over the weekend had a ground jury that included Maribel Alonso de Quinzaños of Mexico, the newly elected chair of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Dressage Committee, and Peter Storr of Great Britain, appointed last month to the six-member committee. Although they did not comment on the issue of future shows, like most national and international riders they expressed amazement at WEC, the largest equestrian show grounds in the U.S.
“As part of the multiyear agreement,” WEC announced, “Hampton Green Farm will be the title sponsor of the World Equestrian Center-Ocala 2022-2023 Dressage competition series. In addition, World Equestrian Center–Ocala will be home to the innovative Discover Dressage educational programs and events.”
“The new World Equestrian Center has to be seen to be believed,” said Kimberly van Kampen of Hampton Green Farms and Discover Dressage. “There is no other equestrian show facility like it, in both philosophy and facilities. Both Hampton Green Farm and Discover Dressage, in their own rights, focus their efforts on young horses and youth riders in order to create a solid foundation for future success. We are honored to partner with WEC to see dressage grow in this amazing place!”
“We are grateful for the support of Discover Dressage and Hampton Green Farm,” said Roby Roberts, WEC CEO. “Kimberly van Kampen has been beyond generous in sharing with us her enthusiasm and expertise in the world of dressage. Her guidance has been instrumental in helping us to create a world-class dressage environment at World Equestrian Center–Ocala.”
The annual Florida International Youth Championship sponsored by Hampton Green Farm will move to WEC in 2022 from the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington. The championship had been an international event in Wellington but Kim told dressage-news.com it will be staged as a national show if international approval is not provided.
She also disclosed two months ago that a donation of $200,000 to support youth dressage programs in 2022 is being withheld from USEF until international dressage and eventing licenses are approved for WEC.
The backlash against the USEF, the national governing body of many horse sports in America including the Olympic disciplines of dressage, eventing and jumping, has been widespread within the dressage community.
Telephone calls by USEF President Tom O’Mara and Chief Executive Officer Bill Moroney to some international dressage trainers and competitors have failed to garner support for the USEF position, riders have told dressage-news.com.
Some riders told dressage-news.com they were surprised that Terra Nova, a new facility near Sarasota, Florida, was mentioned in some of the calls by the USEF as an alternative to WEC for Wellington-based equestrians looking for other show venues. Terra Nova staged one eventing competition with tent stabling in the fall. It has three eventing competitions and one jumper show but no dressage on the calendar for 2022.