Ocala’s World Equestrian Center Gets 2 More CDIs to Restore Lineup of 3 for 2022

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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

OCALA, FLorida, April 18, 2022–The World Equestrian Center that last weekend staged its most successful dressage competition since the show grounds opened 16 months ago, has been licensed for two more international events this year to restore the lineup of three CDIs.

WEC management was notified by the United States Equestrian Federation during Hampton Green Farms’ CDI3* that the international competitions will be Sept. 15-18 and Nov. 17-20.

The dates have not yet been added to the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) calendar but USEF said they will be soon. In 2021 both competitions were World Cup and CDI3* events.

Kimberly van Kampen, whose Hampton Green Farm, has become a major sponsor of dressage and eventing competitions at WEC told dressage-news.com that with approval of international licenses she would resume payments from a $1 million commitment over four years to the U.S. federation. The focus of the grants was development of youth competitions, including an annual European tour by selected competitors and youth championships at the annual Festival of Champions. She announced last October withholding donations until the international licenses were restored.

Her action and a widespread popular backlash was triggered by the USEF withholding approval of international events for 2022 in a dispute with WEC over licensing of jumper competitions. The dressage community largely viewed the USEF move as a punitive measure imposed on a discipline that was not involved.

Riders, owners and spectators made it clear that with last weekend’s CDI3* they were voting their support of the family-owned WEC, rated as at least equal to the leading equestrian show facilities in the world.

More than 225 riders representing 16 nations and with almost 290 horses competed in both CDI and national classes over four days with the Grand Prix and other international competitions in the spectacular Grand Arena.

CDI competitions in 2021 were held in giant air-conditioned arenas and a large outdoor competition arena with spectator stands protected by roofs with giant overhead fans.

The Ocala show grounds are less than 250 miles/400km north by a four-lane highway from Wellington where the winter-long Global Dressage Festival with seven CDIs has become the major international dressage show center in North America since its founding more than a decade ago.