AGDF Hosts Eighth Annual Florida International Youth Dressage Championships

The riders for the 2020 Florida International Youth Dressage Championships. © SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – February 26, 2020 – The 2020 Florida International Youth Dressage Championships (FIYDC), presented by Sarah Davis Kessler, Terri Kane, USEF Dressage Owners Task Force, Hampton Green Farm, and Dressage4kids, takes place during week eight at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) on February 26 – March 1 at Equestrian Village at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.

“We are excited to welcome back all of the competitors for this year’s Florida International Youth Dressage Championships,” said Kim Van Kampen of Hampton Green Farm. “This is a special event for us every year, and we can’t wait to see all of the new and returning riders.”

The week features competition for riders in the under-25, young rider, junior, children, and pony divisions, offering them a chance to compete on a larger scale, with events throughout the week to increase camaraderie and sportsmanship. Young riders wishing to compete internationally are provided with an opportunity to showcase their talent at one of the largest dressage shows in the world.

Entry numbers continue to impress each year, and as the sport expands, the number of competing youth riders also increases. This year will be the eighth year that the Florida International Youth Dressage Championships will be hosted by AGDF, and the competition is organized by Equestrian Sport Productions. Promotion of the youth riders has stepped up and will include photography, videos, and information available on all of the competitors and shown on the jumbotron screen at AGDF, plus extended information and highlights on the FIYDC Facebook and Instagram pages.

At the FIYDC, there will be one rider in the FEI Pony Rider division, two riders in the FEI Children’s division, seven entries in the FEI Junior Rider division, 12 entries in the FEI Young Rider division, and 13 horse and rider pairs in the FEI U-25 division. There are riders from four different countries, including the United States, Canada, Colombia, Germany, and Spain.

Riders will compete in three tests through the Championships, including a team test that counts for 40%, an individual test for 40%, and a freestyle test for 20%. Along with championships in each division, an overall winner with the highest scores at the event will be crowned.

“It is very encouraging to see the growth in the FIYDC over the years,” said Lendon Gray of Dressage4Kids. “Our goals are to support and encourage young riders in dressage, and the FIYDC offers a fun, competitive, educational atmosphere for them to advance in the sport.”

This year, the FIYDC are once again working in partnership with JustWorld International, and winners will choose JustWorld Programs to receive a percentage of added prize money. Week eight of AGDF also plays host to an FEI CDI 4* senior competition.

Events throughout the week boost camaraderie and sportsmanship as well as foster friendships and learning. This includes “Tacos for a Cause” welcome party on Tuesday, February 26, in support of JustWorld International and hosted by Sarah Davis Kessler. Games, a taco bar, and drinks will be served at Belle Herbe Farm and welcome all FIYDC competitors and interested parents.

Riders continue with a meet and greet session with top international dressage riders and officials and group photos on Wednesday. This year, youth riders will receive advice, tips, and words of wisdom from Naima Moreira Laliberte of Canada, who previously competed in the FIYDC and is now aiming for a spot in the Tokyo Olympic Games; Katherine Bateson Chandler (USA), who was an international dressage groom for 16 years and is now a top grand prix rider who has competed at the FEI World Equestrian Games; and international FEI four-star judge Cesar Torrente of Colombia.

On Friday evening before the start of the “Friday Night Stars” FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 4*, presented by Havensafe Farm, at AGDF, youth riders will gather for their parade of nations prior to the singing of the national anthem. Colors from a variety of flags will be waving as laughter, camaraderie, and excitement continues for the riders. There will be flag bearers for each country competing in the FIYDC and they will be honored in front of the Friday night crowd. Immediately following the parade, Discover Dressage will host a FIYDC exhibitor party in the Special Events tent during “Friday Night Stars.”

“It is gratifying to see the youth riders of dressage honored at AGDF,” said Sarah Davis Kessler. “This is the future of our sport and we are so happy to see this program flourish each year as we aim to help them gain experience and learn from their time here this week.”

For more information on the AGDF and the 2020 Florida International Youth Dressage Championships, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

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