Wellington, FL – November 10, 2011 – Totilas, the reigning Dressage World Champion and current world record holder in the Grand Prix Freestyle, is coming to the 2012 World Dressage Masters Palm Beach presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach. His appearance at the prestigious WDM CDI5*’s only event in North America, at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center on January 26 to 29, 2012. This will be the ONLY public appearance of this legendary stallion during his visit to North America. The WDM Palm Beach CDI5* will run concurrently with the Wellington Classic Sunshine Challenge CDI3*/CPEI3*. The World Dressage Masters CDI5* presented by Axel Johnson Group is the world’s premier dressage series, with over half a million dollars in prize money, and each show boasts over 100,000 Euros in prize money.
With his current rider, Germany’s Matthias Alexander Rath, Totilas won the CHIO Aachen 2011 in July; Totilas and Rath went on to help the German Team win a silver medal at the European Dressage Championships in August. The WDM Palm Beach will launch Rath’s and Totilas 2012 competition season, which is directed towards the London 2012 Olympics. Totilas is an 11 year old KWPN stallion co-owned by renowned German Olympic Show Jumper and breeder Paul Schockemöhle and German Olympic Dressage rider Ann-Katrin Linsenhof.
Wellington, FL (November 4, 2011) – International rider and trainer Marcel van der Burgh, a native of Holland who now operates out of Loxahatchee, Florida, rode the five-year-old Lusitano stallion Calamus Interagro to the High Score Lusitano Award during the Wellington Classic Dressage Autumn Challenge Show. Sponsored by Interagro Lusitanos, the largest breeder and exporter of Lusitano horses in the world, the High Score Lusitano Award recognizes the highest scoring Lusitano during a dressage competition and highlights the dynamic and competitive Lusitano breed.
Calamus was bred at Interagro Farms in Brazil and imported to the United States during Interagro’s 2011 Lusitano Collection International Horse Auction. The handsome stallion was purchased by a Michigan rider and put into training with van der Burgh. “Calamus is very rideable and easy going, especially for a stallion. I really like the Lusitano breed as they are sensitive but still great for amateurs,” he said. “Our goal with Calamus is to train him up through the levels and have his owner ride and compete him.”
Wellington, FL (October 24, 2011) – International dressage rider Oded Shimoni, a trainer and coach to many of the top names in the dressage world, found himself in the winner’s circle during the Wellington Classic Dressage Autumn Challenge at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. Shimoni won the USEF Fourth Level Test 1 aboard Don Dueto and also rode away with the BEST Rider Award. The BEST Award, which stands for Balanced Equestrian Strength Training, will give Shimoni the chance to work with personal trainer Nick Tortora, a Wellington based trainer who focuses on equestrian strength training.
Shimoni was pleased with his win on Don Dueto and said it was the seven-year-old stallion’s first time at a show. “He was great and did everything right,” Shimoni said. “He belongs to an owner in New Hampshire. I have had him about 11 months and am really excited about him. I am also excited about winning the BEST award and look forward to working with Nick Tortora.”
Tortora, whose clients include McLain Ward and Caroline Roffman, helps riders become stronger, gives them an edge up on the competition and helps each rider move to the next level. “I help riders focus on movement and strengthening any movements they have which may be weak,” Tortora said. “When Oded comes for his free one-hour training session, which also includes a half-hour consultation as well, I will assess how his body moves and then we will work on strengthening his core which will in turn stabilize him on the horse and in day to day life.”
Wellington, FL (September 21, 2011) – Colombian dressage rider Marco Bernal, who is headed to the Pan American Games in Mexico in October to compete for his native country on his Westphalian stallion Farewell IV, earned the Premier Equestrian Sportsmanship Award at the Wellington Classic Dressage Fall Challenge I Show. Thanks to his positive attitude and never-ending smile, just a few examples of Bernal’s good sportsmanship, the highly decorated dressage rider rode away with a new pair of German-designed Roeckl gloves from Premier Equestrian.
“Having Marco win our first Sportsmanship award of the 2011/2012 Dressage season was the perfect way to kick things off because I can’t think of anyone who exemplifies being a good sport more than Marco,” said Heidi Zorn, President of Premier Equestrian, a leading supplier of dressage arenas, horse jumps, arena footing and stable accessories. “I have watched Marco ride for many years and he is a super competitor with a super attitude. I am really pleased that he began the season for us and I also want to wish him the best of luck at the upcoming Pan Am Games.”
Bernal, who owns Marco Bernal International Dressage in Wellington, said he is looking forward to competing in Mexico. This will be the fifth time for Bernal to represent his country in the Pan Am Games. In 1999, the accomplished rider won a Silver medal at the Pan Am Games. He has also represented Colombia at the 2009 Rolex FEI World Cup in Las Vegas, competed in 2010 in the World Equestrian Games for Colombia and in 2010 competed in the Central American and Caribbean Games in Puerto Rico aboard Farewell, winning both the team Gold and the Individual Gold Medal.
Wellington Classic Dressage is gearing up for the 2012 show season at the beautiful Palm Beach County Jim Brandon Equestrian Center and major improvements to the Center will mean that no matter the weather, the show can go on.
The Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, one of Palm Beach County’s Parks and Recreation facilities, has been host to Dressage and other equestrian events for the past six years. The facility has undergone major improvements this summer including landscaping and beautification, but also what matters most to dressage riders – footing. The FEI rings and warm-ups have new footing and an additional $100,000 was spent on a state-of-the-art drainage system in the show arenas and barns.
The new footing is courtesy of Wellington Classic Dressage, said Joan Hutchinson, facility manager for the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. “And we’re grateful for that,” she said. “Those footing improvements were paid for by Wellington Classic and yet it benefits everyone, not just dressage riders.”
The new drainage system was covered by Palm Beach County and Hutchinson said that while it’s one of those vitally important improvements it’s also not one that is easily noticed. “When it floods, people notice that, but the idea here is that neither the rings nor the barn will flood and people don’t usually notice an improvement that’s good.” Noreen O’Sullivan, Managing Partner for Wellington Classic and President of Gold Coast Dressage Association (a 501 (c)(3), not-for-profit), agrees, adding, “Florida is in a tropical climate and is subject to heavy rainstorms at times, so although we can’t control the weather, it’s great that we have such a great system in place.” Wellington Classic and Gold Coast Dressage hosts shows year-round at Jim Brandon.