Category Archives: Equestrian Sport Prod.

Equestrian Sport Productions

Lillie Keenan Captures First and Second in $24,999 Wellington Agricultural Services Grand Prix

Lille Keenan aboard Cazaan. ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – June 22, 2020 – The ESP June Spring Series concluded with a final day of Equitation competition on Wednesday, June 17, and four days of USEF “A” National & Jumper 4* competition. The feature class of the weekend was the $24,999 Wellington Agricultural Services Grand Prix, which took place on the Derby Field Annex and saw a total of 36 exhibitors contest the track, designed by Andy Christiansen. Ultimately, it was New York, NY’s Lillie Keenan who came out on top, capturing both first and second place. Wearing the blue ribbon was Chansonette Farm LLC’s eight-year-old Cazaan who stopped the jump-off timers at just 41.674 seconds. Earlier in the class, Keenan piloted Agana Van Het Gerendal Z, also owned by Chansonette Farm LLC, to a 43.52-second finish for second place, while Hilary McNerney of Lake Forest, IL and her mount Captain Cooper secured third in 49.595 seconds. The only other pair to put in a double clear effort was Alejandro Karolyi of Wellington, FL aboard Monica Carrera’s Lincourt Gino.

“I got Cazaan a little less than a year ago,” commented Keenan after her double win. “He is phenomenal, but we’ve never gone fast, so that’s something I’ve really tried to work on in these last three weeks. Sometimes I’m too much of a perfectionist, so I rarely really give the horses a chance to jump out of a gallop in the jump-off, I’m always trying to set them up too much. So, I really tried to use these few weeks here to push myself out of that comfort zone. Today I really asked everything of [Cazaan] and he completely delivered, so I couldn’t be happier. I’m very grateful for the ESP staff for making this happen because it’s an amazing setting for us to get a great experience with young horses and try some things.”

Originally, Keenan planned to return to her home state of New York after the winter season in Wellington, but had to change plans once the pandemic began. “We were going to go back so I could continue training with McLain Ward, but my home up there is right in New York City so it was a tumultuous time to go back there, and I’m glad we stayed. This series at PBIEC gave me the opportunity to grow in my own riding and push my younger horses. Normally these horses would never have had the opportunity to jump at this level on a grass field, so I think that’s a silver lining to all this and having these shows. I think it’s something we’ll consider for next year’s competition schedule as well.”

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Paul O’Shea Pilots Squirt Gun to Victory in $24,999 HorseLinc Grand Prix at ESP June I

Paul O’Shea and Squirt Gun. ©Anne Gittins Photography.

Wellington, FL – June 8, 2020 – The long-awaited ESP June Spring Series officially kicked off last week. It started with the ESP June Equitation Day on Wednesday, June 3, followed by four full days of USEF “A” National & Jumper 4* competition. The weekend culminated with the $24,999 HorseLinc Grand Prix (plus $3,800 in add back money) on the Derby Field during which 59 competitors contested the track, and Paul O’Shea aboard Squirt Gun came out on top. O’Shea of Wellington, FL piloted Eye Candy Jumpers, LLC’s mount around the jump-off course to victory in just 44.726 seconds. “The field was fantastic. After all those rounds, the footing was still perfect,” commented O’Shea after the class. “It’s actually incredibly to get to jump out here. The horses always learn a lot out here because there’s just so much to look at. So, it’s a great opportunity.”

O’Shea and his team will continue competing in Wellington next week for the ESP June II show and then travel north: “After next week we’ll go up to Kentucky for Split Rock and then Tryon for the summer. That’s the plan at the moment. We’re certainly glad to be back competing again.”

Claiming second place was Wellington, FL’s Alberto Michan and his entry Cosa Nostra after crossing through the timers in 45.677 seconds. Emily Ward of the United Kingdom rounded out the top three once she completed the jump-off in 45.695 seconds aboard Millioninmind, owned by Stephen Barnes. The track was designed by Puerto Rico’s Hector Loyola and proved tough for many, as only 13 competitors made it to the second round.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

A Recap of the First ESP Shows with New Safety Protocols

What to expect at ESP June Show Series

Wellington, FL – June 1, 2020 – The first two weeks of schooling shows at Equestrian Village have wrapped up, after a successful reopening of the facility following the COVID-19 closures in mid-March. While the situation continues to evolve daily, the ESP staff was hard at work to ensure the safety of all its exhibitors, trainers, and staff during competition. New protocols were put into place, including specific points of entry complete with thermal scanners, an online system for show entries, and social distancing across the grounds.

A total of fifteen security guards, five dedicated cleaning personnel, two paramedics, and two Palm Beach County fire rescue crew members were stationed at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center to assist with these protocols. Another fifty-six ESP staff members were on-site to operate the competition and oversee social distancing. Approximately seven gallons of hand sanitizer, one thousand pairs of gloves, and six hundred masks were utilized over the past two weeks.

Although public sentiment for attending public events varies across the country, the first two weeks of ESP competition showed that equestrians are ready to get back in the show ring. During the May Schooling I Show (May 22-24), a total of 412 horses were entered, while Schooling II (May 29-31) had 473 horses compete. Entries are expected to rise for the upcoming June Show Series, which will feature Equitation Days, USEF “A” National, and Jumper 4* level competition. CLICK HERE to view the ESP June Spring Series Prize List.

“Overall, everyone was very respectful of our new policies and obeyed the rules for wearing masks and staying 6 feet apart,” stated David Burton Jr., Show Manager and COO of Equestrian Sport Productions. “I think everyone was just happy to be back and showing again and returning to some sort of ‘normal’. However, it’s very important that all exhibitors continue to help us with these protocols so we can continue operating.”

Here’s what to expect if you are planning to compete at PBIEC in the coming weeks:

  • Come prepared with your own face mask and gloves. If you forget yours, packs of both are available for purchase in the show office for $10, with proceeds going to charity.
  • Enter the show grounds at Checkpoint D for thermal camera detection.
  • All ESP Staff will be wearing yellow vests, reminding you to stay 6 feet apart and wear your mask properly (covering nose and mouth).
  • Mounted riders do not need to have a mask on, but must wear one as soon as they dismount.
  • Hand sanitizing stations and newly installed temporary sinks have been placed around the grounds for continued cleansing.
  • Refrigerators with free, individual water bottles have been placed by each arena for exhibitors.
  • Prepare to stand in designated positions when entering the show office and only entering when capacity is under 6 people.
  • Only 2 people are allowed at each jump in the warmup ring (one person per jump standard).
  • Course maps are uploaded online HERE the night before competition to reduce congregating by the in-gates.
  • Live streaming will be available HERE for each arena so friends and family can safely watch from home.
  • For a full list of all safety protocols, CLICK HERE.

Trainers – As we prepare for larger entry numbers and on-site stabling to be at full capacity, please remember that it is YOUR responsibility to uphold the safety protocols within the barns at PBIEC. This area is very difficult for ESP Staff to monitor, so we need you to maintain your barn area to the same standards that ESP is applying to the rest of the show grounds. One picture of incorrect behavior in the barns could be catastrophic for the whole sport.

Equestrian Sport Productions is also working on ways to keep its competitors updated in real time while on-site, with a new texting service. Those who opt-in will receive texts regarding impending weather alerts, safety reminders, links to course maps, and more. To learn more, CLICK HERE.

Remember, the only people allowed on-site are the following:

  • ESP Staff & Officials
  • Essential Personnel (Vets, Farriers, etc. actively treating horses on the grounds)
  • Trainers (that have exhibitors competing today)
  • Grooms (that have clients competing today)
  • Riders (that are competing today)
  • One Guest per Rider (One family member or one friend of the rider)

As entry numbers grow in June, it is essential to our industry’s continuation that everyone follow these rules to control our numbers and ensure social distancing and safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please do not enter the grounds if you are not allowed. We look forward to welcoming you all back when it is safe to do so. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

For more information, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Sign Up for Ride Times Now with ShowGroundsLive

Wellington, FL – May 21, 2020 – Exhibitors participating in the ESP May Schooling Shows and June Spring Series may now sign up online for their order-of-go via ShowGroundsLive on PBIEC.com. Beginning May 21, competitors may select their ride times between 5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. EST for the following day’s competition. To learn how to select ride times online, please click here. The decision to offer online sign-ups was made in an effort to reduce in-person contact at the in-gate and to allow riders a more accurate way to plan their schedule while showing at PBIEC’s Equestrian Village.

We are planning to use this sign-up system at least through the month of June, so we encourage trainers to learn this optional process during the schooling shows. It is our intention to have orders-of-go for all sections that are open in the schedule. After 7:00 P.M., the rest of the unselected rounds will be ordered by the in-gate personnel to establish a final order-of-go. This is a new process for ESP as well, so we appreciate your patience in advance while we work out the kinks together over the next few weeks. Course maps for all classes will also be posted online at PBIEC.com the day prior to competition by 7:00 P.M. in order to reduce large gatherings for course walks.

As previously stated, exhibitors must fill out all (4) four forms online prior to entering the show grounds: Schooling Show Entry Blank, Schooling Show Waiver, the Spring & Summer Show Entry Blank, and the USEF Waiver & Release of Liability Assumption of Risk and Indemnity Agreement. These forms and the revised ESP June Spring Series Prize List are now available on the homepage under the ‘Competitors’ tab.

Thanks to the great efforts of a local charity, ESP will also be able to provide $10 packs of protective supplies. Each kit includes ten (10) 3-ply masks and two (2) pairs of nitrile gloves, and will be available at the show office for purchase. All proceeds will go towards XPI Emergency Relief Fund to continue providing critical supplies to those in need. To contact the show office, please contact Jenn Glosson at jglosson@equestriansport.com or 561-313-5133.

Please take the time to read through the ESP COVID-19 Safety Protocols and Procedures so you have a full understanding of what to expect here. To answer just a few questions that have been asked:

Yes, we will be taking temperatures of everyone entering the property. We ask everyone to get in the habit of checking your temperature in the morning to avoid surprises. We will have multiple places where your temperature will be checked either with a touch-less thermometer or a thermal camera system. Please allow a little extra time for this process.

Yes, everyone on the show grounds will require a facial covering. Riders while mounted will not be required to wear a facial covering, but should have access to one after getting off their horse. If a rider chooses to wear a mask in any class, there will be no point deductions from the judges.

Yes, we will be enforcing all of these protocols at the schooling shows in May. These two practice shows will also allow our staff to better enforce these rules and make modifications if necessary. This is new to all of us and we sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding in advance.

Yes, braiding is optional in all classes. Judges will be asked not to add or deduct any points for braiding choices. Braiders have taken a huge financial hit with the shut down and we did not want to exclude braiding for this reason.

No, we have no official answers on the 24-hour rule, jogging, confirmation, or model classes. We expect that information to be released soon and we will update our Prize List and COVID-19 Safety Protocols and Procedures by announcements and edition date on PBIEC.com.

A Letter from Equestrian Sport Productions COO and Show Manager David Burton, Jr.

As many of you have heard, Florida Governor DeSantis announced that he is allowing Palm Beach County to enter “Phase 1” of reopening businesses. After reviewing our extensive protocols and the WHO mitigation score classifying Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) horse show operations at a very low risk, the Village of Wellington stated early this week that they would support our shows starting back in “Phase 1.” We appreciate your patience and understanding that we have been reluctant to put out much information regarding our planned events until we had this level of assurance that we could move forward. We are actively finalizing our updated ESP Spring Prize List to publish online as soon as final USEF license approvals have been issued.

We are currently planning to run two schooling show events on May 22-24 and May 29-31, followed by three straight weeks of USEF “A” Rated competitions along with three USEF Local Rated Wednesday Equitation days. A link to all of the schedule drafts can be found HERE.

All of these schedules have been modified to the best of our ability to limit the amount of time exhibitors will spend at the show grounds. We will update the SGL software to the best of our ability to allow for more precise information on when exhibitors will show. “Show and Go” is a large part of our new normal. This includes orders of go for all rings. We will also be utilizing sign up capabilities in the SGL software that will allow for individual requests for time slots to be selected before the finalized order of go is established. Information and tutorials will be announced shortly.

Please note that open schooling days will have times designated by time and height. We will not be allowing for show jumps to be touched during these open schooling times and limitations on horses allowed in the rings will be enforced. If your horse requires ring time before showing, we strongly suggest that you consider entering one of the schooling show days because open schooling will be limited in June.

Next week we will put out a full prize list and entry blanks and we will notify everyone by e-blast as well as posting on the PBIEC.com website and our social media pages. The first step will require that all entry forms, releases, and methods of payments be established. Once all forms are received and processed, you will be assigned a back number that can be used to enter all shows in May and June. The entry process will be opened up on May 18th. Please note that you will not be allowed to enter until a back number is assigned. (Online back numbers of 10,000 or 20,000 are not a back number assignment.)

We strongly suggest that if you are planning to show at any of these shows to fill out the proper forms and establish a payment method. No charges will be made until stall reservations and entries are accepted and processed. Entries will be limited by maximums allowed per ring per day. We strongly recommend that you enter the classes that you plan to show in for all days and all shows. Please do not expect for ring capacity to allow for adds to be accepted the day before. More than ever, your accuracy on entries will allow us to give you more precise information on when you will show.

Stalls will also be limited to those who have accepted entries and processed back numbers. Please note that by request of our local authorities, we will be limiting entries to barns and exhibitors that are not traveling from distances that require overnight housing. Once hotels open up in our area, we will announce that this restriction has been lifted.

Most of you received the “USEF announcement of COVID-19 Competition Action Plan,” and we have created a modified version of this document listing how ESP will adapt these requirements and recommendations to our horse show operation. We ask you all to take the time to read through this document so you can prepare for our “New Normal.” There is a lot of information to absorb in this document, so please read through this carefully. The ESP COVID-19 Competition Action Plan can be found HERE.

Trainers PLEASE read carefully through your responsibilities and bring all of the materials for your staff and clients to operate safely in the areas you control. We have been preparing our own list of protocols since early March with constant changes and adaptions based on USEF and local mandates. We are confident with enforcing these protocols, along with your cooperation, we can restart the sport we all love SAFELY.

As always, your safety and well-being is our number one priority. We sincerely look forward to getting our excellent show staff working again while seeing you all safely competing. We ask in advance for your patience, understanding, and support as we all learn to navigate these uncharted waters. Thanks in advance for your patronage.

David Burton, Jr.
Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC
Show Manager/ Chief Operations Officer

For more information, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

ESP Announces Addition of WEF Premiere Week at 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival

Photo copyright White Fence Equine Photography.

Wellington, FL – May 4, 2020 – Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) announces that an additional week will be added to the 2021 show schedule as part of the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). The “WEF Premiere” week will be held on January 6-10 and added on to the beginning of the WEF 2021 circuit, held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.

Our hearts go out to everyone suffering during this difficult situation, whether it is hardships with their health or their business. Our industry has been severely impacted, and everyone at ESP has been working hard to keep Palm Beach International Equestrian Center ready for when shows resume. Equestrian Sport Productions wants to offer a way for everyone to be able to enjoy competitive sport again and build their businesses back up.

“The mandated COVID-19 cancellation of the last two weeks of the 2020 WEF was very hard on all of our stakeholders,” said ESP President Michael Stone. “We are very cognizant of the hardships created by the abbreviated schedule and also keenly aware of the difficulties everyone is facing as the pandemic continues. We wanted to find a way to add value back to our competitors, sponsors, vendors, and VIP tableholders and feel that we can best accomplish this by being able to offer more with an additional week on the WEF schedule in 2021.”

The remaining 2021 WEF circuit will run as originally scheduled on January 13 – April 4 with the full schedule of major events essentially running as it did in 2020.

The WEF Premiere week will be a USEF Premier “AA” rated show and host national rated competition – pending final approval by US Equestrian – as will the following week of WEF competition. International FEI jumper competition will then follow during the week of January 20-24 with a CSI2* rating per the usual WEF calendar. For awards and circuit championships, competitors will still use the best nine weeks of competition out of the 13 now available for tallying points and money won.

“We are working to balance our escalating and unpredictable costs of managing the facility in the new post-pandemic environment,” added Stone. “We believe that the equestrian industry will emerge stronger in 2021, and WEF will continue to provide the best possible sport of any horse show in the United States. Our top priority is to provide a safe environment for everyone involved, and we look forward to welcoming everyone to the circuit in 2021.”

For more information on the Winter Equestrian Festival, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

PBIEC Competition Update from Equestrian Sport Productions

Wellington, FL – May 2, 2020 – Over the past month, Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC (ESP) has been working with the various governing bodies in order to obtain the necessary permissions to resume competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. The proposed schedule includes two weeks of schooling events after May 14th, and three weeks of USEF “A” National and 4* Jumper-rated shows in June.

While ESP takes the COVID-19 threat very seriously, it also recognizes the economic hardship that has been placed on all equine industry professionals due to the lack of shows. In order to ensure exhibitor and staff safety at the Equestrian Village facility, an extensive list of COVID-19 safety protocols have been implemented since the shut down in mid-March. These protocols are being enhanced as the newest information and recommendations are released by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Our modified COVID-19 protocols will then be submitted to and endorsed by our local health officials.

ESP is very cognizant of the serious nature of the pandemic. With the support of the State of Florida, Palm Beach County, and the Village of Wellington, we will begin operating our shows with strictly enforced protocols as soon as it is safe to do so. More information regarding schedules and safety procedures will be available soon at PBIEC.com. In the meantime, we appreciate your patience and understanding while we are working diligently to get you the most accurate information possible. We are sincerely looking forward to seeing our exhibitors in the show ring again while we all navigate our “new normal” show operations. As always, your safety and well-being is our number one priority.

Tentative USEF Show calendar:

ESP June I: June 3-7, 2020 – USEF “A” Rated, Jumper 4*
ESP June II: June 10-14, 2020 – USEF “A” Rated, Jumper 4*
ESP Spring V: June 17-21, 2020 – USEF “A” Rated, Jumper 4* (Pending USEF approval)

** May schooling events will be announced as soon as accurate information can be supplied.

For more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Winter Equestrian Festival Celebrates 2020 Circuit Champions

Wellington, FL – March 23, 2020 – Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) is proud to congratulate the Circuit Champions for the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Featuring 10 weeks of world-class jumper, hunter, and equitation competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, this year’s circuit was a great success despite its early finale due to coronavirus (COVID-19). The 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival Circuit Champion Awards go to the top finishers in every division, based on prize money or points won.

ESP would like to congratulate all riders, trainers, grooms, and owners on a fantastic 2020 circuit, and wish them a safe and healthy year. Circuit Champion Award winners are encouraged to pick up their prizes from the horse show office.

Click here for a full list of Circuit Champion Award Winners. For more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.

Palm Beach International Equestrian Center COVID-19 Update

In response to the threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and with the guidance of US Equestrian, Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) will maintain their cancellation of previously scheduled competitions but hopes to aid riders, trainers, and owners in keeping their horses fit and healthy.

Based on feedback from the equestrian community, and in an effort to preserve equine welfare and keep the staff of PBIEC and those industry professionals who work at ESP events in jobs they can depend on, ESP will offer the following:

  • Open schooling through the end of this week (March 22). Please check schooling schedules on PBIEC.com. Riders must wear their assigned back numbers. No new back numbers will be issued. Next week schedule to be determined.
  • Limiting the number of people accompanying horses to the ring to five per horse (rider, groom, trainer, no more than two additional).
  • No more than two people should be at any fence at one time (ring or schooling area) and a six-foot social distancing protocol is encouraged between all people on the grounds.

How we are keeping you safe:

  • Spectator and public access remains prohibited.
  • ESP has purchased sanitation foggers to clean seating areas and public spaces.
  • ESP staff will continue to diligently clean and sanitize bathrooms.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the grounds. ESP recommend using hand sanitizer both before and after the schooling session. Remember, people are touching the same items (rails, cups, etc.).

Stabling and access to stalls is available for those that have purchased stabling packages until the expiration of those packages. ESP can accommodate those in need of stabling during this period as long as the horses have already been issued WEF back numbers. Staff will be available in the horse show office as needed, but everyone is encouraged to organize weekly close outs and stabling arrangements online, or via telephone.

Consistent with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Florida Department of Health Guidelines, everyone is encouraged to:

  • Stay home if sick or uncomfortable being in public, except to get medical care.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw in the trash.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily.

The goal of PBIEC is to keep all humans and horses healthy and safe during this time, while doing our best to help encourage an easy transition back into competition when the time comes. This is a rapidly changing situation, and we will continue to provide updates through our website at www.PBIEC.com.

Natalie Dean and Ceitasi Win $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Jumper Series Final to Conclude WEF

Natalie Dean and Ceitasi. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 15, 2020 – Concluding the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) season on a high note, Natalie Dean (USA) and Ceitasi topped a five-horse jump-off in Sunday’s feature class, the $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Jumper Series Final CSI3* and the exciting finale of the CaptiveOne Advisors Jumper Series.

From a large field of 66 world-class show jumping athletes and their equine partners, only eight answered the questions in the first round of Michel Vaillancourt’s (CAN) course that tested speed and skill. Over the short course, Dean stopped the clock at 34.26 seconds for the win on one of two mounts.

“Ceitasi was amazing today and she jumped the first round fairly easy and everything showed up nicely, so I was happy with her,” said Dean of her 10-year-old Westphalian mare (Caretello B x Cavalier) owned by Marigold Sorthorses LLC. “In the jump-off, a couple people had one down and I did as well on my first horse, so for my second time in the ring, I wanted to be competitive enough that I would win, and it worked out in my favor.”

This was only Dean’s second appearance in the CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Jumper Series, and she noted, “The track flowed well. I was happy that the triple was vertical, oxer, vertical, which was good for both of my horses.”

Meghan Knapic and Best in Blue Earn the Tri-Color in Animo Adult Amateur Hunters Younger Section B

On the final day of hunter competition, Meghan Knapic rode Best in Blue to the Adult Amateur Hunters Younger Section B championship, sponsored by Animo. Knapic and Best in Blue took on the Rost Ring to win two firsts, as well as second, fourth, and eighth-place ribbons.

Knapic is currently in Wellington for her spring break and was given the opportunity to show Best in Blue, also known as “Elton” around the barn. The rider, from Smithtown, NY, is a sophomore studying at Auburn University and training with Jenna Weinfurt. Elton, owned by First Blue LLC, is a very new mount for Knapic, and also a new horse to Weinfurt.

“Jenna, my trainer, got him five days ago and I was coming down from school and I wanted something to show this weekend. We decided to bring him out and he was amazing!” Knapic explained.

Knapic and Elton quickly formed a relationship in the show ring and proved to be tough competition after winning two over-fences classes on the first day of the division.

For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.