Todd Flettrich and Otto at 2010 Palm Beach Dressage Derby. Photo by Lauren Fisher
Wellington, FL – February 27, 2013 – Some of the world’s leading dressage horses will be competing in this year’s International Horse Sport Palm Beach (IHSPB) show circuit and that includes equine superstars from one of Europe’s leading stud farms – Denmark’s Blue Hors.
Founded in 1992, Blue Hors has become synonymous with quality in the dressage-breeding world. Created with the goal of producing top athletes to give Denmark an edge in international competition, the stud farm’s talented get are now scattered around the world representing multiple nations in international competition.
IHSPB is proud to have Blue Hors Stud as the title sponsor for the 2013 International Horse Sport (IHS) Blue Hors Invitational Series, the Palm Beach Dressage Derby Feb. 28 – March 3, and the International Horse Sport Champions Cup CDI-W, March 21-24. The partnership between IHS and Blue Hors has been a good one.
“We are so pleased that Blue Hors Stud has once again chosen to be one of our sponsors,” said IHSPB Managing Partner and Sponsorship Coordinator John Flanagan. “They are experts in assessing and breeding quality horses and their contribution to the sport of dressage cannot be underestimated.”
Esben Møller, the manager of Blue Hors, has developed an eye for quality when it comes to sponsoring horse shows and buying horses. “We have clear goals and a long-term outlook,” he said. “We’ve been very pleased with all our Dutch horses. Of course, there may be a disappointment now and then, but there are so many factors which will determine whether a horse will meet expectations: it has to stay healthy, grow tall enough, and show a willing character. There’s also some luck involved.”
Blue Hors must be doing something right. In the past 21 years, their horses have risen to success in the highest ranks of international competition. This includes competing in the Olympic Games, World Equestrian Games and Dressage World Cup. Blue Hors’ athletes have won the Danish Championships multiple times and Blue Hors’ stallion Don Schufro (by Donnerhall), a member of the 2008 Danish Olympic team who earned the Bronze Medal, has been rated Germany’s No. 1 dressage sire eight times.
Blue Hors successfully enlisted two of the world’s best riders to help represent the stud’s horses on the show circuit: Edward Gal and Lars Petersen. Blue Hors turned to Gal, who hails from the Netherlands, to ride the stallion Blue Hors Romanov (by Rohdiamant). Gal was an unusual choice as the stud has always favored Danish riders, but Blue Hors manager Möller said the stud has always sought to have its horses achieve international success. They felt that Gal and Petersen had the talent to help achieve that goal.
Petersen, who rides for Denmark but is based in Florida, is one of the leaders behind IHSPB and campaigns Blue Hors’ Gredstedgards Casmir (by Continue). Petersen, who operates Legacy Farms with his partner Melissa Taylor, rode for the stud from 1992 to 2002. He competed Blue Hors’ horses internationally, before he made the permanent move to Florida. Casmir is just one of many up-and-coming equine superstars that will be competing during the 2013 Florida season at the IHSPB beautiful show grounds.
International Horse Sport Palm Beach has been a driving force in South Florida dressage for many years. Their success in ensuring Florida is the place to be during the winter show season has enticed top riders and horses from throughout the world to flock to the Sunshine State every winter. And with the help of Blue Hors Stud, the 2013 season is no exception.
The IHS Champions Park consists of 10 rings suitable for national and international competition on over 50 acres, including 15 acres of parking, 150 horse stalls for international horses and another 200 temporary stalls available for the national shows. In 2011, IHS Palm Beach made major improvements in show facilities in order to provide competitors with superior show conditions. The most important upgrade was the installation of new footing in all of the rings at the IHS Champions Park at Equestrian Estates, a facility owned by Mary Ann and Walter McPhail that is the site of the Palm Beach Dressage Derby and IHS Series Shows. The upgrade in footing consisted of stripping the rings to the base and replacing the old footing with new GGT Footing, a polyester fiber mixture blended with sand, which is considered to be the premier arena footing throughout the world.
With improvements in footing, as well as the facilities for the comfort of riders, horses and spectators, IHS Palm Beach is well set to host the world’s leading dressage equines, their riders and their fans in 2013.
Upcoming IHS events include the Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W from Feb. 28 – March 3, the International Horse Sport Champions Cup CDI-W from March 21-24, and Dressage at Equestrian Estates CDI3* from March 28-31.
For more information about IHS shows, visit www.ihspb.com and follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/International-Horse-Sport-Palm-Beach/119102038188011?ref=hl.
Palm Beach Dressage Derby Presented By Blue Hors of Denmark Fast Facts
USEF High Performance Qualifying Competition for the 2013 World Cup
Over $20,000 in Cash and Prizes
2013 USEF National Grand Prix & Intermediaire I Championship
2013 Massy Ferguson/USEF North American Junior & Young Riders’ Championship
USEF National Pony Rider Championships, USEF Developing Horse Championships
Markel/USEF Young Horse Championships, USEF National Brentina Cup Championships
USEF Level 5 Competition – USDF Musical Freestyles; USEF First thru Fourth Levels; FEI PSG thru Grand Prix, including FEI Musical Freestyles, JY/YR, FEI Five & Six Year Old Tests
IHS Champions Park – Equestrian Estates
3700 Hanover Circle
Feb. 28 – March 3
Noreen O’Sullivan, Show Manager
Advertising & Sponsorship Director
Mary Anne McPhail, Executive Director
Evelyn O’Sullivan, Director
For class schedule, day sheets and riders’ report, visit www.pbderby.com/derby.html.
For results, visit www.pbderby.com/results-derby.html.
Sue Weakley for Phelps Media Group, Inc. International