Tag Archives: Jim Brandon Equestrian Center

Wellington Classic Dressage Event

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.

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West Palm Beach Hosts Most Successful Season Ever for International Dressage

(L) Noreen O'Sullivan, Steffen Peters, Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven , Tina Konyot, John Goodman. Photo Credit: Lynndee Kemmet

Thousands of horses and riders converged in West Palm Beach Florida from around the world to compete once again this winter, making this season the richest and most successful season ever for Dressage in Florida.  The ever-popular Wellington Classic Dressage (WCD) and Gold Coast Dressage Association (GCDA) shows at the beautiful Palm Beach County Jim Brandon Equestrian Center were joined this year by International Horse Sport Palm Beach (IHS) shows at the Equestrian Estates Horse Park.  Combined, these three Dressage organizations host more than 23 weeks of competitions year-round, including 6 International CDI competitions.

The premiere event of the winter season was clearly the World Dressage Masters CDI5* Series Presented by Axel Johnson Group.  The World Dressage Masters is one of the richest Dressage Series internationally, with only 4-6 shows hosted around the world, each boasting over 100,000 Euros in Prize Money (approximately $140,000).  The WDM CDI5*Palm Beach Show was hosted March 9-12, 2011 by Wellington Classic Dressage, with International Polo Club as Presenting Sponsor.  “We are honored to host this very prestigious show for 2011 and beyond, and to work with the WDM team and IPC to make this year’s event a resounding success,” stated John Flanagan, Managing Partner for Wellington Classic Dressage.  What an honor too, that America’s top rider, Steffen Peters on Ravel, owned by Akiko Yamazaki, took home the top prize by winning the WDM Grand Prix Freestyle with a score of 84.53%, followed by Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven on Favourit with 77.90%, and US Rider Tina Konyot and Calecto V with 76.65%.  The 2012 WDM CDI5* Palm Beach is slated for January 26th-29th, 2012.

Wellington Classic Dressage’s eleven-show series kicked off high season with the Wellington Classic Holiday Challenge in December and wrapped up the winter season with the Wellington Classic Challenge III on the 1st of May.  The WCD series is held at the very popular Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, which boosts excellent footing and stabling, several competition rings, including a covered arena, riding trails and a Western Events area on over 111 acres.   Gold Coast Dressage Association, the local GMO hosted their centerpiece show also at Jim Brandon, the GCDA Opener CDIW.  International Horse Sport hosted Florida’s traditional favorite and longest-running CDI, the Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDIW, as well as 4 other shows at the beautiful Horse Park at Equestrian Estates in nearby Loxahatchee, which this year underwent many upgrades and improvements.

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