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 – As an exciting staple of the Wellington winter equestrian scene, International Polo Club Palm Beach will once again bring one of the world’s most elite dressage events to South Florida next year. The World Dressage Masters CDI5* Palm Beach will be sponsored by International Polo Club Palm Beach in 2012, bringing together two of the most thrilling horse sport presenters. Occurring January 26-29, 2012 at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach, the World Dressage Masters event is sure to entertain spectators, challenge riders, and reflect the athletic spirit of its presenting sponsor, International Polo Club Palm Beach.
As the founding force behind International Polo Club Palm Beach, John Goodman and family are pleased to be able to offer dressage enthusiasts a chance to glimpse the world’s best riders. “Last year was so successful, and proved to be a sold-out event,” said Goodman. “With more time to prepare this year, the competition for 2012 looks to be even better than ever.”
As a CDI5* event, the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach involves the highest and most difficult levels of dressage tests for riders and their horses. Featuring a Grand Prix, a Grand Prix Special, and a Grand Prix Freestyle, this show brings a new challenge for each day of competition. The World Dressage Masters circuit also awards €100,000 in prize money per show to its winning riders, making this one of the world’s most lucrative dressage contests, as well as one of the most impressive.
Noreen O’Sullivan, owner of Wellington Classic Dressage, which produces World Dressage Masters in Palm Beach, added, “The show last year was such a wonderful experience for everybody. We’re very excited to again be able to partner with International Polo Club Palm Beach and bring the top dressage riders in the world back to Wellington this winter.”
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.
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.
Wellington, FL – March 4, 2011 – The World Dressage Masters Palm Beach CDI5* presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach is now just five days away. The American edition of the world’s premier dressage series will begin on March 9th with the FEI Horse Inspection, followed by two days of world class competition. Five top European dressage horses arrived in Miami from Amsterdam on March 3rd. They are expected to move from quarantine to the competition venue, the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach, on Saturday.
The WDM Palm Beach is the richest dressage competition in North America, with 100,000 Euros in prize money. It will take place in combination with the Wellington Classic Dressage Classic II CDI3*. Both competitions are produced by Wellington Classic Dressage.
Also now in South Florida, having arrived by air from California, is the most successful dressage horse in US history, Akiko Yamazaki’s Ravel. With his rider, Olympic medalist Steffen Peters, Ravel won the 2009 World Cup Dressage Final and two individual bronze medals at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
Wellington, FL – February 28, 2011 – As they watch top class competition at the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach CDI5*, spectators will be treated to a complete Provençal experience. A five course meal inspired by the food and wine of Southern France will be served at tables around the edge of the competition arena where 18 of the globe’s most highly trained horses perform the Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle to Music on the evening of March 11th, the grand finale of the 2011 World Dressage Masters presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach. Among the riders to appear at the WDM Palm Beach are a number of Olympic and World Equestrian Games veterans, including the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games Freestyle bronze medalist, Steffen Peters of the USA.
Preparations are under way to transform the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach into a scene straight out of Provence, while the chefs at International Polo Club Catering finalize the dishes and wine pairings for this extravagant gala evening. “This is more than a dressage competition,” says WDM Palm Beach producer Wellington Classic Dressage’s Noreen O’Sullivan. “It is an experience. The venue is going to look outrageous. For those who know the Jim Brandon Center, they won’t recognize it.”
When the WDM Palm Beach was in danger of being cancelled for 2011, the Goodman Family, International Polo Club Palm Beach and its members stepped in to save the American leg of the world’s most prestigious dressage competition. In the kind of style that has become expected of any IPC event, no expense has been spared in making the WDM Palm Beach a unique and memorable experience for both participants and spectators.
Wellington, FL – February 25, 2011 – With less than two weeks until the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach gets under way on March 9-11 2011, a number of the world’s top riders and their horses are preparing to travel to South Florida. The World Dressage Masters presented by Axel Johnson Group will award more than 400,000 Euros over four competitions in 2011, making it the world’s richest dressage series. The first of those competitions is the WDM Palm Beach, where 18 competitors, including several Olympic and World Championship medalists, will vie for 100,000 Euros in prize money.
The WDM Palm Beach, which will be held at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach, is produced by Wellington Classic Dressage. Noreen O’Sullivan, a Managing Partner with Wellington Classic Dressage, is excited to welcome such an impressive international line up to South Florida. “We’re thrilled to host this competition and to have riders and horses of this caliber coming to the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach. We want people to feel treated to a truly international experience.”
On February 21st, Canadian Dressage Team Technical Advisor Robert Dover named Shannon Dueck of Loxahatchee, FL as the Canadian Wild Card recipient for the WDM Palm Beach. Originally from British Columbia, Dueck made South Florida her permanent home in 2003. “I love being able to ride all year round without having to relocate my entire barn in the winter months,” she says. “The weather here in the winter is second to none, and I have the opportunity to compete with the best from all over North America.”
Wellington, FL – February 21, 2011 – The World Dressage Masters Palm Beach, which forms part of the world’s most prestigious dressage series, will take place on March 9-11, 2011 at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach, FL. The preservation of WDM Palm Beach is due to the generous and enthusiastic support of its presenting sponsor, International Polo Club Palm Beach.
When it was announced that the 2011 World Dressage Masters Palm Beach was to be cancelled, it appeared that the world’s richest dressage competition would disappear from North America. However, the Goodman family, International Polo Club Palm Beach and its members stepped in quickly to ensure that the show would go on. “In my talks with Mr. Goodman, he showed a profound interest in not only saving the Masters for 2011, but to extend IPC’s commitment for the long-term,” says WDM Managing Director John van de Laar. “WDM, IPC and Wellington Classic Dressage created a three year agreement, so from now on it can only get better.”
A dressage competition sponsored by a polo club isn’t as odd as it sounds. Events featuring dressage, such as the breast cancer fundraiser Challenge of the Americas, have been held at the International Polo Club for the past number of years. Approximately 20 percent of IPC members are involved with dressage in South Florida, including International Dressage Rider Arlene ‘Tuny’ Page.
Wellington, FL (February 21, 2011) – International Dressage Rider Cesar Parra and his students at Piaffe-Performance made a big splash at the Wellington Classic Dressage Spring Challenge CDI, when Parra and all eight of his students rode into the winner’s circle. Despite rain that kept the sky cloudy and the rings muddy, the riders at Piaffe-Performance shone as they captured the blue in 11 classes at the show.
“I am so excited about this show and how all of my riders did. I am so proud of everyone,” Parra said. “We had eight riders and won 11 classes, which is truly wonderful. In addition to my students doing great, I feel like I rode two very special horses, Grandioso and Lindner, and was very pleased that both horses did their best and were successful.”
Parra said that although the rings were a mess and it was raining, he made the decision to ride. “It was raining like crazy and a lot of competitors were scratching but I made the decision to go ahead and compete and I am really glad I did,” Parra said. “I was able to ride and warm up like I always do and within five minutes the sun came out. I competed Grandioso in the Intermediaire 2 class, which is a more risky and more forward test, but Grandioso stepped up to the challenge and I am so proud of him.”