Wellington, FL – January 10, 2012 – The 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) hosted its opening press conference on Tuesday afternoon at the White Horse Tavern in Wellington, FL. A large crowd of local, national, and international media were in attendance to hear the latest news on the 12-week competition, which begins tomorrow. The FTI WEF will host thousands of the world’s best horses and riders on January 11 – April 1 at the beautiful Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in what has become the world’s largest and longest running horse show.
This afternoon’s press conference was hosted by Equestrian Sport Productions’ (ESP) CEO Mark Bellissimo and President Michael Stone, with additional commentary from top hunter rider and trainer Louise Serio, Pan American Games Show Jumping Individual and U.S. Team Gold Medalist Christine McCrea, Wellington Equestrian Partner Hunter Harrison, and Olympic Show Jumping Gold Medalist Rodrigo Pessoa.
Wellington, FL – December 22, 2011 – The College Preparatory Invitational (CPI) will be a feature event on January 13-15 during the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The second annual CPI Horse Show will be larger, allowing more riders to compete, and will include dressage classes and more educational opportunities for participants. Equestrian Sport Productions is proud to be a sponsor of the College Preparatory Invitational and looks forward to welcoming new and returning riders to this year’s event.
In addition to increasing the number of riders accepted at the CPI, organizers are also pleased to announce that the number of scholarships for the 2012 horse show has increased. A total of five scholarships will be awarded this year, rewarding the young riders on their social conduct and academic success, as well as competitive success. In total, there will be five scholarships awarded to eligible CPI participants, including: CPI Horsemanship Test Award, CPI High Point Hunt Seat Equitation Rider, CPI Essay Contest, CPI Champion of Service Award, and CPI High Point Dressage Rider.
Wellington, FL – November 18, 2011 – Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) is pleased to announce the schedule highlights of the 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), including the USEF Selection Trials for the U.S. Show Jumping Team for the 2012 Olympic Games along with the 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival Prize List availability online. The prize list is online at their website, www.equestriansport.com, under the “Horse Show” tab and “Prize List” link. The 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival is the world’s largest and longest-running horse show, combining hunter, jumper, and equitation competition for 12 weeks from January 11 to April 1.
There will be some changes to the upcoming year’s schedule, and all of the exciting classes from last year will return. Management company Equestrian Sport Productions welcomes equestrians to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida for the biggest and best FTI WEF yet.
Once again the show leads the country in prize money with over $6 million awarded, with the highlight class, the $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix, CSI 5*, moving to week 12 and running on Saturday, March 31.
Wellington, FL – April 14, 2011 – Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) is proud to congratulate all of the Circuit Champions for the 2011 season. ESP is also thrilled with the many accomplishments that were made throughout the 2011 season and look forward to continued improvements during the summer months to make the 2012 Winter Equestrian Festival one of the best horse shows in the world.
Throughout the twelve weeks of competition, more than $6 million was awarded in prize money, and over $1 million was raised for 32 charities in the FTI Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments.
The 2011 FTI WEF also saw increased numbers of horses, riders, owners, and trainers from last year. Almost 5,000 horses and more than 3,000 riders competed over the twelve weeks of competition. It is no surprise that these numbers increased this year, due to the world-class events that were offered throughout the circuit.
The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival Circuit Champion Awards were presented to the top finishers in every division, based on prize money and points won.
Wellington, FL (April 12, 2011) – During an exciting night under the lights in the International Arena at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, Richard Spooner and Lady Like cleared the Vita Flex oxer in winning time during the final phase of the $50,000 Vita Flex Match Race to take home the winning ribbon as well as the Vita Flex Victory Pass Award. The $50,000 Vita Flex Match Race featured five rounds of races with riders competing head-to-head in competition over mirror-image courses.
Spooner was thrilled with his victory and said he always enjoys competing in match races. There were 32 combinations in the $50,000 Vita Flex Match Race, and Spooner won against Karina Aziz, Todd Minikus, Paul O’Shea and Jonathan McCrea. He praised Lady Like, a 1999 Holsteiner mare, and said she was quick and careful over the five rounds which included beating out Daniela Cordero and T Cavalier in the final round.
Spooner’s $50,000 Vita Flex Match Race victory also helped him take home the Vita Flex Victory Pass Award. Spooner was pleased with both wins and thrilled to win a competition that offered such a large monetary prize. Spooner compared the $50,000 Vita Flex Match Race to horse racing and said that the crowd was really behind the event.
Wellington, FL – April 2, 2011 – Jennifer Alfano and SBS Farms’ Jersey Boy have led the USHJA International Hunter Derby program since its inception, winning classes all over the country in the last few years and proving their expertise in the handy rounds and finesse over the jumps. Tonight was no different, as the pair jumped their way to victory in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby during the twelfth and final “Saturday Night Lights” event at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival.
Competition for the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby began on Friday afternoon in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring where sixty of the nation’s most talented horses and riders jumped the first round course. The top twenty five were invited back to compete under the lights in the International Arena this evening, coming back in reverse order from lowest to highest returning scores.
Presented by Dietrich Insurance and Hosted by Tailored Sportsman, the class was held in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The series is also generously supported by Charles Owen & Co., Dover Saddlery, The Clothes Horse, and Essex Classics.
Wellington, FL – April 1, 2011 – Friday night during week twelve at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival featured the $30,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Zone Team Competition Final. The horses and riders were divided into sections of high, medium and low heights to jump, with each section awarding $10,000. In the highs, Charlie Jacobs, Gabrielle Bausano, Christina Kelly and Karen Polle jumped to victory. In the mediums, Katherine Steenberg, Madeline Cox, Cynthia McGrath, and Heather Irons earned top honors. The lows were the final level to compete, with a win for the team of Shannon Spencer, Erica Polle, Mahala Rummell, and Megan MacPherson.
Running through Sunday, April 3, this week’s remaining feature events include Round 2 of the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and the Finals for the Adequan Young Jumpers on Sunday.
Wellington, FL – April 1, 2011 – It was an important day for hunters at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Sixty entries took their shot at a chance to compete in the $50,000 USHJA Hunter Derby, one of the biggest purses offered for hunter competitors in the world. The class began this afternoon in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring. With a large number of spectators standing by, each horse and rider combination took their turn over a course of eleven jumps, with four high option fences.
There were two teams of judges – Danny Robertshaw and Jim Clapperton (Panel 1 – tiebreaker), John Barker and Scott Williamson (Panel 2) – one team on either side of the ring. Each team of judges awarded a numerical score plus a bonus point for each high option fence that was jumped. The sum of the scores was given as each rider’s final score for the first round of competition.
Scott Stewart wasted no time getting down to business on the first of his six mounts in the class. Going fourth in the order, Stewart led the Fashion Farm’s entry Dedication to a combined score of 186, which was good enough to leave the pair in fourth overall going into tomorrow night. “Dedication is a First Year horse, who has been champion a few times here. He’s very scopey and very easy, but he just turned six, so he’s still pretty green. I was very happy with him,” beamed Stewart.
Wellington, FL (March 31, 2011) – Olympic Gold Medalist Beezie Madden and Mademoiselle, owned by Abigail Wexner, raced to victory in the $31,000 WEF Challenge Cup during the sixth week of the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). As the winner of the class, Madden also rode away with the Vita Flex Victory Pass Award, sponsored by Vita Flex Nutrition.
“My horse was terrific,” Madden said, as she rode out of the winner’s circle. “She was out here last year so I had confidence that she would be good. She was fantastic, especially in the jump-off.”
The Grand Prix, which was held on the grass at The Stadium, featured 29 entries with nine riders going clean in the first round to advance to the jump-off. Madden commented that she liked the grass field venue and won the $75,000 Grand Prix last year in the same location aboard Coral Reef’s Via Volo. The Challenge Cup was Madden’s first Grand Prix victory of the 2011 WEF season.
Wellington, FL – March 27, 2011 – It is the last day of action for week 11 of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, which means that numerous championships were awarded throughout the day. One place where there was a particularly large amount of awards being given out was Pony Land. Rings 11 and 12 were packed with children and their ponies and family members. Competition was fierce as they vied for some last minute points in their divisions.
A busy rider that always has a presence at the pony rings is Meredith Darst. The second day of competition, Darst rode the KAR LLC entry, Won Up, to secure the championship in the Equisport Insurance Large Pony Hunters. Won Up is usually ridden by Kate Ross. Won Up was awarded three blue ribbons and a third place ribbon in the division.
Darst was also awarded the reserve championship on the Megan MacPherson entry, Mapleside Magic Dancer. Darst secured the reserve championship by winning two classes, placing second in two more classes, and also receiving a fifth place ribbon as well.