Wellington, FL – January 13, 2011 – The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival runs from January 12 – April 3 and will host the sport’s most talented hunter and jumper riders. The first week of competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center continued today as professional riders sought championship honors in various hunter divisions.
This year, the High Performance Working Hunter division sponsored by The Sanctuary at PBIEC has been added to the list of divisions for competition. The new division is open to all riders and horses, and includes fences ranging in height from 4′ to 4’6″.
While eight horse and rider combinations competed over a two-day period, only one stood above them all. Kelley Farmer, riding her and Larry Glefke’s mount Rosalynn, topped the field winning all five of the division’s classes. The five-for-five winning streak was quite a feat for Rosalynn and Farmer as it is the first week of showing at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival.
Wellington, FL – January 13, 2010 – The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) held its second day of competition today with the first of 12 weekly WEF Challenge Cup grand prix classes. Canada’s Yann Candele and Redefin, owned by Susan Grange, were the fastest double clear combination to earn the top prize. Held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL, the 2011 WEF will hold 12 consecutive weeks of competition for its winter show circuit, running through April 3, 2011.
Round 1 of the $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup was held in the International Arena over a track set by course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio of Red Hook, NY. Out of 26 original entries, seven made it to the jump-off in the Table IIa class. A distinguished list of horses and riders qualified for today’s jump-off in the WEF Challenge Cup and four were able to go double clear, each besting the leading time until the final competitor completed the fastest round.
Nick Skelton Returns to the Winners Circle in $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers
Wellington, FL – January 12, 2011 – The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) began its competition today with opening jumper classes in the International Arena. To start the year off right, Nick Skelton (GBR) was back in the saddle and in the winner’s circle with Unique, owned by Beverly Widdowson, in the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers.
The first week of the FTI WEF runs through Sunday, January 16. The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of competition that conclude on April 3, 2011, and they will be awarding almost $6 million in prize money through the circuit. The highlight jumper class in week one is the $30,000 Speed Derby on Sunday at 2 p.m.
This week’s course designer in the International Arena is Anthony D’Ambrosio of Red Hook, NY. He set a welcoming course for the 12 entries in the Time First Round class. The early leader was Pablo Barrios (VEN) who was clear on G&C Sinatra. They set a time of 69.682 seconds that would hold up for fourth place. Barrios placed third on his second mount, G&C Flash, who went in 67.614 seconds. Enrique Gonzales (MEX) improved on that time in 66.744 seconds with his horse Katina, and they finished second.
Wellington, FL (December 30, 2010) – Riders who put their best foot forward each week during the world class 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival will have the chance to ride away with the “Put Your Best Foot Forward” Award. Sponsored by Draper Equine Therapy, makers of therapeutic horse and rider products featuring the innovative “smart fiber” textile Celliant, each winner will receive a pair of Draper Equine Therapy Recovery Wraps, an Anti-Sweat Sheet and Saddle Pad for their horse, along with a pair of Draper Body Therapy Socks and a t-shirt for themselves.
“Draper is thrilled to be sponsoring the ‘Put Your Best Foot Forward’ Award at WEF. This is a wonderful opportunity to reward talent that might not be winning ribbons each week at WEF, regardless of all the determination and hard work they are putting forward,” said Kat Wojtylak, Product Manager of Draper Equine Therapy. “We want to recognize those horses and riders who are really giving it their all, because everyone deserves a shot at being the best.”
The 2011 Winter Equestrian Festival, held January 12 to April 3 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, is a world-class show circuit that attracts top horses, riders and trainers from all around the world. “The winners of the ‘Put Your Best Foot Forward’ Award are going to have the opportunity to really try the products out by feeling and watching the results,” Wojtylak said. “We have riders with feet problems that put on our socks and call us the next day to tell us their pain is gone. We have one rider who says he will never take off our socks because he is pain free for the first time in five years.”
Wellington, FL – December 22, 2010 – The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) will run for 12 weeks from January 12 to April 3, and this year’s competition will offer more opportunities for show jumpers to accumulate FEI ROLEX ranking points than ever before. For riders to start their year off strongly, the only place to gain this amount of points in North America is at the FTI WEF. The FTI WEF will award more than $6 million in prize money throughout the circuit, and $3.2 million of that will be given in the open jumper classes. For the FEI level jumpers, they will compete for $2.7 million in prize money.
“Adding more FEI ROLEX ranking classes is part of our dedication to providing the best equestrian sport,” said Michael Stone, President of Equestrian Sport Productions. “The riders that compete at the FTI WEF will more chances to gain points this year at our events during the winter season than anywhere else in the continent.”
Thanks to the support of G&C Farm, owned by Gustavo and Carolina Mirabal, the FTI WEF was able to add eight new FEI ROLEX ranking classes to the schedule. There are now 27 ranking classes during the FTI WEF, and these eight new FEI ROLEX ranking classes increased over 20% from last year. “Now there will be over 10,000 points available,” Stone said.
Wellington, FL – October 15, 2010 – Equestrian Sport Productions and the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) are offering the chance of a lifetime to charities serving Palm Beach County. The FTI WEF will once again host the Great Charity Challenge on the evening of Saturday, February 19, and this year the goal is to raise a tremendous amount of $1 million, all of which will be donated to charity.
The Great Charity Challenge (GCC) is an exhilarating pro/am relay style jumping competition that will take place under the lights in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center to benefit 30 non-profit charities. 2010 was the event’s inaugural year, and over $560,000 was raised and donated to 24 charities that were randomly selected to participate in the event.
Teams, which are generously sponsored by families and individuals, consist of two junior/amateur riders and are anchored by one Olympic or world-class rider. Each equestrian team is assigned a charity to represent, and the charity matched with the winning team of riders will win over $100,000!
Wellington, FL – July 26, 2010 – Equestrian Sport Productions congratulates the winner of the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) Artist Contest, Julie Chapman, of Huson, MT. This year’s contest received a record number of entries, and the panel was delighted to review numerous pieces of outstanding artwork.
Chapman, of Huson, MT, began her artistic endeavors when she was a child, and has always been enthralled with horses. “I’ve been drawing since I was old enough to hold a pencil – and it was horses that I drew first and always, as I’ve had a love affair with all things equine my entire life,” Chapman noted of her passion for horses and equestrian sports.
Chapman’s beautiful use of oils and portrayal of colors eventually won the panel’s vote. These skills earned Chapman several prizes, including $500 in prize money, a complimentary 10’x10′ vendor space for two weeks during the 2011 FTI WEF, an e-blast announcing her as the winner, a featured article in the 2011 FTI WEF program guide, and a one week art show in the foyer of the International Club at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. “I’m delighted!” Chapman exclaimed of her success in the competition. Chapman will be available for consultations during the 2011 FTI WEF, exact dates to be determined.
Wellington, FL – April 1, 2010 – This is the last week of the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) for hunters to secure a tricolor, and Sandy Ferrell and Showman, owned by Alexa & Krista Weisman, ended on a great note when they received their third championship of the twelve-week FTI WEF in the Western Hay & Suncoast Bedding First Year Green Working Hunters.
Alexa and Krista Weisman bought Showman from Scott Stewart and Ken Berkley about two years ago, and owner Alexa Weisman also competes with her mount in the Amateur Hunter divisions.
Ferrell, of Bernville, PA, competed with Showman six times throughout the 2010 FTI WEF, and has been champion three times, and reserve champion twice in the First Year Green Working Hunters. This is a very impressive feat, especially for one of the most well-attended hunter divisions at the horse show. Ferrell described the eight-year-old Westphalian gelding as the “epitome of a show hunter. He’s beautiful, elegant, talented, and he goes to win.”
Wellington, FL – March 27, 2010 – Tonight’s $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix, CSI 5* drew the largest crowd in the history of equestrian sport in Wellington. More than 9,000 spectators came to see who would win one of the biggest show jumping purses in North America. Sapphire, ridden by McLain Ward (USA) and owned by Ward and Blue Chip Bloodstock, came home with the win and repeated their victory from last year over Laura Kraut (USA) and Cedric, owned by Happy Hill Farm, and Todd Minikus (USA) with his own Pavarotti.
Tonight’s class was also the final qualifier for the $100,000 FTI Rider Challenge, where the top four riders of the circuit were awarded with bonus checks. The top four riders were Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA), who earned $50,000, Pablo Barrios (VEN) who received $25,000, McLain Ward, who took home $15,000, and Laura Kraut, who received $10,000.