Dressage Debuts at 2012 College Preparatory Invitational

Equestrian Sport Productions Announced as Presenting Sponsor

A flat class at the 2011 CPI at the beautiful show grounds of the PBIEC. Photo Credit: Rolando Conesa.

Wellington, FL – August 3, 2011 – The College Preparatory Invitational (CPI) will add dressage seat classes to the 2012 edition of their event, held January 13-15. Held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, this year’s CPI will be a must-attend event for aspiring hunt seat and dressage collegiate riders. You definitely can’t learn this stuff through an online class as dressage requires hands on learning and a careful teacher! The application for the dressage classes is now available online at www.collegeprepinvitational.com and is due by October 1, 2011.

With new dressage seat equitation classes at this year’s competition, the CPI is also excited to welcome six-time dressage Olympian Robert Dover as the judge.

Dover noted, “I was fortunate enough to ride competitively during my university years, but would have loved to have access to a program which included a CPI back then. It will most certainly be of great benefit to Dressage in the United States to have stronger grass roots programs for our young riders.”

Dover believes that collegiate programs for dressage riders are beneficial, and the CPI is a wonderful way to get involved and learn more about riding at school.

“The Intercollegiate Program has always been a great source of continuing training for riders who are at an age when school and riding are difficult to continue simultaneously,” he said. “The addition of a strong program for Dressage will do for our sport what it has done for the hunter/jumpers riders. Using top instructors to work with young riders who are in college will provide for ongoing progress so necessary for talented youth, whether they intend to go on as professionals in the industry or not.”

The dressage seat equitation classes at the CPI will include movements and exercises as required at the Training and First Level and follow the rules set by the Intercollegiate Dressage Association.

Come for the Competition, Enjoy the Atmosphere

One of the added benefits of competing at the CPI is the opportunity to experience and enjoy the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), which runs concurrently with the CPI at the PBIEC. Equestrian Sport Productions is the management company of the FTI WEF. ESP has allotted two competition arenas – one for hunt seat, one for dressage – along with tent space for college representatives to the CPI for their event. For their generous donation, Equestrian Sport Productions has been named a presenting sponsor of the 2012 CPI.

Those riders and their families that attend the CPI will also gain a unique opportunity to see some of the best horses and riders in the world at the FTI WEF. Following the CPI competition, riders can stay to watch the “Saturday Night Lights” event, and during the day peruse the many fabulous vendors on the show grounds. The PBIEC show grounds, one of the best equestrian facilities in the world, also feature an array of dining options with outdoor seating overlooking the show rings.

Equestrian Sport Productions principle Katherine Bellissimo said, “The best thing about hosting the CPI at the FTI WEF is that there is an environment for families to experience the love of the horse and competition.”

As the mother of two teenage daughters that ride, Bellissimo appreciates what the CPI can provide for young riders. “We have always had the goal of leveraging the benefits of being a competitive rider with the balance of a great education. The CPI strives to make this possible for all levels of riding, which is of great value to the many families who make both a time and financial commitment to the sport. It is a wonderful opportunity to educate the riders and families of the collegiate opportunities as well as provide a forum and venue for the coaches and college representatives to meet and interact with potential student-riders.”

Seminars Inform Future Collegiate Riders

Along with the competition, the CPI will offer seminars and question & answer sessions during the show. Two helpful seminars will be presented by Hans Hanson of The College Sports Track and Marla Brady, a career direction specialist.

Hanson will speak about the college search, recruiting, and scholarship process and “how to be proactive in securing you best college fit situation, how to maximize the college experience and minimize college costs.” These discussions for riders will also include how to market themselves to college coaches, how to call college coaches, how to meet college coaches, and the key questions to ask college coaches. The presentation will summarize how best to understand your opportunity for becoming a successful collegiate student-athlete.

Hanson noted, “Being proactive in the college search and recruiting process will help the riders make their college choice based on having knowledge of the situation rather than leaving it to guesswork. This process also teaches young student-athletes valuable life skills in meeting unknown people (the coaches), and learning how to build value in yourself with both the college and the college coach.”

Hanson gave this valuable talk at the 2011 CPI, and he is excited to return in 2012. “CPI is a great event, filled with enthusiasm and full of dreams. I look forward to my role in helping families search for and find their right college fit opportunity. After all, that is why they are participating in this great event,” he said.

Marla Brady hopes to help the riders at CPI find a way to make their college investment work for them. She explained, “At a time when education costs are skyrocketing, scholarship dollars are being reduced, and the national student loan debt exceeds one billion dollars, it is more important than ever that students have a focused plan for achieving on-time college graduations with meaningful degrees of study that are marketable.  This presentation will include how you can set yourself up for success in choosing a college and how you choose the right college major for future satisfaction and success.”

Brady is another returning presenter. She stated, “Having been a presenter at the 2011 CPI event, I am looking forward to returning, sharing valuable information with student riders and their families, and connecting with the college coaches again.  I fully believe students need to think about their college choice as one of the biggest investments in their lives, not just financially, but in terms of time and effort.  It will pay big dividends if done well.”

Riders and their families will hear also about the college equestrian experience and familiarize themselves with the different associations that govern collegiate riding at the 2012 CPI.  There will be a number of colleges and universities present at the CPI to distribute literature and introduce the academic and riding opportunities, including scholarships, offered at their institution.

Important Scholarship Information

The future leaders of the equestrian business and sport are the college bound riders. The College Preparatory Invitational Horse Show Scholarship Fund rewards social conduct and academic excellence 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.

The Entry Deadline for the Horsemanship Test Award and the Champion of Service Award is the same date as the CPI Application Deadline: October 1, 2011. The Entry Deadline for the Essay Contest is November 1, 2011. The essay topic will be posted on the website on September 1, 2011, allowing two months’ time for riders to submit their essay.

The College Preparatory Invitational is held during the prestigious 2012 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. The management company of the FTI WEF, Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP), joined forces with the CPI to host the unique event, aimed at both young college-bound equestrians and their families.

Please visit the CPI horse show’s website at www.collegeprepinvitational.com for more information about the event, venue, scholarships and much more.

© 2011 Jennifer Wood Media Inc.

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