Wellington, FL – January 20, 2013 – Susan Stickle has covered dressage and jumpers from the London Olympics to The World Equestrian Games to the World Cup. Her keen eye and impeccable timing make her a favorite among show managers around the world. So when it was time to choose a photographer for the World Dressage Masters CDI5* Palm Beach Jan. 24-26, show organizer Noreen O’Sullivan of Wellington Classic Dressage chose veteran photographer Sue Stickle.
“Sue is the epitome of a great show photographer,” O’Sullivan said. “There was no doubt in my mind that she would be covering the World Dressage Masters again this year.”
And Stickle is pleased to return. “I am so honored to be back at the 2013 World Dressage Masters and, once again, it is so exciting to have this much talent right in my backyard,” she said. “I am looking forward to a fantastic competition at a stunning venue. John Flanagan, Noreen O’Sullivan and the show management team here do such an outstanding job in transforming the Brandon Equestrian Center into a world-class facility for the Masters.”
Wellington, FL – January 19, 2013 – Patrik Kittel and Watermill Scandic added a brilliant victory in today’s Gold Coast Opener Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W to their win in Friday’s Grand Prix CDI-W, both at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. The pair of strong showings establishes them as top contenders in the World Dressage Masters (WDM) CDI5* Palm Beach at Jim Brandon, which will take place January 24-26.
WDM will be far from a walkover, however. Kittel and Watermill Scandic will go up against many of the top-placed pairs from today’s competition, as well as an array of new challengers that includes Steffen Peters, Edward Gal, and Hans Peter Minderhoud. But Kittel and Scandic impressed both the judges and the crowd with their stirring freestyle routine.
They performed to an assortment of upbeat rock tunes, displaying impeccable passage transitions to “Hot in the City.” “I think it’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever had in the piaffe/passage,” Kittel exclaimed. Although “Dancing with Myself” was also among the musical selections, Kittel and Scandic danced together in complete harmony through rhythmic one-tempis and a striking canter half-pass. The judges awarded them a score of 80.125%.
Wellington, FL – January 18, 2013 – Today’s Gold Coast Opener Grand Prix CDI-W showcased horses and riders preparing for next weekend’s World Dressage Masters (WDM) CDI5* Palm Beach, and the WDM competitors certainly displayed their dominance. WDM entrants swept all six ribbons in the Grand Prix, with all but one riding the horses they will compete next weekend.
And if the results from today are a predictor, it seems that Sweden will be a force to be reckoned with. Patrik Kittel and Watermill Scandic posted 72.723% to steal the win at the last moment from fellow Swedish Olympic teammate Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven aboard Divertimento, whose 71.170% was the leading score until the final ride. At WDM, Kittel will try to duplicate today’s success on Watermill Scandic, while Vilhelmson-Silfven will switch to her Olympic mount, Don Auriello.
The chilly weather at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in Wellington, site of both the Gold Coast Opener and WDM, had a few horses on edge in the warm-up, including Watermill Scandic. But most held it together once they entered the ring. Kittel was full of praise for the venue. “The whole place is lovely!” he exclaimed, adding that he would happily show there every weekend if it were “just a bit closer” to his home in Sweden.
Wellington, FL – January 19, 2013 – The audience at the World Dressage Masters on Saturday evening Jan 26, 2013 at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center will be in for something quite unexpected. Before commencing the popular Freestyle Competition at 7:00 pm, the newly released documentary movie trailer “Valiant: Life Is a Horse” will be premiered.
This is the true story of Jeanette Sassoon’s 26 year old blind horse Valiant who competed last season in the Prix St. George scoring 65.78% and placing 6th out of 15 horses here in Wellington, the horse capital of the US. Valiant and Jeanette will follow the trailer with a musical freestyle performance to the documentary’s title song “Follow Your Heart”, accompanied live on piano by the acclaimed composer/musician Eric Bikales.
“Valiant: Life Is a Horse” is an undertaking of love to the legacy of Valiant. As life lessons unfolded, Jeanette and Valiant traveled from the highest levels of dressage to the wide open spaces of Wyoming touching the hearts and lives of many great horsemen such as John Lyons and Michael Poulin, as well as hundreds of other supporters.
Wellington, FL – November 29, 2013 – The excitement is building as many of North America and Europe’s top riders are vying for highly-coveted spots in the line-up for the World Dressage Masters (WDM) Palm Beach CDI5* to be hosted January 23-26, 2013, by Wellington Classic Dressage during the Wellington Classic Sunshine Challenge CDI3* show weekend at the Palm Beach County Jim Brandon Equestrian Center.
Always one of the Florida dressage scene’s must-see events, the WDM Palm Beach features top riders from around the globe competing for the richest prize money show series in the dressage world.
The World Dressage Masters, presented by the Axel Johnson Group, offers more than €450,000 EUR (about $580,000 USD) in total prize money over the several World Dressage Masters shows hosted worldwide, including past shows in Falsterbo, Sweden, Munich, Germany, Hickstead, England, Cannes, France and, new this year, Jumping Mechelen in Belgium. The WDM Palm Beach CDI5* is the only WDM CDI5* competition hosted in North America, and boasts €100,000 EUR (more than $130,000 USD). This year’s line-up is sure to feature some of the world’s elite riders.
Wellington, FL (February 7, 2012) – Thanks to the efforts of the show management team from the Gold Coast Dressage Association and the Wellington Dressage Classic Association, the 2012 Dressage season kicked off with three amazing CDI events in January and 2 Paralympic Qualifiers. With world-class dressage riders providing an air of European competition, the Gold Coast Dressage Association’s Opener CDI W/CDEDI3* January 19-22, 2012, the Wellington Classic Sunshine Challenge CDI3*/CPEDI3* January 25-29, 2012 and the 2012 Palm Beach leg of the prestigious World Dressage Masters presented by the Axel Johnson Group set the tone for a fantastic Wellington dressage season.
Wellington Classic Dressage once again hosted the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach with International Polo Club as Presenting Sponsor. The Masters proved to be a record setting event for the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, with dressage star Steffen Peters setting the dressage ring on fire with record breaking scores, while the number of spectators also proved to be at an all-time high. “This year’s Masters was one for the record books,” said John Flanagan of Wellington Classic Dressage, Gold Coast Dressage, International Horse Sport, and one of the organizers of the WDM Palm Beach. “The competition was amazing and a record number of people were able to watch this event live, which is a great testament to the strength of our sport in South Florida and the United States.”
Wellington, FL (January 31, 2012) – The 2012 World Dressage Masters Palm Beach presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach exceeded all expectations, from the first horse on center line in Friday’s Grand Prix to the victory lap following Saturday’s Exquis Grand Prix Freestyle. Top sport was represented by the world’s most exciting horse and rider combinations, some of them veterans, others rising stars. When the 2012 WDM Palm Beach Champion was named on Saturday evening, it was the experienced team of Steffen Peters and Akiko Yamazaki’s 14 year old Ravel of the US who succeeded in defending their title against 26 year old Charlotte Dujardin of Great Britain and the super-talented ten year old Valegro.
“I must say I have seen some wonderful sport tonight,” said WDM Managing Director John van de Laar following the Freestyle competition. “I would like to congratulate Steffen.” With the Olympics just six months away, van de Laar noted that the WDM Palm Beach gave a hint to the rivalries that can be expected in London. “I am very anxious to see what happens in London. To show a horse like Valegro here at the Masters in an Olympic year, I must say ‘two thumbs up’.”
West Palm Beach, FL – The 2012 World Dressage Masters Palm Beach CDI4* presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach ended as it began with American dressage superstar Steffen Peters and Ravel storming to their second consecutive sweep of the event. Their dramatic freestyle was very difficult and they were rewarded by the judges with a score of 83.70% and recognized with a standing ovation from the crowd. It was a narrow victory, Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin gave Peters and Ravel a lot to handle but they held on by 5/100ths of a point.
“What an amazing ride,” said Peters. “Thanks again to my buddy Ravel.”
Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven was third on a score of 78.250% with Favourit.
Peters (San Diego, CA) and Ravel’s incredibly difficult transitions, including from canter pirouette to piaffe to walk, were seamless. Ravel’s half-pass has amazing reach at both the trot and the canter and the one- time changes on the centerline were effortless. The all-around brilliance gave this pair the edge – making them back-to-back World Dressage Masters Palm Beach Champions.
Wellington, FL (January 28, 2012) – Steffen Peters of the United States successfully defended his World Dressage Masters Palm Beach title on Saturday evening when he rode Ravel to his second consecutive Exquis Grand Prix Freestyle win. But it wasn’t an easy victory. British challengers Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro came within five one hundredths of a percentage point of toppling Peters from the center of the podium.
“I had a great night with Ravel, but I watched Charlotte after our ride,” said Peters after the awards ceremony. “When she came out of the ring I went over and said to her, ‘I think you’ve won it.’ It is exciting to be that close to another of the world’s top horses and riders.” Peters and Akiko Yamazaki’s 14 year old KWPN gelding had received a score of 83.7%, which kept them ahead of Dujardin and Valegro, a ten year old KWPN gelding owned by Carl Hester and Roly Luard, by the tiniest of margins; the British pair received 83.65% for their performance.
Wellington, FL (January 28, 2012) – At the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach, Adrienne Lyle of the United States bested the international field to win the Grand Prix Special at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center on Saturday afternoon. The 26 year old Idaho-based rider scored 73.244% riding Wizard, a 13 year old Oldenburg gelding owned by Peggy and Parry Thomas.
“My horse handled everything beautifully. I’m really excited and happy,” said Lyle, who placed fourth in Friday’s WDM Nürnberger Grand Prix, and was eligible to compete in the Grand Prix Freestyle, though she opted to ride in the Grand Prix Special instead. “As much as I would have liked to ride in the freestyle, I need a Grand Prix Special qualifying score for the Olympic Selection Trials,” she explained.