Winter Equestrian Festival Dressage Competition Kicks Off
with Wellington Dressage, February 2-5, in Wellington, Florida
FL January 16, 2006
Dressage, the first of three dressage shows featured at the 2006 Winter
Equestrian Festival, kicks off the season with four days of competition,
February 2 through 5, at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club in Wellington,
Florida. Wellington Dressage will showcase dressage competition in four
rings, with more than 200 horses from across the nation entered to compete.
Competition will include 60 classes encompassing Training Level through
Grand Prix, with over 20 Musical Freestyle rides. Featured classes include
qualifying competition for the 2006 World Equestrian Games Selection Trials,
and qualifiers for the 2006 USEF National Grand Prix Championship and
USEF National USEF Intermediaire I Championship.
Kursinski and Bent Jensen, winners of the $25,000 Windsome Dressage/Jumper
Spectacular at the 2005 Wellington Dressage show. Photo:
Susan J. Stickle
Wellington Dressage is the annual $25,000 Windsome Dressage/Show Jumping
Team Spectacular scheduled for 3:00 pm on Saturday, February 4, in which
topnotch dressage riders and show jumpers pair up and switch disciplines
to vie for the biggest chunk of the shows $45,000 total purse. Jumpers
will ride Third Level Test 3 and dressage riders will jump a Hit n
Hurry course up to 3 6. Entries include the longtime defending
champions show jumping Olympian Anne Kursinski and dressage Olympian
Bent Jensen who have won this event more than half a dozen times.
Newcomers to the class include dressage rider Nicole Levy, a Team Bronze
Medalist at the 2002 NAYRC, paired with Irelands Olympic show jumper,
Kevin Babbington; and dressage rider Heather Bender, who has earned her
USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medals, paired with Grand Prix show jumper
Roberto Teran of Colombia, who has represented his country in Nations
Cup competition. For 10 consecutive years, Mr. John Deuss and Windsome
Farm have sponsored Wellington Dressage and this popular featured class,
which always draws a large and enthusiastic crowd.
At the FEI level (Federation Equestre International, which includes Prix
St. Georges, Intermediaire, and Grand Prix), Wellington Dressage will
feature 23 classes, including six major qualifying competitions.
The FEI qualifiers will provide a preview of the contenders for this years
National Championships and the World Equestrian Games (WEG) Selection
Trials. The National Championships and WEG Selection Trials will be held
at the USET Foundation headquarters, June 15-18, in Gladstone, New Jersey.
Wellington Dressage will also feature two Region 3 designated qualifying
competitions for the 2006 North American Young Riders Championships (NAYRC),
which will be held at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Virginia,
August 1-6, for riders aged 16-21. Additionally, the Wellington Dressage
show will feature qualifiers for the GAIG/USDF (Great American Insurance
Group/United States Dressage Federation) Regional Championships held in
eight regions across the country.
Kicking off the USEF High Performance (HP) qualifiers on Thursday,
February 2, is the USEF Prix St. Georges with a powerful field of 15 entries
that includes three Olympians Bent Jensen, Charlotte Bredahl Baker,
and Michelle Gibson and champion performers such as Silke Rembacz,
Patricia Becker, and Nancy Polozker. On Friday, February 3, qualifying
action continues with three featured classes: the FEI Young Rider Team
Test, the USEF Intermediaire I, and the USEF Grand Prix with 16 entries,
including renowned riders George Williams, Charlotte Bredahl Baker, Michael
Barisone, Lisette Milner, Arlene Tuny Page, Karin Reid Offield,
and Kathy Von Ertfelda; these riders will also compete in the featured
qualifier on Saturday, February 4, the USEF Grand Prix Special, along
with topnotch contenders Jennifer Baumert, Melissa Taylor Yee, Heather
Blitz, Tami Hoag, Marco Bernal, Kathy Priest, Paige Finnegan, and Betsy
Sunday, February 5, wraps up the qualifying classes with rides to music
featuring the USEF Intermediaire Freestyle, USEF Grand Prix Freestyle,
and FEI Young Rider Freestyle. The traditional Freestyle Sunday
at the Winter Equestrian Festival will also feature FEI classes for riders
not vying in the qualifiers, with the Intermediaire Freestyle presenting
a strong list of entries, highlighted by international competitors including
Germanys Mirja Block; Canadas Ashley Holzer, Tom Dvorak, and
Dominique Culham; and Brazils Pia Aragao; as well as topnotch U.S.
riders Jacqueline Brooks, Bent Jensen, Nicole Levy, and Jane Cleveland.
Officiating at Wellington Dressage will be a distinguished panel of international
judges at the FEI rings: Natalie Lamping 'I', Marianne Ludwig 'I', Joan
MaCartney 'I' and Lois Yukins 'I'. Judging Training through
Fourth Level will be Maryall Barnett 'C', Jane Weatherwax 'C', Susan Roberto
'R', and Lynda Southam 'R'.
In addition to ribbons and prize money awarded to the top six places in
each class, at the conclusion of the show High Score Awards for Champion
and Reserve Champion will be presented to the top two horse/rider combinations
in each of the following divisions: First Level, Second Level, Third Level,
and Fourth Level.
Stadium Jumping, Inc., producer of the Winter Equestrian Festival, produces
Wellington Dressage, and the two upcoming shows on the 2006 Florida winter
dressage circuit in Wellington, including this years U.S. League
* Zada Enterprises, L.L.C. Florida Dressage Classic - February 16-19.
* Zada Enterprises, L.L.C. WEF Dressage Classic, CDI 3*/Y - March 16-19.
* USEF National Grand Prix Freestyle Championship / U.S. League Final
CDI-W, the Official Selection for the 2006 FEI World Cup Dressage Final,
USEF National Grand Prix Freestyle Championship / U.S. League Final
Jockey Club Tables Available for March 18-19 Evening Competitions/Celebrations
The USEF National Grand Prix Freestyle Championship / U.S. League Final
consists of two competitions, which will be featured as evening classes
held under the lights in the De Nemethy Arena. The Grand Prix will be
contested on Friday night, March 17, and the Grand Prix Musical Freestyle
will be featured on Saturday night, March 18. From the top finishers of
the 12 competitors, two riders who are qualified and eligible to compete
will be selected to represent the United States in the FEI World Cup Dressage
Final, to be held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, April 20-23, 2006.
Celebratory evening events will be held during the competition on Friday
and Saturday nights, including a gala Dancing Under the Stars
benefit for the USET Foundation, in the Jockey Club overlooking the De
Nemethy Arena. For table reservations, contact Kendra Cecieta at Phelps
Media Group, Inc. International at 561-753-3389.