March 10, 2008 -
Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC announced Monday the creation of a holiday entertainment spectacular, "Celebration of the Horse," on December 3-7 at the Palm Beach Beach International Equestrian Center.
The holiday celebration will be coupled with a world class "AA" horse show.
Mark Bellissimo, Chief Executive Officer of ESP that manages the horse shows in Wellington, said that in addition to a World Cup qualifier for jumping and an application for a World Cup qualifier in dressage, plans are already underway for demonstration events in driving, eventing, vaulting and reining in an international equestrian spectacular.
The event is expected to include a jumper Grand Prix, puissance, six bar competition, dressage quadrille as well as a derby class. There will be other entertainment events centered around equestrian sport including drill teams and other specialty acts.
Simon Brooks-Ward, organizer of the London International Horse Show at Olympia whose world famous Christmas indoor extravaganza draws spectators from around the world, has been working with ESP for the past several months on staging of the "Celebration of the Horse" at PBIEC's outdoor venue.
"I am delighted to be working with Mark and his team to stage an extravaganza for the USA that will attract a regional, national, and International audience," he said. Bellissimo and ESP executives Kim Tudor and Elizabeth Hedley visited the Olympia Horse Show in December, 2007 and were inspired by the elegance and majesty of the world famous show and made a decision at that time to pursue a new event in Wellington.
This new holiday event will replace the National Horse Show. The National Horse Show announced its intention in December to seek a long term home for the National Horse Show. ESP management decided not to submit a proposal and conveyed to the National Horse Show board of its intention to use the December date for its new show. The National Horse Show had an interest in moving the show to early November to coincide with the fall indoor circuit and to reintegrate the ASPCA Maclay National Championship and the National Horse Show as one event.
"We believe the National Horse Show relocation to Syracuse and the unification of the Maclay is a great move by the National Horse Show board," Bellissimo said. "John Madden is a top horse show organizer and we wish the National Horse Show every success in their new home."
"We are focusing our efforts in the 'Celebration of the Horse' which we believe will be a world class event and we are confident this will accelerate interest in horse sport and greatly benefit the Village of Wellington and all of Palm Beach County."
PBIEC has been rebuilt at a cost of millions of dollars to create one of world's premier horse show centers with expanded spectator seating and facilities and stadium lighting.
The new horse show grounds have been universally lauded by riders, course designers and officials from around the world who have competed at the current Winter Equestrian Festival.
The latest praise came Sunday from John Long, Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Equestrian Federation, on conclusion of the five USEF Selection Trials for Show Jumping leading up to the 2008 Olympic Games,
He extended the USEF's congratulations especially in light of the trials originally being scheduled for Wellington then moved to Tampa before being switched back to Wellington with its new footing similar to the Olympics as well as the high quality stadium lights. The renovation of the facility in Wellington in such a short time and efforts by ESP to manage the trials had been virtually seamless, he said.