Wellington, FL - December 4, 2007 - This afternoon the 124th National Horse Show and Family Festival (NHS) hosted a press conference in the Diamond Horseshoe Club for members of the media and equestrian enthusiasts. Today's panel was composed of Todd Minikus, Kent Farrington, Tim Hooker, NHS President Eugene R. Mische, NHS Chairman Mason Phelps Jr., and NHS judge Walter "Timmy" Kees. The conference opened with a speech from Phelps.
Mische and Phelps both welcomed members of the media and discussed the significance of the National Horse Show with respect to its rich history and tradition. The hunter/jumper competition has been held annually since 1883 and is one of the most prestigious events in the history of the sport. Previously the show was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City and at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. After Phelps' introduction, each member of today's panel discussed their personal histories and experiences at previously held National Horse Show competitions. Additionally, each member of the panel commented about the week ahead.
Hooker, whose family has been involved in the industry for years, commented, "We always say that the best in the country showed at the National Horse Show all along, all during its history, but today's competitors at the National Horse Show are showing at a level we've never seen in this country before...I think that the National Horse Show's future is very bright, and its tradition has been one of great class and elegance. That's really nice to see in the horse show business. You don't see that everywhere, but they sure put it on here."
Farrington spoke next about his thoughts on the competition. He has had an extremely successful year with his two grand prix mounts, Up Chiqui and Nerina, winning 16 grand prix events in 2007. "I'm really excited about the National Horse Show this year," he said. "With Rolex sponsoring...the format that they use, with it going over two days, and the first day [of grand prix competition] going at night is always fun. I like to show at night, and they always get a great crowd here for this show." He added, "It's going to be a really strong, strong group of riders, and I think it's going to be great sport. I think the field looks fantastic right now, and I hope it goes my way. With a little bit of luck, we'll see what happens."
Grand prix show jumper Minikus commented, "Everybody knows the hype of the National Horse Show, and there's always something special about it. I've been doing it long enough; I did get to show at the [Madison Square] Garden and the Meadowlands, and here as well. It is a special event." Minikus included that the NHS has sustained its quality throughout the years, and he feels it will continue do so for years to come.
Panelist Walter "Timmy" Kees, a top trainer who has worked with many champions at National Horse Shows, as well as many top equitation riders, will be judging the National Horse Show this year for the second time. He noted, "It's an honor and a privilege to be asked to judge the National Horse Show. Hopefully the public will come out and once again realize what an important and great event this is and how important it is to the industry. I've been a part of the National Horse Show for a number of years," he said. "It's a wonderful event and, even though we're not at the Garden anymore, this venue is a terrific venue. It's beautifully done, it's maintained well by Stadium Jumping, and I'm really privileged to be a part of it and to be asked to judge it again. I hope the future is maintained as well as it has been to date, and I would love to be a part of it in the future."
The press conference continued with individual questions for panelists from the media, and the panelists discussed the horses they will show this week and the significance of the upcoming Olympic year.
Minikus commented, "I think this [Olympic] year will add a little something to the circuit. Not only to the competition itself, but there's a lot of stuff involved, like management of the horses. You may see some riders not show as much as they normally would because they're managing their horses and saving them for the trials. There's more pressure involved, and I think this week at the National will be the start of it, which is why I think that makes this a special week...It will be exciting, not only for this week but for the rest of circuit to see how it all plays out."
The National Horse Show will be held at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club from Dec. 5-9, 2007. The very best hunters and jumpers in the nation will attend the event and face off for championship honors. An event that is as rich in tradition as it is prize money, the National Horse Show and Family Festival offers exciting equestrian action and activities for community members, spectators, and families.
124th NATIONAL HORSE SHOW & FAMILY FESTIVAL FAST FACTS
WHAT: 124th National Horse Show & Family Festival
WHEN: December 5-9, 2007
HOURS: Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday: 8 a.m. to approximately 6 p.m. Friday: 8 a.m. to approximately 10 p.m.
WHERE: Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club, Wellington, Florida
- The $5,000 Palm Beach Post National Welcome Stake, CSI (December 5)
- The $15,000 NHS Speed Classic, CSI (December 6)
- The Zada Enterprises, LLC 6th Annual Dressage at the National (December 7-9)
- The $25,000 NHS Jumper Classic for the Rolex/USEF National Show Jumping Championship, presented by Equine Motorcoach, CSI (December 7- evening competition)
- The $25,000 National Horse Show Hunter Championship (December 8)
- The $10,000 NHS Speed Stake, CSI (December 8)
- The $15,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Series Junior and Amateur-Owner Jumper National Finals (December 9)
- The $80,000 Young Jumper Championships(R) International Finals (December 9)
- The $100,000 NHS Grand Prix FEI World Cup(TM) for the Rolex/USEF National Show Jumping Championship, presented by Equine Motorcoach, (December 9)
Exhibitions and Special Events:
Matthias Lang and Sarah d'Auriol vaulting demonstration in the Internationale Arena (December 7 at 7 p.m. and December 9 at 1:30 p.m.)
"Jumping Under the Stars" Gala (December 7, evening)
Children's Fair (December 8-9, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
Wellington Chamber Business Showcase 2007 in Grand Hunter Ring (December 8, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.)
Miniature Horses in Opening Ceremonies Parade (December 7, evening, special exhibition in Grand Hunter Ring at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, and in Internationale Arena on Sunday at 2 p.m.)
Rescue Horses from Pure Thoughts Horse and Foal Rescue in Opening Ceremonies Parade (December 7, evening, and December 9 at 2 p.m.) *Horses on grounds Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and are available for viewing and adoption*
SPONSORED CLASSES & PRIZE MONEY:
$155,000 FEI International Jumper section
$125,000 Rolex/USEF National Show Jumping Championship, presented by Equine Motorcoach
$5,000 Palm Beach Post National Welcome Stake
$80,000 Young Jumper Championships(R) International
$20,000 Palm Beach Daily News Amateur-Owner Jumper division
$20,000 ASPCA Junior Jumper division
$11,000 Pasmore Stables Adult Amateur Jumper division
$11,000 Martha Jolicoeur P.A. Illustrated Properties Children's Jumper division
$11,000 Bainbridge Farm Adult Amateur Working Hunter divisions
$6,500 "All the Gold" Second Year Green Working Hunter division
$6,500 National Horse Show Ladies Committee Side Saddle division
$5,500 Large Pony Hunter division sponsored by Suzy Marquard
$5,500 Alyana Farms Small Pony Hunter division
$5,500 Reflection Farms Green Conformation Hunter division
$5,500 Moxie Equestrian Inc. Regular Conformation Hunter division
$5,500 Tara Management Amateur-Owner 18-35 Working Hunter division
$5,500 Kilkenny Amateur-Owner Over 35 Working Hunter division
$5,500 William Barlow Redfern Regular Working Hunter division
Zada Enterprises LLC Dressage at the National
Palm Beach Equine Clinic
Florida Coast Equipment
RV Sales of Broward
TICKETS: 561-793-JUMP, or visit http://www.stadiumjumping.com
ADMISSION: General Admission Tickets are available at the gate.
Adults: $10 Wednesday through Saturday (including $10 for Friday evening performance), Sunday- $15
Seniors/Children 13 and up: $7 all performances
Children 12 and under: Free
VIP SEATING: Box Seats Tickets may be purchased at the gate. (Limited availability)
Location: Internationale Arena
Prices: $25 every day (plus $25 for Friday evening performance), per person
Box of 4 seats for entire week, including Friday night: $500
Box Seats are available for purchase through Stadium Jumping, Inc. Please call 800-237-8924 for more information.
VIP tables in The Diamond Horseshoe Club (located at the Internationale Arena):
Gold Member Front Row- $5000 for six seat table, luxury amenities provided for all performances including Friday evening. Silver Member Second and Third Rows- $3500 for six seat table.
Tables in The Diamond Horseshoe Club are available for purchase through Phelps Media Group, Inc. Please call 561-753-3389.
The Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club is also the home of the Winter Equestrian Festival and the site of the first outdoor Nations Cup held in the United States. The competition areas include the 400' x 400' grass Internationale Arena, which is surrounded by bermed seating, chalets, and VIP areas; plus the Bertalan DeNemethy Arena and Grand Hunter Field, both with all weather footing. Amenities include the Diamond Horseshoe Club VIP area.
Approaching the show grounds from the Florida Turnpike, take Exit #93, Lake Worth Blvd., and travel west, crossing over 441. Travel five miles to South Shore Blvd., turn right on South Shore and proceed one mile to Pierson Road, then turn left at the light. Spectator Entrance is first left, on Equestrian Road. Approaching the show grounds from Interstate I-95, take Exit 49. Travel west on Forest Hill Blvd. 11 miles to South Shore Blvd. Turn left on South Shore and follow to Pierson Road. Turn right at the light on Pierson. Spectator Entrance is first left - Equestrian Road.
PARKING: Parking is free Wednesday through Sunday.
FOOD: A diverse menu of food and beverages is available at the vendor courtyard and at vendors around the Internationale Arena, and are open during show hours.
SHOPPING: The vendor courtyard and individual booths around the Internationale Arena offer equestrian equipment, apparel, jewelry, and home furnishings.
*Hampton Inn and Suites Wellington
2155 Wellington Green Drive, Wellington, FL 561-472-9696
*Hampton Inn at Emerald Dunes
2025 Vista Parkway, West Palm Beach, FL 561-682-9990
*Hampton Inn Lake Worth
8205 Lake Worth Road, Lake Worth, FL 561-472-5980
Use Enterprise Rent-a-Car for your car rental needs at the National Horse Show and Family Festival! Call 1-800-593-0505 and use the National Horse Show reference number 41W0080 for a discount.
PALM BEACH POLO EQUESTRIAN CLUB:
14440 Pierson Rd., Wellington, FL 33414
STADIUM JUMPING, INC.: Corporate Office-
1301 Sixth Ave West, Suite 406, Bradenton, FL 34205
NATIONAL HORSE SHOW ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, LTD
P.O. Box 386, Greenvale, NY 11548
Photo Credit: Todd Minikus, Kent Farrington, Tim Hooker, NHS President Eugene R. Mische, NHS Chairman Mason Phelps Jr., and NHS Judge Walter "Timmy" Kees. Photo (C) 2007 Jennifer Wood. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.
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