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The Florida Times-Union Presents Jacksonville's Celebration Grand Prix

The Florida Times-Union joins the Celebration as Presenting Sponsor for the Inaugural Grand Prix to be held November 17-19, 2006, at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, Jacksonville, Florida. Carl Cannon, Publisher of The Florida Times-Union said, “The Florida Times-Union realizes the value this event brings to the equine industry, the Equestrian Center and to Jacksonville. As the Grand Prix sponsor, the newspaper is pleased to be a part of the Florida Equestrian Celebration this year.”

Nationally recognized Show Jumper Icons will be traveling to Jacksonville from all over the country and from other countries such as France, to attend this inaugural event. Last year approximately 3,000 horses competed in Wellington as their owners wintered in West Palm Beach. Show Jumping is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. Why should Jacksonville care? USA Equestrian represents their membership as a $2 billion buying force. And that represents a lot of "Horse Power" in business!

"It is an honor to have The Florida Times-Union join the Celebration Team as the Presenting Grand Prix Sponsor. Their support and contribution enables us to have a dynamic event," stated Grand Prix Show Manager, Bill Joyce of Saratoga, New York.

According to Bill Joyce "The interest has been significant. Show jumpers are impressed with the quality of expertise supporting our show. Course Designer Frank Chapot is internationally recognized and a veteran Olympic medalist. Stephen Sarafin is internationally recognized for his judging expertise. Peter Doubleday is world famous as the Grand Prix announcer. Vincent Sava is haled for his excellence as a Steward and Schooling Supervisor and John Franzreb III is consider one of the top international Ringermasters and recognized for his past years as Trumpeter at Madison Square Garden. Everyone calling wants to come to Jacksonville! What makes this Grand Prix event unique is that it is strictly show jumping as seen in the Olympics."

Plans are being made for a 5-week Show Jumping circuit for 2007. The circuit would be kicked off by the Florida Equestrian Celebration scheduled for November 16, 2007, and continue through the end of the year. Competitors are amazed to discover that the Jacksonville Equestrian Center exists and that they can enjoy such state of the art accommodations.

The 3rd Annual Florida Equestrian Celebration will be held November 17-19, 2006 at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. Key sponsors include Florida Times-Union, Duval Ford, SunTrust Bank, W.W. Gay Mechanical Contractors, and the Seminole Indian Tribe of Florida. Considered the largest equestrian exposition in Florida and the Southeast, this year's Celebration will include invaluable educational clinics, workshops & seminars, dynamic horse & rider performances, impressive breed presentations, family fun KidZ Zone, and a Trade Show that will please even the most prominent shopper. Impressive indoor accommodations at Jacksonville Equestrian Center will keep everyone happy regardless of inclement weather.

Spectacular entertainment includes Friday Night's distinguished Dinner In The Dirt™ starring EquineExtremist Tommie Turvey. Saturday Night will highlight champion bull riders from across the country mounting some of the world's best bucking bulls for the Celebration's 1st Bull Riding Blowout. On Sunday the Celebration's Inaugural Show Jumping $30,000 Grand Prix will debut'. Day Event Ticket prices are $17 adults, $10 kids (5-12), Kids under 5 Free, and $43 for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 kids). Evening Entertainment and all VIP Tickets are sold separately. For detailed ticket information, visit the Florida Equestrian Celebration website - http://www.floridaequestrian.com.

The Florida Equestrian Celebration supports the efforts of the Florida Equine Industry by donating monies to the Northeast Florida Equestrian Society (NFES), which in turn supports the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. The event supports other non-profit organizations such as the Justice Coalition of Jacksonville.

The Florida Equine Industry is one of the largest in the United States. There are over 500,000 horses in Florida and 70% of them are used for showing and recreation. The Florida horse industry produces goods and services valued at $2.2 billion annually. Nearby Marion County (Ocala) has the largest horse population of any county in the United States.


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