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George H. Morris Excellence in Equitation Class at WEF

WELLINGTON, Fla., Feb. 14--The inaugural George H. Morris Excellence in Equitation Exhibition class will be a three-round competition in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center on Friday, March 14.

Final details of the class at the height of the CN Winter Equestrian Festival presented by Zimmerman Advertising were released by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC on Sunday.

A panel of the world's finest riders and trainers will join Morris in judging the competition that will end with a Final Four exchange of horses under the lights in the International Arena.

Joining Morris in one panel will be reigning Olympic individual gold medalist Rodrigo Pessoa. A second panel will comprise Melanie Smith Taylor who with the storied Calypso won team gold at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles , and Katie Monahan Prudent, the 1969 Maclay Final winner and a member of the 1980 alternate Olympic team. In the schooling area will be Anne Kursinski, on the U.S. team for four straight Olympic Games--Los Angeles in 1984, Seoul 1988, Barcelona 1992 and Atlanta 1996.

There is no entry fee for the class that is open by invitation of the judges panel. Invitations are automatically extended to winners prior to March 14 of any 2008 Winter Equestrian Festival USEF Hunt Seat Medal, ASPCA Maclay, USEF Talent Search or WIHS Overall, Hunter Phase and Jumper Phase equitation classes.

During the class, riders must remain in the schooling area and cannot be coached or in contact with their trainer including during the course walk.

Round 1 will be judged over fences and the course may include gymnastics, trot fences, oxers, verticals and combinations. Open numerical scoring will be used.

Round 2 calls for aach rider chosen to return to ride a course that will be a minimum of eight jumps with one simple change of lead and one flying change of lead.

For the final round, the top four riders will return with their horses to ride a mount designated by the judges for a round under the lights.

Coolers and ribbons will be awarded for the top 10 placings with awards of jackets and other prizes for the WEF Equitation Championship, Special Family Awards, Champion and Reserve Champion, Best Equitation Horse, Best Turned Out Horse: A Jacket will be awarded to the Groom of the Best Turned Out Horse and a Trainer Award. Trainer Prize Money is: $250, $150, $130, $120, $100, $90, $80 and $80.

The Excellence in Equitation class was created to honor Morris who began riding as a child. He won the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship Finals and the AHSA Hunt Seat Equitation Medal Final at Madison Square Garden in 1952 at the age of 14, the youngest rider to ever do so. He won the team silver medal at the 1960 Olympics before focusing on teaching and training that is as much in demand around the world today as it has been for almost 50 years. His roster of students includes several Olympic medalists.

Morris's book, "Hunter Seat Equitation," is a classic definitive work on the art of teaching and riding hunt seat.

Entries should be made to:

George H. Morris Excellence in Equitation

Show Office - Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC

14440 Pierson Road

Wellington FL 33414

Tel: 561-793-5867 Fax: 561-753-3386


CN is a leader in North American and worldwide freight transportation. CN is the only railroad crossing North America east-west and north-south serving ports on the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts to link customers in all three NAFTA nations--the USA, Canada and Mexico. CN Worldwide makes global trade a reality.

Zimmerman Advertising, based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, is an Omnicom Group company and the 15th largest advertising agency in the U.S. Offices are in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco and Atlanta.

FTI exists to help companies and their stakeholders protect and enhance enterprise value. FTI is the trusted advisor entrenched in many of the game-changing events that make headlines, move markets and create business history.

Photo: George H. Morris leading the U.S. jumping team in the Parade of Nations at Aachen, Germany in 2007. Photo: Ken Braddick-HorseSport USA


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