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Holiday & Horses Wellington CDI 3* Dressage Results: Day 1

WELLINGTON, Fla., Dec. 4--Shelly Francis rode Wig Wam to victory in the Prix St. Georges on the opening day of the CDI 3* Holiday and Horses at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center Thursday.

Francis and the eight-year-old bay gelding owned by Patricia Stempel scored 67.850 per cent ahead of Colombia's Marco Bernal who lives in Wellington, Fla. and finished in second place with Halbgott with 65.70 per cent and in third place with Puthyr-Inshala at 65.35 per cent.

Francis, of Loxahatchee, Fla. found Wig Wam in Germany as a four-year-old.

She said she worried that he might be too big for her -- Wig Wam is now 17.2 hands and Francis is 5 ft. 1 1/4 ins. "It can be interesting in the veterinary jog," she laughs.

But she describes Wig Wam as both "really cute" in his personality but "hot" with "lots of internal energy" and intelligence.

Francis said that after another year at the small tour she expects Wig Wam to ready to show Grand Prix.

Francis was an alternate for the U.S. team at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and as a member of the 1998 World Equestrian Games in Rome aboard Pikant.

Although she will be 50 in the next few weeks, instead of looking for "made" horses she prefers to buy young horses and train them herself as she did with Wig Wam.

"I love the training as well as the competing," she said.

"I am so lucky to have had the support of the Stempels to enable me to do what I love doing and to have the success they deserve."

The FEI Grand Prix will be held Friday to qualify for Saturday night's musical freestyle that will be held in the International Arena under lights.

Almost 200 seats have been reserved for dinner in the International Club for the musical freestyle while general admission is free.

Reservations for the International Club can be made through Kiki Umla at 561 793 5867 or 904 607 5541.

PBIEC INFORMATION & TICKETS: http://www.equestriansport.com 561/793-5867 or http://www.equestriansport.com

THE FACILITY: The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center is home to the Winter Equestrian Festival and the site of the first outdoor Nations Cup held in the United States. The competition areas include the 360' x 280' all-weather International Arena, the Bertalan DeNemethy Arena, Mogavero Ring and Grand Hunter Field in addition to several other competition rings. The competition and warm up rings have all-weather footing. Amenities include the International Club, refreshment and shopping areas.

DIRECTIONS: From the Florida Turnpike south, take Exit #93, Lake Worth Blvd., and travel west, crossing over US 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, Equestrian Club Road.

From Interstate I-95, take Exit #49. Travel west on Forest Hills 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 Club Road.

FOOD: A diverse menu of food and beverages is available at the vendor courtyard and at vendor areas around the International Arena, and are open during show hours.

SHOPPING: The vendor courtyard and individual booths around the International Arena offer equestrian equipment, apparel, jewelry, home furnishings and more.

CAR RENTAL: Enterprise Rent-a-Car for your car rental needs. Call 1-800-593-0505 or go online to enterprise.com and use the WEF reference number 41W0087 and the PIN; win for a discount.

HOTELS: Hampton Inn and Suites Wellington

2155 Wellington Green Drive, Wellington, FL 561-472-9696

(Closest hotel, just two miles from show grounds)

Hampton Inn Lake Worth Road

8205 Lake Worth Road, Lake Worth, FL 561-472-5980

(New location just five miles from Wellington)

Hampton Inn West Palm Beach

Okeechobee Blvd. at Jog Rd.

2025 Vista Parkway, West Palm Beach, FL 561-682-9990

(Just 12 miles away at Emerald Dunes)

GOLF CARS: Dever, Inc., the Official & Exclusive Supplier of Golf Cars. Orders and information at http://www.deverinc.com or telephone Dever Inc.'s PBIEC office at 859-509-7265 or the home office at 800-714-2201.

Photo: Shelly Francis and Wig Wam in their victory gallop after winning the FEI Prix St. Georges at the Paln Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington Thursday.

Photo: Ken Braddick-HorseSport USA


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