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Top Horses, Riders Arrive in Wellington for Exquis World Dressage Masters

WELLINGTON, Fla., Jan. 27--Some of the world's top horses and riders have arrived in Wellington in preparation for this week's 100,000 ($132,000) Exquis World Dressage Masters at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Triple Olympic gold medalist Anky van Grunsven arrived with her husband and two young children Monday night, fresh from last week's World Cup qualifying victory in Amsterdam. The black stallion, IPS Painted Black, that she has been campaigning this winter in Europe, was in quarantine in Miami and scheduled to arrived at PBIEC Tuesday.

Edward Gal and Hans Peter Minderhoud of The Netherlands also arrived Monday night and worked their horses under lights late at night.

The USA's Steffen Peters and Ravel, and Jan Ebeling and Rafalca arrived Sunday night and took the opportunity Monday to walk the completely remodeled show grounds.

"The show grounds are very beautiful," Peters said. "We can't wait to ride into the International Arena with it's fantastic footing before what we hope will be huge crowds.

"This is the kind of major event that we are so enthusiastic and happy to be a part of and that we hope the fans will be, too."

Many of the North American riders, including Canadian Olympian Ashley Holzer and Pop Art, and USA Olympic reserve rider Michael Barisone and Neruda have been in the Wellington area for several weeks. So, too, has Denmark's Lars Petersen and Success, who are among the combinations from six nations competing.

The schedule for this week is the veterinary jog on Thursday afternoon of the horses invited to participate in the event that kicks off the Exquis World Dressage Masters global tour. Three other events scheduled in 2009 are in Europe.

The Grand Prix will start at 1 p.m. Friday.

A clinic by van Grunsven, who is also a nine-time World Cup champion, with a handful of invited riders will be held under lights in the International Arena Friday night.

The Grand Prix Special is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday.

The highlight Grand Prix musical kur begins at 7 p.m. Saturday.

A special event never before seen in the Americas is planned after the awards ceremony Saturday night. Details will not be disclosed until Saturday night.

In addition to the world class competition, $10,000 worth of Back on Track products will be given away to spectators whose ticket numbers are drawn randomly Friday and Saturday nights. The $10,000 worth of Back on Track products to be distributed to spectators are 23 horse blankets, 22 pairs of leg wraps and 22 saddle pads.

Tickets for WDM are available online at http://www.equestriansport.com and clicking on Buy Tickets.

Because of high demand for the limited seating at both the Friday clinic and the Saturday competition, tickets will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis. Online ticket sales will be allocated first based on the date and time of purchase.

Ticket options for WDM are:

-International Club $750 for a table of six per night on Friday night or Saturday night, or $1,350 for both nights. Dinner and open bar included.

--International Club individual seats $125 per night on Friday night and Saturday night, or $225 for both nights. Dinner and open bar included.

-VIP boxes $50 for individual seats on Friday night and Saturday night, or $90 for both nights.

-Reserved General Admission is $20 per night, or $35 for two nights.

For more information, call Annette Goyette at 561 793 5867.

The Wellington competition is the inaugural and only U.S. event in the WDM series. The other competitions are Salzburg Austria, (May 1-3), Munich, Germany, (May 21-24) and Hickstead, Great Britain (July 23-26).



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

FTI exists to help companies and their stakeholders protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex economic, legal and regulatory environment. FTI is the trusted advisor entrenched in many of the game-changing events that make headlines, move markets and create business history. To locate one of FTI's offices in the United States or around the world, call: 410.951.4800 or online at http://www.fticonsulting.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)

RV: For recreational vehicle rentals and full hook ups at on the PBIEC show grounds weekly, monthly and seasonal call Gigi at RV sales +1 954 583-3382 or go to: http://www.rvsalesofbroward.com

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.

HORSE TRANSPORTATION: BROOK LEDGE, INC. WEF Official Horse Transportation. Daily service to Ocala, vans based in Wellington, one horse or van load, all trips expedited, Florida serviced year round, dozens of trips weekly. Quotes, questions, call: Andrea 800-523-8143 or Email: andreag@brookledge.com

 

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