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Improvements Underway at Wellington's Palm Beach International Equestrian Center

WELLINGTON, Fla., Sept. 26--A new round of multimillion dollar improvements to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center are underway to prepare for the winter circuits.

The latest phase of improvements focus on substantial upgrades to footing in competition arenas and enhanced exhibitor and spectator experiences for the 2009 Winter Equestrian Festival and the holiday circuit in December.

Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, that manages the horse shows at PBIEC for the facility owners, Wellington Equestrian Partners, estimated the latest round of improvements at $4 million. More than $5 million was spent overhauling the facility that was previously called Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club, prior to WEF last winter.

Unlike last year when improvements had to be made at a breakneck pace as ESP took over management of the facility just one month before WEF, comments and reactions from exhibitors, spectators and others involved in the horse show were considered and plans for new improvements drawn up.

Highest priority has again been given to footing in competition and warm up arenas for the comfort and safety of horses.

New footing--the same quality that was installed in the centerpiece International and the DeNemethy Arenas--is being prepared for some rings. Other arenas that could not be substantially improved in time for WEF in 2008, will also receive new footing.

The network of bridle paths, golf cart roads and pedestrian walkways that significantly improved safety and reduced congestion are scheduled to be further enhanced based on the experience of the first year.

The FEI stabling area will undergo a major renovation with larger stalls and a new drainage system.

Also receiving a complete facelift are viewing areas around the International Arena, including spectator seating, the International Club, box seating, rider decks and sponsor hospitality tents.

Photos: Construction crews working around the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center Friday.

Photos Credit: Ken Braddick-HorseSport USA


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