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PhelpsSports.com Palm Beach Dressage Derby Kicks Off Thursday

Loxahatchee, FL— The festivities begin this Thursday, March 1, 2007 at the 24th Annual PhelpsSports.com Palm Beach Dressage Derby. As one of the most prestigious dressage events in the country, the show attracts thousands of spectators and some of the world’s best competitors. With more than $20,000 in prize money and awards, “the Derby” is a must see and do for horse lovers.

“The 24th edition of this show promises to be better than ever,” says show manager Evelyn O’Sullivan. “We try to put on a great event for spectators and competitors alike.” This effort seems to be paying off. While the event is sold out once again to competitors, several thousand spectators are expected over the course of the event. Admission and parking are free each day.

The show includes classes for all levels of horses and riders, but the big spectator draws are the international and freestyle classes. Dressage is one of the few Olympic sports where men and women compete against each other. It is also one of the rare events that older competitors are often more successful than their younger and less experienced counterparts. Horses and riders are judged not only on the precision of their movements, but on their athletic ability and quality of the performance. The freestyles, which are set to music and choreographed by the competitors, are crowd favorites much like figure skating.

Top riders entered in the event include international riders George Williams and Courtney King, and Olympians Ashley Holzer, Lars Petersen and Bent Jensen. O’Sullivan continues, “We are really fortunate to have some of the world’s best riders every year.” This year in particular the Derby has attracted a lot of interest because it is a United States Equestrian Federation High Performance Qualifier for the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Grand Prix National Championship, Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Intermediaire I National Championship/Pan American Games Selection Trials and the USEF National Grand Prix Freestyle Championship/U.S. League Final.

Competition isn’t the only excitement at the event. Visitors will also love the Boutiques at the Derby. With 28 stores featuring everything from tack and riding attire, to artwork and equestrian-themed house wares, shoppers can enjoy a full day of fun. Food and concessions are also available on the grounds.

Best selling author Tami Hoag will sign autographs at the event. Hoag will be joined by some of the event’s other top riders, which will likely include Olympic competitors. The signing will take place following the $4,500 Grand Prix Freestyle on Sunday, March 4, 2007 at approximately 3:00 p.m.

The PhelpsSports.com Palm Beach Dressage Derby is located at the Horse Park at Equestrian Estates in Loxahatchee. A map, complete schedule and additional information can be found at http://www.pbderby.com.

Schedule at a glance:

Thursday March 1, 2007

National horse shows classes begin at 12:00

Friday March 2, 2007

International horse show classes begin at 8:00 a.m.

Saturday March 3, 2007

International horse show classes begin at 8:00 a.m.

Sunday March 4, 2007

International horse show classes begin at 8:00 a.m.

Lunch break from 10:55-12:30 features Leadline class and Spanish Horses Exhibition Presented by Medieval Times

Grand Prix Freestyle begins at 12:30

Autograph signing with Best Selling Author Tami Hoag and several other top grand prix riders begins at approximately 3:00

About the Palm Beach Derby

The Palm Beach Dressage Derby is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. 2007 marks the 24th anniversary of this prestigious event. This show attracts the best riders from around the globe, including Betsy Steiner, Leslie Morse, Robert Dover, Cesar Parra, Lars Peterson, Arlene Page, Ashley Holzer and many more of the Who’s Who of the dressage world. The PhelpsSports.com Palm Beach Dressage Derby is the main event in a two-show series that includes Dressage at Equestrian Estates in April as well as educational programs.

PHOTO: Olympian Ashley Holzer is just one of the international riders scheduled to compete at the Phelps Sports.com Palm Beach Dressage Derby this weekend. Credit:Phelpsphotos.com


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