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Rolex/USEF National Show Jumping Championship Featured at Wellington's Holiday & Horses Show

WELLINGTON, Fla., Oct. 23--The Rolex/USEF National Show Jumping Championship presented by Equine Motorcoach will be the featured event of the Holiday & Horses show at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center Dec. 3-7.

With $125,000 in total prize money, the Rolex/USEF National Show Jumping Championship is returning to Wellington for the third year in a row.

A complete schedule of hunter and jumper classes is also offered. The overall winner of the Medal, Maclay, USET and WIHS competitions will be eligible for the George H. Morris Excellence In Equitation during the Winter Equestrian Festival.

A CDI 3* international dressage competition highlighted by Saturday night musical freestyles under lights in the International Arena is being combined with the jumping and hunter competition.

A tree lighting and musical performances by children from schools in the Wellington area is planned for Saturday night.

A Business Expo arranged by the Wellington Chamber of Commerce is also being held during the day on Saturday in the Special Events tent overlooking the International Arena that will evolve into a holiday celebration embracing the tree lighting and the dressage musical freestyles.

As one of the most exciting events on the show jumping calendar, the Rolex/USEF National Show Jumping Championship consists of two phases.

A Friday night $40,000 speed class will be the first phase, followed by a Sunday afternoon $60,000 Grand Prix that is also a qualifying competition for the FEI World Cup to be held in Las Vegas next April.

Both phases will be held in the International Arena with its Olympic quality footing and a multimillion dollar upgrade to improve spectator experience. Among the upgrades are completely rebuilt VIP International Club, private boxes, general admission seating and riders' lounge.

Points earned in Friday night's speed class carry through to Sunday's Grand Prix. The overall champion will receive a bonus of $15,000 and a Rolex watch, and the reserve champion $10,000.

Kent Farrington of Wellington, Fla. who won the 2007 championship aboard Up Chiqui said he plans to defend his title. Among those who may seek to add the championship to their laurels is 2008 Olympic team gold medalist Laura Kraut, also of Wellington.

"The Rolex/USEF National Championship is a great way for our show jumpers to end their season," said USEF CEO John Long. "It is the culmination of months of hard work and dedication and we are grateful for the support of our sponsors, Rolex and Equine Motorcoach, to help us celebrate our country's best show jumpers."

"Our American debut was at this horse show last year," said Julie Calzone, one of the principals of Equine Motorcoach. "It was an incredibly successful launch for us and we are honored to be invited to return to this prestigious event as a presenting sponsor.

"In addition to bringing the Equine Motorcoach, we are having a reunion with all of the principals and our manufacturer, Lehel, at the show this year. We are looking forward to reconnecting with our equestrian friends in Wellington and celebrating this championship with USEF and Rolex."

Mark Bellissimo, Chief Executive of Equestrian Sport Productions that manages the PBIEC shows, said: "We are honored to host the Rolex/USEF National Show Jumping Championship presented by Equine Motorcoach. We are preparing to make this event the success it deserves in a venue that is in keeping with the prestige of the sponsors. We look forward to hosting what we're sure will be thrilling competition."

The Holiday Series includes:

* Dec. 3-7 Holiday & Horses Comp. 269388

"AA" Hunters & 5* Jumper Featuring 2008 Rolex/USEF National Show Jumping Championships Presented by Equine Motorcoach - $40,000 Table C and $60,000 CSI 3* W

* Dec. 12-14 Christmas Festival Comp. 6880

"A" Hunters & 3* Jumpers

* Dec. 19-21 Equestrian Sport Productions Christmas "A" Comp. 316542

"A" Hunters & 2* Jumpers

*Dec. 22 Christmas II Comp. 322723

"B" Hunters & 1* Jumpers (does not count for Holiday Series awards)

* Dec. 27-29 Equestrian Sport Productions New Year's Show Comp. 5600

"A" Hunters & 2* Jumpers

* Dec. 31 - Jan. 4 Equestrian Sport Productions A-T Children's Benefit Comp. 233832

"AA" Hunters & 3* Jumpers

The prize list and other details will be posted on http://www.equestriansport.com.

Photo: Kent Farrington riding Up Chiqui to the 2007 Rolex/USEF National Show Jumping Championship.

Photo Credit: Ken Braddick-HorseSport USA


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