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Tampa Equestrian Festival Hosts $75,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier CSI 3*-W Grand Prix of Tampa

Tampa, FL - March 13, 2009 - As the battle for the top spots in the Rolex FEI World Cup Finals comes down to the wire, the 2009 Tampa Equestrian Festival will be hosting this year's final World Cup qualifying class during its second week of competition, the Tampa Classic CSI 3*-W. The Tampa Classic will feature the $75,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier CSI 3*-W Grand Prix of Tampa on Sunday, March 29 at 2 p.m at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center in Tampa.

Grand prix show jumpers McLain Ward, Kent Farrington, Todd Minikus, and Christine McCrea have all secured themselves spots to compete in Las Vegas in April, as the top four riders on the East Coast League Rolex FEI World Cup qualifying list. That leaves three spots open, with the following six riders all very close in points, ready to battle it out. Darragh Kerins, Beezie Madden, Hillary Dobbs, Lauren Hough, Brianne Goutal, and Michelle Spadone all hope to take one of those top spots, and will compete in Tampa in attempt to earn the final points necessary.

The $75,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix of Tampa CSI 3*-W will be conducted under the current FEI Rules for World Cup and FEI Rules for Jumping Events. With fences towering at 1.60m tall, this event is also a Rolex World Ranking Competition and a qualifier for the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational CSI 4*, which will be held under lights on April 4 at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium.

Additional show jumping events include the $35,000 Tampa Bay Welcome Stake to kick off the first week of competition on Thursday, March 26, and the final qualifying event for the American Invitational, a $35,000 Grand Prix of Florida CSI on Wednesday, April 1.

The 2009 Tampa Equestrian Festival will host three weeks of equestrian competition, which will run from March 18 to April 4 at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, FL. The competition is divided into three weeks, with the Suncoast Internationale, March 18-22, the Tampa Classic CSI 3*-W March 25-29, and the Tournament of Champions CSI, as the concluding week of competition, March 31-April 4.

For more information, please visit http://www.stadiumjumping.com.

Photo Credit: William Lowry and Rio Corde won the $75,000 Grand Prix of Tampa CSI 3*-W in 2008. Photo 2008 Randi Muster. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.


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