Wellington, FL – December 21, 2006 – The Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) will return to the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club in just weeks, with thousands of hunters looking to defend a title or make a name for themselves during the 10-week circuit. The last two weeks of the festival will be held at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center in Tampa, FL.
Approximately $400,000 in prize money will be awarded for a wide variety of classes and divisions, which include Green, First Year, Second Year, Working, Conformation and Amateur-Owner hunters. In addition, there will be Junior, Children’s and Pony divisions. Through WEF series, points are accumulated for ribbons won, leading up to the presentation of the circuit championships.
Horses that compete in the hunter divisions must show the athletic qualities that are essential in the sport of foxhunting. They must have the ability to carry the rider safely and comfortably over obstacles found in the hunting field. The sport has evolved into judging horses’ form over jumps and the way they move across the ground.
Horses are divided into sections that relate to either the experience of the horse or the status and age of the rider. Green Conformation and Regular Conformation hunters are judged on performance over fences and their “conformation,” or physical build. Green Working Hunters are divided into sections for horses in their “First Year” or “Second Year” of rated showing, and Regular Working Hunters are the most experienced show hunters. Pre-Green divisions are for rookie equines in their first year of competition.
Names to watch for include Scott Stewart, Ken Smith, Louise Serio, Holly Orlando and Sandy Ferrell, who ride as professionals, as well as Jennifer Waxman, Christy Russo, Jessica Springsteen and Katherine Newman in the junior division. Top adult amateurs include Carol Cone, Gigi Stetler and Victoria Watters, while Rachel Geiger, Ellen Toon and Krista Weisman are well known amateur-owner riders. However, for many spectators, the pony divisions are the most popular. Between the ponies and the pigtails, these classes are guaranteed to please. Pony divisions, categorized as Small, Medium and Large, are divided according the height of the pony. Top pony riders today are tomorrow’s stars, and some to look for are Schaefer Raposa, Megan Davis and Adrienne Sternlicht.
The highlight of circuit for hunters is the Bainbridge Florida Classic week that runs from February 21 through February 25 and is presented by the Palm Beach Post. The week also features the World Championship Hunter Rider Spectacular. The top professionals, amateur-owners and juniors will battle for top honors and spectacular prizes.
The Winter Equestrian Festival 2007 will kick-off with style on January 24, 2007, with generous prize money to be won, hunter classics and the World Championship Hunter Rider Spectacular, as well as much more for participants and spectators.
2007 Winter Equestrian Festival Fast Facts
EVENT: Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida
WHAT: Ten-week hunter/jumper and 3-week dressage horse show circuit produced by
Stadium Jumping, Inc. The last two weeks of competition that are part of WEF are held in Tampa, FL, at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center.
WHERE: Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club
14440 Pierson Rd., Wellington, Florida 33414
WHEN: Wednesday through Sunday 2007 Show Dates:
Jan 24-28: WEF/Palm Beach International Equestrian Center Inaugural
Jan 31-Feb 4: Nutrena/Western Hay Wellington Classic, CSI 2*
Feb 7-11: Palm Beach Equine Clinic/Adequan Gold Coast Classic presented by Bluhammock Music, CSI 3*
Feb 8-11: Cosequin Wellington Dressage
(USEF HP and NAJYRC Qualifying Competition)
Feb 14-18: Kilkenny Internationale, CSI 3*
Feb 21-25: Bainbridge Florida Classic presented by the Palm Beach Post, CSI-W CSI-CH & WCHR Spectacular
Feb 22-25: Zada Enterprises, LLC Florida Dressage Classic
Feb 28-March 4: Zada Enterprises, LLC Wellington Masters, CSI-W
March 7-11: CN Wellington Open presented by Cosequin, CSIO 5*
March 14-18: CN Worldwide Wellington Finale, CSI 5*
(CN Worldwide Global Champions Tour Event)
March 22-25: Zada Enterprises, LLC WEF Dressage Classic, CDI-W CDIY
(USEF HP and NAJYRC Qualifying Competition)
HOURS: Wednesday through Sunday, starting daily at 8:00 a.m.
PRIZE MONEY: Over $4 Million in total prize money, including:
· Grand Prix and Challenge Cup Series
· 1.50 M-1.30M Jumper Series
· Low, Medium, and High Amateur-Owner Jumper Series
· USEF ‘AA’ Hunter Section Series, featuring the Golden Horse Jewelry Hunter Challenge
· Low and High Junior Jumper Series
· Young Jumper 5, 6, 7/8 Year Old Series
· 18-35, 36-49, and Over 50 Seniors Adult Amateur Jumper Series
· 13 & Under, 14-17 Children’s Jumper Series, featuring the FEI Children’s International Jumping Competition, CSI-CH
· Pony Jumper Series
· Adult Amateur and Children’s Modified Jumper Series
$200,000 FTI RIDER CHALLENGE: FTI Consulting of Annapolis, MD, is sponsoring the $200,000 FTI Rider Challenge. The FTI Rider Challenge will be held during the 2007 WEF, from January 25 to March 17 at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club in Wellington, FL. The FTI Rider Challenge will be a rider bonus pool for $200,000. Riders will accumulate points from their performances in the WEF Challenge Cups Rounds I-VIII, the CN Jumper Classic, and each Sunday Grand Prix event. The rider with the most points on March 17 will be awarded $100,000. Second place will be given $50,000, third place will receive $30,000, and $20,000 will be given to fourth place.
· Sunday, Jan 28, 2:00 p.m.: $35,000 WEF Inaugural Cup
· Sunday, Feb 4, 2:00 p.m.: $50,000 Nutrena XTN Grand Prix of Palm Beach presented by Western Hay, CSI 2*
· Saturday, Feb 10, 3:00 p.m.: $15,000 Cosequin Dressage/Show Jumping Spectacular
· Sunday, Feb 11, 2:00 p.m.: $60,000 Palm Beach Equine/Adequan Wellington Cup presented by Bluhammock Music, CSI 3*
· Sunday, Feb 18, 2:00 p.m.: $60,000 Kilkenny Internationale Cup, CSI 3*
· Saturday, Feb 24, 7:00 p.m.: AHJF Hunter Spectacular of Palm Beach
· Sunday, Feb 25, 2:00 p.m.: $75,000 Bainbridge Idle Dice Classic presented by Palm Beach Post, CSI-W
· Friday, March 2, 7:00 p.m.: $20,000 Solaray Team Relay
· Sunday, March 4, 2:00 p.m.: $100,000 Zada Enterprises, LLC Masters Cup, CSI-W
· Friday, March 9, 6:30 p.m.: $75,000 Nations Cup presented by CN, CSIO 5*
· Sunday, March 11, 2:00 p.m.: $150,000 CN U.S. Open Jumper Championship presented by Cosequin, CSIO 5*
· Thursday, March 15, 2:00 p.m.: €25,000 Chesapeake Petroleum Benefit Cup for a Just World, CSI 5*
· Saturday, March 17, 3:00 p.m.: €300,000 CN Worldwide Florida Open, CSI 5*
ADMISSION: General Admission Tickets are available at the gate.
Wednesday: Admission is free. *Children 12 & Under Free Everyday
Thursday and Friday: Adults- $5.00, Seniors (65)/Children 13 & Over- $5.00
Saturday: Adults- $10.00, Seniors (65)/Children 13 & Over- $5.00
Sunday: Adults- $15.00, Seniors (65)/Children 13 & Over- $5.00
Weekly General Admission Pass- $30.00
Seasonal General Admission Pass- $125.00
VIP SEATING: VIP Tables in The Jockey Club (located at the Internationale Arena) seat six people and include food and beverage service daily. Front Row tables are $25,000 for the season. Second Row tables are $22,500, and Third Row tables are $20,000. Please call Kiki Umla for a table at 561-793-JUMP.
PARKING: Parking is free Wednesday through Sunday
DIRECTIONS: From the Florida Turnpike, take Exit #93, Lake Worth Blvd., and travel west, crossing over 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, on Equestrian Road.
From Interstate I-95, take Exit 49. Travel west on Forest Hill 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 Road.
THE FACILITY: The Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club is the home of the Winter Equestrian Festival and the site of the first outdoor and only Nations Cup held in the United States. The competition areas include the 400’ x 400’ grass Internationale Arena, which is surrounded by bermed seating, chalets, and VIP areas; plus the deNemethy Arena and Grand Hunter Field, both with all weather footing. Amenities include The Jockey Club VIP area.
FOOD: A diverse menu of food and beverages is available at the vendor courtyard and at vendors around the Internationale Arena, and are open during show hours.
SHOPPING: The vendor courtyard and individual booths around the Internationale Arena both offer equestrian equipment, apparel, jewelry, and home furnishings.
*Hampton Inn and Suites Wellington
2155 Wellington Green Drive, Wellington, FL 561-472-9696
*Hampton Inn at Emerald Dunes
2025 Vista Parkway, West Palm Beach, FL 561-682-9990
*Hampton Inn Lake Worth
8205 Lake Worth Road, Lake Worth, FL 561-472-5980
*PGA National Resort and Spa
400 Avenue of the Champions
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418
Use Enterprise Rent-a-Car for your car rental needs at the Winter Equestrian Festival! Call 1-800-593-0505 and use the Winter Equestrian Festival reference number 41W0087 for a discount.
ECONOMIC IMPACT: The Winter Equestrian Festival, produced by Stadium Jumping, Inc., is the largest and longest consecutively running sporting event in the world. It is also the largest equestrian event and major contributor to Palm Beach County’s $553+ million equestrian industry. (Courtesy of Palm Beach County Equestrian Commission, Inc.)
PALM BEACH POLO EQUESTRIAN CLUB: 14440 Pierson Rd., Wellington, FL, 33414; Tel: 561-793-JUMP; Fax: 561-753-0394; Website: http://www.stadiumjumping.com
STADIUM JUMPING, INC.: Corporate Office- 1301 Sixth Ave West, Suite 406, Bradenton, FL, 34205; Tel: 941-744-5465; Fax: 941-744-0874; Website: http://www.stadiumjumping.com
Stadium Jumping, Inc.
14440 Pierson Road
Wellington, FL 33414
PHOTO CREDIT: Sandy Ferrell, Sarah Chovnick and Late Entry, winners of the WCHR Hunter Spectacular at the 2006 Winter Equestrian Festival.
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/winter-equestrian-festival-top-hunters-12-06.html">2007 Winter Equestrian Festival to Feature Top Hunters in Nation</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com