Loxahatchee, FL - The Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDI-W/Y outdoes itself every year, and this year’s 26th annual event February 26 – March 1 is no exception. From the world-class competition in the CDI, to the fun social activities like the Taste of the Derby and the Competitor’s Party hosted by Purina Mills, the Derby is the one event on every dressage aficionado’s calendar. In excess of $20,000 in purses and awards will be distributed during the show. Riders will also get their first scores for the Challenge Series Awards that will culminate during Dressage at Equestrian Estates at the end of March.
“Dressage riders work and train really hard so we are pleased to be able to reward them with real prize money,” said show manager Evelyn O’ Sullivan. “Few riders succeed without a lot of dedication and a genuine love of the sport, so it’s always nice for them to receive cash along with ribbons and coolers.”
The Palm Beach Dressage Derby draws competitors and spectators not only for the prize money and great competition, but also for its incredible atmosphere and tradition of honoring achievement. In 2008, the Derby celebrated 16 Olympians and this year the event will honor the first recipient of the $25,000 Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize. The Derby’s 2009 program also includes the anticipated Challenge Series Awards presented to riders at the top of their class in Training Level through Grand Prix that receive the highest score in the national division at both the Palm Beach Dressage Derby and Dressage at Equestrian Estates. Among the awards is a $500 prize and Perpetual Trophy to be awarded to the adult amateur Grand Prix rider who receives the highest average score in the national Grand Prix classes at both shows.
“We can’t wait to start the tradition of crowning the Adult Amateur High Score in Grand Prix with this prize and the honor of adding his or her name to the new perpetual trophy. It’s the height of the Challenge Series Awards and hopefully will be regarded as a great accomplishment,” added O’Sullivan.
Of course, there’s more than just great competition at the Derby. Shoppers will find themselves in heaven in the vast Vendor’s Row and the must-do event is the Taste of the Derby on Saturday afternoon. With its inception last year, the Taste of the Derby was a big hit with visitors as vendors opened their booths with food and fun for everyone. Everyone is welcome for an afternoon of shopping and hospitality hosted by the Boutiques at the Derby.
Other special events include the Inspection Reception hosted by Markel Insurance Specialist and Dressagedaily.com’s Mary Phelps on Thursday, launching a fundraiser for Equestrian Aid Foundation, a Competitors’ Party hosted by Purina Mills on Friday and a Lead Line Class presented by PhelpsPhotos.com on Sunday. ShoClothes will present the coveted Best Dressed Handler award, male and female, at the Veterinary Inspection on Thursday afternoon.
Admission and parking are always free at the Derby. Competition begins each morning February 27-March 1 at 8:00 a.m. More information and the schedule of events can be found on the Derby’s website at www.pbderby.com.