Wellington, FL - Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) looks forward to hosting its fourth annual Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in 2015 with ten weeks of fantastic equestrian sport at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. This year's AGDF will host three national and seven international weeks of competition running from January 8 through March 29, 2015. The total prize money has increased to more than $650,000, making AGDF the richest dressage circuit in the world. "I am incredibly proud to see how the Adequan Global Dressage Festival has grown since its inception and I look forward to its continued success this season," stated ESP CEO Mark Bellissimo.
"With the support of Adequan and the many other dedicated sponsors at AGDF, we have worked from the beginning to inspire the sport of dressage in America and take it to the next level. Each year brings further evolution, and we look forward to watching the incredible competition that unfolds during this year's event."
The winter season is quickly approaching as AGDF prepares to welcome many of the world's top horses and riders to the beautiful dressage facility at The Stadium at PBIEC. International competition includes four CDI-W rated shows, a CDI 4*, a CDI 5*, and the Western Hemisphere's only non-championship CDIO, which is also part of the FEI Nations Cup series.
Luitpold Animal Health, the maker of Adequan®i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan), is excited to return to Wellington, FL, as the title sponsor of the 2015 Adequan Global Dressage Festival.
"I was very encouraged by all the riders and owners that participated at the 2014 AGDF and their anticipated excitement to return in 2015," stated Allyn Mann, Director of Luitpold Animal Health. "It is an amazing facility, with a wonderful group of people that manage all aspects of the show to make it a world-class operation."
This year's event has many exciting highlights to look forward to, including the CDIO Nations Cup, sponsored by Stillpoint Farm and Peacock Ridge. This special team competition for dressage gives riders the unique opportunity to experience a championship-style format. CDIO competition will run March 25-29, serving as the last team event before the Pan American Games in Toronto in July. The CDI 5* competition, sponsored by Diamante Farms and Wellington Equestrian Realty, will be held on February 5-8 featuring over $200,000 in prize money. This notably makes it the second richest CDI 5* in the world.
A star-studded line-up of competitors is set to show this winter in Wellington. Top U.S. riders, including shooting star Laura Graves and Verdades as well as Steffen Peters and Legolas are scheduled to compete along with top Canadian riders, including the full World Equestrian Games Team and Ashley Holzer. Top European riders such as Laura Tomlinson of Great Britain, Daniel Martin Dockx (ESP), Christoph Koschel (GER) and Michael Klimke (GER), son of the late Dr. Reiner Klimke, Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven (SWE), and Lars Petersen and Mikala Gundersen, both of Denmark, are expected to attend, among many others.
FEI dressage committee member Thomas Baur joins the management team at AGDF as Director of Dressage once again this year and looks forward to welcoming all of the competitors.
"It is going to be a very busy season," Baur stated. "We have lots of Europeans coming this year, including some of the top names in the sport. We are proud to offer the richest dressage circuit in the world with the second richest CDI 5*. The CDIO at the end of the circuit will help riders on the way to the Pan Am Games in Toronto as well. It is going to be a fantastic season, and we can't wait for the competition to get underway."
AGDF is also pleased to announce that it will host the historic Palm Beach Dressage Derby for the second year during the week of March 5-8, which will feature a special new derby competition.
A new CDI Amateur international division will be introduced during the first week of competition as well and will be offered during the whole season in every CDI. Riders must be at least 26 years of age and will compete at the Small Tour level. While riders in the CDI Amateur international division cannot be listed on the international ranking list (which is reserved for Large Tour riders), this division will give a great opportunity to those looking to step up to international level.
Show manager Lloyd Landkamer noted, "There many exceptional Amateur riders paired with exceptional horses, yet they lacked the confidence to step into the International light of the CDI ring, which is viewed as the professional division. The FEI created this division to encourage these riders to participate in this international format to develop the confidence to go forward in representing their countries."
He added, "I look forward to seeing the development of this division as it will bring new faces into the winner's circle. It will add new heroes and inspiration to the sport."
As always, everyone looks forward to the stunning "Friday Night Lights" Freestyle performances and many special events throughout the season. ESP welcomes the wonderful sponsors as well as the riders, trainers, exhibitors, and owners who will participate in this year's circuit. For more information and a full schedule for the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.