Wellington, Florida - Now in its sixth year at the Winter Equestrian Festival, the Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series, presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, has proven to be a launching pad for young show jumping talent.
Past winners include 2012 U.S. Olympian Reed Kessler and two-time World Cup Finalist Nayel Nassar of Egypt as well as Chloe D. Reid, Victoria Colvin and Lucy Deslauriers, three rising talents who have already represented the U.S. in international competition.
Offering a total of $170,000 in prize money, the Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series is open to competitors of all nationalities aged 25 and under. Sanctioned by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), the Series sees riders competing against their peers at the 1.45m level under FEI rules.
Developed as a bridge to the international level of grand prix competition, the Series offers all of the components of international competition without the pressure of going head-to-head against seasoned professionals and Olympic athletes. With varying conditions offered for each class, riders have the opportunity to compete on grass, all-weather footing, under the lights at night, and in team competition; all important elements that competitors will face as their international careers progress.
"The Series has been more successful than we could have hoped, regularly attracting more than 60 entries for every event," said Carlene Ziegler of Artisan Farms who, together with her husband, Andy, was the driving force behind the creation of the Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series. "We are also thrilled that the USEF now recognizes the 'Under 25' division; it has filled a void in the sport for future Grand Prix stars."
Part of the Ziegler family's goal was to encourage other sponsors to come forward and augment support for the seven events comprising the Series. To that end, several sponsors stepped forward to strengthen the efforts of title sponsor Artisan Farms and presenting sponsor, The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte. Equine Couture/Tuff Rider, EnTrust Capital, Equiline, the McNerney family, and Seabrook, LLC all sponsored classes within the 2016 Series.
Following the first six events, the top 30 riders in the point standings have been invited to contest the $50,000 CSI-U25 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Final, presented by Equiline. Held on the Stadium Derby Field, the Final will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 26, with a special Easter-themed Artisan Farms Youngest Rider Leadline competition.
The overall winning rider in the 2016 Series will be invited to compete at the CSI2* Chantilly Horse Show, part of the Global Champions Tour, from May 26-29, 2016, in France. In addition to their entry, the winner also receives two tickets to the Chantilly VIP lounge, transportation for one horse generously provided by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, and layover at Artisan Farms in Vrasene, Belgium.
"We have been thrilled to sponsor the Series for a sixth year; it's been extremely gratifying to see the competition consistently getting stronger and stronger each year," said Ziegler. "We wish all competitors the best of luck for the Final."
Leading by example, Artisan Farms is committed to the continued improvement and promotion of competitive show jumping. Based in Wellington, FL, and Vrasene, Belgium, Artisan Farms is home to young professional Caitlin Ziegler, 2008 Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze, and 2015 Pan American Games team gold medalist Tiffany Foster.