Wellington, Florida – Now entering its fifth season at the Winter Equestrian Festival, the Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series, presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, has expanded to include more classes, increased prize money, and new ‘Under 25’ sanctioning. Produced by Equestrian Sport Productions, the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival will run from January 7 to March 29 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.
Formerly the Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series, the new name denotes the recognition of the Series as an ‘Under 25’ event sanctioned by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and the International Equestrian Federation (FEI). Open to competitors of all nationalities aged 25 and under, the Series gives up and coming riders the opportunity to compete under FEI rules.
In 2014, the Series was comprised of four events and offered $95,000 in prize money. This year, the expanded Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series will award $170,000 in prize money over the course of the following seven events:
WEF 2: $10,000 ARTISAN FARMS UNDER 25 WELCOME
Saturday, January 17, 2015 - PBIEC International Arena
WEF 2: $25,000 ARTISAN FARMS UNDER 25 GRAND PRIX, PRESENTED BY EQUINE COUTURE/TUFF RIDER
Sunday, January 18, 2015 - PBIEC International Arena
WEF 4: $25,000 ARTISAN FARMS UNDER 25 TEAM EVENT, PRESENTED BY THE McNERNEY FAMILY
Friday, January 30, 2015 - AGDF International Arena
WEF 6: $10,000 ARTISAN FARMS UNDER 25 WELCOME, PRESENTED BY ENTRUST CAPITAL
Saturday, February 14, 2015 - AGDF International Arena
WEF 6: $25,000 ARTISAN FARMS UNDER 25 SPEED CLASSIC, PRESENTED BY ENTRUST CAPITAL
Sunday, February 15, 2015 - Stadium Derby Field
WEF 9: $25,000 ARTISAN FARMS UNDER 25 SEMI-FINAL
Friday, March 6, 2015 - PBIEC International Arena, under lights
WEF 11: $50,000 CSI-U25 ARTISAN FARMS UNDER 25 FINAL (FEI-sanctioned)
Sunday, March 22, 2015 - Stadium Derby Field
The Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series was developed as a bridge to the international level of grand prix competition, allowing up and coming riders the opportunity to gain experience competing against their peers. With varying conditions offered for each class, riders have the opportunity to compete at a height of 1.45m 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.
Recognizing the value of such a series to the next generation of international show jumping competitors, several new class sponsors have 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, and the McNerney family will all sponsor classes within the 2015 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series.
Each year, the Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series has continued to attract record entries. In 2015, the top 40 riders in the overall standings will be invited to contest the $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Semi-Final on Friday, March 6, with the top 30 riders facing off in the $50,000 CSI-U25 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Final on Sunday, March 22.
The overall winning rider will receive a Bruno Delgrange saddle valued at $6,000, and will be invited to compete at the CSI2* Chantilly Horse Show, part of the Global Champions Tour, to be held from July 16-19, 2015, 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.
Victoria Colvin, overall winner of the 2014 Artisan Farms Series, competed at the CSI2* Chantilly Horse Show in July, marking her first-ever competition outside of the United States. Her incredible results in France included back-to-back wins in 1.35m classes riding Cesanna, and a third place finish among 96 competitors in Friday’s 1.40m competition riding Don Juan. Other past winners of the Artisan Farms Grand Prix Series include 2012 U.S. Olympian Reed Kessler, World Cup Finalist Nayel Nasser of Egypt, and Chloe D. Reid, who represented the United States in European competition this past summer.
“Artisan Farms is proud to sponsor this Series, and to watch its growth and evolution,” said Carlene Ziegler who, together with her husband, Andy, owns Artisan Farms and was the driving force behind the creation of the Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series. “It has become an important stepping stone from the junior and amateur ranks toward the international Grand Prix ring. It has been incredibly gratifying to see the participants in the Series emerging on the world stage.
“The enhanced schedule and substantially increased prize money for 2015 reflect our enthusiasm and commitment to the Series,” concluded Ziegler.
“I would like to thank Carlene and Andy Ziegler of Artisan Farms for working with us on this important initiative,” said Mark Bellissimo, CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions. “We collaboratively identified this opportunity five years ago, and I believe it has been a great series in support of developing emerging riders and their horses. We are confident we can expand it further in the future.”
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 rising amateur Andy Ziegler, young professional Caitlin Ziegler, 2008 Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze, and Canadian Olympian Tiffany Foster.