Wellington, FL – It was an historic day for the Wellington equestrian community as bulldozers began construction on the grounds of the new Global Dressage Festival (GDF) at the old polo stadium located on the corner of Southshore Boulevard and Pierson Road following the groundbreking ceremonies. The construction on the dressage arenas and surrounding facilities will continue to be very active throughout the summer, and the team at ESP is certain that the dressage element of the multi-phase project will be completed before the year’s end. “We are going to embark on something that I think can create a great platform for dressage in the world, in this country, in this county, and in this community. We’re going to try to put forth that effort with great enthusiasm and I believe you will see a transition here that will be vast and complete as you saw in the hunter-jumper world,” explained Bellissimo CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) and Managing Partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEP).
Approximately 100 spectators were in attendance to enjoy the groundbreaking ceremonies, which were kicked off by a welcoming speech by Mark Bellissimo, CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) and Managing Partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEP). Bellissimo was joined by Robert Dover and Kim Boyer, of whom he referred to as the “inspiration for this effort.” Shortly thereafter, Bellissimo and Wellington Mayor Darell Bowen took the first digs out of the soil into what will soon become one of the new sate-of-the-art dressage arenas at the new facility.
Six-time dressage Olympian, Robert Dover expressed his excitement for this new endeavor, “This is a dream come true for the sport of dressage. We are now standing on what I believe will be a venue that cannot only rival, but better Aachen in Germany, which is the finest show in the world. I believe that we will end up having a series that will be able to gain the finest series of shows for dressage in the world.”
The Global Dressage Festival has already received a tremendous amount of support from the dressage community, and received hundreds of thousands of dollars in sponsorship efforts within only two weeks of the announcement of the series. Bellissimo commented on this outpouring of support noting, “We thank this group of founding sponsors, who will act as an executive committee to frame this opportunity within this environment. What’ going to make this thing really powerful is the sense of community and the ability for a lot these sponsors.”
The Founding Sponsor Group includes: Karin Reid Offield of Offield Farms in support of Lingh (www.lingh.nl); Matt Varney, and Rob and Chris Desino of Wellington Equestrian Realty; Victoria McCullough and Chesapeake Petroleum; Joe & Gay Scarpa and Magnolia Farm; The Kane Family and Diamante Farms; Carol & Rebecca Cohen of Two Swans Farm LLC; Kim Boyer and United States P.R.E. Association (USPRE); William F. Pearson & Janet Richardson-Pearson of Chesapeake Dressage Institute; The Page Family of Stillpoint Farm; and Tamara Gerber/The Humane Association of Palm Beach Gardens.
The construction of the dressage facilities is the next step in a multi-phase project that will eventually include a luxury condominium/hotel and a beautiful retail area that will be surrounded by vibrant gardens and fountains. A major component of this retail area is a demonstration area that will support a wide range of exhibitions that are intended to promote horsemanship and equestrian sports.
For more information or to view the artist’s renderings of the new project, please visit www.equestriansport.com.