The first day of competition on Friday at the 2004 Palm Beach Dressage Derby was in sharp contrast to Thursday's Horse Inspection where the only level of stress on the sunny, yet cool and breezy day was a few rider's concerns over passing the jog. On Friday however the morning started off with very strong winds, putting the massive tents surrounding the arenas to a test. By noon, The Horse Park At Equestrian Estates was dominated by strong winds gusting to over 25 miles per hour. In the main ring, the USET tent was shred to pieces during the Prix St. George class.
In spite of the valiant efforts of the Derby staff, and some riders joining in, the roof partly tore off scaring horses in the warm up. By the time Arlene Page and Wild One had to ride, the whole roof came off, delaying the Prix St Georges with 40 minutes. At the same time, the electricity went out on the premises, but that was an FPL issue in the entire area.
But the show continued, with the remainder of the class rising to the occasion and competing with the frame of the huge tent in the background. A generator was quickly supplied so that announcer Brian O'Connor could continue keeping the crowd informed of the goings on in all four arenas, and later that evening the tent was replaced, in preparation for the special USET Luncheon to be held on Sunday afternoon for the Freestyle Classes.
Horsesdaily ScoreSource: 2004 Palm Beach Dressage Derby