West Palm Beach, FL - National and International riders are gearing up for top-notch competition just days away at the world-renowned $20,000 Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDIW, which takes place March 1-4, 2012. Riders from across the globe including Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Canada, Columbia, Spain, Mexico and Argentina will join riders representing the United States at the International Horse Sport Palm Beach Champions Park in the Equestrian Estates community of West Palm Beach for the esteemed Derby. The Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDIW is a USEF High Performance Qualifying Competition for this year's 2012 World Cup and 2012 Olympic Games in London. Kicking off the high profile week of High Performance is the Equestrian Aid/Palm Beach Dressage Derby Fundraiser Thursday March 1 following the FEI jog. Over $30,000 in items for live and silent auction are being offered including a breeding to Totilas donated by Paul Schockemohle and Anna Kathrin Linsenhoff.
First held in 1983 at the Hanover Horse Farm in Loxahatchee, FL, the Palm Beach Dressage Derby was one of the first competitions to offer top prize money and bring renowned European judges to the United States. The original grounds were small, with only two arenas for international use, but the Derby and its rich history has been an anchor for International Dressage in Palm Beach and the Western Communities. Many top riders and trainers can trace their roots to the Palm Beach Dressage.
"We have a record year for riders competing in the Grand Prix, and a wait-list as well," Show Manager Noreen O'Sullivan stated. "I have had competitors tell me that the Derby is their top show for the season."
In 1999, the Palm Beach Dressage Derby, Inc was reorganized as a 501(c)(3) and moved to its new home at the International Horse Sport Horse Park to offer world class international competition plus a full national-level competition. In 2000, the Horse Park hosted the United States Equestrian Team Selection Trials. Ten years later, the International Horse Sport Palm Beach partnership took over the reins of the Derby Series and management of the Horse Park, expanding the series to five shows, including the $15,000 IHS Champions Cup CDI3* and adding the IHS Blue Hors Invitational, where riders across the levels compete for over $15,000 cash and prizes.
The IHS management group consists of Danish FEI Olympic rider, five-time Danish National Champion and trainer Lars Petersen, FEI rider and trainer Ed Borreson-who has earned his U.S. Dressage Federation Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, Managing Partner and Show Manager Noreen O'Sullivan, who brings more than 15 years of show management experience together with Managing Partner and Sponsorship Coordinator for the Wellington Classic Dressage and the Gold Coast Dressage Association John Flanagan.
"We are very excited to present the 29th Annual Palm Beach Dressage Derby," Borresen stated. "It is an honor for IHS to host this show with Mary Anne McPhail, who has been such an amazing benefactor to our sport and community."
This event is sure to be a season highlight with top competition, great shopping and special events. Spectators can expect to see top competitors all weekend, including Sunday's crowd-pleasing Musical Freestyles.
If you are a competitor, do not miss the "London Calling" Competitors' Party organized by Melissa Taylor and sponsored by the Ladies Of Legacy Farm. Janne and Stanley Rumbough host the Officials Party at the Everglades Club in downtown Palm Beach. Sunday boasts a full day of Musical Freestyle Competitions, special awards and the Derby Leadline Class. Limited VIP Sunday Brunch Seating available, please call (561) 714-9058 for availability.
The IHS Champions Park consists of 10 rings for national and international competition on 50 acres, including 15 acres of parking, 150 horse stalls for international horses and 200 temporary stalls for the national shows and a new Western Events arena. The arena layout and footing in the main competition rings and warm-ups have been upgraded to include one of the premiere arena footings available in the world, GGT Footing.
"The IHS Champions Park offers a wonderfully unique country atmosphere in Florida, an atmosphere that horses really like," Petersen elaborated. "It's a laid back atmosphere and very natural. Horses like to work here in a natural setting, away from the hustle and bustle, and this footing is used all over Europe at many top competitions, enhancing the facility and competition arenas."
For show schedule and information: www.ihspb.com or www.pbderby.com