With Wellington’s Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club as its hub, the dressage community in Florida continues to expand in numbers and depth, marked this year by more international caliber competitions, clinics, and symposiums than ever before, as well as an ever-broadening base of riders, trainers, and fans who come from around the globe to participate in the Winter Equestrian Festival and events at the Horse Park at Equestrian Estates.
Starting off the season January 11-12, the Palm Beach Dressage Derby Series held The Derby Series Kickoff at the Horse Park at Equestrian Estates in Loxahatchee. Olympian Carol Lavell on her Much Ado topped the Prix St. Georges class on Saturday with a 67%. On Sunday, Olympian and World Equestrian Games Team Silver Medalist Sue Blinks and Flim Flam performed a Grand Prix Freestyle that earned 75%.
After a five-day break, dressage competition continued January 17-19, at Gold Coast Dressage Association’s Gold Coast Opener Festival, a CDI (Concours de Dressage Internationale) at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club. On Friday, Denmark’s Lars Peterson, who topped international Grand Prix competitions aboard Blue Hors Cavan and now resides in the US, rode Dansko’s Success to win the FEI Prix St. George B Open/Qualifier scoring 71.250%.
Another international star now residing in the US, Dr. Cesar Parra of Columbia, won the CDI Prix St Georges with 71% on Pik-L, with Cathy Morelli on Be Se’ ahead of Parra in the Intermediare I with a 70.167%. Sunday has become freestyle day at PBPEC, and kurs were performed from First through Fourth Level and in the FEI classes at Intermediaire I and Grand Prix.
International Trainers Come to Wellington For Several Dressage Clinics
While competition was in full swing at PBPEC, at the Horse Park at Equestrian States, Germany’s Conrad Schumacher headed up the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Judges and Trainers Symposium January 18-19. Participants included Olympian Carol Lavell on Much Ado, Cathy Priest on her new Grand Prix Horse, It’s Me, as well as several other top riders and horses at different levels.
Patrick Burssens’ IDA Farms in Wellington hosted a clinic by Spain’s Juan Matute. Matute is well known for his work with the Spanish Team’s Andalusian stallions. At Atlanta in 1996, he was the first Spaniard to compete in an Olympics on a PRE (purebred Spanish) horse.
Just prior to the first Selection Trial for the 2003 Pan American Games, USET Dressage Coach Klaus Balkenhol from Germany will hold a private USET training session for some of America’s most elite riders on January 24-25 at the Walter and Mary Anne McPhail’s High Meadow Farm, in Loxahatchee, Florida.
Competition Qualifiers for Pan American Games Featured in Winter Show Schedules
The Winter Equestrian Festival includes three dressage shows, two of which are Selection Trials for the Pan Am Games. The first trial is Wellington Dressage, January 30-February2, and the second trial is Zada Enterprises/WEF Dressage Classic, March 13-16. In between trials, is the Florida Classic, February 13-16.
Selection Trials are part of the qualifying process for the US dressage team headed for the Pan Am Games to be held in August in the Dominican Republic. The final trials will be held at USET headquarters in Gladstone, New Jersey, June 19-22 for the top 12 qualified riders. Dressage at the Pan Am Games is contested at the Prix St. Georges level rather than Grand Prix as in the Olympics or World Equestrian Games. For more show information and results visit http://www.stadiumjumping.com
The Dressage in Florida community covers the entire state and southeastern USDF Region 3. In central Florida, Klaus and Maria Fraessdorf host the Orlando Dressage Series, at the Clarcona Horsemen’s Park, Apopka, Florida, beginning with Snowbird’s Paradise, this weekend Jan 25-26. Olympic team medallist Michael Poulin, of DeLeon Springs , Florida, and Danish native, Gunnar Ostergaard, from Ocala Florida are regular competitors.
But it’s not all training and competition — the party season kicks off on Friday January 24, with a USET Fundraiser from 6: 00pm to 8:00pm at Beyond the Barn in Wellington. The featured guest is USET Dressage Coach, Klaus Balkenhol. Tim and Susan Dutta and the Dutta Corporation are sponsoring the event. Call Susan Rubin at 561-333-5255 or 561-662-1759 for directions.
Saturday night David and Arlene (Tuni) Page are hosting a parting in honor of USET Dressage coach Klaus Balkenhol, and Sunday evening is the grand opening of Diamante Farms (formerly Two Swans Farm), Wellington training center for Olympic Dressage Team bronze medallist, Michelle Gibson.
The Winter Equestrian Festival Dressage Show Series - Palm Beach Polo Equestrian, Wellington, Florida
Jan 30-Feb 2 - Wellington Dressage
February 13-16 - Florida Classic
March 13-16 - Zada Enterprises/WEF Dressage Classic
The 2003 Gold Coast Dressage Series, Palm Beach Polo Equestrian, Wellington, Florida
March 22, 2003 – Gold Coast Schooling at Wellington
April 26-27, 2003 – Gold Coast Dressage Grand Finale I & II
May 17, 2003 – Gold Coast May Dressage
Oct 4, 2003 – Gold Coast Fall Dressage
Nov 8-9, 2003 – Gold Coast Dressage Fall Fling
The 2003 Palm Beach Dressage Derby Series, hosted by The Horse Park at Equestrian Estates, Loxahatchee, Florida
Official website http://www.pbderby.com
Jan 11 & 12, 2003 – Derby Series Kickoff
Feb 28 – March 2 - Palm Beach Dressage Derby. CDI***/Y
Mar 28 – 30 – Dressage at Equestrian Estates
Orlando Dressage Series, Clarcona Horsemen’s Park, Clarcona, Florida
Official website http://orlandodressage.com
Jan 25-26 - Snowbird's Paradise, Clarcona, Florida
Feb 7-9 - Zada Enterprises LLC Southern Comfort, Clarcona, Florida
Mar 20-23 - Heidelberg Cup, USET, Clarcona, Florida
For news, photos, scores and more, visit http://www.dressagedaily.com