Gold Coast Grand Finale to Feature The Markel/Wellington Classic Dressage Amateur Awards and Trainer’s Award presented by ThinLineInc

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In support of the series of the Wellington Classic Dressage Shows developed for Dressage in Florida by the management team of Noreen O’Sullivan and her husband John Flanagan, DressageDaily’s Mary Phelps a Markel Equine Insurance Specialist featured a Championship for the three winter shows present by Wellington Classic Dressage. "This month marks my fifth year with Markel." said Phelps a long time equine insurance agent who was approached by Markel to be one of their select agents based on her experience and hands on work in the field. "I can't say enough about how happy I have been working with them, and what a rewarding experice they have provided. In addition to working closely with their specialists, Markel continues to demonstrate their passion for Dressage and their sincerity in supporting us and our clients. In our industry it is critical to give back, and we are very proud of what we offer through our websites, our travels and our awards programs." For a fast and easy quote on your horse mortality insurance and informative articles, applications and a FREE stall card, visit Mary's Insurance section on the website.

In addition, ThinLineInc, one of the websites premier members of the Virtual Vendor Village, has added to the mix a Trainer’s Award, and will be presenting to the leading trainers of the Amateur winners quality products from their line, which will be presented by Diane Sasscer, owner of Saddle Fit By Diane, and year long resident of Wellington Florida carries the full line if Thin Line Products. Awards will be announced and presented to the recipients present at the Gold Coast Grande Finale this Saturday during the lunch break at 11:30.

Stay tuned to DressageDaily this weekend for features on our winners!

Dressage in Florida Winding Down? Not Really

We call it shipping fever of the non toxic kind. By March several top barns are beginning plans for the exodus from Florida to their northern locations. But for 2008 the traffic is lighter. But for many, this year means no moving, no stress! That is because more and more established trainers and stables are choosing to settle in and commute to necessary events from Florida for the rest of the year. Arlene Page’s Stillpoint Farm now in its second full season of completion offers a cool quality training base for several year round trainers and horses. Jan Brons, who trains out of Joli Burrell’s facility HalcyonFarm, has made south Florida his year round home. Bent Jensen and John Zopatti long time year round residents figured it out years ago.

Chris Hickey of Hilltop Farm is one trainer who had to go. It’s breeding season at Hilltop, and time to get home with our stallions. Hickey, the 2007 Pan American Gold medalist had a very successful season in Florida as well as his students. He moved his Pan Am mount Regent to Grand Prix, and had had a successful winter campaign with another Hilltop Stallion Donarweiss GGF. Michelle Gibson and Devon Kane remain at Diamante Farm, Page’s next door neighbors. With the added shows brought in by the rebirth of the Wellington Showground’s at the Palm Beach International Equestrian, real estate sales are on the rise. The Wellington Classic dressage management team has added more dates to their shows at the Palm Beach County Jim Brandon Equestrian center. With the covered arena, and quality footing there are many converted “snow birds” settling in.