Wellington, FL - International Horse Sport Palm Beach is ready to launch its 2012 season with new footing in all of the rings at The IHS Champions Park at Equestrian Estates, site of the Palm Beach Dressage Derby and IHS Series Shows. The first to view and approve this tremendous upgrade was an elite committee representing the United States Equestrian Federation. The committee, consisting of Eva Salomon, Director of High Performance Dressage, Ann Gribbons, USEF Team Coach for Dressage, and FEI rider representative Heather Blitz, inspected the footing in the FEI competition and warm-up rings last week and recommended approval to the Dressage and Executive Committees of USEF.
The beautiful property in White Fences, which is owned by Mary Ann and Walter McPhail, is managed by International Horse Sport Palm Beach. The IHS Palm Beach Managing Partners include FEI riders and trainers Ed Borresen and Lars Petersen, together with well-known show organizers Noreen O'Sullivan and John Flanagan. The IHS Champions Park consists of 10 rings suitable for national and international competition on over 50 acres, including 15 acres of parking, 150 horse stalls for the international horses and another 200 temporary stalls available for the national shows.
"I think they were very surprised and impressed with the level of improvements we have made," said IHS Palm Beach Managing Partner Lars Petersen. Petersen, a Danish FEI rider and trainer based in the United States, has competed in the Olympics, three World Equestrian Games and two World Cup Finals. "This footing is used all over Europe at many top competitions," he said.
In preparation, all the footing was stripped to the base and replaced with new GGT Footing, a polyester fiber mixture blended with sand, which is considered to be the premier arena footing throughout the world.
"We used it in all our rings because we believe the national competitors deserve the same level of quality footing for their horses as the international competitors," said IHS Managing Partner Edward Borresen. John Flanagan agreed, saying, "We weren't required to change all the footing, but we took that extraordinary step because it has always been our intention for the riders to have the best possible footing."
International Horse Sport Palm Beach will be hosting two International Dressage Competitions or CDIs, this season, including the prestigious Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDIW and the IHS Champions Cup CDI3*. In addition, IHS hosts other events at the IHS Champions Park, providing a multi-discipline competitive outlet for equestrians at every level.
IHS Palm Beach will honor its 2011 season Blue Hors Invitational Champions at the kick-off show on Jan 14-15, 2012, the International Horse Sport Blue Hors Dressage Premier. Blue Hors of Denmark sponsored this Championship in 2011 and has again signed on as Presenting Sponsor for 2012. The first international event is slated for March 1-4, 2012, when The Palm Beach Dressage Derby, a CDIW and Olympic Qualifier, takes place. The International Horse Sport Champion's Cup, a CDI3*, follows on March 22-25, 2012.
The month concludes with The Dressage at the Equestrian Estates and Blue Hors Invitational, a North American Junior/Young Rider Qualifier, March 31-April 1, 2012. And at the end of the season, the International Horse Sport Series Final will take place April 28 and 29, 2012.
2012 Season Dates
- The International Horse Sport Blue Hors Dressage Premier Jan. 14-15
- International Horse Sport Master Class Feb 18
- The Palm Beach Dressage Derby CDIW March 1-4
- International Horse Sport Champion's Cup CDI3* March 22-25
- Dressage at the Equestrian Estates& Blue Hors Invitational March 31-April 1
- International Horse Sport Series Final April 28-29