Markel Amateur Winter Dressage in Florida Championships

DressageDaily's Mary Phelps, also a Markel Equine Insurance Specialist has developed lots of opportunities for the amateur competitor to gain recognition and earn prizes during the 2008 Dressage in Florida Winter Season. Starting this weekend, with be the first leg of the The Markel/Wellington Classic Dressage 2008 Winter Amateur Championships and the Markel/Wellington Classic Dressage Trainers' Award Sponsored By Thin Line. Winners of this award must compete in all three of the Wellington Classic Dressage shows and must be registered this weekend at our RV.

"We are excited about lending our support and sponsorship to this popular series of dressage shows and working with Noreen and John Flanagan as the continue to develop their quality services." said Mary Phelps. We will be arriving early on Thursday for a busy show which will kick off Dressage in Florida 2008!"

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Additionally, The Paddock Saddlery has teamed up with Markel Insurance to bring back the Adult Amateur Winter Dressage Championships for amateur riders competing on the winter dressage circuit in Wellington, Florida. This championship recognizes the success of amateur riders who often find themselves competing against some of the country’s top professionals. Adult amateurs from Training Level to Grand Prix are eligible to compete for the 2008 Markel Adult Amateur Winter Dressage Championships.

Five years ago, the adult amateur winter championships were the brainchild of Shirley Johnson, a former Grand Prix rider and dressage judge, who owned and operated the popular A’Dashi dressage boutique. Johnson noticed many amateurs having beautiful rides that earned high scores that were not be recognized the top placings because the professional riders were dominating the classes. She developed the Amateur Winter Championships to recognize the success of these amateurs.

The recent merger of A’Dashi and The Paddock Saddlery sparked the revival of this adult amateur championship to again recognize the most talented adult amateurs that compete in South Florida. Markel Insurance has agreed to help sponsor the award again, continuing in the company’s tradition of supporting the sport of dressage.

To qualify, riders must enroll at The Paddock Saddlery mobile store or on their website,, by February 27 of this year. Participating riders are required to submit five scores from three different judges at the USEF National Levels or three scores from three different judges at the FEI levels by April 18, 2008. Scores received from recognized shows at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club, and the Horse Park at Equestrian Estates between January 25 and April 13 can be submitted for the championship.

Champions and Reserve Champions at each level will receive generous gift certificates to The Paddock Saddlery. Amateur riders that receive the highest average score in their level will also be awarded with Championship Coolers donated by Farnam’s Platform® Feed. The Weiss Family Chiropractic Centers are once again donating the ribbons that will be distributed among the top placing riders, along with a beautiful bronze perpetual trophy for the rider that receives the overall high score. The overall USEF and FEI high score winners will also be recognized with awards from MDC Intelligent Stirrups and World Equestrian Brands, distributors of Amerigo, Vespucci, Mattes, Classic Equine and Teque-Style. There will be awards for riders in the top eight placings at each level, plus an award for the coach with the most students in the final standings.

The awards for this championship will be presented in the Spring of 2008, after the last qualifying show, the Gold Coast Dressage Association Finale II held April 13th. More information and official rules for the Markel Amateur Winter Dressage Championships can be found at

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