Wellington, FL - The prestigious Palm Beach Dressage Derby consistently attracts top dressage riders from around the world, and its 2013 edition is no exception. The 30th year of the Dressage Derby, held February 28 - March 3 at Equestrian Estates in Loxahatchee as part of International Horse Sport Palm Beach's winter series, has drawn an international cast of competitors, including many who have represented their countries in the Olympic Games. The Dressage Derby's Grand Prix CDI-W features six Olympians who have competed for four different countries over the past two decades. Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén has represented Sweden an impressive six times at the Olympics, competing at every Games since 1992. In that time, she has had several top finishes, including 12th place individually at the 2008 Games and 11th individually in 2012.
Vilhelmson-Silfvén has racked up numerous wins in South Florida this winter. With Don Auriello, she rode to the championship at the Jan. 23-27 World Dressage Masters CDI5* and two wins at the Feb. 14-17 Florida Dressage Classic CDI-W. She and Divertimento, whom she will ride in the Dressage Derby, have put together a stellar string of finishes, placing consistently in the top three at the Gold Coast Opener CDI-W (Jan. 17-20), Wellington Dressage CDI3* (Jan. 31-Feb. 3), and Florida Dressage Classic CDI-W.
David Marcus of Canada made his Olympic debut in 2012 on Chrevi's Capital. Marcus, a relative newcomer to the international dressage scene, has quickly established himself as a top contender. He and Chrevi's Capital recently collected wins in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival's Wellington Dressage CDI3*.
Don Kontes, Marcus' mount for the Dressage Derby, has also had a successful start to his season, winning the Freestyle and taking second in the Grand Prix at the Jan. 23-27 Wellington Classic Dressage Sunshine Challenge CDI3*.
Jacqueline Brooks, who rode with Marcus on Canada's 2012 Olympic dressage team and also competed at the 2008 Games in Beijing, is bringing her London mount D Niro to the Dressage Derby. The pair has earned third place finishes in several Grand Prix competitions on the South Florida circuit this season, including the Grand Prix Special at the World Dressage Masters CDI5* and the Freestyles at the Wellington Dressage CDI3* and the Florida Dressage Classic CDI-W.
A third Canadian Olympic team member, Evi Strasser, brings her extensive international experience to the Dressage Derby field. Along with her 1996 appearance at the Olympics, she has often represented Canada on the international stage and earned a team Silver Medal at the 2003 Pan American Games. Strasser will ride Action Tyme in the Dressage Derby.
Denmark's Lars Petersen also rode in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, where he earned an impressive 12th-place finish in the individual competition. He will ride Mariett in the Dressage Derby. Petersen and Mariett recently picked up wins in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special at the Feb. 7-10 Wellington Classic Dressage Spring Challenge CDI3*.
Cesar Parra, who now rides for the United States, rounds out the elite group of Olympians competing at the Palm Beach Dressage Derby. Parra rode for Colombia in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, but has since become a United States citizen. He and Van the Man won the Grand Prix Special at the Gold Coast Opener CDI-W earlier this season.
With such a talented group of riders assembled, the Palm Beach Dressage Derby promises to be a highly competitive event. John Flanagan, the Advertising and Sponsorship Director of the Derby, is pleased with the high caliber of riders in the field.
"We're looking forward to welcoming the six-time Olympian, Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén, back to the Dressage Derby," Flanagan said.
Other upcoming International Horse Sport events include the March 21-24 International Horse Sport Champions Cup CDI-W and the March 28-31 Dressage at Equestrian Estates CDI3*.
For more information about IHS shows, log onto ihspb.com and follow them on Facebook
Palm Beach Dressage Derby Presented By Blue Hors of Denmark Fast Facts:
- USEF High Performance Qualifying Competition for the 2013 World Cup
- Over $20,000 in Cash and Prizes
- 2013 USEF National Grand Prix & Intermediaire I Championship
- 2013 Massy Ferguson/USEF North American Junior & Young Rider's Championship
- USEF National Pony Rider Championships, USEF Developing Horse Championships
- Markel/USEF Young Horse Championships, USEF National Brentina Cup Championships
- USEF Level 5 Competition- USDF Musical Freestyles; USEF First thru Fourth Levels;
- FEI PSG thru Grand Prix, including FEI Musical Freestyles, JY/YR, FEI Five & Six Year Old Tests.
IHS Champions Park-Equestrian Estates
3700 Hanover Circle
Feb.28- March 3
Noreen O'Sullivan, Show Manager
Advertising & Sponsorship Director
Mary Anne McPhail, Executive Director
Evelyn O'Sullivan, Director
News and Information
Phelps Media Group
12012 South Shore Blvd., Suite 105
Wellington, FL 33414
For class schedule, day sheets and rider's report, log onto www.pbderby.com/derby.html
For results, log onto www.pbderby.com/results-derby.html
For show schedule and information: www.ihspb.com or www.pbderby.com