With just one week until the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach (WDM) presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach gets under way on March 9-11 2011, a number of the world's top riders and their horses are preparing to travel to South Florida. The World Dressage Masters presented by Axel Johnson Group will award more than 400,000 Euros over four competitions in 2011, making it the world's richest dressage series. The first of those competitions is the WDM Palm Beach, where 18 competitors, including several Olympic and World Championship medalists, will vie for 100,000 Euros in prize money. The WDM Palm Beach, which will be held at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach, is produced by Wellington Classic Dressage. Canadian Dressage Team Technical Advisor Robert Dover named Shannon Dueck of Loxahatchee, FL as the Canadian Wild Card recipient for the WDM Palm Beach. Originally from British Columbia, Dueck made South Florida her permanent home in 2003. "I love being able to ride all year round without having to relocate my entire barn in the winter months," she says. "The weather here in the winter is second to none, and I have the opportunity to compete with the best from all over North America."
This will be Dueck's debut at the World Dressage Masters with her 10 year old Oldenburg mare, Ayscha. The pair competed with the Canadian team in Europe in 2010. "It's very exciting for me to take part in a competition of this magnitude over here in North America, and to welcome some of the top Europeans to our home town."
Next to Dueck, also Shawna Harding (USA) with her WDM Palm Beach partner Come On III, Harding has been invited, just as Elizabeth Austin (USA) showing her KWPN stallion Olivier. Still to be announced for the WDM Palm Beach is one US Wild Card entry. Following the initial invitations of 14 European, American and Canadian riders to the WDM Palm Beach, the following rider/horse combinations have confirmed their intention to attend the WDM Palm Beach: Steffen Peters (USA) - Ravel; Tinne Vilhelmsson Silfven (SWE) - Favourit; Ashley Holzer (CAN) - Pop Art; Tina Konyot (USA) - Calecto V; Michal Rapcewicz (POL) - Randon; Valentina Truppa (ITA) - Chablis or Eremo del Castegno; Anja Ploenzke (GER) - Le Mont d'Or; Christa Laarakkers (NED) - Ovation; Anne Van Olst (DEN) - Exquis Clearwater; Todd Fletrich (USA) - Otto; Pierre St Jacques (USA) - Lucky Tiger and Evi Strasser (CAN) - Quantum Tyme
Dutch gold team medallist Hans Peter Minderhoud will present a clinic Picture Claartje van Andel Dutch gold medallist Hans Peter Minderhoud who was crowned last week as sportsman of the year of the southern Dutch province Zeeland will present a clinic at the WDM Masters. For information about tables and tickets at the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach, please visit www.internationalpoloclub.com.