Holiday & Horses CSI-W/CDI*** Opens at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
Release: December 04 2008
By Ken Braddick
Holiday & Horses CSI-W/CDI*** opened Wednesday in the made-over Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) with about 200 horses competing in hunter and jumper classes. Dressage begins Thursday.
Competitors expressed amazement at the multimillion dollar improvements to PBIEC, especially seating around the showcase International Arena. Spectator seating for the International Club, VIP boxes, rider stands and general admission seating were all rebuilt from the ground up.
Opening of the show that features the Rolex/USEF National Show Jumping Championship presented by Equine Motorcoach was rated about perfect, under blue skies and the temperature reaching 70 degrees.
The $10,000 Dever, Inc., Welcome Stake was the only class held in the International Arena Wednesday. Kent Farrington of Wellington, FL, on Thunder-ball took first place ahead of Ireland's Shane Sweetnam on Amaretto d'Arco in second and Chris Kappler and VDL Oranta in third.
About $5 million was spent prior to the 2008 Winter Equestrian Festival by Equestrian Sport Productions, the management company of the Wellington shows. ESP is owned by Wellington Equestrian Partners.
Another $5-million has been invested in recent months to complete renovations and improvements.
Holiday & Horses highlights, all in the International Arena, are:
—7 p.m. Friday - Rolex/USEF National Show Jumping Championship presented by Equine Motorcoach - Speed Class
—7 p.m. Saturday - CDI*** Dressage Musical Freestyle
—2 p.m. Sunday - Rolex/USEF National Show Jumping Championship presented by Equine Motorcoach - Grand Prix and FEI World Cup Qualifier.
Prize money for the Rolex/USEF National Show Jumping Championship presented by Equine Motorcoach is $40,000 for the Speed Class, $60,000 for the Grand Prix and $25,000 for the top finishing U.S. rider.
In addition to the competition, there will be a children's fair, pony rides, Santa Claus and a tree lighting ceremony.
Hunter and jumper competition kicked off Wednesday while horses entered in the CDI*** dressage will perform a veterinary jog.