Dressage stars flock to rich Florida event

Patrik Kittel and Watermill Scandic.
Patrik Kittel and Watermill Scandic.

A star-studded lineup of horses and riders are arriving in Florida for the World Dressage Masters (WDM) Palm Beach competition later this month.

Prize money of more than  €100,000 (about $US132,000)  is on offer, making it one of the richest dressage series in the world.

“I think we have a fantastic line-up and we will really see top competition for this year’s WDM Palm Beach,” said Noreen O’Sullivan, Show Manager and Managing Partner of Wellington Classic Dressage, organizers of the event.

“For most of these riders, this will be the only appearance in Florida under the lights at Jim Brandon, so this is surely an event not to be missed.”

California based US Olympian Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 are the US top-ranked combination, and they will make the World Dressage Masters their only appearance in Florida.  Fellow Olympians Adrienne Lyle and Wizard, trained by Debbie McDonald and based in Idaho, have already arrived in Florida and are training for the event. Olympian Tina Konyot, based in Palm City, Florida, will compete on Calecto V and Heather Blitz, who calls Wellington her winter home, will ride Paragon. James Koford and Rhett will round out the US riders slated for the Masters.

Hans Peter Minderhoud.
Hans Peter Minderhoud.Edward Gal Edward Gal.

World Dressage Masters will also showcase Sweden’s top two riders: 2012 London Olympians Tinne Vilhelmsson Silfven riding Don Aurilio, ranked No. 1 in Sweden and No. 10 in the world, and Patrik Kittel on Watermill Scandic, ranked No. 2 in Sweden and No. 11 in the world.

The Netherland’s Edward Gal and Inter Floor Next One, the duo that just won the Grand Prix Freestyle with a 77.35% on January 6 in Drachten, Netherlands, will be competing along with fellow countryman Hans Peter Minderhoud on Whitney van’t Genthof.

Denmark will be represented by Lars Petersen riding Mariett and Lisbeth Seierskilde riding Jonstrupgardens Raneur.

Canada’s David Marcus riding Chrevi’s Capital and Jacqueline Brooks competing on D Niro, Italy’s Silvia Rizzo on Donnerbube II and Australia’s Nicholas Fyffe on Sentimiento I will round out the world-class line-up.

Additionally, the top two qualified riders from the CDI3* Grand Prix Qualifier the same weekend will be invited to compete in the WDM for a maximum start field of 18-20.

The competition takes place from January 24 to 26.


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