31st Winter Equestrian Festival Opens 2003 Season with
Nutrena/Western Hay Wellington Classic
FL-- January 27, 2003The Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF)
opened its 31st season with the Nutrena/Western Hay Wellington Classic,
January 22- 26, at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club. The week
kicked off an 11-week equestrian festival featuring top hunter,
jumper, as well as dressage competition. Thousands of horses and
riders from all over the nation and at least 13 countries have come
together to compete for over three million dollars in prize money.
Olympian Lauren Hough of Wellington, FL, captured the weeks
feature event, the $35,000 Farr Legacy/ Western Hay Grand Prix of
Palm Beach, aboard Windy City. Under the sunny Florida sky, Hough
was one of only three riders out of a starting field of 32 to qualify
for the jump-off by riding clear over Conrad Homfelds competitive
first round course.
Hough turned in a fault-free jump-off ride in a time of 37.84 seconds
to earn the win. Emily Williams of Wellington, FL, rode Hushabye
to a second-place finish with a clear jump-off round in a time of
39.87 seconds. Dropping one rail to accumulate four faults in the
jump-off, Margie Engle of Wellington, FL, finished in third place
aboard Hidden Creeks Jones.
Engle and Hidden Creeks Jones were victorious in the first
$25,000 WEF Challenge Cup of the Winter Equestrian Festival, producing
the only clear round in the jump-off. Norman Dello Joio of Wellington,
FL, rode Eleanor Belknaps Mille to a second place finish after
a four-fault performance in the jump-off. Finishing third was McLain
Ward of Brewster, NY, aboard Rio, a horse he co-owns with Harry
The dressage season in Florida started off earlier than the hunter
and jumper competitions, beginning January 11-12, with the Palm
Beach Dressage Derby Series held at the Horse Park at Equestrian
Estates in Loxahatchee. Olympian Carol Lavell on her Much Ado topped
the Prix St. Georges class with a 67%.
After a five-day break, dressage competition continued at the Gold
Coast Dressage Associations Gold Coast Opener Festival at
the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club, January 17-19. Denmarks
Lars Peterson, who know resides in the United States, topped the
international Grand Prix competitions aboard Blue Hors Cavan and
rode Danskos Success to win the FEI Prix St. George B Open/Qualifier
scoring 71.250%. Another international star now residing in the
U.S., Dr. Cesar Parra of Columbia, won the CDI Prix St Georges with
71% on Pik-L, with Cathy Morelli on Be Se ahead of Parra in
the Intermediaire I with a 70.167%.
to the Winter Equestrian Festival at Wellington is free every Wednesday,
and children under 12 are always admitted free. Adult admission
is $5.00 on Thursdays and Fridays, $10.00 on Saturdays, and $15.00
on Sundays. Senior citizens are $5.00 every Thursday through Sunday.
All adults who attend the Festival any Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday
will receive a coupon entitling them to a two-for-one admission
on that weekend.
more information on the Winter Equestrian Festival and all its exciting
events and activities, please call Stadium Jumping, Inc. in Wellington
at (561) 793-JUMP or visit www.stadiumjumping.com.
Equestrian Festival Dates:
week runs Wednesday through Sunday beginning at 8:00 AM daily)
Hay Wellington Classic - January 22-26
Bayer Gold Coast Classic - January 29 - February 2
Wellington Dressage January 30 February 2
Kilkenny/ICH Internationale February 5 9
Florida Classic/WCHR Spectacular February 12 16
Florida Dressage Classic February 13 - 16
Zada Enterprises, LLC Wellington Masters February 19
Tommy Bahama Palm Beach Open February 26 March 2
Cosequin Wellington Finale March 5 9
Zada Enterprises, LLC WEF Dressage Classic March 13