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Wellington Dressage Kicks Off First 2004 Olympic Selection Trials Qualifier At WEF $25,000 Windsome Dressage/Show Jumping Team Spectacular Is Featured Event

WELLINGTON, FL - February 3, 2004 - The 32nd Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, kicks off the second week of competition with Wellington Dressage, February 5-8, the first of two shows that serve as United States Equestrian Federation Qualifying Competitions for the Olympic Selection Trials. The dressage show is held simultaneously with the Bayer/USET Gold Coast Jumper Classic CSI***, which runs February 4-8. Highlighting the dressage show is the featured event - the $25,000 Windsome Dressage/Show Jumping Team Spectacular on Saturday, February 7, starting at 3:00 pm.

The qualifying classes for the Olympic Selection Trials are the USET Grand Prix on Friday, February 6; the USET Grand Prix Special on Saturday, February 7; and the USET Grand Prix Freestyle on Sunday, February 8. Stars of the dressage world, including five-time Olympian Robert Dover on two horses - Rainier and FBW Kennedy - will log scores towards qualifying for the Trials. Based on highest average scores in the designated qualifying competitions nationwide during the qualifying period, which ends June 4, the top 12 riders will be invited to compete in the Dressage Selection Trials for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. The Trials will be held at Oaks Blenheim in San Juan Capistrano, CA, over two weekends - June 11-13 and June 17-20.

In addition to the Olympic Selection Trials qualifiers, the Wellington Dressage show features a full gamut of classes from Training Level through Grand Prix, including qualifiers for the Great American Insurance Group (GAIG)/United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Regional Championships and the United States Equestrian Team (USET) Festival of Champions for the USET Intermediaire I Championship and the USET Grand Prix Championship.

Approximately 130 riders are entered in this first dressage show of the 2004 Winter Equestrian Festival. Most competitors are entered on several mounts at different levels, bringing the total of horses to approximately 195. Ten judges will officiate, including three International judges - Joan MaCartney, Lorraine MacDonald and Jessica Ransehousen; plus four 'S' judges - Betsy Berrey, Sarah Geikie, Jeanne McDonald, and Brenda Minor; and one 'C' judge - Maryal Barnett.

The most heavily contested classes are the Prix St. Georges with a total of 56 entries on Thursday, February 5, in two sections, plus the qualifier for the USET I-I Championship; and the Intermediaire I with 43 entries on Friday, February 6, also in two sections plus the qualifier for the USET I-I Championship.

On Saturday, February 7, the annual $25,000 Windsome Farm Dressage/Jumper Spectacular will showcase top riders in one of the WEF's most popular events for riders and spectators alike. Up to 15 teams will compete. In Phase I, the show jumping rider of each team will ride a USDF Third Level Test 3. In Phase 2, the dressage rider of each team will jump an FEI Hit 'N' Hurry course with fences up to 3'9". To determine the winning team, the points from both phases are added and the highest number wins.

Sunday, February 8 has become the traditional 'Freestyle Sunday' at WEF. Showcased will be rides to music in six classes including a Freestyle Test of Choice and five classes at the FEI level.

"I'm very impressed with the depth of the Young Riders and the depth of the lower level classes this year," said Mary Silcox, Competition Secretary. "It's wonderful to see the amateurs coming along and moving up." Ms. Silcox is especially pleased with the number of entries for the Dressage/Jumper Spectacular, which includes the perennial winning team of Olympians Anne Kursinski and Bent Jensen, who will try to defend their title. "It's our Super Bowl," said Silcox. "It's a blast!"

Show days for the 2004 Winter Equestrian Festival are Wednesday through Sunday. Gates open at 8:00 am. Ticket Prices: Wednesdays are free to everyone; Children 12 and under are admitted free every day; Young Adults 13 to 18 and Seniors are $5 on Thursday through Sunday; Adults are $5 on Thursday and Friday, $10 on Saturday, and $15 on Sunday. The Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club is located on Pierson Road off South Shore Boulevard. For additional information, visit or call 561-793-5867.

February 4 - 8 Bayer/USET Foundation Gold Coast Jumper Classic CSI***
February 5 - 8 Wellington Dressage (Qualifier for Olympic Selection Trials)
February 11 - 15 Kilkenny/ICH Internationale CSI***
February 18 - 22 Florida Classic/WCHR Spectacular CSI-W/Y CSI-Ch
February 19 - 22 Zada Enterprises, LLC Florida Dressage Classic
February 25 - 29 PDP Capital Wellington Masters CSI***
March 3 - 7 CN Wellington Open CSI-W
March 10 - 14 CSIO United States Cosequin Finale CSIO***
March 18 - 21 Zada Enterprises WEF Dressage Classic CDI***/Y
(Qualifier for Olympic Selection Trials)
March 24 - 28 Tampa Bay Classic CSI-W (Bob Thomas Equestrian Center)
March 30 - April 3 Tournament of Champions CSI-W (Bob Thomas Equestrian Center)
April 3 Budweiser American Invitational (Raymond James Stadium)

February 8 $50,000 Bayer/USET Foundation Wellington Cup, CSI***
February 15 $50,000 Kilkenny/ICH Internationale Cup, CSI***
February 22 $60,000 Idle Dice Classic, presented by Palm Beach Post, CSI-W
February 29 $75,000 PDP Capital Masters Cup, CSI***
March 7 $75,000 CN Wellington Open presented by Estates of Wellington Green, CDI-W
March 12 $50,000 Samsung Nations' Cup, presented by CN, CSIO****
March 14 $100,000 Cosequin U.S. Open Jumper Championship, CSIO****
March 28 $75,000 Grand Prix of Tampa, presented by Kilkenny/ICH, CSI-W
April 3 $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, presented by The Tampa Tribune


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