Equestrian Sport Productions Congratulates FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival Competitors on Summer Success
Wellington, FL – August 30, 2012 – Equestrian Sport Productions LLC (ESP), the management company of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), would like to congratulate all of its international competitors on their great success this summer.
The FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival is a twelve-week horse show circuit held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. The 2013 season runs from January 9-March 31. The show sees many of the top horses and riders from around the world each winter and has hosted international competitors from 33 nations.
Equestrian Sport Productions President Michael Stone extended his congratulations to all of the competitors. He stated, “Everyone at Equestrian Sport Productions is happy to see that the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival is making such a difference in the ability and success of these top horses and riders. We are very proud of their achievements and wish them more of the best. The fact that so many riders have advanced and had such success after participating in our competition makes all of the hard work worthwhile. We hope to see even more riders from around the world expanding their horizons and coming to Wellington to compete each year.”
After competing at the 2012 FTI WEF this winter, many top horses and riders have had monumental success, including Olympic Team Gold and Individual Bronze show jumping medals.
Riders representing 10 different countries in the 2012 Olympic Games competed in Wellington this winter. They include Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, Colombia’s Daniel Bluman, four members of Canada’s team with Ian Millar, Eric Lamaze, Tiffany Foster and alternate Yann Candele, as well as Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa, Chile’s Samuel Parot, Mexico’s Nicolas Pizarro, and Australia’s Matt Williams.The United States show jumping team made up of McLain Ward, Rich Fellers, Beezie Madden, Reed Kessler, and alternate Charlie Jayne showed in the USEF National Championship and Olympic Selection Trials in Wellington as well.
Three-fourths of the show jumping team from Great Britain that won gold in this summer’s London Olympic Games used Wellington as preparation in 2012. Nick Skelton and Big Star, Ben Maher and Tripple X 111, Scott Brash and Hello Sanctos, and team alternate Tina Fletcher all showed throughout the 12-week winter circuit prior to their historic win. Fourth team member Peter Charles is a past competitor at the FTI WEF as well.
Interviews following that victory quoted members of the British team acknowledging their preparation in Wellington. As quoted in an article for The Chronicle of the Horse, Ben Maher stated, “Wellington is an amazing place. The arena is similar. That’s what I was trying to emulate for my horse anyway. It’s a big sand arena, and there’s big jumping competition in Florida. Some think the jumping is not as strong, but if you’re there, it’s probably the strongest competition in the world. If you want to be the best, you’ve got to be riding with the best. I think for my, Scott and Nick’s horses, it proved that it was a good preparation.”
Maher also said in 2011 to the popular show jumping website www.worldofShowJumping.com , that competing at the FTI WEF is beneficial. “The horses get their education quicker than they otherwise would when they compete in Florida,” he noted said. “What would take six months at home, takes two and a half in Florida. It’s amazing there; like Disney Land for horses!”
Wellington has been a fantastic place for the many talented riders from Ireland as well. Ireland’s Cian O’Connor showed in Wellington throughout the winter and went on to earn the Individual Show Jumping Bronze Medal in London. Along with that wonderful finish, O’Connor recently placed third with his Olympic horse, Blue Loyd 12, in the Longines Grand Prix in Dublin. Irish rider Andrew Bourns placed eighth in that class riding Roundthorn Madious, a horse that he also rode in Wellington throughout the winter.
“I specifically travelled to Florida to develop a partnership with my then new horse, Blue Loyd,” said O’Connor. “WEF 2012 gave me the perfect opportunity to compete over the winter in excellent conditions with super competition and courses set by world-class course designers. I have no doubt that this circuit was a huge contribution towards my London Olympic success as it is quite simply in a different league to anywhere else in the world.”
The Irish team had big back to back wins in the Nations Cup classes at Hickstead and Dublin this summer as well with Chef d’Equipe Robert Splaine at the helm. In July, Shane Breen, Richie Moloney, Darragh Kerins, and Clem McMahon won the FEI Nations Cup in Hickstead. In August, Kerins, Moloney, and Clem earned another Nations Cup victory in Dublin, this time with O’Connor as the fourth member of their team. In addition to O’Connor, Moloney and Kerins both spent this past winter in Wellington with their top mounts.
Mark Bellissimo, CEO of ESP, said, “We have seen a record number of inquiries and stabling requests from around the world. We expect that the 2013 FTI WEF will continue to break records for rider participation. The FTI WEF is the premier horse show circuit in the world for rider and horse development, and is also one of the largest and most active horse sales markets in the world.”
The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival will run January 9-March 31, 2013, at the beautiful Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Equestrian Sport Productions looks forward to another fantastic year as the winter season quickly approaches. For more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com