Horse and pony - site index.Horse chat message boards.Horse breeds, types and breeding gallery.Search for horse information on Equiworld.Horse information and equestrian news horse and pony magazine.Horse web links.  

2004 Winter Equestrian Festival Kicks Off 10 Weeks Of World-Class Sport

Celebrating its 34th year in Florida, the Winter Equestrian Festival kicks off in Wellington at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club on January 28, 2004, with eight weeks of back-to-back horse shows through March 21, then moves on to Tampa for two weeks at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center, and caps off with the Budweiser American Invitational on April 3 at the Raymond James Stadium. The nation's top hunter, jumper, equitation, and dressage riders will be competing for prize money totaling more than three million dollars. This year's Winter Equestrian Festival also features qualifying classes for the Olympic Selection Trials in dressage and the World Cup Final in show jumping. Produced by founder Eugene R. Mische and Stadium Jumping, Inc., the Winter Equestrian Festival is the largest and longest consecutively running sporting event in the world.

With up to eight rings in action, spectators can enjoy classes ranging from Children's Ponies to the Grand Prix levels of show jumping and dressage. The one-million-dollar Grand Prix show jumping series offers a high-stakes competition every Thursday and Sunday in the Internationale Arena featuring Olympians and top-ranked members of the United States Equestrian Team including Margie Engle, Lauren Hough, Laura Kraut, Norman Dello Joio, Chris Kappler, and McLain Ward. Two of the Grand Prix classes are qualifiers for the 2004 World Cup Final - the $60,000 Idle Dice Classic presented by Palm Beach Post on February 22, and the $75,000 CN Wellington Open presented by Estates at Wellington Green on March 7. This year also marks the third time for the Winter Equestrian Festival to host the $50,000 Samsung Nations Cup presented by CN; new for 2004, the event will be held at night under lights in the Internationale Arena on Friday, March 12. To date, nine countries have committed to fielding teams. Adding to the night's electric atmosphere will be a special six-horse Grand Prix dressage exhibition between Round 1 and Round 2, entitled The Third Annual Rock & Roll Musical Quadrille presented by Play For T.I.M.E. to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Two of the three dressage shows at this year's Winter Equestrian Festival are Qualifying Competitions for the Olympic Games Selection Trials, which will be held in California in June. Olympic hopefuls will compete in Wellington Dressage, February 5-8, and Zada Enterprises, LLC WEF Dressage Classic, March 18-21. Spectators can look forward to watching the crème de la crème of the dressage world including Grand Prix riders Robert Dover, Anne Gribbons, Shelly Francis, Susan Dutta, George Williams, Cesar Parra, and Lars Petersen. Of special note are Sundays, which have become Musical Freestyle Day at the Winter Equestrian Festival during the dressage weeks, showcasing rides to music from the lower levels through Grand Prix.

The highlight for the hunters at the Winter Equestrian Festival is the World Champion Hunter Rider Hunter Spectacular held during the Florida Classic presented by the Palm Beach Post, February 18-22, when the show grounds are devoted exclusively to hunter competition. The featured event on February 21 is the American Hunter-Jumper Foundation Hunter Classic Spectacular in which up to 26 qualified riders compete at night under the lights in the Internationale Arena. Some of this country's most winning hunter riders compete this week, including Emily Williams, Bette Oare, Scott Stewart, Ken Smith, Dee Thomas, Shachine Belle, Louise Serio, Charlie Jayne, and Maggie Jayne.

The Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club is one of the most beautiful horse parks in the world, encompassing 165-acres of lush floral landscaping, mirror-like lakes, rolling green lawns, and manicured pathways. Spectators can enjoy eclectic shopping along several walkways lined with quality boutiques offering all things equestrian from artwork to real estate. Food concessions are conveniently located throughout the grounds with possibilities varying from the traditional fare to new wave gourmet. There's always a festive atmosphere at the Winter Equestrian Festival as the people and horses are constantly in motion and full of the excitement of competition. Up to 4,000 horses are stabled on the grounds and with each horse comes a team of people including owners, trainers, riders, and grooms, adding an average of 6,000 people to the population at the show grounds each week.

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.

January 28 - February 1 Nutrena/Western Hay Wellington Classic CSI***
February 4 - 8 Bayer/USET 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)


Find out more, visit the links page or find answers on the message board.