Wilkes & Associates, Inc. Hits Another Home Run
Florida April 8, 2003 The numbers are in, and they
did it again. Phelps Wilkes & Associates, Inc. increased the
number of spectators attending this seasons seven-week Winter
Equestrian Festival in Wellington by 50%, as compared to attendance
Phelps Wilkes, formed in January 2003 by legendary Olympic competitor
Mason Phelps, Jr. and corporate securities attorney Beverly Lake
Wilkes, has, in the last 6 months, transformed the rarified air
of the Wellington horse show world from a destination for the seasoned
equestrian enthusiast to what is now a destination for one and all.
The duo, whose goal is to turn equestrian events into a true spectator
sport (much like baseball, football, etc.), is well on its way.
Horse showing is the #2 spectator sport in Europe, behind soccer,
and is a major spectator sport in Canada. Here in the U. S., the
sport is way, way down the list. But Phelps Wilkes is changing that.
Mason and Beverly have collaborated for over 8 years in volunteer
work, chairing events for numerous charitable causes. The duo is
best known for raising over $1 million for The United States Equestrian
Team through their famous Denim & Diamonds Galas.
The spectator transformation began with The 119th National Horse
Show, held during Thanksgiving week 2002. A mere three weeks before
the show was to begin, The National Horse Show, Inc. and Stadium
Jumping, Inc. hired Mason and Beverly to promote the event. After
years of running in the red with declining crowds, the powers that
be decided to move The 119th National Horse Show to The Palm Beach
Polo Equestrian Club in Wellington. This move was historic, because
for 118 years The National had been held in the New York City area
and in an indoor venue. The naysayers came out in droves. But they
were proven wrong.
Through the efforts of Mason and Beverly, The National finally came
back into the black. Over 57,000 spectators descended upon Wellington
to watch the show, most first-time horse show attendees. The attendance
was so overwhelming, in fact, that they ran out of parking spaces
and programs. They had TV networks lined up to do the morning news
on the showgrounds. Sponsorships flourished. Their Friday-night,
black-tie gala, Jumping Under The Stars, was a sell-out
and was crowned the #1 party in all of Palm Beach County by Thom
Smith, Society Editor for The Palm Beach Post. Needless to say,
The 120th National will return to Wellington next November.
off The Nationals huge success, Stadium Jumping, Inc. once
again hired Mason and Beverly (by then, incorporated as Phelps Wilkes
& Associates, Inc.) to promote the seven-week 2003 Winter Equestrian
Festival in Wellington. And once again, Phelps Wilkes brought out
the crowds, the news media, the sponsors and the excitement. In
their spare time, they co-chaired successful events such as The
American Hunter-Jumper Foundations Hunter Classic Gala, The
Equus Medal competition, The Hanley-Hazelden Foundations 8th
Annual Family Luncheon and other events too numerous to mention.
The Winter Equestrian Festival traditionally ends with the Budweiser
American Invitational Grand Prix held in Tampa at the Raymond James
Stadium. Phelps Wilkes was able to increase this years gate
by $53,000 for the one-night competition.
line: Theyll be back. With the 50% increase in attendance
during The 2003 Winter Equestrian Festival, the overwhelming success
of The 119th National Horse Show and the increased gate at the Invitational,
Phelps Wilkes has already been retained to promote The 120th National
Horse Show and The 2004 Winter Equestrian Festival, among many other
winning formula, a winning team.