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A Really, Really Big Week at The 2003 Winter Equestrian Festival

Wellington, Florida -- February 12, 2003 -- Today is the beginning of the fourth week (out of seven) of The 2003 Winter Equestrian Festival being held at The Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club in Wellington. It is the week of The Florida Classic World Champion Hunter Rider Spectacular scheduled for Saturday night. On Sunday afternoon, The $50,000 Idle Dice Classic Grand Prix, a World Cup Qualifier, will take place. The Palm Beach Post, one of Florida’s preeminent newspapers, is the week’s corporate sponsor.

Taking center stage this week: the show hunter horses and riders. A show hunter class is judged on the manners, form over fences and movement of the horse, with fence heights ranging from 3’6”, 3’9” and 4’, depending upon the particular class. In sharp contrast, the jumper classes are judged solely on going clean and fast, over fences as high as 5’3”.

The American Hunter-Jumper Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the governance and promotion of show hunter horses and riders, takes charge this week in order to showcase its discipline and members. After four days of serious competition amongst the best of the best hunter horses and riders, the week’s champions will square off against one another. Beginning at 7pm on Saturday night under the lights in The International Arena, those horse and rider teams will compete at the 3’6”, 3’9” and 4’ levels, until one horse and rider team is crowned The Leading Hunter Rider Team. All of this will take place while a festive group dines in the members-only Jockey Club.

On Sunday afternoon beginning at 2pm, the first of four World Cup Qualifiers slated during The 2003 Winter Equestrian Festival (Wellington and Tampa Series) will take place. The World Cup, which will take place this spring in Las Vegas, brings together the top jumpers in the world. Horses and riders must accumulate the most points in qualifying classes in order to make it to the final showdown in Las Vegas. There will be three World Cup Qualifiers in Wellington, with another in Tampa. Many riders have “saved” their best mounts for this first Qualifier, ensuring that this grand prix will be extremely exciting.

The Palm Beach Post, this week’s sponsor, will make many of the trophy presentations.

Tickets to the Winter Equestrian Festival are available by phone at 793-JUMP or at the gate. Admission is free on Wednesdays. Children 12 & under are free all days. Senior admission is $5 every day. Adult admission is $5 on Thursday and Friday, $10 on Saturday, and $15 on Sunday. Parking is free.

Winter Equestrian Festival Dates:

(Each week runs Wednesday through Sunday beginning at 8:00 AM)

Florida Classic/WCHR Spectacular – February 12 – 16
Florida Dressage Classic –February 13 - 16
Zada Enterprises, LLC Wellington Masters – February 19 – 23
Tommy Bahama Palm Beach Open – February 26 – March 2
Cosequin Wellington Finale – March 5 – 9
Zada Enterprises, LLC WEF Dressage Classic – March 13 – 16


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