2017 Adequan Global Dressage Festival Prize Money Edges Higher to $689,000

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Mikala Gundersen on My Lady and Lars Petersen on Mariett at the 2016 Global Dressage Festival CDI5* Grand Prix Freestyle. © 2016 Ken Braddck/dressage-news.com
Mikala Gundersen on My Lady and Lars Petersen on Mariett at the 2016 Global Dressage Festival CDI5* Grand Prix Freestyle. © 2016 Ken Braddck/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, Dec. 30, 2016–The Adequan Global Dressage Festival goes into its sixth year in 2017 as the world’s richest circuit with a slight increase in total prize money to $689,000 (€654,000) for seven weeks of CDI competition beginning Jan. 11 and running through Mar. 26.

The centerpiece event is the CDI5* Feb. 8-12 with a purse of $200,000 as it was in 2016, in a lineup of the only top tier CDI5* and CDI4* competitions and a CDIO3* Nations Cup in the Western hemisphere along with four qualifiers for the World Cup Final in Omaha at the end of March. The total for the seven CDIs in 2016 was $686,700.

More young horse classes have been added to the schedule but the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) did not approve consolation Grand Prix for the four World Cup events although they had been permitted in 2016.

Although a so-called “off year” following the Olympics and with the World Cup as the only senior championship in the Americas in 2017, the number of competitors at international level may grow with more Californians migrating east for the winter as well as at least as many foreign riders as in 2016.

The number of nations participating was more than two dozen in 2016, up from 11 in 2012.

The number of starting combinations in the CDI divisions from Grand Prix to Young Horse has more than doubled to as many as 270 each show.

And it may be the last year for Global at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s Stadium complex on 57 acres (23 Ha.) with four outdoor arenas, 200 permanent stalls, a covered arena easily large enough for three full size (20m x 60m) dressage arenas and a VIP pavilion that more than doubled in size in five years.

A new dressage facility is in the plans for 2018 at the International Polo Club, acquired earlier this year by investors led by Mark Bellissimo who heads up the group that a decade ago bought the companion Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). WEF was created in 1980 for jumpers and hunters. An expansion of the WEF circuit, major upgrades to the facility and big increases in prize money led to an explosion in the number of horses and riders that increasingly overflows to the Global grounds as well as an adjacent grass derby field.

Wellington show organizer Equestrian Sport Productions raised the level of dressage in the Americas with the first CDI5* that in 2010 included Isabell Werth on Satchmo, Anky van Grunsven on Salinero and Steffen Peters on Ravel. © Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com
Wellington show organizer Equestrian Sport Productions raised the level of dressage in the Americas with the first CDI5* that in 2010 included Isabell Werth on Satchmo, Anky van Grunsven on Salinero and Steffen Peters on Ravel. © Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com

Global was launched in 2012 with five CDIs and $275,000 in total prize money and included a CDI5* that the group had been the first to stage in the Western hemisphere when it held the World Dressage Masters at the WEF grounds in 2009.

A group of dressage supporters were the first founding sponsors of the circuit: Chris and Rob Desino with Matt Varney of Wellington Equestrian Realty; William Pearson and Janet Richardson-Pearson of Chesapeake Dressage Institute; Kimberly van Kampen of Hampton Green Farm and U.S. P.R.E. Association; Joseph and Gaye Scarpa of Magnolia Farm; Terri and Devon Kane of Diamante Farm, and Arlene “Tuny” and David Page of Stillpoint Farm.

Grandioso ridden by Jose Daniel Martin Dockx at the Rio Olympics, the stallion's last competition Grand Prix and will be retired to the American owner's farm. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Grandioso ridden by Jose Daniel Martin Dockx for Spain at the Rio Olympics, the stallion’s last competition Grand Prix. The horse was officially retired in Madrid but will be celebrated at Global’s 2017 US PRE week Jan. 27 sponsored by American owner, Kimberly Van Kampen and Hampton Green Farm. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

The first non-championship Nations Cup was on the schedule from the start and the United States took the 2016 Wellington title to then go on to win the inaugural official trans-Atlantic series later the same year.

In 2015, the world’s first CDI Amateur event was also staged at Global.

New in 2017 will be spectator judging, the first for a dressage show outside Western Europe and that has become a major feature of some of the top shows in Europe in the past two years.

The 2017 Adequan Global Dressage Festival schedule:

–Jan. 11-15 – CDI-W, CDI1*, CDIY, CDIJ, CDIU25, CDIAm, CDICh, CDIP, CDIYH;

–Jan. 25-29 – CDI-W, CDI1*, CDIY, CDIJ, CDIU25, CDICh, CDIAm, CDIP, CDIYH;

–Feb. 8-12 – CDI5*, CDI3*, CDI1*, CDIY, CDIJ, CDIU25, CDIAm, CDICh, CDIP, CDIYH;

–Feb. 22-26 – CDI-W, CDI1*, CDIY, CDIJ, CDIU25, CDIAm, CDICh, CDIP, CDIYH;

–Mar. 1-5 – CDI-W, CDI1*, CDIY, CDIJ, CDIU25, CDIAm, CDICh, CDIP, CDIYH;

–Mar. 15-19 – CDI4*, CDI1*, CDIY, CDIJ, CDIU25, CDIAm, CDICh, CDIP, CDIYH, and

–Mar. 21-26 – CDI03*, CDI3*, CDI1*, CDIY, CDIJ, CDIU25, CDIAm, CDICh, CDIP, CDIYH.