Great Britain’s Carl Hester will compete at the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach , which takes place from January 26th to 28th, 2012. Hester led the British Dressage Team to a historic gold medal at the 2011 European Dressage Championships, and went on to win individual silver riding the nine year old stallion Uthopia. Hester’s exclusive appearance at the WDM Palm Beach will be his first time competing on American soil since he was a member of the British Dressage Team that won a silver medal at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
“We are thrilled that Carl has accepted our invitation to attend the 2012 WDM Palm Beach,” say organizers of World Dressage Masters. “We already have an impressive group of world class horses and riders, and the addition of Carl’s name to that list is exciting news for the WDM’s presenting sponsors, for the organizers, and of course for the spectators.”
Hester will bring Wie Atlantico, a 13 year old Hanoverian gelding owned by Fiona Bigwood, who was Hester’s team mate with Wie Atlantico at the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Currently pregnant with her third child, Bigwood offered the ride on Wie Atlantico to Hester for the WDM Palm Beach. Great Britain will also be represented at the 2012 WDM Palm Beach by rising stars Charlotte Dujardin and the ten year old Valegro. Dujardin exploded onto the world stage at the 2011 European Dressage Championships. The youngest member of her team at 26, she and Valegro finished fourth in the Grand Prix test, beating many of the world’s most successful veterans.
“This is an exciting venture for us,” said Hester, who is also Dujardin’s trainer. “I’m glad I’m bringing Charlotte with me. Valegro is one of the world’s super stars, and it’s exciting to show him to the North American public.” Hester is grateful to Bigwood for her generosity in offering Wie Atlantico to him for the WDM Palm Beach. “The World Dressage Masters is such a great show. We want to be part of dressage’s new era, and that means going over to Florida. I watched the 2011 WDM Palm Beach on Television and it looks like a great venue.”
A number of other exciting combinations have been confirmed for the 2012 WDM Palm Beach, including Olympian Minna Telde, who competed on the Swedish Dressage Team at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. Telde won the Grand Prix Freestyle at the CDI Helsinki in October, 2011 riding Deinhardt, the horse she will bring to Florida. Two Canadians have also confirmed they will return to the 2012 WDM Palm Beach: Ashley Holzer and Pop Art, who finished fourth in the Grand Prix Freestyle at the 2011 WDM Palm Beach, and Jacqueline Brooks with Gran Gesto, who also competed at last year’s event. Steffen Peters of the US will travel from San Diego, CA to defend his 2011 WDM Palm Beach title with Ravel.
A total of 13 riders representing six nations have confirmed their participation in the 2012 WDM Palm Beach. Invitations have been extended to several more top international North American and European riders. The list of horses and riders confirmed to date is as follows:
• Jacqueline Brooks (CAN) – Gran Gesto
• Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) – Valegro
• Todd Flettrich (USA) – Otto
• Carl Hester (GBR) – Wie Atlantico
• Adrienne Lyle (USA) – Wizard
• Ashley Holzer (CAN) – Pop Art
• Tina Konyot (USA) – Calecto V
• Yvonne Losos de Muñiz (DOM) – Dondolo Las Marismas
• Steffen Peters (USA) – Ravel
• Anja Plönzke (GER) – Le Mont d’Or
• Pierre St. Jacques (USA) – Lucky Tiger
• Minna Telde (SWE) – Deinhardt
• Tinne Vilhelmsson-Silfven (SWE) – Favourit
The World Dressage Masters presented by Axel Johnson Group is the world’s richest dressage series, and it has taken place in several of Europe’s most prestigious equestrian venues, including Hickstead, Munich and Falsterbo. The WDM Palm Beach is North America’s only annual FEI five star dressage competition, and the only WDM event outside of Europe. The three days of world class competition at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center will culminate with the Grand Prix Freestyle to Music on the evening of Saturday, January 28th.
A very limited number of VIP tables are still available for the 2012 WDM Palm Beach. For information on pricing and availability go to http://www.internationalpoloclub.com/, or contact Maria Feola at firstname.lastname@example.org.