Known as the triple threat of world-class horsemanship, the just-completed Palm Beach International Equestrian Circuit is a feast of breathtaking action and beauty as some of the best steeds and riders compete in Show Jumping, Polo and Dressage from January through April every year.
In fact, the Winter Equestrian Festival in the Florida town of Wellington is a global destination where the world’s finest horses, Olympian, professional and amateur riders show their stuff in a 12-week equestrian extravaganza. Each of these universes have celebrity followings, stadiums, shopping, cafes-bars-food and low to no entry prices, making events not only glamorous entertainment, but family-friendly, and showcasing serious high-stakes world-class competition.
It’s the fabulous kick-off to the Spring Equestrian Event Calendar that will culminate at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil, where at least two of the competitors — Zara Phillips and Charlotte Casiraghi — are of royal lineage. Meanwhile, here’s a glimpse at three of the hottest mergers between horses and riders.
For more information, check out the US Equestrian Federation calendar at USEF.org.
Formal elegance, a lyrical dance which belies extraordinary discipline, dressage is the ultimate test of the connection between horse and rider. Kimberly Boyer is one of dressage’s leaders, a key mover and shaker. As a founding sponsor of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), she is also a pioneer for PRE dressage horses. Says Boyer, “I breed Spanish horses for dressage. My breeding stallion, Grandioso, was on the Spanish Olympic team in London, and we are going to Rio.”
Grandioso and Dani captured 5 International CDI Grand Prix wins in 2015.
Boyer is one of the Wellington Equestrian Partners, who run and own both the Winter Equestrian Festival and AGDF competitions.
For a calendar of Dressage competitions in your area, check
International Polo Club
The sport of kings — think Princes Charles, William and Harry — high excitement action, speed, horses and riders clashing. IPC hosts the most prestigious polo tournaments in the US. The season is about to conclude with the USPA U.S. Open Polo Championship® finals April 24.
“Polo brings out really raw, inspirational emotions,” says actor Tommy Lee Jones who has a 74-acre equestrian facility in Buenos Aires, two separate teams, six professional polo players, and 50 horses. Ralph Lauren model Nacho Figueras is a regular player.
Stomp the divots at halftime and enjoy a glass of champagne on the field. Polo matches are usually open to the public, with stylish tailgating, stadium seating, field-side champagne brunches and exclusive sponsor boxes.
For a calendar of Polo matches in your area, check
Show Jumping and Hunter Jumping
Spine-tingling Grand Prix competitive show jumping takes place throughout the Spring season. Exhibiting intense communication between horse and rider, show jumpers negotiate a series of obstacles, where emphasis is placed on height and width without lowering the height or refusing to jump. Show jumping tests a horse’s athleticism, agility and tractability while simultaneously testing a rider’s precision, accuracy and responsiveness
For a calendar of show jumping events in your area, check with the United States Equestrian Federation – USEF.org
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