Special Exhibitions at 124th National Horse Show and Family Festival Bring Variety and Panache to the Rolex/USEF National Show Jumping Championships
RELEASE: December 6, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Phelps Media Group
Every year, the National Horse Show and Family Festival brings some of the most interesting and unique equestrian exhibitions to crowds in Wellington. The 124th annual equestrian competition, which is held December 5-9, 2007, at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club, will be no different.
This year, there are a variety of interesting and fresh exhibitions for spectators. They all center around the Rolex/USEF National Show Jumping Championships, presented by Equine Motorcoach, which are held in two phases. The opening ceremonies for the first phase are on Friday evening at 7 p.m., and the first horse will be on course at 7:30 p.m. The second round opening ceremonies are on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.
The parades in the opening ceremonies for the grand prix competitions always offer a variety of equines and disciplines. This year, spectators at the National Horse Show will have the opportunity to help equines in need. In the parade, a selection of rescue horses from Pure Thoughts Horse and Foal Rescue of Loxahatchee, FL, will be shown. The horses were chosen by Pure Thoughts organizer Jennifer Swanson. This Thanksgiving, she rescued an unbelievable 82 horses from slaughter in New Holland, PA. The horses include mares, foals, yearlings, weanlings, draft horses, Thoroughbreds and many more.
Equestrian Victoria McCullough contacted Swanson and helped bring the plight of these horses to the National Horse Show. "When Jennifer saved 82 horses in New Holland, it was the first time in their history that no horses were available for slaughter," McCullough stated. "If these horses are at the show and are seen, so many people will realize what happens and that we need to save them."
The selection of horses will be on the show grounds from Friday through Sunday and will be available for viewing and adoption. In addition, the remainder of the rescue horses can be seen just a short drive away at Swanson's farm in Loxahatchee. McCullough said, "It's one thing to read about rescued horses, but it's quite another to see all of them. We need to bring awareness and find a way to re-home these wonderful animals."
Joining the rescue horses in the parade on both days will be miniature horses. They join the parade and add a whimsical touch to the show. Miniature horses are known as the "horse for everyone." The American Miniature Horse Association states that American Miniature horses can be found in a range of colors and types, are eager to please and are extremely versatile. In the parade, the Miniature horses will show that they can excel in a variety of disciplines, including four-in-hand carriage, singles driving, and showing on halter, among others. In addition to their inclusion in the opening ceremonies, they will have an exhibition on Sunday at 12:30 p.m. in the Grand Hunter Ring.
Friday and Sunday's opening ceremonies will feature a demonstration by world championship vaulters Matthias Lang and Sarah d'Auriol. They will show the crowd what the sport of vaulting is about: strength, coordination, rhythm, suppleness and balance.
Before Friday night's event, a major recording star will join the festivities in the parade. Known for his gigantic hit, "Ice, Ice Baby," performer Vanilla Ice will be on the show grounds, enjoying the equestrian action. In the parade, he will drive an orange Lotus convertible from Palm Beach Motor Cars. Other local celebrities in cars include Mrs. Florida International 2008 Ashley Maguire and Village of Wellington Mayor Thomas Wenham.
After the "Jumping Under the Stars Gala" on Friday night, there will be an incredible after-party. The theme this year is "Dancing with the Equestrian Stars," and it is sure to be a fun and entertaining event. Equestrians like dressage stars Bent Jensen and Lynda Alicki will join show jumper Lauren Hough and amateur rider Tim Boulton. The after-party is hosted by Equine Motorcoach, and sponsored by Lehe