The 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival Welcomes Riders for the Exquis World Dressage Masters
RELEASE: February 2, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Ken Braddick
Steffen Peters and Ravel, Anky van Grunsven and Salinero and Isabell Werth and Satchmo joined 15 other horse-and-rider combinations Monday to prepare for the Exquis World Dressage Masters Palm Beach this week that kicks off the 2010 lineup of the globe's richest dressage competitions.
Anky van Grunsven watched her first ever polo game Sunday at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, Isabell Werth worked Satchmo at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center while her sister, Claudia, wheeled the baby, Frederik, nearby, and Steffen Peters visited the South Florida Fair after a day of teaching.
Despite steady rain on Monday, riders from Europe, Canada and the north of the United States raved about the warm weather and show grounds that they described as "amazing" and "exciting."
The top American, Dutch and German pairs that last competed against each other a year ago at the World Cup Final in Las Vegas with Steffen Peters and Ravel coming out on top are among 18 combinations to battle for total prize money of €100,000 (US$138,000) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. WDM is the featured event of the fourth week of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, the world's largest and, at 12 weeks, the longest-running horse show.
All combinations will start in the Nuenberger Versicherungen's Grand Prix with its prize money of €10,000 (US$13,800) beginning at 1 p.m. Thursday, the Moorland Stable's Grand Prix Special and its €30,000 (US$41,400) in prize money scheduled to start at 1 p.m. Saturday, and the €60,000 (US$82,800) Exquis Grand Prix Musical Freestyle under lights at 7 p.m. Saturday.
The results from Palm Beach also count toward the Nürnberger Versicherungsgruppe WDM Rider Ranking bonus of €25,000 (US$36,000) to be awarded after the WDM in Munich, May 13-16. Hickstead, England, is the other confirmed WDM. Each event has prize money of €100,000 (US$138,000).
A special gala night of equestrian entertainment is scheduled for Friday night, featuring a "ride off" between Steffen Peters and Isabell Werth and more than one hour of the training sessions for the musical freestyle competitors that is open to watch for ticketed spectators, which begins at 7 p.m.
A giveaway to spectators of $10,000 (€7,160) of Back on Track products that was a hit in 2009 will return for the Friday and Saturday night events.
Tickets for seats and tables in the VIP lounge for the Friday night and Saturday afternoon and night can be ordered through www.equestriansport.com/tickets
or by contacting Annette Goyette at Annette@equestriansport.com
Entries for this week's competition are:
(subject to change)
Steffen Peters and Ravel, USA
Anky van Grunsven and Salinero, The Netherlands
Isabell Werth and Satchmo, Germany
Ashley Holzer and Pop Art, Canada
Leslie Morse and Tip Top, USA
Ulla Salzgeber and Wakana, Germany
Anja Plönzke and Le Mont d'Or, Germany
Jacqueline Brooks and Balmoral, Canada
Tina Konyot and Calecto V, USA
Michael Barisone and Olympus, USA
Elisabeth Austin and Olivier, USA
Pierre St. Jacques and Lucky Tiger, USA
Belinda Trussell and Anton, Canada
Diane Creech and Devon L, Canada
Mikala Munter Gundersen and Leonberg, Denmark
Aat van Essen and Premier, The Netherlands
Christa Laarakkers and Ovation, The Netherlands
Van Grunsven and Isabell have won a combined total of 11 World Cup titles and eight Olympic Gold medals in the 15 years they have dominated global dressage. Van Grunsven won the inaugural Palm Beach Masters last January and at Cannes on the French Riviera last June, while Werth captured the World Dressage Masters in Munich in May.
Peters beat both riders in the 2009 World Cup Final at Las Vegas then went on to make a historic sweep of all three team championship competitions—the Grand Prix, Grand Prix Special and Grand Prix Kür—at the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany. Those successes led to Peters being named USEF Equestrian of the Year in 2009 for the second straight year and for Ravel being named Horse of the Year.
NÜRNBERGER Versicherungsgruppe WDM Rider Rankings
(Through WDM, Hickstead 2009--second of four competition)
Rank Rider Nation # Events Points
1. Edward Gal NED 1 1020
2. Marc Boblet FRA 2 945
3. Adelinde Cornelissen NED 1 870
4. Laura Bechtolsheimer GBR 1 855
5. Catherine Haddad USA 2 855
6. Daniel Pinto POR 2 855
7. Imke Schellekens-Bartels NED 1 780
8. Anky van Grunsven NED 1 750
9. Ashley Holzer CAN 1 750
10. Hans Peter Minderhoud NED 1 615
11. Kyra Kyrklund FIN 1 615
12. Nathalie zu Sayn Wittgenstein DEN 1 585
13. Leslie Morse USA 1 585
14. Fiona Bigwood GBR 1 570
15. Jordi Domingo ESP 1 558
16. Jeroen Devroe BEL 1 540
17. Anders Dahl DEN 1 510
18. Maria Eilberg GBR 1 495
19. Anja Plönzke GER 1 495
20. Michal Rapcewicz POL 1 470
21. Stefan van Ingelgem BEL 1 450
22. Judy Harvey GBR 1 435
23. Anne van Uytert NED 1 420
24. Evi Strasser CAN 1 405
25. Sarah Jane Elmslie GBR 1 405
26. Jane Gregory GBR 1 390
27. Constance Menard ISR 1 375
28. Dane Rawlins GBR 1 375
29. Marc Peter Spahn BEL 1 360
30. Remy Issartel FRA 1 360
Note: In the case of tied points, the best individual result in Grand Prix will be decisive.About WDM
The World Dressage Masters is a sports and marketing initiative of equestrian innovator Exquis, international sports marketing agency, SportBizz, and Equestrian Sport Productions of the USA. WDM utilizes marketing strategies and innovation to enhance the sport of dressage worldwide. WDM is sponsored by Exquis, Moorland Stables and Moorland Investments, Nürnberger Versicherungsgruppe and Jerich International.