Articles: Press Release
McLain Ward and Goldika 559 Outdistance the Field on Opening Day at
Winter Equestrian Festival
PHOTO CREDIT: McLain Ward and Goldika 559 win on opening day at the
Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo by Randi Muster
Kenneth Kraus of Phelps Media Group, Inc.
at (561) 753-3389 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wellington, FL - January 25, 2006 - The 2006 Winter Equestrian
Festival, the thirty fourth edition of the nation's largest and longest
running equestrian series, opened under partly cloudy skies and mild
temperatures on Wednesday at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club in
The Nutrena/Western Hay Wellington Classic, CSI 2* runs now through
Sunday, January 30th and is the first of seven weeks of exciting horse
show action. This year's festival promises to be the biggest and most
competitive in history.
Canada's Michel Vaillancourt is the opening week Course Designer at the
There were thirty five starters for the opening competition, the $8000
1.45m Open Jumpers, scored under USEF Table II, Sec. 2b, Time First
Jump-off. Of the thirty-five that went to the post, thirteen produced
first round clears, while eleven others had one knockdown in the initial
Ian Millar, a nine time Olympian from Canada, took the early lead riding
out of the fourth spot in the order. Aboard Redefin, owned by Susan
Grange, Millar toured the course without penalty and crossed the finish
line in a handy time of 36.932 seconds.
Millar was overtaken three horses later when last year's winner, Molly
Ashe, joined the fray with Vicomte D, the newest entry from Jane Clark.
Ashe lopped 1.64 seconds off of Millar's time, tripping the timers in
2004 Athens Olympic Team Gold Medalist McLain Ward and Double H Farm's
Goldika 559, winners of the Chesapeake Speed Classic at the National
Horse Show here in November, put the class out of reach just a few
minutes after Ashe left the ring. Riding out of the eleventh spot in
order, Ward put the pedal to the metal and raced across the finish line
a full 5.16 seconds faster than Ashe, posting an incredible time of
31.600 seconds for the victory.
"When you've got to pay the bills, show Goldika," laughed Ward following
his win. "It was nice. I was getting Sapphire ready for the grand prix,
not being competitive really. So it's nice to have a horse like Goldika
that I can win with."
Ward commented on the beautiful condition of the grass at the
Internationale Arena. "The footing feels phenomenal; they've also got
great new footing in the Internationale Arena warm up area and you can
see that Stadium Jumping is really making an effort, which is
Ward talked about a busy WEF schedule this year and his plans. "The
first two weeks I'll go with Sapphire and then following that Oasis will
start," he noted. "And Goldika will be my horse for the WEF Challenge
classes. Looking ahead, Goldika will go to the World Cup Finals and with
Sapphire, every class I enter is with the World Championships in mind,"
he said. "Every step is planned."
Asked about competing against the likes of Olympic Gold Medalist Rodrigo
Pessoa and all of the other international stars calling Wellington home
this winter, Ward said with confidence and a smile, "Winning will be
just that much more enjoyable."
Ward will have a chance to extend his remarkable opening Thursday
winning streak to three years in a row if he and Goldika can emerge
victorious again in Round One of the $25,000 WEF Challenge Series,
scheduled for Thursday afternoon at 1pm in the Internationale Arena.
The nine week long series of Thursday grand prix events are major money
qualifiers for the WEF finale, the $200,000 Budweiser American
Invitational at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
An exciting new addition at this year's WEF is the $200,000 FTI Rider
Challenge, a rider bonus pool of $200,000. Riders will accumulate
points from their performances in the Thursday and Sunday Grand Prix
events. The rider with the most points on March 12 will be awarded
$100,000. Second place will be given $50,000, third place will receive
$30,000, and $20,000 will be given to fourth place. FTI Consulting of
Annapolis, MD, is sponsoring the $200,000 FTI Rider Challenge.
Results of Class 1002 1.45m II 2 - Nutrena/Western Hay Wellington
CSI**January 25, 2006 - Internationale Arena
1 1270 MCLAIN WARD -GOLDIKA 559 -0-0/31.600
DOUBLE H FARM
2 957 MOLLY ASHE -VICOMTE D -0-0/36.768
JANE F. CLARK
3 2018 IAN MILLAR -REDEFIN -0-0/36.932
4 1187 CAYCE HARRISON -COEUR -0-0/37.543
DOUBLE H FARM
5 1693 LAUREN HOUGH -CLASIKO -0-0/41.346
6 90 CHRIS KAPPLER -VDL ORANTA -0-4/36.342
7 1195 ERIC FLAMENG -ROXANNE -0-4/ 37.149
8 482 CHRISTINE MCCREA-LADDIDOR -0-4/ 38.167
9 1827 AERE YANN CANDELE- MILLCREEK'S MARCO T -0-4/39.144
10 529 MEGAN LAMAZE -OLLANDAISE 0- 8/36.317
T11 1184 JUDY GAROFALO TORRES -OLIVER III -0- ret.
HIGHER GROUND FARM
T11 2263 ALISON FIRESTONE -INTREPIDE DU VALON -0- ret.
BERTRAM R. FIRESTONE
T11 2631 RODRIGO PESSOA -SI GANE VAN DE GRUN -0- ret.
2006 Winter Equestrian Festival Fast Facts
EVENT: Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida
WHAT: Seven-week hunter/jumper and 3-week dressage horse show circuit
Stadium Jumping, Inc.
WHERE: Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club,
14440 Pierson Rd., Wellington, Florida 33414
WHEN: Wednesday through Sunday 2006 Show Dates:
Jan 25-29: Nutrena/Western Hay Wellington Classic, CSI 2*
Feb 1-5: Gold Coast Jumper Classic presented by Carlisle, CSI 3*
Feb 2-5: Wellington Dressage
Feb 8-12: Kilkenny/ICH Internationale, CSI 3*, 'AA'
Feb 15-19: Bainbridge Florida Classic & WCHR Hunter Spectacular,
presented by the Palm Beach Post, CSI-W CSIY CSI-CH
Feb 16-19: Zada Enterprises, LLC Florida Dressage Classic
Feb 22-26: Zada Enterprises, LLC Wellington Masters, CSI 3*
March 1-5: Wellington Open presented by Cosequin, CSI-W
March 8-12: CN Wellington Finale, CSIO 5*-US
March 16-19: Zada Enterprises, LLC WEF Dressage Classic, CDI 3* CDIY
HOURS: Wednesday through Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to approximately 4:00 p.m.
ADMISSION: General Admission Tickets are available at the gate.
Wednesday: Admission is free. *Children 12 & Under Free Everyday
Thursday and Friday: Adults- $5.00, Seniors (65)/Children 13 & Over-
Saturday: Adults- $10.00, Seniors (65)/Children 13 & Over- $5.00
Sunday: Adults- $15.00, Seniors (65)/Children 13 & Over- $5.00
Weekly General Admission Pass- $30.00
Seasonal General Admission Pass- $125.00
Box Seating: Box seats tickets may be purchased at the gate. (Limited
Location: Internationale Arena
Thursday and Friday: $15.00
Seasonal Reserved Box Seats- $350.00 per seat
The Jockey Club: VIP Tables in The Jockey Club (located at the
International Arena) seat six people and include food and beverage
service daily. Front Row tables are $25,000 for the season. Second Row
tables are $20,000, and Third Row tables are $15,000. VIP tables are
available for purchase through Phelps Media Group, Inc. International.
Please call 561-753-3389.
PARKING: Parking is free Wednesday through Sunday
DIRECTIONS: Approaching the show grounds from the Florida Turnpike, take
Exit #93, Lake Worth Blvd., and travel west, crossing over 441. Travel
five miles to South Shore Blvd., turn right on South Shore and proceed
one mile to Pierson Road, then turn left at the light. Spectator
Entrance is first left, on Equestrian Road. Approaching the show grounds
from Interstate I-95, take Exit 49. Travel west on Forest Hill Blvd. 11
miles to South Shore Blvd. Turn left on South Shore and follow to
Pierson Road. Turn right at the light on Pierson. Spectator Entrance is
first left - Equestrian Road.
THE FACILITY: The Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club is the home of the
Winter Equestrian Festival and the site of the first outdoor Nations Cup
held in the United States. The competition areas include the 400' x 400'
grass Internationale Arena, which is surrounded by bermed seating,
chalets, and VIP areas; plus the Bertalan DeNemethy Arena and Grand
Hunter Field, both with all weather footing. Amenities include The
Jockey Club VIP area.
PRIZE MONEY: Over $3 Million in total prize money, including:
* $1.1 Million Grand Prix Series
* $450,000 1.50 M-1.30M Jumper Series
* $300,000 Amateur-Owner Jumper Series
* $100,000 Senior Jumper Series
* $395,000 USEF 'AA' Hunter Section Series
* $200,000 Junior Jumper Series
* $168,000 Adult Amateur Jumper Series
* $32,000 Children's Jumper Series
* $9,500 Pony Jumper Series
$200,000 FTI RIDER CHALLENGE: FTI Consulting of Annapolis, MD, is
sponsoring the $200,000 FTI Rider Challenge. The FTI Rider Challenge
will be held during the 2006 WEF, from January 25 to March 12 at the
Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club in Wellington, FL. The FTI Rider
Challenge will be a rider bonus pool for $200,000. Riders will
accumulate points from their performances in the Thursday and Sunday
Grand Prix events. The rider with the most points on March 12 will be
awarded $100,000. Second place will be given $50,000, third place will
receive $30,000, and $20,000 will be given to fourth place.
* Sunday, Jan 29, 2:00 p.m.: $35,000 Farr XTN Grand Prix of Palm Beach,
presented by Western Hay, CSI 2*
* Saturday, Feb 4, 3:00 p.m.: $25,000 Windsome Dressage/Show Jumping
* Sunday, Feb 5, 2:00 p.m.: $60,000 Wellington Cup presented by Carlisle
* Sunday, Feb 12, 2:00 p.m.: $60,000 Kilkenny/ICH Internationale Cup,
* Saturday, Feb 18, 7:00 p.m.: AHJF Hunter Spectacular of Palm Beach
* Sunday, Feb 19, 9:00 a.m.: $10,000 WEF Individual Young Rider Team and
Individual Competition, CSIY Final
* Sunday, Feb 19, 2:00 p.m.: $60,000 Bainbridge Idle Dice Classic,
presented by Palm Beach Post, CSI-W
* Friday, Feb 24, 7:00 p.m.: $15,000 Solaray Junior Jumper Gambler's
* Sunday, Feb 26, 2:00 p.m.: $100,000 Zada Enterprises, LLC Masters Cup,
* Friday, March 3, 7:00 p.m.: $15,000 Solaray Amateur-Owner Jumper
* Sunday, March 5, 2:00 p.m.: $100,000 Florida Open, presented by
* Friday, March 10, 7:00 p.m.: $75,000 Nations Cup CSIO 5* presented by
* Sunday, March 12, 2:00 p.m.: $150,000 US Open Jumper Championship
CSIO, presented by CN
FOOD: A diverse menu of food and beverages is available at the vendor
courtyard and at vendors around the Internationale Arena, and are open
during show hours.
SHOPPING: The vendor courtyard and individual booths around the
Internationale Arena both offer equestrian equipment, apparel, jewelry,
and home furnishings.
ECONOMIC IMPACT: The Winter Equestrian Festival, produced by Eugene R.
Mische and Stadium Jumping, Inc., is the largest and longest
consecutively running sporting event in the world. It is also the
largest equestrian event and major contributor to Palm Beach County's
$553+ million equestrian industry. (Courtesy of Palm Beach County
Equestrian Commission, Inc.)
PALM BEACH POLO EQUESTRIAN CLUB: 14440 Pierson Rd., Wellington, FL,
33414; Tel: 561-793-JUMP; Fax: 561-753-7727; Website:
STADIUM JUMPING, INC.: Corporate Office- 1301 Sixth Ave West, Suite 406,
Bradenton, FL, 34205; Tel: 941-744-5465; Fax: 941-744-0874; Website: