January 26, 2012 -- The dressage world descends upon the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. for the 2012 World Dressage Masters Palm Beach presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach. Fifteen riders from six countries have accepted invitations to compete at the prestigious event which runs January 26-28 at the CDI5* level.
The U.S. effort is led by last year's defending champion Steffen Peters (San Diego, Calif.) who returns to the venue in which he swept to victory last year on Akiko Yamazaki and Four Winds Farm Ravel. Ravel, now 14, first represented the U.S. at the 2008 Olympic Games, and has gone from strength to strength since that trip. Peters was also the double-Gold medalist in October at the 2011 Pan American Games with Weltino's Magic.
But the California combination will have plenty of competition. From the home team, they will have two combinations from their team at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games as challengers: Todd Flettrich and Otto and Tina Konyot, 2010 USEF National Grand Prix Dressage Champion, with Calecto V. Adrienne Lyle and Wizard are hot off a win last weekend at the same venue, and Pierre St. Jacques will round out the U.S. effort on Lucky Tiger.
Jacqueline Brooks, Ashley Holzer and Victoria Winter will represent Canada. Big names from Great Britain's 2011 Gold medal-winning European Championship Team: Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester. They will ride Valegro and Wie Atlantico respectively.
"Last weekend was great - it was my first Florida show and it was great," said Lyle. "I'm really excited. I can't wait to get over there and school with everyone let alone compete against the best in the world. We are just really excited. Wizard is doing great he's getting stronger and more confirmed all the time."
The complete list of entries is:
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) - Breaking Dawn
Tina Konyot (USA) - Calecto V
Yvonne Losos de Mu?iz (DOM) - Dondolo Las Marismas
Steffen Peters (USA) - Ravel
Anja Pl?nzke (GER) - Le Mont d'Or
Pierre St. Jacques (USA) - Lucky Tiger
Per Sandgaard (SWE) - Lomumba Havdal
Minna Telde (SWE) - Deinhardt
Tinne Vilhelmsson-Silfven (SWE) - Favourit
Victoria Winter (CAN) - Proton
These riders will compete for ?100,000 ($130,000) at the only World Dressage Masters competition to be contested outside Europe. ?The top two horse/rider combinations from the Wellington Classic Sunshine Challenge CDI3* Grand Prix will be invited to the CDI5* Grand Prix following the completion of that class on Thursday.? The CDI5* jog is on Thursday at 12:30 PM.
This sold-out event will be broadcast live on the USEFNetwork.com presented by SmartPak: http://usefnetwork.com/featured/WDM2012/ beginning at 2pm ET on Saturday with the Grand Prix Special and followed by the Grand Prix Freestyle at 7:30pm ET. Video on Demand coverage of both events will posted the following day.
EquiSearch's Nancy Jaffer is heading to Florida for the event and will be filing reports throughout the weekend and there will also be a photo gallery going up early next week.