January 4, 2015 -- The Grille Fashion Cuisine, one of Wellington’s finest restaurants, will play host to all nine auditions for American Equestrians Got Talent, the new competition making its debut in Wellington in 2015. Juan Gando, The Grille’s owner and manager, has stepped up to support the exciting contest organized by Robert Dover to raise funds for USEF High Performance Dressage programs through the USET Foundation.
“It’s going to be a fun event,” Gando said. “It’s something new that no one has done before.”
The auditions at the Grille, held from 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. every Wednesday evening from Jan. 7 through March 4, will determine which contestants move on to the final competition for the title of America’s Most Talented Equestrian, to be held March 15 at the Global Dressage Festival show grounds.
Gando has also generously agreed to donate 15 percent of the proceeds from the bar and all tips from the outdoor bar each Wednesday evening. In addition, The Grille will donate $10 per meal that guests order ahead from a special menu.
“The equestrian community supports me a lot, and I try to do the best I can to support them in return,” Gando said. “That’s why I wanted to give something back.”
The Grille opened in October 2011 and quickly became a popular spot in Wellington. Gando feels that creating a good experience and a positive environment for his guests is of utmost importance.
“The people who work for me--my chef and my whole team--set The Grille apart,” Gando said. “It’s not just a place. It’s all about the people. I want to do my part to make people happy and make them feel at home at The Grille.”
While The Grille is very popular with equestrians who come to Wellington for the winter season, the restaurant also has a loyal base of local residents who enjoy its offerings throughout the year.
“We’re not just a seasonal spot,” Executive Chef Clayton Carnes said. “We really support and love the equestrian community, but we’re open year round. We have specials for the locals even now during season.”
Carnes added that he feels American Equestrians Got Talent will be a great fit for The Grille.
“We want to give back to the equestrians, and this is right up our alley,” he said. “People feel very comfortable here at The Grille, so it’s great that we can have an event that encourages everyone to let down their inhibitions a little bit. We’re excited to use our space to get everyone together and create a social atmosphere.”
Joining the Grille in supporting American Equestrians Got Talent are a number of dedicated sponsors, led by Kim and Fred Boyer, Equestrian Sport Productions, Tuny and David Page, and PSdressage.com. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please contact Sara Ike (908-234-1251 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or Robert Dover (Rdover2@aol.com).
American Equestrians Got Talent Fast Facts
About the Event: Spearheaded by U.S. Dressage Team Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover, American Equestrians Got Talent is the third annual East Coast fundraiser to benefit USEF High Performance Dressage programs through the USET Foundation.
Contestants audition to earn their place in the season finale. A pair of celebrity judges will be on hand at each audition to critique the performances, and the audience’s applause will determine who moves forward to the finale and who goes back to the barn.
When: Every Wednesday evening from Jan. 7 through March 4, 2015
7:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Where: The Grille Fashion Cuisine, 12300 South Shore Blvd., Wellington, Florida
Prize: PSdressage.com is sponsoring prizes of $500 to be awarded to the top performer at each audition
Participants: Auditions are open to the entire equestrian community, including riders, grooms and others involved in any discipline from dressage and hunter/jumpers to polo and Western. Please sign up in advance by contacting Robert Dover (Rdover2@aol.com). Walk-ins accepted if space is available.
Spectators are welcome to watch the auditions and cheer on their favorites.
When: March 15, 2015
Where: The Stadium at PBIEC (Global Dressage Festival show grounds), 13500 South Shore Blvd., Wellington, Florida
Prize: The winner, who will be named America’s Most Talented Equestrian, will receive a grand prize valued at no less than $5,000