Wellington, FL – January 30, 2013 – The 2013 Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) hosted its opening press conference today with a crowd of media in attendance to kick off this year’s exciting line-up of top level competition. The AGDF circuit starts tomorrow with CDI-W competition at the Wellington Dressage presented by The Dutta Corp. and includes another CDI-W, CDI-3*, CDI-5* and a CDIO-3*/CDI-3*, as well as four more national level competitions.

The press conference panel included Equestrian Sport Productions’ (ESP) CEO Mark Bellissimo and President Michael Stone; as well as Allyn Mann of Adequan, Global Dressage Festival Title Sponsor; Matt Varney, Broker/Associate at Wellington Equestrian Realty, First Founding Sponsor; Canadian Olympian David Marcus; and top rider Devon Kane (USA).

As the AGDF begins its second year, top international riders, trainers and owners look forward to seeing what exciting and challenging classes lay ahead this season. With this season’s competition dates going through mid-April, riders will have the opportunity to compete at a fantastic facility almost three months.

Devon Kane, David Marcus, Mark Bellissimo, Allyn Mann, Matt Varney, and Michael Stone. Photo © SusanJStickle.com

“There was no expectation on the level of success the AGDF was going to have in the first few years after being created. From our perspective, the first year exceeded our expectations,” Bellissimo explained. “Our First Founding and Founding Sponsors have and will continue to be committed to the AGDF. This festival will elevate the sport and hopefully a trajectory that will increase over time.”

With the dedicated support of many, including title sponsor Adequan, the AGDF will be quite the showcase for Dressage. “After being involved with the United States Dressage Federation for almost eight years, we were looking for an event like this. I am really excited for this opportunity and to see what ESP did for the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, I have no doubt that those in Dressage will be spending their winters here competing,” forecasted Mann.  

In discussing the schedule, Stone described, “The CDIO will let us test the Pan American Games system where there are two horses for Prix St. Georges and two horses for Grand Prix on a team. Details are still being finalized. We have the National shows that are happening towards the end of the circuit which will give people the opportunity to bring out their young horses, and our CDI 5* will host some amazing caliber athletes. Its going to be a really exciting season.”

These high-quality events have already attracted the attention of riders. Enthusiastically, Marcus expressed, “This facility has allowed me and my horses to reach goals that I don’t think we could have accomplished without it. It has allowed riders, like myself, to come show more often than we would normally get to. I believe this facility will hopefully attract more international riders, which ups everyone’s game. For me, to compete against people who are better then me, has given me my success. (The) AGDF lends itself to that.”

An important component of AGDF are the classes offered to National, Young and Junior riders. They are able to take part in this momentous event alongside some of the international riders in the sport. According to Kane, “Usually, these riders arrive at international competitions after only being exposed to a smaller facility, which comes as quite a shock to them. Competing at AGDF allows them the ability to be in the arena, warming up with international riders. This exposes them to not only the experience (in the ring), but also being able to watch the higher level of competition. They are then more comfortable in the surroundings of the World Cup or Aachen, for instance.”

Not to be outdone by the outstanding schedule, the grounds at AGDF are bar none. As The First Founding Sponsor, Varney remarked, “Wellington has always deserved to have a world-class Dressage facility. These facilities are beautiful and ESP has done an amazing job. We’ve been excited since day one and this is only the beginning.” Echoing Varney’s sentiments, Marcus responded, “We can come here and have world-class footing and stabling with a great location that isn’t taxing on our horses.”

Adding to that, Kane said, “The grounds are meticulous and well-situated. The stalls are so comfortable, my horses have actually slept and laid down, which they don’t normally do at shows. The thought that was put into every detail makes this facility the international level it is. We are so grateful that it is uniquely for dressage.”

This week’s competition on January 31-February 3 is sponsored by The Dutta Corp. and features $50,000 in prize money. Highlights include the $10,000 FEI Olympic Grand Prix Special on Saturday, the $6,000 FEI Intermediare Freestyle on Sunday, and the $20,000 FEI Grand Prix Freestyle under the lights on Friday evening at 7 pm. Tomorrow’s competition begins with the $6,000 FEI Grand Prix.

For more information on and a full schedule for the AGDF, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Photo Credit: Photos © SusanJStickle.com. These photos may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.