$8 Million in Prize Money Awarded for 12 Week Circuit

Wellington, FL – December 14, 2013 -Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) is pleased to announce the highlights of the 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). The 12-week circuit held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, will run January 8 through March 30, 2014, awarding over $8 million in prize money. The 2014 FTI WEF Prize List is now available online at www.equestriansport.com.

The International Arena hosts top competition for the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Photo © Sportfot.

The International Arena hosts top competition for the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Photo © Sportfot.

The prize money for the Festival has increased by $1.63 million for 2014. The competition will add 13 more FEI ranking classes for a record 51 ranking classes for the entire circuit. FTI WEF 12, sponsored by FTI Consulting, is the feature week and once again hosts the $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix.

In other exciting news, all but two of the Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Series will be FEI world ranking classes with increased prize money and a $100,000 final during FTI WEF 12. The winner of the Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Series will win $25,000. The FTI Consulting Rider Challenge will also award the top four show jumpers during the 12-week circuit with $100,000.

Prize money for the Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup series has increased as well.

The popular $75,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup presented by G&C Farm returns on Friday, February 28, during week eight’s CSIO 4* competition. CSIO week will also host Children’s, Juniors, and Young Riders returning for their Hollow Creek Farm FEI Nations Cup classes on Saturday, March 1.

The Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup presented by G&C Farm is a highlight event of the circuit. Photo © Elena Lusenti.

The Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup presented by G&C Farm is a highlight event of the circuit. Photo © Elena Lusenti.

Top young riders will find that they have more opportunity in 2014 as well, thanks to the Artisan Farm Young Rider Series. They will open with a $10,000 speed class during FTI WEF 2, a $10,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Team Event during FTI WEF 4, a $25,000 Grand Prix semi-final on FTI WEF 9, and the $50,000 FEI Grand Prix Final during FTI WEF 11.

Young riders ages 16-25 can also contest the Hermès Talented Young Rider Award, which will be presented to the overall series winner during FTI WEF 12 and is based on results in FEI competitions throughout the circuit. The winner receives a one-year Hermès partnership including a saddle, saddle pads, and ear nets.

The USHJA/WCHR Peter Wetherill Hunter Spectacular during week six will also feature increased prize money at $100,000.

The best hunters in the nation come to compete at the FTI WEF. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography.

The best hunters in the nation come to compete at the FTI WEF. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography.

The grass field at The Stadium at PBIEC will feature several exciting events this year, including the $50,000 ARIAT Grand Prix CSI 2* on Sunday, February 2; the $50,000 Equestrian Sotheby’s Jumper Derby on Sunday, February 16; the $50,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Final and $84,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Sunday, March 23; and the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Final on Sunday, March 30.

FTI WEF now has:

  • More than $8 million in total prize money
  • The only FEI Nations Cup in the USA
  • 51 FEI ranking classes
  • 33 different countries represented

FTI WEF is the top winter circuit in the world. Whether it’s for intense competition, training horses and riders for championships, or horse sales, it can all be done in the beautiful climate of South Florida.

The grass derby field at The Stadium at PBIEC offers a new view for competitors. Photo © Elena Lusenti.

The grass derby field at The Stadium at PBIEC offers a new view for competitors. Photo © Elena Lusenti.

The FTI WEF has proven a valuable training ground for both riders and horses as the last two FEI World Cup champions, the last three Olympic Gold medal teams, and the top performers at the 2010 Alltech FEI WEG trained at the FTI WEF.

As Ben Maher (GBR), winner of the 2012 Olympic Team Gold, commented in an article for The Chronicle of the Horse, “Wellington is an amazing place. There’s big jumping competition in Florida. Some think the jumping is not as strong, but if you’re there, it’s probably the strongest competition in the world.”

Maher also said in 2011 to the popular show jumping website, www.worldofShowJumping.com, that competing at the FTI WEF is beneficial. “The horses get their education quicker than they otherwise would when they compete in Florida,” he noted said. “What would take six months at home, takes two and a half in Florida. It’s amazing there.”

With 12 competition rings on the Main Grounds at PBIEC, the FTI WEF offers classes for every level of horse and rider. Photo © Elena Lusenti.

With 12 competition rings on the Main Grounds at PBIEC, the FTI WEF offers classes for every level of horse and rider. Photo © Elena Lusenti.

 

For a 2013 WEF Highlight video see: http://vimeo.com/65534140

For more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com.