No "Big Event" to Lure Euro Dressage Stars to Florida in 2011? World Dressage Masters Hints at a Plan B

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If you're like me, your heart sank this morning when you saw the news that the 2011 Exquis World Dressage Masters stop in North America had been canceled. It has been exciting to see dressage stars like Isabell Werth and Anky Van Grunsven compete in Florida in the winter.

The recent Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games acquainted many Americans with global dressage talents and I'm sure I wasn't the only one who was wondering if perhaps the Spanish WEG superstar Fuego XII would be coming to Wellington!

Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival are the pair we should all see somewhere in North America. After going lame in Las Vegas before the World Cup, and the bitter taste of a bloody bit disqualification at WEG, Cornellissen probably never wants to set foot on US soil again. She can be forgiven, given the US adage about "three strikes". As an English teacher, she surely knows that line.

But the organizers of the US World Dressage Masters event apparently have other concerns, and the event is off.

But wait, there's a ray of hope! This afternoon I received this press release from WDM headquarters in Europe, which seems a little more optimistic:

Oisterwijk, Netherlands- Tuesday evening 30 November WDM Management received an email from ESP's president Michael Stone stating that ESP had decided to cancel the WDM Palm Beach 2011 (3-5 February).

?We were very surprised by this news', Anthony M. Kies, CEO of WDM management says. ?First of all because WDM has a running contract with ESP and secondly because several top North American - and European riders had already confirmed to travel to Florida to compete in the WDM'. WDM regrets that ESP has chosen to inform the press without consulting WDM. This has resulted in a situation where the US dressage community is left with many questions about the future of WDM in the US.Therefore WDM Management is happy to announce that US dressage icons Akiko Yamazaki (owner of ?USEF's Horse of the Year' Ravel) and 2010 WEG Bronze medalist Steffen Peters are determined to secure WDM for the North American riders and public and have gladly offered their help in finding a good place to stage WDM.Canadian rider and IDRC board member Evi Strasser is clear in her comments: ?We cannot afford to lose this great competition and definitely need to go the extra mile to keep it here'.WDM will stage a press conference on December 28 during the World Cup show in Mechelen (Belgium), in which it will present the 2011 WDM Calendar, a new media- partnership and the pr?-announcement of a new partner.The Exquis World Dressage Masters is an initiative of equestrian innovator Exquis and international sports marketing agency SportBizz

The Exquis World Dressage Masters is the richest dressage circuit in the world and is sponsored by Exquis, Moorland Stables and Moorland Investments, N?rnberger Versicherungsgruppe, Axel Johnson Group and Jerich International.

(end of press release)

Maybe Totilas will be under wraps until spring while he gets to know his new rider, Mathias Rath, and has what will undoubtedly be a spectacular new freestyle composed and choreographed for him. And maybe the Spanish Riding School did have to cancel their tour of US cities. But a rescheduled North American WDM, especially populated with crowd-pleasing horses like Fuego XII, could be a highlight of the long, cold winter ahead.

Stay tuned!

by Fran Jurga | The Jurga Report at
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