“Dressage Under the Stars” is returning to Wellington this year for one night only to raise money for cancer research after a three-year hiatus.
The Dressage Under the Stars Cancer Challenge, presented by Invictus Farm and Sport Horses, will draw about a half-dozen top grand prix dressage riders and their horses to the Palm Beach Polo & Country Club on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. The event is hosted by Partners For A Cure, a nonprofit organization that gives to families in need because of cancer. All proceeds from the event will be donated to cancer-related charities for research.
Dressage Under the Stars is a crowd-pleasing event where top riders perform freestyle in costume to the music of their choice. A panel of three judges rate the test based on its technical movements, but also on its creativity and flair. Olympian Bent Jensen’s freestyle to LMFAO’s “Sexy and I Know It” won the event with a perfect score and went viral in 2012.
Rick Rockefeller-Silvia founded Dressage Under the Stars nearly eight years ago to present dressage to a broader audience in a fun and engaging way. He partnered with Stephen Williams to produce the event because of his background in staging television and live events, particularly for the equestrian community in Wellington and around the globe. The series ran for several weeks during the winter season and was a way to make dressage approachable and fun for the community.
“Dressage Under the Stars was initially started to offer riders a chance to ride under the lights before a non-equestrian audience to share the art and beauty of the sport in a fun and friendly way,” Rockefeller-Silvia said.
Rockefeller-Silvia and Williams are teaming up again to run the event as a charity fundraiser. The goal is also to raise awareness of forms of cancer that are not as well known or represented in charity events.
“Plans are for this to be one of Wellington’s most celebrated dressage cancer fundraising events,” said Mary Lou Moskal, founder of Partners For a Cure and chair of the Dressage Under the Stars Cancer Challenge.
General admission tickets at $25 will be on sale online starting Jan. 14. VIP tables to include a cocktail reception and four-course meal are available. For more info., visit www.dressageunderthestars.com.
ABOVE: Dressage Under the Stars returns for one night only Feb. 1.