From the thundering hoofs of polo to the precision of show jumping and the graceful moves of dressage, Wellington’s 2015 equestrian season is now in full swing. High-goal polo kicked off last weekend at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, followed quickly by the opening of the Winter Equestrian Festival and the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. Three distinct sports, all showing off at their highest level right here in our midst. No matter what your sport of choice, you can enjoy a great day out with family and friends at an affordable price.
Polo action runs every Sunday through April 19 at the International Polo Club Palm Beach. While luxurious seating packages are available, including the ever-popular Sunday brunch, general bleacher seating for Sunday games starts at only $10, which makes it amazingly affordable to be part of the high-goal action. Arrive at 2 p.m. and take in the ambiance until the on-field action starts at 3 p.m. Ticket options and complete schedules are available at www.internationalpoloclub.com.
Classes at the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival kicked off Wednesday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, and this weekend will bring the return of the weekly “Saturday Night Lights” events. This Saturday night’s featured class is the $75,000 Battle of the Sexes, pitting male against female in a competition for the ultimate bragging rights. Saturday Night Lights is a fun event with a featured show jumping competition each week, as well as a kids fair, petting zoo, pony rides, face painting, a Venetian carousel and more. And while Saturday night is great for family entertainment, WEF classes run five days a week (Wednesday through Sunday), generally culminating with a high-stakes Sunday afternoon grand prix. Looking for horse-themed items? Shopping options at WEF can’t be beat. For more information, visit www.equestriansport.com.
The Adequan Global Dressage Festival, held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s stadium on South Shore Blvd., got underway Thursday and features a wide array of dressage competitions along all levels, from amateurs to world-class professionals. To get a taste of this unique sport, check out the “Friday Night Stars” program, which features the popular musical freestyle class, where competitors ride choreographed to music. To learn more, and view the schedule of events, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com and www.equestriansport.com.
Aside from wonderful entertainment, the equestrian industry is an economic heavyweight. A recent study sponsored by the Tourist Development Council of Palm Beach County and the Palm Beach County Sports Commission showed that the Winter Equestrian Festival alone contributes nearly $200 million in economic impact each year, along with 122,000 hotel bed nights. Supporting Wellington’s equestrian industry is not only great fun, it’s great for the local economy.