The three-month spectacle in horse sport attracts many of show jumping’s elite riders, who are seeking winter sun and unprecedented outdoor equine facilities, as the first quarter of the European show jumping circuit continues indoors. A total of 6,000 horses and 2,000 riders from across 30 countries base themselves in Palm Beach from January until April, to educate their younger rides and to prepare their top horses for the first Rolex Grand Prix of the year at WEF.
Rolex Testimonee Kent Farrington commented on the unique 12-week competition:
“For me, this is a combination of spring training for my younger horses and an opportunity to compete against some of the world’s best at 5* Grand Prix level. That is why WEF is unique.”
In 2014 Rolex enhanced its position in the world of show jumping and with the Winter Equestrian Festival, by signing a long-term agreement to become the Official Timepiece of both the Palm Beach International Equestrian Centre and the WEF.
The managing partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners, Mark Bellissimo wanted to produce an event which “provides the best equestrian show experience in the industry from the perspective of the quality of competition, the facility and the general lifestyle experience. These elements would not be possible without the support of global partners such as Rolex.”
ROLEX TESTIMONEES AT THE WINTER EQUESTRIAN FESTIVAL
To be the very best, an athlete must be able to repeatedly deliver under pressure. This is something that Rolex understands perfectly.
Over the last 60 years Rolex has cemented its presence at the highest level in equestrianism and in doing so, has developed a close relationship with the foremost riders in the world. These men and women are notable not only for their exceptionally high levels of achievement but also for the virtues of horsemanship and sportsmanship.
Together with their top horses, many of Rolex’s Testimonees are scheduled to compete in the 11th week of the WEF at the highlight of the competition, the 5* Rolex Grand Prix.
Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, arguably Germany’s greatest show jumper of all time, has one of the finest equestrian resumes in history and will be looking to finish what has started as a successful season at the WEF, with the title prize.
Canadian born but now Florida-based, Eric Lamaze will be looking to take on the world’s leading horse and rider combinations aboard Houston and start the year as he finished in 2016, with a win at Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final at CHI Geneva.
Perfectly located for the Winter Equestrian Festival, Kent Farrington, who lives in Wellington, will be looking to capitalize on his proximity to the venue and challenge for the title, riding Gazelle.
Rodrigo Pessoa, a legend in the show jumping world and regarded as one of the most naturally gifted horseman is ready to contend for the Rolex Grand Prix together with his gelding Ferro Chin VH Lindenhof.
The Netherlands’ Jeroen Dubbeldam is also set to challenge with the brilliant SFN Zenith N.O.P.