Wellington Journal

Sylvia Harmon, LVDA member, is spending quality time in Wellington, FL this winter, and she's kindly offered to share some of her knowledge, experiences and photos with the LVDA community. Below are some photos and some tips for the Winter Wellington traveller.

Preface (for the non-Floridian)
The Wellington Classic Dressage Challenge Series features USEF/USDF recognized dressage shows hosted at the Palm Beach County Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, located in West Palm Beach Florida. The series runs from January through April, with plans for additional shows based on rider demand. This 111-acre world-class equestrian facility features a lighted covered arena as well as several open, newly-improved show and schooling rings and 128 stalls in permanent barns.
The Wellington Classic Dressage Challenge 1, NAJYRC, YC, BC Q, Jan 6, 2013 
By Sylvia Harmon
Greetings from sunny Wellington Florida and the first recognized dressage show at The Jim Brandon Equestrian Center on Forest Hill Blvd.! The Jim Brandon Equestrian Center is a 111-acre world class equestrian showplace, featuring 1 covered arena with bleachers, 2 outdoor show rings, 3 training rings, 2 permanent stabling barns with a total of 128 stalls, parking for cars, horse trailers, and vans, and 8 miles of scenic trails. It will also be the location for Jan.23-27 Wellington Classic Dressage Sunshine Challenge CDI 3 and World Masters of Dressage CDI 5; immediately followed by the Global Dressage Forum North America Jan 28-29.

This was a relatively small show compared to what is to come this season, but here are some of my favorites: George Williams riding Cleopatra in FEI Intemediare 1 Open. A gorgeous horse ridden by a most capable and accomplished rider! ‘Not to mention George is president of USDF and a genuinely nice person! The duo scored 69.211% and placed 2nd. The first place in the same class went to Caroline Roffman on Her Highness O, with an impressive score of 72.368%. Caroline’s body position is the epitome of correctness and a perfect example of what we should all aspire to!

My favorite horse of the day was the drop-dead-gorgeous and super mover, Rosevelt, ridden by Allison Brock ! WOW ! The pair earned a well-deserved 70.541% in FEI test-of-choice I-2. ‘Hope to catch more pix of them as the season progresses.

Unfortunately, I missed the lovely Paula Matute’s (yes! She’s the daughter of Juan!) Jr.T ride on Quelidona De Ymas because I was socializing with old friends at the stabling barns. But, she was kind enough to pause and flash a bright smile for my camera ! BTW..........if anyone is interested in warming their horsey souls this winter down here in Wellington, the action is hoppin' from this coming weekend until mid-April featuring many of the world's best in dressage, jumping and polo. So check out the schedules on these websites to help plan you trip:
  • DRESSAGE - www.showchicdressage.com   Michelle has the complete list of shows in 5 different locations in and around Wellington.
  • WINTER EQUESTRIAN FESTIVAL - www.equestriansport.com   Come see stadium jumping at it's finest at the biggest horse show in the world !
  • POLO - www.internationalpoloclub.com   Come and tailgate on Sunday afternoons, watch those chuckers fly, good-looking guys swinging mallets, and oh those airhorns! ( 'good thing they don't use those at dressage shows!)

Also, I'd like to add the following info to the list for those who are considering a visit to this area and would like to add variety to their vacation and/or are bringing family members who might appreciate a breather from the horse stuff. :

  •    Lion Country Safari is a drive-through wildlife park located adjacent to White Fences Equestrian Community and Equestrian Estates. www.lioncountrysafari.com
  •    You won't want to miss a visit to one of the beautiful, Carribean blue, beaches along the Palm Beach County coastline and parking is FREE ! www.pbgov.com/parks/aquatics/beaches
  •     The Palm Beach Zoo is about a 15 minute drive east of Wellington.  A small but lovely zoo filled with well-cared-for animals and plants.  www.palmbeachzoo.org
  •     Take a 30-minute drive north and east to the Loggerhead Marine Life Center,located right on Juno Beach.  Learn about sea turtles and see their turtle hospital and rehab. www.marinelife.org
  •    MacArthur Beach State Park is about a 10-minute drive south of the Marine Life Center.  Take their guided Eco-tour through the park, across the intracoastal waterway, and along the beach.
  • www.macarthurbeach.org
  •    The Gardens Mall is shopping at it's finest !  Located on PGA Blvd. in Palm Beach Gardens. PGA Blvd. is between the Marine Life Center and MacArthur Park. www.thegardensmall.com
  •  Butterfly World is about 45 minutes south of Wellington, but worth the drive! It's a magical place where you can walk through a tropical forest while live butterflies from around the world fly around you. There's also an aviary and a tropical plant trail that includes the largest variety of Passion Flower Vines in the world! www.butterflyworld.com
  • For the cultured crowd, check out the calendar of events at The Kravis Center for Performing Arts in downtown West Palm Beach. www.kraviscenter.org

My husband, Claude, said not to forget to mention The Blue Heron drift boats for anyone visiting who might enjoy fishing off shore. Claude actually grew up down here and worked as a mate on these boats when he was growing up. The fleet has 2 locations: one off Blue Heron Blvd. in West Palm beach and one up in Jupiter.  www.blueheronfishing.com


 There's lots more but those are some of the best things that came to my mind. So are you ready to plan a trip?