Just as the sun starts setting, the riders and spectators head to the International arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center for the ‘main event’ of the weekend, “Saturday Night Lights”. The same location, the same riders and many of the same horses enter the ring to show off their style over a different course in the Grand Prix in front of thousands of fans in the stands.
The temperatures drop, the live music kicks in, and the carousel turns in the children’s area. It’s amazing to see how much this venue has developed over the years. Ten years ago, the vibe was a much different atmosphere – West Palm Beach locals had no idea Olympic level showjumping events took place here. Now, people fly in all over the world to witness the prestige of the Grand Prix.
Celebrity riders like Georgina Bloomberg (Mayor Bloomberg’s daughter), Jessica Springsteen (Bruce Springsteen’s daughter), Beezie Madden, McLain Ward, and even youngsters like Eve Jobs (Steve Jobs’ daughter) compete in the International Ring at the Winter Equestrian Festival each week in Wellington, Florida.
“WEF” has grown over the years and has become the equestrian sunshine oasis for northerners from January through March. Wellington, Florida is a small community of about 60,000 people, and just about 30 minutes to Palm Beach. Bill Gates owns several multi million dollar equestrian properties in the area, as his daughter Jennifer Gates is also a seasoned Winter Equestrian Festival competitor.
Georgina was all smiles after her 3rd place in the WEF Challenge Cup which qualified her for the Horseware Grand Prix on March 17, 2018.
“More than 5,000 horses with a net value of well over half a billion dollars compete within the circuit” – Business Insider quoted.
There was no shortage of luck and talent this St. Patrick’s Day for @spencer_b_smith and Theoddore Manciais, as they were the only horse-and-rider combination to jump clear in tonight’s $132,000 @horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3*! Congrats Spencer, on your first Saturday Night Lights win! 💥🍀🏆 #WEF2018 #SaturdayNightLights ©Kim Beaudoin/ PBIEC
At just 21 years of age, Spencer Smith won this past weekend’s Horseware Ireland Grand Prix. Luckily he was able to enjoy the champagne celebration at the end… 😉
So, if you get a chance to experience the Winter Equestrian Festival, definitely spend a little extra money on the VIP experience. The food, atmosphere, service and sights are an exceptional experience. Goode Rider equestrian athletes (whether you’re showing or not) should all experience a night under the lights at the Winter Equestrian Festival.
Wondering what to wear to Saturday Night at the Grand Prix? We suggest wearing casual-chic apparel. The Goode Rider Posh Polo Sweater or the Forever Shirt are great tops to wear with white or dark denim pants. A pair of short or tall boots would go well with either look. Dress it up with equestrian jewelry or your favorite designer handbag, and you’ll fit in perfectly at the VIP.
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