Welcome to Wellington Florida, one of the world’s most prestigious destinations for the serious horse enthusiast.
Wellington and the greater Palm Beach region has grown into a thriving seasonal community, not just for horse professionals, but also for amateur’s competitors and families who wish to immerse themselves in the best that the equestrian lifestyle has to offer.
The world famous “Wellington Horse Show”
The Wellington Horse Show includes the prestigious Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (ADGF), both of which have had a significant impact on horse sport in recent years. These event venues, held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), beckon the most enthusiastic equestrians in the United States and even draw competitors from around the world.
Participants range from the tiniest of lead-line and mini-stirrup pony riders to athletes at the top of the Grand Prix game. From January to April, jumpers, hunters, equitation riders and dressage competitors migrate to one of the most elite equestrian destinations in the world. Held annually at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, this mecca provides access to the finest competitions, stabling and footing in addition to incredible dining and entertainment, fulfilling your every wish for living the ultimate equestrian lifestyle.
Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC)
The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (http://pbiec.coth.com/wp_esp/article/4752/) is an “Equestrian Lifestyle Destination” sitting on 500 acres with a 100-acre equestrian show complex, 15 show rings, stables, vendor and dining areas, a club house, and the White Horse Tavern, which features international, contemporary fine dining.
The Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF)
The “Wellington Horse Show”, better known as the Winter Equestrian Festival (http://pbiec.coth.com/) or WEF, began 35 years ago as a three-week long horse show series and has grown into the largest and longest running horse show in the world! Over the course of 12 weeks, the Winter Equestrian Festival takes place at the newly renovated Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington. WEF is produced and managed by Mark Bellissimo and Equestrian Sports Productions, LLC. (ESP).
Each of the 12 weeks is considered its own show. There are classes held at Winter Equestrian Festival for jumpers, hunters, equitation and during the Adequan Global Dressage Festival for dressage competitors.
Olympic Level Competition & Top Events
WEF hosts some of the greatest equestrian competitors in the world of show jumping including Olympians and top riders who battle it out at several influential FEI level competitions and important selection trial qualifiers for the FEI World Cup Finals and the Olympics. as well as a leg of the FEI Nations Cup. Top show jumping competitions include four weeks of CSI 5* competition, three weeks of CSI 4* competition and the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* as well.
There are plenty of AA show hunter and equitation classes as well including the $100,000 WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular, the $50,000 WEF Derby, the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and the George Morris Excellence in Equitation Medal/Maclay classes.
Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF)
One of the newest expansions of the forty week horse show is the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. (http://gdf.coth.com/) The grounds are some of the finest that horse showing has to offer. The sixty-acre campus has four outdoor arenas, one of the world’s largest covered arenas and footing that rivals that of the Olympic Games. Prize money for the 2016 season exceeded $550,000. It is one of the richest dressage circuits in the world.
Some top level dressage classes at the Global Dressage Festival include AGDF 10 FEI Grand Prix CDI 4*, the Farm FEI Grand Prix CDI 3* and the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3*. Riders gather from all corners of the globe to compete and represent their countries including USA, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Netherlands, Mexico, and Venezuela.
The AGDF grounds have undergone a $25 million overhaul to make it the most state-of-the-art in the world! The most prestigious equestrians continue to gather at the Winter Equestrian Festival every year with ever-increasing purses and more and more expansive news coverage. Newspapers that have covered the Wellington Horse Show at WEF include USA Today, The New York Times, Palm Beach Post and Daily News, the Chicago Tribune and many more.
The Wellington Horse Show is also the home of some of the world’s top chefs where visitors can sample incredible culinary creations and sip some of the finest wines while spectating ringside. The Winter Equestrian Festival also features a fantastic pavilion for corporate and private events.
The Suites and Special Events Pavilion offers group reservations during the Saturday Night Lights Series.
For a more casual dining experience try the Tiki Hut, Oasis Cafe, Beachside or Tito’s Tacos.
For a casual or upscale event, The Wellington Club offers floor to ceiling views of the International Arena and The Gallery offers panoramic views of the International Arena. Catering is offered through White Horse Catering.
World Class Shopping & Vendors
Some of the most prestigious vendor names and sponsors at the 2016 Festival were the USEF Show Jumping team’s sponsor, Hermès as well as Kingsland Equestrian, Karina Brez Jewelry, Rolex, Pernot Ricard, Fidelity Investments and US Trust.
The International Polo Club (IPC)
Wellington also offers the most prestigious polo competitions in the United States at the International Polo Club (http://internationalpoloclub.com/) which hosts the largest high goal tournaments in the US. The IPC an entire community on it’s own, with beautiful residences surrounding the private club. Once again there are several choices for dining, shopping, and entertainment, and polo matches are open to the public.
Visiting or living in Wellington would not be complete without the experience of tailgating and stomping divots throughout the polo season, which extends through the end of April.
The Village of Wellington
The village of Wellington welcomes you with open arms! Surrounding the show grounds of the PBIEC is the Village of Wellington which offers casual to upscale dining and hotspots that are sure to keep you dancing all night.
Besides world-class equestrian competition, there is so much to do including local events like food truck carnivals, incredible local music, 5k runs, impressive art galleries, a bustling nightlife scene, fantastic golf courses, nature preserves and nearby are Florida’s famed white sand beaches!
With so much to entertain those who thrive in an exclusive equestrian environment, how could Wellington not be the perfect place for you to live, play, work and train? Call Wellington home today and wake up on your permanent equestrian vacation every day!