The Los Angeles Equestrian Center will be "the place to be" this weekend as some of the nation's best and brightest dressage stars compete at California Dreaming Productions' Mid-Winter Dressage Fair CDI-W/Y/J/U-25, which runs February 20 - 22 in Burbank, Cal.
Following a stellar inaugural year in 2014, the organizing team of California Dreaming Productions (CDP) now looks to continue to change the way riders, trainers, owners and spectators experience the sport of dressage on the West Coast, and their second year is off to a spectacular start with an overflowing field of CDI and national competitors scheduled to compete for coveted prizes and valuable qualifying scores. And back by popular demand, dressage fans from around the world can once again watch all the action from the CDI arena via California Dreaming Productions' wildly-popular live streaming video service on CDP Live with expert commentary by FEI 5* (ret) judge Axel Steiner – watch live streaming online HERE.
Particularly exciting for the U.S. equestrian community is the spectacular return of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final to Las Vegas, Nev., which will be held April 15 – 19, 2015 in conjunction with the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final after a six-year absence from North American soil. As one of only two West Coast qualifiers for the World Cup, the Mid-Winter Dressage CDI-W has attracted an impressive field of 16 Grand Prix competitors, including long-time U.S. Team anchor Steffen Peters. Aboard his legendary partner Ravel, Peters found glory in Las Vegas as the 2009 World Cup Champion, and this year he hopes to earn necessary qualifying scores at Mid-Winter with Four Winds Farm's Legolas 92 for a chance to return to the Thomas & Mack Arena and once again lead the American charge.
But Peters will have to contend with three other Olympic veterans as part of the competitive field, including Hilda Gurney on her trusted partner Wintersnow and Jan Ebeling with the impressive stallion FRH Rassolini, as well as Guenter Seidel who looks forward to debuting Charlotte Mashburn's rising star KWPN gelding Zero Gravity at Grand Prix at Mid-Winter. After attending this show last year, Seidel became a fan of California Dreaming Productions' events, which combine High Performance dressage competition with an exciting and refreshing atmosphere, all close to home on the West Coast.
"Last year it was such a nice change for our shows here in California, and having special features like the VIP area where friends and owners could come and be in a nice place to watch the classes, it makes the whole show much more fun and adds to the atmosphere," said Seidel. "I am really excited to bring Zero Gravity as well as my young small tour horse Rey del Mundo to Burbank. It's a great way to start the season, and then we plan to go on to both California Dreaming Productions shows in San Juan Capistrano in March."
Seidel and Rey del Mundo will be part of 25 international competitors who have flocked to the Mid-Winter Dressage CDI Intermediaire division, which serves as an official qualifying competition for next summer's Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada where a new format of naming mixed teams of large and small tour combinations will be utilized for the first time. With additional riders in the FEI Junior, Young Rider, and Under-25 Grand Prix divisions, the show will play host to a full field of CDI competitors all seeking to catch the eye of a renowned panel of judges including Cara Whitham (5* CAN), Sarah Geikie (4* USA), Jeanne McDonald (4* USA), Magnus Ringmark (4* SWE), and Peter Storr (3* GBR).
But Mid-Winter Dressage is about much more than just CDI competition. Over three days and three arenas, more than 150 exhibitors will compete for fabulous prizes at all levels from green horse and rider to adult amateur Grand Prix. In addition to a fantastic atmosphere and competitor-friendly show experience, Mid-Winter Dressage also offers show competitors a chance to qualify for regional and national programs, including the USEF Festival of Champions, FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships, Markel Young & Developing Horse National Dressage Championships, Markel/Cornerstone Young Talent Search, California Dressage Society Annual Show, and Great American/USDF Regional Championships.
"We had an incredible first year in 2014 for California Dreaming Productions but now we're even more excited to get going with our second season, which we hope will be even better," said CDP co-founder Alisa Wilson. "We are passionate about the sport and about what we're doing with these shows, and we'd like to sincerely thank all of our sponsors and competitors for their support and for believing in a new era for dressage on the West Coast."
General spectator admission to Mid-Winter Dressage is free, but dressage fans can enjoy the show in ultimate style with VIP reservations, which feature ringside box seating and hospitality as well as a special Saturday brunch. Those unable to attend the show in person can keep up with all the action from the CDI arena via streaming video on CDP Live, which will once again feature the incredibly-popular live commentary by FEI 5* (ret) judge Axel Steiner. Viewers may access the video feed, a broadcast schedule, and daily orders of go via this link: http://www.californiadreamingproductions.com/live-stream-test/.
Photo Credits: Terri Miller