Hello beautiful people.
Today I’m excited to share a little bit more about what I’m going to be up to for the next 12 weeks of my life. As I’ve previously mentioned, my husband trains and shows horses for hunter/jumper competition. Because of this, we live a unique lifestyle shared on different levels by fellow equestrians. I feel extremely blessed for the specific opportunities this has given our family (thanks primarily to a very special person in our lives). We get to be snowbirds! Escaping the harsh MN winters for palm trees, sunshine, and riding outside is a dream come true. Whilst it is mostly sunshine and rainbows, it can be mentally and physically exhausting at times. You may see satirical posts down the line such as, “How to survive 12 weeks of WEF”, but at the end of the day we are here doing what we love and loving most every minute of it.
For those of you who are saying “What is WEF?” This week marks the kickoff of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival, a winter wonderland for equestrians. WEF consists of 12 weeks of international show jumping competition in Wellington Florida. I plan to share a little something from each week with all of you, including highlights from the weekly “Saturday Night Lights” classes. These events are typically an FEI 2*-5* Grand Prix. There are a few other special Saturday night classes taking place throughout the circuit as well. This coming week the SNL feature will be the $75K “Battle of the Sexes”- a 3 phase team event. In week 4 there is the “Great Charity Challenge”- a team relay style class IN costume! (Look for your favorite Hollywood movie characters to make an appearance). This event is to benefit local charities. And in week 6 there is a $100K “USHJA/WCHR Hunter Derby”.
I am personally really excited to watch the FEI jumping competition that will take place on the grass derby field at Equestrian Village during the 4th and 11th weeks of competition. It is a lot of fun to change up the scenery and see the horses out on the beautiful grass field.
I’ll be out both watching (as much as I can) and participating (with Gabe in the 3’3 Amateur Owner Hunters) in the competition and checking out the latest innovations and trends in equestrian style and tack. We mustn’t forget about the fashions! (Don’t worry, I never would). Most exciting however, is to be among the thousands of top horses and riders in the world who make Wellington their home for the duration of the competition. I’ll throw out that there are celebrities among us here at WEF. I’ll highlight some of them throughout the weeks. Speaking of celebs, Isla and her “unicorn” will likely show up in some leadline classes throughout the season.
Competition starts today and runs through April 2nd. Check back and follow the weekly competition with me. While our focus is hunter/jumpers & equitation, there are also 12 weeks of competition in dressage at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, Polo (Sunday polo at the International Polo Club Palm Beach is amazing to watch and I get to wear Lily and sip champagne). The Wellington Eventing Showcase is another great competition to catch during week 4. I will be getting out to watch as much of the action as I can.
P.S. – Would you like to know more about what makes a Grand Prix an FEI 2* versus a 5*? If you are not familiar with what FEI means, it is the Federation Equestre Internationale. It is the world governing body of international equestrian competition. It is in place to ensure consistent, fair, and structured across the globe as well as looking out for the welfare of the athletes, human and horse. If you would like to learn more about this, such as the details of the ratings, follow this link.
I welcome your questions and comments as always and hope you’ll be back to follow the action with me.