After months of council votes, lawsuits and debate, the Wellington Village Council has allowed Equestrian Sport Productions’ Adequan Global Dressage Festival to move ahead with the 2012-2013 show season at its new facility in Wellington, Fla.
According to the Palm Beach Post, the five-member council met on Aug. 14 to vote on an issue with temporary stabling and other details of the festival. The final vote was 4-0 in favor of the dressage competitions, with one councilman, John Greene, recusing himself from the vote for personal reasons.
The council agreed to suspend the revocations it passed last month after ESP agreed to put lawsuits they filed against the village regarding the project on hold.
A final vote rejected conditions set forth by the Jacobs family members, who own property adjacent to the festival site. While he has stated that he supports dressage in Wellington, Lou Jacobs wrote an open letter to ESP CEO Mark Bellisimo in which he set forth a list of conditions for the Global Dressage Festival, including no strobe light shows, concerts or live entertainment. Jacobs also requested limited competition hours and loudspeaker use.
While the council considered Jacobs’ conditions, they largely followed Wellington staff’s recommendations. The Global Dressage Festival will be allowed to hold 10 events between Nov. 1 and April 30, 2013. Only 2,000 people are permitted on the grounds due to parking limitations. Events will end by 10 p.m. on weekends to reduce noise to the nearby neighborhood, and all entry will be from South Shore Boulevard. The council also approved a temporary stabling tent, which will be adjacent to the permanent stabling at the facility.
“We are very pleased with the results of last night’s vote and can now proceed with the 2013 Adequan Global Dressage Festival,” said Bellissimo in a written statement. “We applaud the Village Council for recognizing the economic contributions of dressage and the Adequan Global Dressage Festival to the health of the local equestrian industry and community of Wellington.”