New York, N.Y.—Sept. 2
The management team of the 2017 Rolex Central Park Horse Show has announced a change to the official schedule of competition, as the Dressage CDI component of the event will be replaced with a $50,000 Arena Eventing competition featuring many of the world’s top event riders, including Boyd Martin (USA) and Phillip Dutton (USA) with more top national and international riders to be confirmed in the coming week.
In alignment with the continued mission of the event, the management team of RCPHS remains committed to providing quality equestrian entertainment for fans, spectators and enthusiasts alike and is eager to showcase the Olympic discipline of eventing at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show for the first time in history.
Originally scheduled for Friday, Sept. 22, and Saturday, Sept. 23, the dressage CDI portion of the event was to feature several top international horse and rider combinations, but recent unforeseen circumstances have impacted several competitors, forcing their withdrawal from the event.
Isabell Werth of Germany, currently the top-ranked rider in the world, was slated to compete in 2017 and commented, “I am so sad that this one-of-a-kind show will not take place this year for dressage. It is very unfortunate that I am unable to bring Don Johnson due to the travel and quarantine situation. I am still hopeful that this very special event will continue in the future.”
“Due to a number of unexpected and unrelated circumstances preventing the four top riders from participating, we were forced to make the difficult choice with the sponsor, Axel Johnson Group, to cancel the dressage portion of the event. The riders are just as disappointed as we are with the outcome, as they believe this show provides an unprecedented platform for the sport of dressage,” said Mark Bellissimo, CEO of International Equestrian Group, LLC.
“While we are not able to host dressage this year in Central Park, we are incredibly excited to unveil an innovative Arena Eventing competition and welcome one of the most inspiring group of riders I’ve had the pleasure of working with.”
Arena Eventing has become a popular exhibition platform to showcase the sport of eventing, one of the traditional equestrian disciplines featured at the Olympic Games. The two-round competition will incorporate both show jumping and cross-country elements of the sport, as riders will contest an Intermediate/CCI** level track set by renowned course designer Capt. Mark Phillips. Riders who complete the first round track under the time allowed without incurring any jumping penalties will move on to the final round of competition.
“I’m very excited to be a part of the Arena Eventing competition at the 2017 Rolex Central Park Horse Show,” said Phillip Dutton, who is currently ranked No. 2 in the world. “It will be an action packed evening and is an unrivaled opportunity to promote our sport and our riders to a new audience.”
The official rider list will be announced mid-week and is set to include many of the sport’s top international and national talents. General admission tickets for the $50,000 Arena Eventing competition will go on sale early next week.
Ticket holders for both dressage events on Friday, Sept. 22, and Saturday, Sept. 23, will be refunded in full for their purchase or may use a credit to secure event tickets for another evening. Refunds for the tickets will be processed within three to five business days to the form of payment used for the ticket transaction. The refunding process will begin on Tuesday, Sept. 5.
The Rolex Central Park Horse Show is in its fourth year of operation at the iconic Wollman Rink in the heart of New York City’s Central Park and will take place from Wednesday, Sept. 20, through Sunday, Sept. 24. The week will feature U.S. Open competition for the Arabian, Show Jumping, and Hunter disciplines, as well as host the immensely popular Family Day on Sunday, Sept. 24, beginning at 12 p.m. and concluding at 3 p.m.
Launched in September 2014, Rolex Central Park Horse Show is the first-ever outdoor, multi-day equestrian sporting event in New York City, showcasing some of the best show jumpers and dressage riders in the world as they vie for top prizes against a backdrop of skyscrapers in one of the world’s most iconic venues. As the event founder, Mark Bellissimo is the CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions and International Equestrian Group LLC; Managing Partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners (WEP), Tryon Equestrian Partners and Colorado Equestrian Partners; and Publisher of The Chronicle of The Horse magazine. The Rolex Central Park Horse Show will feature five days of multi-discipline equestrian sport and performances, ranging from Arabians and Dressage to Hunters and Show Jumping. The Rolex Central Park Horse Show will also host the second annual U.S. Open in the following categories: Jumpers; Dressage; Hunters; U25 Jumpers; and Arabians. For more information, visit www.centralparkhorseshow.com or Facebook at www.facebook.com/CPhorseshow and follow @cphorseshow on Twitter and Instagram.