WEF and AGDF Open Press Conference: Kent Farrington, Liza Boyd, Mark Bellisimo, Kasey Perry-Glass, Allyn Mann and Thomas Baur
Wellington, Fla. – Jan. 10, 2017 – The official Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) and Winter Equestrian Festival opening press conference was held on Tuesday afternoon at The Gallery at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Thomas Baur, the director of sport for AGDF, announced a handful of new divisions and initiatives that will be offered to competitors throughout the season.
As youth divisions continue to grow across North America, the AGDF will be adding a children’s division to their seven CDI weeks this season, in addition to their FEI Amateur, Under 25, Junior and Young Rider divisions.
“The CDI for children is the first in the Western Hemisphere, and we will have a CDIO Under 25 Nations Cup this year for the first time,” AGDF director of sport, Thomas Baur, explained. “Then there will be the usual four CDI-Ws, the CDI5*, CDI4* and the CDIO, which is part of the FEI Nations Cup series.”
Baur announced that the FEI’s new Degree of Difficulty system will now be implemented, improving the transparency of assessing the technical difficulties for each rider.
“We will use the new FEI freestyle system where riders have to bring in their floorplan beforehand and the freestyle will be judged according to the floorplan,” Baur explained. “It will give a more objective view in the freestyle to the judges. It has been used in the Western European League for [World Cup] qualifiers and has worked out really well. The judges and the riders appreciate it very much.”
In addition to the new divisions, AGDF will introduce a spectator judging app, which has grown in popularity in Europe.
“It’s an interactive tool where the spectators can judge mark by mark or give a final score, then it will be compared to the judges score,” Baur concluded.
Kasey Perry-Glass, U.S. Dressage Olympic Team Bronze Medalist, also attended the opening press conference and she expressed her anticipation for the upcoming season.
“I am really excited that the Olympic team gets to come back [after Rio] and compete on our home soil,” Perry-Glass said. “My first priority for Dublet is keeping this year happy and healthy for him. Coming off the Olympics has been a whirlwind and I am just excited to be back to compete and be with my friends, my great sponsors, good organizers and show management.”
Competition for week one of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival kicks off on Thursday with the CDI-W Grand Prix, and the CDI jog will take place at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.