Mark your calendars for the 2014 Winter Equestrian Festival!

The FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) is the world's largest and longest running equestrian competition. The 12-week event, which runs from January 9 through March 31, awards over $6 million dollars in prize money and hosts 5,000 horses and 2,800 riders from 50 states and 31 countries. During WEF, spectators can enjoy Saturday Night Lights every Saturday evening beginning at 6 pm. The FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Here are highlights for the 2013 Festival:

The WEF is a proving ground for the United States Equestrian Team and serves as host of selection trials and qualifiers for such important international events as the FEI World Cup Finals and the Olympic Games.  In addition to Olympic-caliber competition, the WEF hosts the nation’s premier competition for children, juniors, adults and amateurs; for riders aged from 6 to 70 years old in more than 55 unique divisions of competition. The breadth of competition provides an opportunity for the entire family to participate in the sport together, creating a lifestyle environment unique in the world.  The WEF is 12 weeks of intense competition with thousands of competitors and spectators in attendance. Each week is considered an individual horse show, with more than 10,000 exhibitors (horse owners, trainers, riders, support personnel) and up to 3,000 horses competing in any given week within 15 show rings throughout the 100-acre equestrian show complex. Each show week starts on Wednesday and concludes on Sunday with at least one major competition on a Saturday night or Sunday afternoon in the world-famous International Arena.
 
Some interesting WEF statistics:
 
* Riders from 30 countries and 49 U.S. states are represented.
* Exhibitors compete for more than $6 million in prize money.
* More than 3,000 horses with a net value of well over half a billion dollars compete within the circuit.
* More than 90 food and retail vendors generate tens of millions of dollars of commerce on the property.
* Thousands of spectators visit each year, enthralled by the competition.
* Families share activities and enjoy pony rides, petting zoos, fun entertainment and live music.  
 

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