The following letter was released on November 11 by the World Equestrian Center.
Photo by WEC – Ocala.
Dear World Equestrian Center Exhibitors:
We recently released a Guide to World Equestrian Center – Ocala hunter/jumper competition for the 2021 show season. The 12 week show series featured USEF events, FEI events, a robust prize money offering, a schedule filled with numerous specialty events and 10 weeks of competition featuring a “New Way to Go” with sanctioning through the National Snaffle Bit Association (NSBA), an organization with nearly 40 years of equestrian sport governance.
During subsequent conversations with the Federation, they informed us that they are unwilling to work with the World Equestrian Center – Ocala should we decide to move forward with offering NSBA sanctioned shows and the more than $9 million in money and prizes that we advertised.
In a show of good faith and in an effort to work with the Federation, we will release an updated schedule and prize list offering $4 million dollars in prizes and prize money during the 12-week competition. In lieu of the additional prize money, and in an effort to support and promote the entire equestrian community, we will provide FREE STALLS* to showing horses for the entire circuit at a value of over $6 million dollars. We feel that the free stall offering will aide in promoting the financial offerings to all exhibitors regardless of their competition level or experience versus focusing prize money on only specific classes. The free stalls will also help promote an atmosphere where trainers & riders can more easily promote young horses and sales. The new offerings at World Equestrian Center Ocala will now offer over 10 million dollars spread between prize money, prizes, and FREE stalls.
For those exhibitors that have already paid and confirmed stalls your deposits will be considered entry deposits for the respective weeks booked. Any exhibitor who wants to book & confirm stalls going forward will be required to pay a $250 per week entry deposit to hold your free stall.
For exhibitors concerned with the repercussions of participating in an event unsanctioned by the Federation, know that the Federation does not have a rule that would prevent you from competing with us this winter.
We are aware of the FEI rule that states any athlete, horse, or official that participates in an unsanctioned event may be ineligible to participate in sanctioned events for a specific period of time. This rule pertains strictly to FEI officials, athletes, and horses competing on an International or National level.
This is a difficult time with the continued presence and uncertainties of COVID-19 and the current economic state of the country. The World Equestrian Center is an organization committed to supporting the equestrian community and safeguarding the welfare of equine and human athletes. We will do our very best to welcome exhibitors of all levels to Ocala this winter for safe, fun, and affordable horse showing.
We hope to see you in Ocala.
*The free stall offering pertains to horses only who are participating in competition. Stalls used for tack or equipment will be billed at the rate of $250 per stall.