Saturday Night Lights | $500,000 CSI5* Rolex Grand Prix

WELLINGTON — Defending champion Richard Vogel, of Germany, heads a who's who of show jumpers for the Winter Equestrian Festival's "Saturday Night Lights" $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5 at Wellington International.

Last year in front of a packed house of 8,000 fans, Vogel and 9-year-old gelding Cepano Baloubet won a six-rider jump-off in 40.43 seconds and pocketed $165,000. Vogel had set the time to chase from the pole position.

Vogel will be joined by 39 of the best equestrians from around the world in what could be a sneak preview of the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics in the season-ending five-star grand prix.

It is the largest and richest grand prix in the United States and one of the last U.S. stops before Olympic selections begin.

Among the world-class field are: No. 1 world-ranked Henrik von Eckermann, of Sweden; No. 2 Ben Maher, of Great Britain; No. 4 Kent Farrington, of Wellington, a U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team silver medalist; four-time Olympian and Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward; two-time Olympian and Olympic gold medalist Laura Kraut, of Royal Palm Beach; Canada's Tiffany Foster, the top-ranked female rider in the world; Brazilian Olympic champion Rodrigo Pessoa; and Jessica Springsteen, U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team silver medalist and daughter of rock legend Bruce Springsteen.   

The course will be designed by Brazil’s Guilherme Jorge, the course builder for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The obstacles will reach 160 centimeters high, equivalent to jumping over a person who is 5-foot-2, and as wide as 6-foot-7.  

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