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The 119TH National Horse Show in Florida

The 119th National Horse Show will take place at The Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club in Wellington, Florida from November 26, 2002 through December 1, 2002. Considered the most prestigious horse show in the U. S., this is the first time in its century-old history that it will be held outside of the New York metropolitan area and, more importantly, in an “outdoor” venue.

The National was founded in 1883 by an august group of East Coast businessmen and sportsmen with names such as Vanderbilt and Morgan. Its directors and members formed the basis for Louis Keller’s first Social Register of 1887, and the competition became the unofficial opening of the New York social season.

From 1883 through 2001, The National was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City, with the exception of the years 1989 through 1995 when it went to The Meadowlands in New Jersey. Thus, The National has always been considered the first and finest “indoor” horse show in the U. S., given the indoor arenas at those locations. Due to the inability to secure a long-term contract with the Garden this year, The National’s Board decided to break with tradition by moving the 2002 show to Wellington and its “outdoor” rings.

The competition at The National will include over 400 of the best horses and riders in the U. S., showing in hunter, jumper, equitation, dressage and ladies’ side-saddle classes. These talented horses and riders rank among the top 25 in the country in their respective divisions and have qualified to enter The National through a year-long competition process.

In keeping with The National’s traditional social protocol, members of The Diamond Horse Shoe Club, the Ladies’ Committee and the Gentlemen’s Committee will be required to wear proper attire when in attendance. And has been the case for over a century, a black-tie gala will be held.

On Friday evening during the gala, one of the week’s most exciting competitions --The High Jump Class -- will award a $250,000 purse to the horse and rider that can jump a single fence higher than the current “outdoor” record of 8’1-1/4”.

For more information on The 119th National Horse Show, please contact Mason Phelps, Jr., Barbara Lundy or Beverly Lake Wilkes at (561) 753-3389.

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