On March 17-20, The Florida International Youth Dressage Championships returned to Wellington, FL, for the third year. This competition has become a highlight of the Global Dressage Festival and took place during the second CDI4* week of the seven international competitions during the winter show season.
This year’s competition held the highest number of entries to date and also served as the first time JustWorld International has ever paired with an international dressage competition. Since its inception in 2003, JustWorld has worked with local NGO’s in Cambodia, Colombia, Guatemala, and Honduras to help sustain education, nutrition, health and hygiene, and leadership and cultural development programs to children with little opportunity to receive support from other sources. This year alone, JustWorld has supported more than 6,000 children around the world, empowering them to break the cycle of poverty.
The championships, presented by Kim Boyer, the Davis family, the Kane family, and Dressage4Kids, are open to all nationalities and became a draw for today’s top youth dressage riders from around the globe. These riders gathered to compete in four FEI divisions: a Pony division, a Junior division, a Young Rider division and an Under 25 Grand Prix.
To kick off the Championships, JustWorld held a leadership development night and welcome dinner open to all riders and their families. The evening took place at Belle Herbe Farm where riders came together to learn about philanthropy and JustWorld’s mission and projects, followed by leadership games and activities.
Interest, support and excitement for JustWorld grew as the competition progressed. Upon the close of the final day of competition, a very generous donation was made to JustWorld in the names of the top three competitors in each of the four divisions. Top riders had the opportunity to select what their donations will support at JustWorld’s projects.
The winners of the Under 25 division were Pablo Gomez Molina (ESP), Diana Porsche (AUT), and Alexandra Dvorak (CAN). This division came together to support one month of doctor’s visits for children at Los Patojos in Guatemala. Top Young Riders Juan Matute, Jr. (ESP), Bebe Davis (USA), and Diana Porsche (AUT), elected to supply books for the mobile library in Honduras. The Junior division chose to provide clean and fresh drinking water in Cambodia. These three riders were Felicitas Hendricks (GER), Vanessa Creech-Terauds (CAN), and Nicole Scarpino (USA). Hannah Irons (USA), representing the Pony division, supported the salary for the social worker in Colombia.