Global Dressage Festival

Global Dressage Festival Covered Arena To Be Named – Van Kampen Arena

Wellington, Florida – The Winter Equestrian Capital Of  The World,  July 30, 2011 – Mark Bellissimo, CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC (ESP) announced today that ESP will be building a covered arena and at least one permanent barn (approximately 100 stalls) in advance of the 2012 Global Dressage Festival.

The covered arena will be the centerpiece of the new show grounds to host the Global Dressage Festival in 2012, and it will be named the Van Kampen Arena in memory of the late investor who established a family legacy of philanthropy and charitable giving.   Completion of the structure is targeted by year end and it will have a riding surface large enough at 200 feet by 350 feet (61x106m) for three full-size dressage rings. Van Kampen Arena will be available for 30 days a year for use by charities and non-profit organizations.  Charities can apply and will be selected by a board that will include Wellington Equestrian Partners, Kimberly  Van Kampen Boyer,  Mark and Katherine Bellissimo, Bruce Duchossois, and Caroline Moran. 

Construction, which had already begun for the new dressage facility, will resume next week now that the site plan has been adjusted to reflect a change in location for the larger covered structure and an enhanced hospitality area. The new facility is part of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center complex that hosts the world famous Winter Equestrian Festival. The dressage grounds are on 57 acres (23 Ha.) that were the original Palm Beach polo fields that sparked the development of Wellington as the globe’s major winter equestrian destination.  The dressage arenas will have the same footing and surfaces as the competition rings at PBIEC that have won praise as among the best in the world.

Kimberly Van Kampen Boyer, USPRE, President

“We are delighted to name the covered stadium the Van Kampen Arena to honor the late Robert Van Kampen and his family,” Bellissimo said. “Kimberly Boyer, one of his three daughters, has been instrumental in spear heading the WEP dressage effort and she has been an inspiration in her dedication to charitable causes and her love and involvement in dressage on both sides of the Atlantic.   The unique structure of this Van Kampen Sponsorship allows us to further connect to the the community and local charitable causes.”

Kimberly Boyer is a WEP partner and the owner of Hampton Green Farms in Wellington, Florida, and Fruitport, Michigan, and focuses on breeding, training and competition of P.R.E., Pure Spanish Horses. She is married to Frederic Boyer. “Frederic and I, and our children, are pleased to work with the Wellington Equestrian Partners in bringing the dream of the Global Dressage Festival and a state-of-the-art dressage facility to Wellington and the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center,” she said. 

She continued, “We are particularly excited to be involved in the designation of a beautiful covered arena for a significant amount of use by charities and non-profits. For us, this is a win-win proposition which will benefit the equestrian community in general, and which will make a world-class covered arena available at no charge to local and national groups for their functions, fund-raisers, therapeutic classes, camps, clinics, non-profit horse shows, and more. At the suggestion of Mark Bellissimo, the new building will be named Van Kampen Arena, in memory of my father who made philanthropy and charitable giving a tradition and a legacy in our family.”

Robert Van Kampen founded an investment banking firm in 1975 that became Van Kampen Funds, a pioneer in the packaging of municipal bonds into unit trusts sold to individual investors with insurance against default. He also amassed one of the largest private collections of rare and antique Bibles in North America that is now owned by the family trust. The trust also owned Hampton Court in Herefordshire, England, a medieval country house converted into a Christian study center which included the Van Kampen garden. The property was sold in 2008. Robert Van Kampen died in 1999 at the age of 60.

In addition to the covered arena, the new dressage facility provides for 4,100 stall barns and five outdoor dressage arenas including a stadium arena and a VIP structure. A grass jumping derby course adjoins the dressage facility. A 100-unit condominium hotel and retail plaza are also planned for the site.

The construction of the dressage venue at the polo fields is the second phase of development of PBIEC and follows the re-design and rebuilding of the hunter/jumper grounds with 12 competition arenas, about 100 retailers, and entertainment and hospitality venues centered around the stadium-sized International Arena.

Equestrian Sport Productions, which organizes and manages the horse shows for Wellington Equestrian Partners, has been awarded five international-level CDI dressage competitions over a two-month period in winter in 2012, including two World Cup qualifiers, a CDI3*, a CDI5* and the first dressage Nations Cup in the western hemisphere outside of championship events.

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