WELLINGTON, Fla. — The long-running Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) returns to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington with an expanded schedule of events taking place now through Sunday, April 4, 2021.
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission has partnered with Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) to support WEF for the 2021 event. In 2020, the festival was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic and now the 2021 show will feature an additional week of competition with the WEF Premiere week to begin the event.
Not only is WEF the largest annual sporting event in Palm Beach County, but it is also the longest-running equestrian event in the world. The event attracts both national and international athletes.
WEF brings a strong economic impact to the Palm Beaches. Despite the shortened 2020 season, more than 250,000 spectators attended the event creating an impact of more than $173 million in direct visitor spending.
Equestrian sports have led the way in sports event recovery in The Palm Beaches where social distancing naturally occurs within equestrian competitions, allowing for showjumping events to return efficiently and safely. ESP has worked with the United States Equestrian Federation, the national governing body of the equestrian sport, to develop safety protocols to combat the spread of COVID-19. This effort allowed the event to return to Palm Beach County and has been adopted by the entire equestrian sports industry.
The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center is considered the most recognizable equestrian sporting venue in the United States. It encompasses a total of 500 acres and the competition arena covers 80 acres.
All 18 arenas feature state-of-the-art sand footing, and the main International Arena is surrounded by stadium and box seating and hospitality pavilions that are available for private events. The main grounds house more than 250 permanent equine stalls, horse trails, pedestrian paths, golf cart tracks, and dedicated shopping areas.