As the Winter Equestrian Festival kicks off at Wellington International, economic optimism reigns. Michael Stone, the bigwig of Wellington International, shared that this esteemed horse show is more than just a series of competitions—it's a boon to the local economy that "generates over $300 million for the local economy," according to a WPTV report.
The town, known for its upscale boutiques and eateries, is quickly becoming a destination for equestrian enthusiasts around the globe. Stone told WPTV, "As this sport grows and the people grow, it's only good for Wellington and good for South Florida." The event not only showcases the finesse and agility of the athletes—and their four-legged partners—but also serves as an economic driver, sprouting a slew of local activities and businesses catering to the affluent crowd.
With a legacy stretching back to 1912 in the Olympics and converting Wellington into a hot spot since 1974, this festival has long been on the radar of equestrian buffs. Wellington resident Michelle Grayson expressed her fortune to WPTV for having the festival right in her backyard, saying, "People think of Florida as just going to the beach and things like that, but this is such a huge attraction...You really have to develop, like, a true partnership with these horses. And to watch them all in action, it's pretty magnificent."
International prestige is also at stake as Olympians from across the world plan to gallop over to join the festival. This includes British and Austrian teams and—making a debut—the top French team. "So, really, people have recognized that if you want to be at the very top level, the place to come is Wellington," Stone added confidently to really emphasize the festival's significance on the global stage, as per SpotOnFlorida.