November 30, 2022 – Ocala, Fla. – World Equestrian Center – Ocala is pleased to welcome internationally acclaimed course designers to the 2023 Winter Spectacular Show Series. The 12-week series has United States Equestrian (USEF) Premier Hunter/Level 6 Jumper competition running consecutively from January 4, 2023, through March 26, 2023. The international roster of designers includes Bobby Murphy (USA), Ben Townley (GBR), Anderson Lima (MEX), Kenny Krome (USA), Peter Grant (CAN), Joey Rycroft (CAN), Colm Quinn (IRL), Leopoldo Palacios (VEN), Alan Wade (IRL), Catsy Cruz (MEX) and Bernardo Costa Cabral (POR).
Bobby Murphy of Lexington, Kentucky, a resident course designer at both World Equestrian Center venues, will set the opening tracks for the 2023 Winter Spectacular Show Series. Murphy is well-known for being a “course architect” with his innovative and creative designs. His talent has been showcased at championship events including the Rolex Central Park Horse Show, the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, and the ASPCA Maclay National Championship, where he has designed the courses for nine years. Murphy will return to the WEC Grand Arena during week VI to build the equitation courses for the 2023 WEC Premier Equitation Cup Championship.
FEI Level III course designer Ben Townley of Great Britain will be making his course designing debut at World Equestrian Center – Ocala during week II. In October, he built the tracks for the 2022 Horse Of The Year Show in Birmingham, England. He also created courses at top-level events including the British Young Horse Finals at Bolesworth and the Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead, where he assisted with the design of the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ course. Townley will also assist with the design at the FEI Jumping World Cup™ in London on December 18.
During week III, FEI Level III course designer Anderson Lima of Mexico will take over the course designing duties in the WEC Grand Arena. Lima is a respected designer with experience working at top-level competitions worldwide in such countries as Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Germany, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Spain, Venezuela and the United States. He is well known for his complex tracks at the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; the South American Games in Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Canada.
Making his first appearance at World Equestrian Center – Ocala, Kenny Krome of Westminster, Maryland, will design during week IV. The FEI Level III course designer is also an accomplished hunter/jumper rider, trainer and judge who created the show jumping tracks at the 2022 Maryland 5 Star CCI5*-L in October and has built throughout the United States, Canada and South America. He has apprenticed for internationally acclaimed course designer Richard Jeffery and continued his education in Aachen, Germany, this year.
Peter Grant of Canada will set the courses for week V of the 2023 Winter Spectacular Show Series. The internationally recognized FEI Level III designer is best known for being part of the design team at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Canada since 2004, where he built four CSI5* competition courses. Grant has assisted at championship events including the 2007 and 2017 FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals, the 2010 and 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™ and at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Featured show jumping competition shifts to the WEC Stadium during week VI, while the hunters and equitation athletes take over the WEC Grand Arena. FEI Level III course designer Joey Rycroft of Canada will assume course designing responsibilities in the WEC Stadium. Rycroft has assisted with the course designing tasks at top-level competitions alongside his business partner Peter Grant. Rycroft has been on the course design team for numerous five-star events around the world including the Tokyo Olympic Games, FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals, FEI World Equestrian Games™ and Spruce Meadows.
Colm Quinn returns to World Equestrian Center – Ocala during week VII of the 2023 Winter Spectacular Show Series. The FEI Level III course designer from Ireland has constructed courses for the past two years for the Bolesworth Young Horse Championship and assisted at the British Show Jumping Indoor Championship Finals at Aintree. Quinn designed courses during World Equestrian Center – Ocala’s 2022 Winter Spectacular Show Series where he was praised by exhibitors for his challenging, yet welcoming designs that only allowed a select few to advance to the jump-off.
During week VIII, two-time Olympic Games course designer Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela will lay the tracks in the WEC Grand Arena. He was also the course designer for the 1997 FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Gothenburg, Sweden, and the 1991 and 1995 Pan American Games in Havana, Cuba, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, respectively. The FEI Level IV designer is also the resident builder for the annual Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ CSIO5* Tournament in Calgary, Canada.
The tracks for the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) three-star competition held during week IX of the 2023 Winter Spectacular Show Series will be created by world-renowned FEI Level IV course designer Alan Wade of Ireland. Wade has built for such prestigious championships as the 2017 FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals in Omaha, Nebraska; the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon, North Carolina; and the Palm Beach Masters CSI4*-W featuring the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ in Wellington, Florida.
Anna Catalina “Catsy” Cruz of Mexico, will design for week X. Her sophisticated designs have made Cruz an exhibitor favorite at World Equestrian Center – Ocala. The skilled FEI level III course designer has built numerous international courses across the country. She was an assistant course designer at the 2022 Las Vegas National CSI4*-W in Nevada in November.
FEI Level IV course designer Bernardo Costa Cabral of Portugal will be featured during week XI. Cabral has a lengthy resume having assisted with the build at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 and at the 2012 London Olympic Games. He has created courses for the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League, including the 2022 Washington International Horse Show, and was recently named the course designer for the 2023 FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals in Omaha, Nebraska.
The final week of the 2023 Winter Spectacular Show Series will feature a team of elite designers consisting of Bobby Murphy (USA), Bernardo Costa Cabral (POR) and Kevin Holowack (CAN). All three designers will construct the finale of the season, the $250,000 Grand Prix on March 25, 2023.
Show jumping fans and exhibitors can look forward to all of these course designers making the 2023 Winter Spectacular Show Series the best yet!
About World Equestrian Center
World Equestrian Center features two premier equestrian and multidisciplinary venues in Ocala, Florida, and Wilmington, Ohio.
These exclusive facilities comprise state-of-the-art arenas, expansive stadiums, versatile outdoor space, sporting fields and well-appointed exposition centers. An abundance of lodging options and luxury accommodations are conveniently located on-site, along with shopping and dining throughout each property.
Dedicated to offering great sport and good fun in a family-friendly environment, World Equestrian Center promises an unparalleled experience for exhibitors, spectators, vendors, sponsors and retailers built on three core values: Quality. Class. Distinction.
Learn more at wec.net.