On April 26, a judge in Palm Beach County, Fla., found that the Global Dressage Complex, site of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, had met South Florida Water Management District permitting regulations and will be allowed to continue to host events.
The facility has come under fire by the Jacobs family, who own the nearby Deeridge Farm. Last December, the Jacobs' filed a legal challenge to the issuance of the GDC’s permit, claiming that the facility was inadequate to accommodate the number of horses expected to use it, and that it was not in compliance with the Village of Wellington’s comprehensive plan.
In the order issued, Administrative Law Judge Gary Early found that the GDC had met applicable South Florida Water Management District permitting regulations, including storm water management, water quality and Best Management Practices standards. He also found that the horse-washing facilities were more than adequate, which addressed a portion of the Jacobs’ original complaint that the facility would create significant changes to the topography of the land and cause alterations in storm water retention and run-off.
His ruling stated that the Jacobs “…provided no basis for the supposition other than speculation” and that the GDC’s Best Management Practices plan was “…more advanced than the minimum requirements of the Village of Wellington, and more stringent than BMPs approved for other equestrian facilities in Wellington.”
Mark Bellissimo, CEO of Equestrian Sport Productions, which runs the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, was pleased with the judge’s findings. "This ruling is a huge step forward in ensuring that the Global Dressage Complex is a worldwide, premier equestrian event venue," he said. "The Global Dressage Complex events bring thousands of visitors and event participants to the Village of Wellington each year and create significant benefits for the Village and the Palm Beach County economy."