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The Experience

Experience the Future of Equestrian Excellence at Wellington International's Proposed Expansion

Discover the visionary plans for Wellington International's exhilarating expansion, focused on enhancing the horse, athlete, and visitor experience. With sustainability and accessibility at its core, this project aims to redefine equestrian sport in North America. Proudly partnering with Populous, a global architecture firm renowned for crafting iconic venues, including Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup stadiums, Wellington International promises an extraordinary year-round business model.

Proposed Key Features:

🅿️ Ample Parking for Motor Vehicles and Golf Carts

🏢 A Groom's Lounge

🏟️ A Sustainable Stadium for 7,000 Spectators

9️⃣ Nine Rings, Including Two Covered Arenas

🐎 A State-of-the-Art Derby Field

🏠 Permanent Stabling and New FEI Area

🌳 Green Spaces and Shaded Areas

🛍️ Vendor Spaces and Multiple Hospitality Experiences

🎪 Community Amenities Under Consideration: Office Spaces, Playgrounds, and Splash Pads

 

Join us while we create an unparalleled legacy as Wellington International doubles its footprint, elevating equestrian sports to new heights. This ambitious project, in conjunction with renovations to the existing International Arena, will ensure a top-notch experience for athletes, horses, and spectators. Anticipated to be completed in two to three years, this expansion stands as a significant milestone in the Global Equestrian Group's unwavering commitment to equestrian excellence.

Venue Expansion FAQs

We will no longer have access to Equestrian Village after the 2024 season. Dressage is an essential focus for the Global Equestrian Group. We believe that with a proper venue, we can grow dressage, maintain Wellington’s place as a leading equestrian venue in North America and create a facility with year-round amenities for our community.  

Pending approval of the expansion, we will develop a temporary stadium for dressage to continue at Wellington International until the new stadium is built.

Should the expansion not be approved, we want the dressage community to know that we are committed to the future of dressage in Wellington and are working on multiple contingency options to ensure the permanent placement of dressage at Wellington International. 

This is the most critical element to understand. Parcel F is currently zoned for residential use. Currently, we cannot build a new facility with this zoning.

This is why we are asking to change it from residential to commercial equestrian recreation; nothing can happen without this change. Our agreement with Wellington Lifestyle Partners is subject to the change in zoning, which is separate from the other applications.

The formal process is as follows:

  1. The zoning is changed from residential to commercial equestrian recreation. 
  2. An application to the village is submitted for compatibility determination. This allows us to get approval to build the new venue. This detailed application includes site plans, traffic, utilities, etc.
  3. Once the staff approves the compatibility determination, it goes through the Equestrian Preserve Committee, then the Planning and Zoning Advisory Board and then the Village Council.
  4. Building permits, etc., then follow as the final step. 

We have had a pre-application meeting with the village staff to prepare the application. However, until there is a zoning change, Wellington International does not have control of the land and if it is not re-zoned, we cannot move forward with the expansion.  

The horse show expansion is not contingent on taking land from the preserve, it is contingent on changing the zoning of Parcel F from residential to commercial equestrian recreation.

Parcel F was cleared to finalize an outstanding permit and to prepare the land for the showground's development. 

Equestrian Village (Pod 30C-2), which hosts the Adequan Global Dressage Festival and show jumping for Wellington International, is currently approved to operate as a commercial equestrian arena. 

Equestrian Village will not be available to Wellington International after the 2024 season. Pending approval of the expansion, we will develop a temporary stadium for dressage to continue at Wellington International until the new stadium is built. Should the expansion not be approved, we want the dressage community to know that we are committed to the future of dressage in Wellington and are working on multiple contingency options to ensure the permanent placement of dressage at Wellington International. 

There are no plans for a hotel in the Wellington International venue expansion plan.  

We are proud to announce that Populous is the official Architect of Record to help us plan, design and create the new showgrounds. Populous is a global architecture and design firm with extensive expertise in building venues for Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup, Super Bowl, professional stadiums, arenas, ballparks, and collegiate facilities as well as equestrian facilities, including the Ascot Racecourse, Churchill Downs and the equestrian venue for the London Olympics. They will design the showground expansion, including additional parking, a new show stadium venue with improved hospitality offerings, nine rings (two of which will be covered arenas), a derby field, additional permanent stabling, and a new FEI area.

 

As Wellington International does not own most of the land, we would not be able to ask for this zoning change independently. 

Subject to planning and approvals, the first phase of the new stadium will be open in 2026. However, we expect some elements of the new venue will be operational in 2025. 

As soon as the Village of Wellington approvals are finalized.  

The estimated time from approval to completion of the new stadium is 2-3 years. However, the barns, rings, etc. will be operational by 2025.

As with any large construction project, this timeline is subject to many factors such as permitting, community support and supply chain logistics. 

Yes, please see the first conceptual layout map here.

The new stadium’s footing will be similar to the existing international stadium’s footing. In addition to the new stadium, a state-of-the-art grass field will be built.  

A primary focus will be on show jumping, but other equestrian disciplines will be showcased. With the expansion, all of our equestrian disciplines will be centralized; this makes the logistics of organizing multi-discipline events more efficient. 

The planned total capacity of the new stadium will be 7,000.

We are still in the first phase of conceptual drawings. Please see the proposed show layout here and check back on our website for additional updates as they become available. 

Additional parking is included in the conceptual plan, as seen in grey on the map here.

Parking and traffic flow remain a high priority in our planning process. Extensive research and the capacity of both venues will determine the amount of parking required for the facility. 

The existing International Arena will be primarily for dressage but will also feature hunter competitions when dressage is not there. The new facility will be used primarily for jumpers, but the new stadium will also feature hunters and jumpers from time to time. We know that there is a need to modify the existing International Arena to provide a better dressage spectator experience.  

We know that there is a need to modify the existing International Arena to provide a better dressage spectator experience.  

The proposed new location for dressage is at the Wellington International showgrounds.  

There will be no additional trailer parking at the venue. 

Based on current and projected showgrounds usage, the leadership at Wellington International and the Global Equestrian Group thinks two covered arenas would support the hunter, jumper and dressage competition. Should there be an increase in demand, these plans may change.  

The Wellington International expansion plan has no plans for RV parking and hookups. 

Between the two venues, we will be able to stable 3,000 horses. 

Yes, we expect to operate as we do now in the summer and are hopeful that with the new facility, the demand to show at Wellington International as a year-round facility will increase.

This will depend on demand. 

Yes, although the exact amount has not been finalized 

There are no plans for haul-in day parking in the Wellington International expansion plan. 

Yes, as with any venue expansion, there is a need to review the existing and future infrastructure.  

Yes, as with any venue expansion, there is a need to review the existing and future infrastructure. 

It is too early in the planning process to know exactly the amenities that will be provided; the planning team is aware that there is a high demand for these types of facilities, which is a top priority for us to provide for the community.  

Currently, we show between 2,500 and 3,000 hunters & jumpers (60% jumpers and 40% hunters) at the existing showgrounds and a maximum of 300 horses at Equestrian Village during the Global Dressage Festival. During our busiest weeks, we have 1,200 hunters.

When the venue is expanded, we will add 300 dressage horses. This means we go from 3,000 horses on the existing grounds to 1,500 because the jumpers will have moved to the new facility.

As a result, the venue expansion will provide a much better experience for everyone. As we grow dressage, there still is more than enough room for everyone. This helps us efficiently manage the overall venue and also helps our competitors by having more space and a peaceful environment to show in. 

We will be linking to the traffic routing proposal soon, stay tuned!

Yes, there are plans for shade, green space and water features in the venue expansion.

It is too early in the planning process to know exactly the amenities that will be provided; the planning team is aware that there is a high demand for these types of facilities, which is a top priority for us to provide for the community.  

No, we are not expanding because of WEC. We believe that there is more than enough room in our industry for both facilities and each venue plays an important role in our equestrian community.

We want to expand the facility because centralizing the equestrian community in Wellington creates a space where horses, athletes and spectators will thrive for generations to come.