Cassie Ortiz has been a strong contender. DDeRosa photo.

Wellington, Fla. –  Feb. 27, 2017 – Robert Dover, chef d’equipe of the U.S. Dressage Team, promises an entertaining and eventful evening every week of American Equestrians Got Talent (AEGT), and AEGT Week VIII will be no exception. Sponsored by Diane Fellows and DVF consulting, the next fun-filled AEGT is scheduled for Wednesday, March 1, at 6 p.m. at the Grande Ballroom at 12150 Forest Hill Boulevard, directly behind the town hall.

Inspired after a trip to Los Angeles for the Oscars, Dover created AEGT as a way to raise funds for U.S. Equestrian High Performance Programs. AEGT showcases the talents of anyone associated with the equestrian community in South Florida and raises much-needed funds for the international equestrian disciplines. AEGT audition events are held for nine weeks during the winter equestrian season in Wellington. The Finale, scheduled for March 19 at the Global Dressage International Arena, will be the ultimate test to name America’s Most Talented Equestrian and earn the grand prize of $10,000.

“We have incredible judges and contestants this week,” Dover said. “AEGT is a great night out!”

Winner of Week Vi Laura León and guitarist Steven Hansen. DDeRosa photos.
For AEGT Week VIII, sponsored by Diane Fellows and DVF Consulting, the celebrity judges include Ann Romney, Mayor Anne Gerwig, Peter Doubleday and P.J. Rizvi.

Ann Romney is an author, the former first lady of Massachusetts and a dressage rider and owner. She is the wife of the former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and is an advocate for therapeutic riding, which has helped her manage multiple sclerosis (MS). Romney described her MS journey in her book, In this Together: My Story. She trains with Jan Ebeling, who took her Oldenburg mare, Rafalca, to the 2012 London Olympic Games.

In March 2016, Anne Gerwig was elected as the sixth Mayor of Wellington after serving for six years on the Wellington Village Council. Gerwig and her husband, Alan, have lived in Wellington for 26 years and have three children. She has worked for her family-owned company, Alan Gerwig and Associates, a Wellington-based engineering and consulting firm and served on the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council, the Housing Leadership Council, the Citizen Advisory Committee on Health and Human Services, the League of Cities Education Committee and the Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Winners of Week VII Robyn Marie Lamp and Edgar Miguel Abréu. DDeRosa photo.
Peter Doubleday has one of the sport’s most recognizable voices. He has announced hunter/jumper and breed shows for decades. He was the show jumping voice for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, the 1999 and 2015 Pan Am Games and eight World Cup Finals. Doubleday was also the production manager for the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky.  He has provided television commentary on ESPN and Outdoor Life Network.

Doubleday is also a show organizer and manages some of the most prestigious shows in North America. He manages the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, Pennsylvania National Horse Show and the Royal Horse Show in Toronto. He is known for his love of the history of American show jumping and serves as chairman of the board of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame.

P.J. Rizvi is a Grand Prix dressage rider and AEGT’s honorary chair.

Winner of Week VII  performance artist Robert Nichols. DDeRosa photo.