Madonna schedules visit

By Chuck Weber email

WELLINGTON, FL (WFLX)-The material girl is apparently headed to our area to pursue her equestrian dreams. We have confirmed Madonna is supposed to fly into Palm Beach County as early as Friday.

A British publication, Horse and Hound, reports online, Madonna is headed to Wellington-- to train while the Winter Equestrian Festival is under way.

"Well we're all abuzz about that," said Mason Phelps, currently spokesman for the U-S Equestrian team and veteran of Wellington's equestrian community.

"We're actually very excited," said Phelps. "We're fortunate we have people like Bruce Springsteen and Lou Dobbs and Georgina Bloomberg here. And now we add Madonna to the mix. I think it's great."

Horse and Hound says Madonna is coming to Wellington for two weeks. The publication's online article focuses on Madonna's trainer and reveals the pop star has shipped two horses to the States in recent months.

Phelps said, "I would assume that she will have her riding lessons in one of the private stables in the area, of which there are many. I don't know which one." And Phelps speculates Madonna may want to take in the competition at the Winter Festival while she's here.

The possibility of Madonna competing herself cannot be ruled out either. Ken Braddick, a spokesman for the Winter Equestrian Festival, says so far neither Madonna or her trainer has registered to compete in any events.

What do other riders at the Festival think about Madonna's visit to the area?

"I think it's good for the sport," said Emily Bourdeau, a rider for Brown University's team, in town for the week. "I haven't seen her run. But I'd like to."

"I mean I knew she rode," commented rider Francie Snedegar of California. "I didn't know exactly to what extent and what kind of riding or anything. But I mean it'd be cool to have her here."