Besides their obvious locations (WEF in Wellington (Palm Beach), FL and Thermal in Thermal (Palm Springs), CA) what are the main differences in these shows? Better quality shows/competition/cost/celebs/prize money/vendors/location/overall/trainers?
Well, for one thing Thermal =/= Palm Springs.
Thermal is quite a distance from Palm Springs and it is not in the nice part of the Coachella Valley. Unless you stay at the show grounds, people usually stay in Indio or La Quinta. I have never been to WEF, but my daughter has shown there and she says that WEF is ten times better than Thermal.
I haven’t been to thermal in a few years since I am now located on the east coast and doing WEF, but from what I recall WEF is about the same price as Thermal if not cheaper (surprising right?) The big time trainers and riders from around the world go to WEF. WEF is 12 weeks rather than 7, so there is more overall prize money, bigger grand prixs (5*). And the shopping is great at the show…almost too great (it hurts my wallet.) Thermal however is a bit far from palm springs to go all the time but they have great restauraunts and stores there, also from what I can recall there is a great big outlet mall about 2 hours from Thermal.
Apples to oranges.