FL February 16, 2004
The third week
of the 32nd Winter Equestrian Festival entitled Kilkenny/ICH Internationale
CSI*** was held February 11 through February 15 at the Palm
Beach Polo Equestrian Club in Wellington, Florida. Frank Rothenberger
of Germany was the course designer in the Internationale Arena.
Philip DeVita designed the courses for the Grand Hunter Field.
Equestrian Festival continues in Wellington through March 21, and
then the action moves to Tampa for two weeks at the Bob Thomas Equestrian
Center, and caps off with the Budweiser American Invitational on
April 3 at the Raymond James Stadium. Total prize money for the
2004 WEF is three-million-dollars. Produced by founder Eugene R.
Mische and Stadium Jumping, Inc., the Winter Equestrian Festival
is the largest and longest consecutively running equestrian sporting
event in the world.
Firestone and Iceburg win $50,000 Kilkenny/ICH Internationale Cup
Topping a field
of 37 riders, Alison Firestone, 27, of Upperville, Virginia, aboard
Iceburg for Mr. and Mrs. Bertram Firestone, won the $50,000 Kilkenny/ICH
Internationale Cup CSI*** on Sunday, February 15. In the 10-horse
jump-off, five horses went clean with Firestone racing just splits
in front of Anne Kursinski aboard Sun God who placed second, and
Kimberly Frey riding Marlou who placed third.
the 16-effort Round One track as technical and that
the most difficult parts of it were the lines to the combinations.
"To have a triple combination that early in the course, and
a big triple bar coming in, its always tough to get your horses
going for that," explained Firestone. "The blue in-and-out
(No. 12) was very tight inside, and either a very tight five to
another wide oxer or a really forward four."
the jump-off Eric Lamaze, 36, of Schomberg, Ontario, led off aboard
Tempete V/H Lindehof for owner Stacey Krembil and set the pace with
his clear trip in 41.040, which placed him fourth in the final results.
Kursinski riding Sun God for owners Ron and Cheryl Krise immediately
took over the lead with her clean trip in 39.23, which held up for
the next five riders, including two more clear trips. Kate Levy
clocked in clean at 44.13, which put her fifth, and Kim Frey riding
Marlou for owner Windmill Ranch LLC tripped the timers at 39.66
for third place. But it was Alison Firestone and Iceburg who edged
Kursinski into second place and took the victory with 39.17 seconds.
Two more riders chased her but incurred faults in slower time.
had the advantage of going last in the Jump-off, Firestone said
she did not see Kursinskis ride so did not strategize off
that trip. "I took a little shot to the second jump and then
I slowed down over to the outside line because in the first round
my horse got very surprised at how big the triple bar was,"
explained Firestone. "When he got there he felt like he took
a second look at it, so I wanted to give him a really good ride
down to the triple bar the second time. As soon as I got through
the combination, then I just let him go. Hes so careful I
can take a shot at running down to the jumps a little bit."
is aiming for the Olympic Selection Trials this year, but not with
the 14-year-old Iceburg. "If I make the team for the Olympics,
Casanova is the horse I want to take. Hes jumped a lot of
Championship courses and I think I have the best shot with him at
the Olympics," she said. "Today, if I had both of them
in the jump-off, Iceburg for sure would have been faster, but for
a really huge, scopey track, Casanova is my horse for that."
Olympian Kursinski noted that Sun God, a nine year-old chestnut
Hanoverian gelding by Drossel Klang II, will join her 1992 Barcelona
Olympic mount, Eros, in her quest for a fourth Olympics. "Im
tickled that hes as good as he was. We havent gone that
fast together over even a lot of smaller courses so I was delighted
that he went that fast and left the jumps up," she said. "He
has all the ability, now we need some mileage."
Frey was also
aboard a new Grand Prix mount that she is aiming for the Olympic
Selection Trials in May. "This is only my third big class,"
she said of the 10-year-old Dutch mare by Jus de Pomme. "Shes
relatively young. When I walked the course I said, well lets
see if she can jump this high. Shes got a ton of ability and
Im really thrilled with her. She really rises to the occasion
all the time, so although she hasnt done a lot of big courses
I feel very confident. Shes very, very confident herself.
If I put that [Olympics] in front of her Im sure she would
give it her best shot."
Wednesday Through Saturday
Ward And Cinderella Win $7,500 1.45m
field of 60 horses contested the $7,500 1.45 Meter Time First Jump-Off,
kicking off the week on February 11 in the Internationale Arena.
McLain Ward 28, of Brewster, NY, and the Double H Farm-owned mare
Cinderella went 29th in the order and was the sixth combination
to clear the 15-effort round one. The format calls for the rider
to immediately attack the eight-effort jump-off. Ward clocked in
clean over the short course in 33.596 seconds, topping the five
previous double clears. The last half of the class chased his time,
and though eight more combinations crossed the timers fault-free,
all were slower than Ward. Molly Ashe riding King Louie for Rosewood
Glen Ltd placed second with her time of 34.643. Anne Kursinski riding
Sun God for Ron and Cheryl Krise placed third in 34.717.
Ward And LaBelle Win $5,000 1.40m Faults Converted, Section A
Later in the
day on Wednesday, Ward notched another win to his streak, upping
it to nine victories at this point for the 2004 WEF. With 127 entries
on the order of go for the $5,000 1.40m Faults Converted class,
Stadium Jumping, Inc. management split the class into two sections.
Ward had three horses in the first section and won the class on
Labelle for owner Turnabout Farm, topping 68 horses. He had a look
at the course early on when he went sixth in the order aboard Prins
for owner Meghan Moran and set the pace witha clear in 53.402. Ward
maintained his lead for most of the class, until he topped himself
as the 40th rider on course with LaBelle who ate up the course in
a phenomenal 50.581. Three rides later, Margie Engle on Hidden Creeks
Charlie Brown took a shot and posted a clear in 52.235, which proved
to be good enough for third place. Joe Fargis directly followed
Engle on the roster aboard Carousel owned by Mary B Schwab and came
close to Ward with his clear trip in 51.820, but had to settle for
Fargis And Maria Bonita Win $5,000 Faults Converted
, Section B
In the second
section of the $5,000 1.40m Faults Converted class, Joe Fargis riding
Maria Bonita for owner Mary B. Schwab topped the roster of 59 horses.
Laura Chapot aboard Copper Twist for owner Mary Chapot set the pace
early on the duo went third in the order and clocked in clear
at 54.622, but they ended up in second place. Emily Williams aboard
her own Abracadabra took aim at the leader, but fell short by almost
two seconds and had to settle for third place. Fargis was the 24th
rider to take the test and burned up the grass with his clear in
53.465, which proved to be unbeatable for the remaining 34 riders.
Fargis also rode Caucalis for owner Frederick Graham and placed
sixth with a fault-free trip in 57.145.
Ward And Hurricane Win $25,000 Challenge Cup
his day on Thursday, February 12, McLain Ward chalked up his 10th
win at this years WEF, claiming victory over 56 horses in
the $25,000 WEF Kilkenny/ICH Challenge Cup Series Round III, CSI***
riding Hurricane I for owner Sarah Willeman and Turnabout Farm.
"The problem with having such a good run is that you get fearful
when its going to end, because you know at some point its
going to end," Ward said. "But well keep riding
and enjoying it while it goes on." Fifteen horses cleared the
15-effort Round One track. The lead changed hands several times
in the Jump-Off, but going ninth in the order Norman Dello Joio
jumped to the lead when he laid down a trip with Quriel owned by
Eleanor Belknap and Anthony Weight that would be hard to beat
33.64 seconds. However, going last in the line-up aboard Hurricane
I, Ward produced a clear trip in 32.71 for the win, and edged Dello
Joio into second place. Seven horses put in double clear performances
today. Kim Frey rode Couletto K. James for owner McLain Ward and
clocked in at 35.08 for third. "That was also very exciting
for me," said Ward. "Hes only eight years old and
it was his first grand prix this season. It was a great day all
the way around."
Smith And Carmen Win Regular Working Hunter Championship
After two days
of competition in the Regular Working Hunter division sponsored
by First Savings Mortgage Company, Ken Smith riding Carmen emerged
as the champion on Thursday afternoon, February 12. Millridge, LLC
owns Carmen, a 10-year old, 15.3-hand Oldenburg mare. Smith has
had the ride since October 2003. Louise Serio riding Gray Slipper
for owner Bridget Hallman earned the Reserve. Smith, 36, of Wellington,
Florida, rode Carmen in four over fences classes and took the victory
in three of them. He picked up a third place ribbon in one jumping
class. The division competed in one Under Saddle class, in which
Smith and Carmen placed fourth. "She was really good. Yesterday
especially because she had last week off so she was fresh and jumped
real, real high," said Smith. "She showed great expression
over the jumps, real smooth, and shes a beautiful mover, so
between the jumps it worked out real nice." He attributed todays
third place in the first over fences classes to an unlucky rub when
she jumped lower than her norm, but then she went on to win the
final class today and clinch the championship. Smith, who is over
six feet tall, attributes his height to the lower score in the Under
Saddle class where she was fourth. "She was good. Im
a little tall for her for the Under Saddle. Over the jumps theyre
watching the horse more, but Under Saddle I like to put a shorter
rider on her." Smith noted that the most special aspect of
Carmens personality is her attitude. "She goes in to
win the classes. She has all the talent, but she really wants to
win the classes and you cant teach them how to do that. Theyre
born to do it or not. Shes a really consistent horse."
Welles And Ursa Major Win 1.40 Meter Acorn Hill Farm Challenge,
class on Friday, February 13, was the $5,000 1.40 Meter Acorn Hill
Farm Challenge Time First Round. With 114 horses entered, management
split the class into two sections, A and B. Jeffery Welles aboard
Ursa Major clinched the win in Section B, out-jumping a field of
58 horses. "I tried to base my ride off of McLains ride
on LaBelle," said Welles, 41, of Pound Ridge, NY. "He
didnt leave much room for anyone. I just had to go for it."
McLain Ward had gone as the ninth rider in the class and posted
a comet-like time of 52.705 seconds with LaBelle owned by Sarah
Willeman and Turnabout Farm, putting himself at the head of the
class. Welles and Ursa Major, an 11-year-old, bay 17-hand, Belgian
gelding owned by Mr. and Mrs. Fred Croft, took to the field 14 rides
later and edged Ward into second place when he zapped the course
in 51.425 seconds. Welles maintained his lead as 35 more riders
tried to catch him, but with no success. Chris Pratt going 54th
in the order riding Ishan for owner Sue Grange placed third with
a time of 52.907. "I left out one more stride than McLain did
in the last line," said Welles. "His time looked unbeatable
because his horse is so fast. After watching him go, I knew I couldnt
hold anything back."
Leivas De Costa Wins 1.40 Meter Acorn Hill Farm Challenge,
competition in the Internationale Arena on Friday the 13th, Fabio
Leivas De Costa of Brazil riding his own Tijuana Domar won Section
A, besting a field of 56 horses. Nineteen horses went clean, but
it took a dozen trips over the test designed by Frank Rothenberger
before Cara Cheska on her November Rain logged the first clear in
61.572 seconds. Cheska ended up in sixth place. Then it was rider
after rider besting the previous leaders time. Knocking Cheska
out of the lead was Joe Fargis aboard Maria Bonita for owner Mary
B. Schwab who blazed the course of 13-efforts in 57.891. Fargis
stayed at the top against the next 18 contenders, but ended up fourth.
Anne Kursinski snatched the lead from Fargis with her time of 57.195
aboard Faldo for Robin Hill Farm, clocking in at 57.195, but Kursinski
finished in third place. Kim Barone just barely edged Kursinski
out of the lead with her time of 57.184 aboard her own Kid Rock.
Barones lead was short-lived and she ended up second as De
Costa took over the course four rides later and was more than a
second faster aboard Tijuana Domar, rocketing around the course
in 55.959. The time was unbeatable for the next 13 horses, and De
Costa claimed his victory.
Bielefeld And C.C. Bloom Win First Year Green Hunter Championship,
In the Grand
Hunter Field on Friday, Rob Bielefeld, 39, of Ithaca, New York,
and Wellington, Florida, riding C.C. Bloom for owner Samantha Hallman
won the First Year Green Hunter Championship, Section A. The duo
competed in four over fences classes held over two days and chalked
up one win, two third-place ribbons, and a fourth place ribbon.
They did not compete in the Under Saddle class, but still accumulated
enough points to claim the Championship. Heather Caristo rode Indian
Summer for Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Caristo and earned the Section A Reserve.
C.C. Bloom is an eight-year-old, 16.1-hand chestnut Dutch mare by
the French Olympic Team stallion Joue de Pomme. Hallman imported
her from Joey Norick two years ago. Bielefeld and C.C. Bloom are
commencing their second season together. "Shes a good
jumper," stated Bielefeld. "Her consistency really paid
off. She always tries hard but the first day she just gave that
extra effort. She jumped so high over all the jumps and stayed in
the air." Forty-one horses competed in Section A yesterday
and 42 competed today. Competition in the division was tough, Bielefeld
acknowledged. "Ten years ago First Year horses used to make
a few errors and be okay because they were First Year horses and
green," he said. "But nowadays theres no room for
error. You have to be right on. The horse has to be right on. If
you dont get above a score of 80, youre not getting
a ribbon. Its very, very competitive this year."
Smith And Noir Win First Year Green Hunter Championship, Section
Later in the
day on Friday, Ken Smith of Wellington, Florida, riding Noir for
owner Mrs. Quentin Alexander won the First Year Green Hunter Championship,
Section B. Thirty-nine horses competed in two over fences in this
section of the division yesterday, and 42 contested the final three
classes today, including an Under Saddle class and two jumping classes.
Tim Goguen riding George for Janet Read was the Reserve.
Goodman And Jumper Win $10,000 Adequan Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic
the action in the Internationale Arena on Saturday, February 14,
Marley Goodman, 23, of Wellington, Florida, aboard Jumper won the
$10,000 Adequan Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic High, besting a field
of 56 entries. Thirteen horses went clear over the 14-effort Round
One course and qualified for the Jump-off. Goodman was the second
rider to go over the eight-effort course and set the pace with her
clear round in 41.508 seconds. The dozen riders who chased her time
could not catch her, though four more riders produced clear performances.
Cara Raether riding Zypria for Trelawny Farm Inc. placed second,
tripping the timers in 41.807. Paige Johnson riding Landria W for
Salamander Farm took the third place ribbon, covering the short
course in 41.947. "Its always difficult going early in
a jump-off because you dont know how fast to go," said
Goodman. "I decided to use this as practice and go as fast
as I could. I was lucky enough to keep the lead. You have to have
luck with you as well. I dont think there was any place where
I could have been faster." The aptly named Jumper is a 12-year-old,
16.2-hand, bay Dutch warmblood gelding with one blue eye. Goodman
and her familys Turtle Lane Farm have owned him for three
years. "Hes just a fantastic horse. He always wants to
win for you, every time," Goodman said. At last years
WEF, Jumper was the second leading money winner in the amateur division.
"I know how he rises to the occasion. Hes the perfect
fit for me." Todays win marked Goodmans first victory
in this years WEF. "It feels very good," she said.
"We were second last week in this class and it was nice to
win it, very nice. Its always good to win a class here because
the competition is very difficult with many competitors with good
horses and good riders."
Pratt And Rivendell Win $20,000 1.50 Meter Classic, Time First Jump-Off
It was a happy
Valentines Day on Saturday, February 14, for 34-year-old Chris
Pratt of Toronto, Canada. Riding Rivendell for owner Sue Grange,
Pratt bested a field of 53 riders to win the $20,000 1.50 Meter
Classic, Time First Jump-Off at the 32nd Winter Equestrian Festival
in Wellington, Florida, today. Pratt was the fastest of five double
clear performances. Going last in the 17-horse jump-off, Pratt shifted
the leaders down a notch from what looked like a cinched one-two-three
finish for Norman Dello Joio, McLain Ward, and Markus Beerbaum.
"Ive got a superb horse," said Pratt. "Hes
fast and I trust him." Canadian Ainsley Vince, the second rider
on course in the tiebreaker aboard her own Uno, set the pace at
43.873, but she finished in fifth place. Markus Beerbaum riding
Le Mans 8 for Hyperion Farm was seventh in the order and snatched
the lead in 39.342, but ended up fourth. Five riders later, McLain
Ward put the pedal to the metal and took over the top spot riding
one of his own, Furioso Du Parc the duo tripped the timers
at 39.273, but finished third. Norman Dello Joio went immediately
after Ward, riding Leonardo for owner Anthony Weight, and took over
the lead with his blazing time of 38.990. Four more riders chased
Dello Joio, but none were clear or fast enough, except the last
to go Pratt galloped the course in 38.078 for the win. "I
knew how fast I had to go," said Pratt who noted that he watched
the riders before him. "Those were top international competitors
ahead of me. This is the biggest win to date in my career."
Pratt has been riding Rivendell, an eight-year-old, 16.3-hand chestnut
Westfalen by Piano for just over a year. He explained that he beat
the leaders time by turning back to the combination faster
and leaving a stride out going to the sixth fence on course. He
said his mental strategy going into the pressure-cooker jump-off
was to "stay positive. I was worried about one turn, but it
was no problem. I have 100% confidence in my horse." He said
the key to his relationship to Rivendell is, "Patience. This
is a super quality horse that in other hands might have been pushed
before he was ready."
For full results
of todays classes, visit www.stadiumjumping.com
Click on images for enlargements
$50,000 Kilkenny/ICh International Cup Grand Prix Winner: Iceburg,
ridden by Alison Firestone, owned by Mr. & Mrs. Bertram R. Firestone
Photo: Randi Muster
$7,500 1.45m Time First Jump-Off Winner: Cinderella 248, ridden
by McLain Ward, owned by Double H Farm
$5,000 1.40m Faults Converted Section B Winner: Maria Bonita, ridden
by Joe Fargis, owned by Mary B. Schwab
Ward And Hurricane Win $25,000 Challenge Cup
Ken Smith And Carmen Win Regular Working Hunter Championship
$ 5,000 1.40m Acorn Hill Farm Challenge Section A Winner: Tijuana
Domar, ridden and owned by Fabio Leivas De Costa
First Year Green Hunter Champion Section A Winner: C.C. Bloom, ridden
by Rob Bielefeld, owned by Samantha Hallman
$10,000 Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic High Winner: Jumper,
ridden by Marley Goodman, owned by Turtle Lane Farm
$20,000 1.50m Classic, Time First Jump Off Winner: Rivendell,
ridden by Chris Pratt, owned by Sue Grange