Winter Equestrian Festival Week 7 Wrap-Up, March 9-13, 2005
CN Finale, CSIO-US 4*, ‘AA’

Another Hurricane Races Through Wellington as Argentina’s Quintana Wins US Open Jumper Championship

10,375 enthusiastic show jumping fans watched another Hurricane race through Wellington, however, this one was of the equine variety and the weather couldn’t have been more spectacular.  Hurricane, owned by Turnabout Farm and ridden by Argentina’s Ramiro Quintana, stormed to victory on Sunday, March 13, in the $100,000 U.S. Open Jumper Championship CSIO 4* presented by CN, as the curtain came down on the South Florida leg of the 2005 Winter Equestrian Festival. This was the final Sunday of show jumping action at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club. After a week’s respite, the tour resumes on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, Florida.

Hurricane and Ramiro Quintana of
Argentina win the $100,000 CN US
Open Jumper Championship.
Photo by Randi Muster

Sunday’s class was a major money qualifier for the 2005 $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational to be held Saturday night, April 2, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. It was also the sixth event on the year long American Grand Prix Association (AGA) tour.

Kent Farrington and Madison, owned by Alexa Weeks, were the first to master the course, riding out of the eighth spot in the order. Madison led the victory gallop two weeks ago in the Thursday night WEF Challenge Cup class.  Seven horses later, Little Big Man, a winner of the Masters Cup during the third week at WEF and ridden by Laura Chapot, produced the second clear go of the day.  Turnabout Farm’s Hurricane with Argentinean Ramiro Quintana followed Chapot five horses later in the twenty first spot and added their name to the jump-off roster with the third clear ride of the day.  Then there was a gap of twenty horses before France’s Herve Godignon, aboard his own mount, Obelix, came home with a clear go. The final rider to qualify was Ellen Whitaker of Great Britain on the Amaro Whitaker Sporthorses’ AK Locarno 62, riding forty fifth of forty nine in the first round.

The jump-off course consisted of nine efforts with the triple combination being reduced to a double.

Farrington, as the first clear, was the first to return for the timed tiebreaker. He and Madison were very quick and more importantly clear, to set the pace with four to follow. Farrington crossed the finish line in 41.72 seconds.

Laura Chapot and Little Big Man dropped a rail and cruised home in 42.56 seconds.

Ramiro Quintana and Hurricane entered the International Arena next. Quintana was spectacular but as he crossed the center of the arena over 15 and 16, he was dead even with Farrington and Madison. The crowd was on their feet and collectively held their breath as Quintana raced for home. Quintana’s finish time was just fast enough to catch Farrington as he slipped home in 41.51 seconds, on top by a margin of .21 seconds.

Godignon had two rails in the jump off, finishing with eight faults in 44.98 seconds and Ellen Whitaker gave Farrington and Quintana a run for their money but fell just shy of the win, breaking the beams in 41.98 seconds.

Quintana said the difference was one single stride. “I saw Kent’s round. He’s a very fast rider but I thought I could get him down that one line that was new for the jump off,” Quintana explained.  “He added one stride; he did seven strides in there, and I thought I could take advantage of that by doing the six strides in there. My horse has a big step and that’s where I thought I could get him. As it turns out, I just beat him by a fraction of a second, so that was the difference,” he said.

Week Seven Jumper Highlights- Wednesday through Sunday

An overnight weather front that dumped over two inches of rain on the Wellington area, continued Wednesday, finally forcing the cancellation of all activities on Wednesday at the 2005 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. This is the final week of show jumping at the nations largest and longest running equestrian showcase.

Germany’s Markus Beerbaum
with Le Mans 8.
Photo by Randi Muster

Sunshine and blue skies greeted competitors and spectators on Thursday for the WEF Challenge Cup at the 2005 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club in Wellington, Florida. The beautiful conditions were certainly welcomed following a record rainfall on Wednesday that caused the cancellation of most of the schedule.

Markus Beerbaum of Germany, with two chances in the jump-off, returned first for the tiebreaker with Constantin 24, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Bertram Firestone. A smooth and efficient clean ride set the pace for the jump-off as Beerbaum crossed the finish line fault free in 42.93 seconds.

The red hot Laura Kraut, WEF’s most successful rider for 2005, was next to challenge. Aboard Allegiance, owned by Pin Oak Farm, Kraut knocked 1.71 seconds off of Beerbaum’s time but pulled a rail coming home and finished with four faults in 41.22 seconds.

Laura Chapot, also having a tremendous Florida tour, was up next on her own mount, Little Big Man. Beerbaum’s lead disintegrated as Chapot toured the jump-off course without penalty and flashed across the finish line in 41.46 seconds to take over the top spot with four to go. Ellen Whitaker of Great Britain, riding AK Kanselier, owned by Amaro and Whitaker Sporthorses followed Chapot. Whitaker had a knockdown over the speed course and finished with four faults and a time of 41.89 seconds.


The first of three remaining competitors for the encounter against the clock was LeMans 8, owned by the Hyperion Farm. This was the second ride for Markus Beerbaum of Germany. On his second tour Beerbaum shaved 2/10ths of a second off of the time posted by Chapot and Little Big Man to take over the lead with two to go. Beerbaum’s finish time was 41.26 seconds.

Judgement, from the Iron Spring Farm and US Olympic Silver Medalist Beezie Madden joined the fray next. Madden made all the right moves as she galloped around the twists and turns of the speed course breaking the beams at the finish line in a new top time of 41.06 seconds, 2/10ths of a second faster that Beerbaum.

The last to go in the WEF Challenge Cup jump-off was Georgina Bloomberg with Nadia, owned by the Gotham Enterprizes. Bloomberg was truly amazing. Accelerating through the start and then never letting up, Bloomberg made all of the inside cuts and flew through the finish. The scoreboard flashed up an incredible finish time of 39.55 seconds, a time 1.51 seconds faster than Madden’s.

Laura Chapot and Sprite, making a bid for their 31st Winter Equestrian Festival speed win together, took the lead at the halfway point of the class, cruising home clear with a time of 49.89

McLain Ward (USA) and Galant.
Photo by Randi Muster


Five horses later, Great Britain’s Michael Whitaker grabbed the lead from Chapot on Beverly Hills Equestrian’s Lexicon. Whitaker, knocking .20 off of the top time, broke the beams in 49.69 seconds.

Whitaker’s lead lasted five rounds before McLain Ward took over for good. Aboard his mount Galant, Ward tripped the timers in 49.07 seconds for the Friday win. But Ward couldn’t breathe a sigh of relief until the time was posted for Ellen Whitaker, also from Great Britain. The 19 year old Whitaker had everyone on the edge of their seat but came up just short of the mark, finishing in 49.33 seconds.

“It was a very fast class today,” Ward recounted. “Galant has been good all circuit. He’s had some nice results and a few good wins mixed in with a lot of bad luck. My circuit this year seems to be all about four faults, so I was really happy with today’s outcome.”




Samsung Nations Cup

A crowd of nearly 14,000 chilled but enthusiastic spectators watched the equestrian team from Ireland come from behind to win the Samsung Nations Cup Friday night at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at the Palm Beach Equestrian Club in Wellington, Florida. The Samsung Nations Cup is one of the highlighted events at the CSIO United States 4* - CN Finale, presented by Canadian National Railroad.

Teams from nine nations were on hand for this exciting two round competition. Team Canada, the defending Samsung Nations Cup Champion, was joined by teams from Belgium, Great Britain, Argentina, Switzerland, Mexico, France, Ireland and from the host country, the United States.

In the second round, Switzerland, The United States and Canada faded from contention early.

Switzerland added 25 faults to their first round score of 17 to finish with 42 total faults. The United States, coming back with 21, added 14 more in the second round, finishing with 35 faults. Team Canada came in with 13 and despite a clear ride by Eric Lamaze still accumulated 20 to finish with 33.

Argentina would take home the Bronze Medal. Following their 17 fault first round effort, they improved to only 13 faults in the second round. Their team total of 30 would earn them the third place finish.

Great Britain and Ireland would battle for the Gold Medal in round two.

For Great Britain, Michael Whitaker, the first to master the course in round one, returned with a knockdown and a time fault for a five fault total in round two. Ireland’s first rider, Darrah Kerins, had just a single knockdown and all of a sudden the score was Great Britain 11 and Ireland 12.

The second rider for Great Britain was Robert Maguire. Two knockdowns and a time fault and Great Britain now had 21 faults on the scoreboard with Conor Swail, Ireland’s second rider coming in. Swail pretty much sealed the deal with an exciting and crowd thrilling clear round effort that put the Irish ahead 12 faults to 21 for Great Britain.

Irish Equestrian Team Wins Samsung Nations Cup.
Photo by Randi Muster

Despite Ellen Whitaker’s clean ride for Great Britain, it was official when Kevin Babington posted the only double clear ride of the night to give Ireland their first Samsung Nations Cup win in Wellington.

Ireland’s Chef d’Equipe Eddie Macken “This is our first win here in Palm Beach. It’s something we’ve been trying to do now for three or four years and now we’ve put ourselves at the top. Next year, we’ll have a chance to defend our title rather than chase after it,” he chuckled.

Saturday’s early morning feature at the 2005 Winter Equestrian Festival had a distinct international flavor to it as riders from Germany, Belgium, Great Britain and Canada placed first through fourth in the $10,000 1.50m Classic. The CSIO United States – CN Finale, the final week of competition in Wellington, has brought together riders from across the globe to the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club in Wellington, Florida. Following the South Florida run, which wraps up on Sunday afternoon, competitors move to Tampa, Florida, for two weeks of action at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds. The grand finale to this year’s Winter Equestrian Festival is the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational on Saturday night, April 2, at Raymond James Stadium.

Following a night of international excitement and a win for the Irish Equestrian Team on Friday night at the Samsung Nations Cup, riders from Europe continued their domination on Saturday morning.

The $10,000 1.50m Classic, CSIO was scored under FEI Article 238.2.2, Time First Jump Off. The Internationale Arena Course Designer is Jose “Pepe” Gamarra.

Twenty-four starters took to the field on Saturday morning. Only three were able to negotiate the first round course without penalties. Three riders were clear with time faults. Seven riders had a knockdown, some with time penalties as well. Eleven competitors had eight faults or more.

In the three horse jump-off against the clock, Markus Beerbaum, aboard the Hyperion Farm’s Le Mans 8, returned first. Racing around the tiebreaker, Beerbaum left the early morning crowd breathless, with a clean round in a fast dash of 36.22 seconds.

Obacia JPP, ridden by Gilbert De Roock of Belgium, also produced a faultless jump-off effort but was off the Beerbaum pace by 2.42 seconds, tripping the timers in 38.64.

Michael Whitaker of Great Britain on Lexicon, owned by the Beverly Hills Equestrian Center, pulled a rail for four faults and crossed the finish line in 38.58 seconds to finish third.

On Sunday morning, Sprite and Laura Chapot notched their thirty first win together in speed competitions at the Winter Equestrian Festival. They posted a 1.89 second win over Ramiro Quintana and Labelle in the $5000 1.40m Acorn Hill Farm Speed Challenge CSIO. Chapot crossed the finish line without penalty in 55.10 seconds. Quintana’s time was 56.99 seconds. Mac Cone and Ole finished third in 57.95 seconds.

Show Jumping competitors take a week off and will resume competition on Wednesday, March 23, 2005 in Tampa, Florida. In addition to the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, the final two qualifying events for the 2005 Budweiser World Cup will be contested when the Winter Equestrian Festival resumes.

Week Seven Hunter Results- Thursday through Sunday

Entries dropped dramatically this week after rain all day on Wednesday caused the cancellation of afternoon classes in the CN Finale at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).  Although there were less people showing, the competition was tough, with some of the best hunters in the country still showing.  This week marks the end of WEF in Wellington, and competition will continue in Tampa, FL, on March 23-27 and March 29- April 2. 

The Second Year Green Working Hunters did compete in their two over fences classes Wednesday morning, before the decision was made to cancel the show for the day.  The weather cleared on Thursday and in the sunshine, the tricolor was awarded to Jivago and Lauren Bass.  Seduced and Jennifer Bauersachs, riding for Lee Kellogg, were reserve champions.

Jivago and Lauren Bass
Photo: Randi Muster

Despite a steady downpour, Jivago and Bass rode for first and second place ribbons on Wednesday.  They won the under saddle class and finished up with a third and fourth in the remaining over fences classes.  Jivago also shows with owner Candace Lubar in the Children’s Hunters.  Bass mentioned, “He was wonderful in the rain.  It was actually really easy showing yesterday and the footing was really good.  I know now when his owner has to show him in the rain, he’ll be really good for her!”

The Regular Working Hunters had all their classes on the schedule for Thursday.  They competed in three over fences classes and the under saddle and the championship was hotly contested.  Amanda Lyerly rode Coast to Coast to the tricolor for the Fashion Farm over Megan Schall’s Jazz and Tommy Serio.  Both had two first place ribbons and two second place ribbons today.  However, Coast to Coast had his two blues in over fences classes, which gave him the edge over Jazz and Serio.

Lyerly works for Louise Serio and the charming chestnut has been in their barn for over two years.  They have shown throughout the circuit, but this was their first championship.  “He’s been great all circuit and he’s won a class here and there, but was good in every class today and it kind of all came together,” Lyerly said.

A new name was added to the list of qualifiers for the WEF Equitation Championship class on Saturday, March 12.  The special equitation class is held in honor of R.W. “Ronnie” Mutch and features a unique format where junior riders walk the course, school their horses and show without supervision from their trainers.  In the USEF Hunter Seat Medal Section A, Cassie Herman came away with the win and the chance to compete in the special class.  She won over Catherine Wright and Hillary Dobbs.  The winner of Section B was Julia Shand, who is already qualified.  Second place went to Amelia McArdle and Caroline Oks was third.

The sunshine returned for a beautiful day at the CN Finale week of the Winter Equestrian Festival, but it’s brilliance paled in comparison to the achievement that Indian Summer and Holly Caristo attained on Friday.

The graceful chestnut gelding won his sixth championship of the Winter Equestrian Festival and his eighth tricolor in a row.  Indian Summer also won 15 out of 28 classes this season.  The pair are leaps and bounds ahead of their competitors in the race for the WEF Circuit Championship.  Caristo said they will not show in Tampa, and mentioned, “I promised him I was done until May now.  Hopefully, we’ll be in the Parade of Champions!”

Indian Summer and Holly Caristo,
Champions in Adult Amateur Hunters
every week at Winter Equestrian Festival.
Photo by Randi Muster.

Indian Summer had his best week in the CN Finale, winning all four classes.  The reserve championship went to Just Harry and Debbie Bass, who rode for the Maypine Farm.  Caristo divulged, “He’s been a great horse and I’m glad he’s finally done.”  There was no change from week one to week seven, said Caristo, and “he sort of goes the same way every time.”

Caristo was full of praise for her incredible partner, and said, “He just waits for you to tell him whatever you want him to do.  He’s very responsive when you ask him to do something.  I’m just lucky and thrilled that he’s so consistent.”  She also added, “He’s like a dream to ride, and today was just a perfect ending.”

Friday was the final opportunity for junior riders to qualify for tomorrow’s WEF Equitation Championship for the R.W. “Ronnie” Mutch trophy.  Only two new names will be added to the list, as Michael Delfiandra won Section A of the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship class and Callie Leone got the top call in Section A of the USEF Show Jumping Talent Search.

The R.W. “Ronnie” Mutch Scholarship winner, Cathy Rolfs, placed eighth in Section A of the ASPCA Maclay and had scores of 80 in both the hunter and jumper phases of the WIHS Equitation Classic.  Zazou Hoffman, the R.W. “Ronnie” Mutch Working Student winner, placed ninth in the ASPCA Maclay and also received a score of 80 in the hunter phase of the WIHS Equitation Classic.  Both girls were graciously loaned wonderful horses to compete on.  Rolfs rode Aristocrat, who is owned by Paul Valliere, while Hoffman rode Missy Clark’s Long Island.

“We honor Ronnie Mutch by honoring you all with this prestigious class.”  These were some of the first words that 24 junior riders heard in their meeting before competing in the WEF Equitation Championship for the R.W. “Ronnie” Mutch trophy on Saturday, March 12.  Steve Stephens explained the class rules and reminded the juniors of the importance of this class.

Ronnie Mutch was a life-long horseman known for winning the AHSA Medal Finals in 1950 at the age of 15, and being the youngest rider at the time to represent the USET at the age of 18. The class is held in his honor to carry on his ideals of horsemanship and sportsmanship to young riders.  After two rounds of demanding competition, Sloane Coles came away with the win over Brianne Goutal and Blythe Marano.

Eleven riders were called back for a second round, with Blythe Marano and Caitlin Donovan tied at the cutoff score of 81.5.

Marano was again the first to go over a shortened, but more challenging second course.  It included a line with a one stride followed by a trot jump, and a counter canter around a corner to a jump.  Marano acknowledged, “In the second round, I got to go first again.  My horse is very good at changing leads and the trot jump.  I knew he’d be good everywhere, it was just the shadows that I was worried about.”  Marano improved on her first round to score an 85, for a total of 166.5.  Despite coming in the first round in tenth place, Marano’s score held up and she finished third.  It was déjà vu, as Marano accomplished the exact same thing in last year’s class.

Sloane Coles and Cino, winners of the
WEF Equitation Championship for
the R.W. "Ronnie" Mutch trophy
Photo by Randi Muster.

Six horses later, Coles entered the ring for her second round.  She executed the course flawlessly, as she landed on the counter canter, held it around the corner, and finished her course without a hitch.  However, Coles was worried about one element of the course.  “I knew that the hardest thing was going to be the trot fence, and I practiced a couple lines like that at home.  I’d always had trouble with it,” she said.  “He came back so well for me.  Cino was amazing.”  Her second round score was a 91 and her total was 178.  She would have to wait for three more riders to learn the outcome of the class.

Whitney Weeks and Hardin Towell followed Coles, but both were unable to hold the counter canter to the jump.  They posted scores of 73 and 72.  Goutal was the last to enter the ring and it was her class to win.

Goutal rode a very even course, but had trouble at the trot jump.  “I didn’t ride as strong as I wanted to the trot jump.  I knew it was going to be difficult when I walked the course, because you only had five strides to get the trot jump.  I came in the way I wanted to, forward enough so that the one [combination before the trot jump] got a little slow.  I kind of trusted it, because I came in so well, that he would just trot. It was my fault,” she claimed.  “The horse is amazing and he always jumps beautifully.  You can’t ask much more from him.  He’s a really honest horse; he always wants to win.  Other than that, he was amazing.”

Goutal’s score of 78 gave her a total of 172 and the win to fellow Beacon Hill rider Sloane Coles.  “Sloane rode amazing in the second round.  I was really happy overall,” Goutal said.  Coles revealed that yesterday she and Goutal said they wanted to be first and second in the class.  They helped each other today, walking the course, giving pointers and standing at the in-gate for each other.  “I think that because there was an absence of the trainers, that we all kind of helped each other.  One person at least was at the in-gate with the other person, telling them what the last person did, what the difficulties or easiest parts of the course were.  It’s just a really fun class to do,” Goutal mentioned.  The feeling of team spirit prevailed during the class and the riders left with more than just prizes from the “Ronnie Mutch class.”

Frank Madden, who co-trained Coles and Goutal, is a huge fan of the format for the class. “The thing that I enjoyed so much about this class is that it’s such a test of their independence.  I guess in a perfect world, if you’re doing your job as a trainer, eventually they shouldn’t need you.  I think that’s what so great about this class,” he said.  “I felt very strongly about it.  It was fun to watch all the kids; Blythe, Addison, and all of mine that were in it, just to see how independent they’ve become.”

Madden was not worried about his riders fending for themselves.  “I don’t feel nervous.  At the stage these girls are at, you don’t stand on the hill nervous that something is going to go drastically wrong; you just hope the day goes well for them.  They’re up to walking their course and executing what they walked.”

He was also very complimentary of Coles and Goutal, and asserted, “I think they’re both very natural, strong riders.”  He also added, “I loved the course.  I think it asked all the important things of a rider.  Style, for sure, became an issue.  I thought the test in the second round really showed the horse and rider that really took charge of things.  I thought the scoring was pretty dead on and it pinned itself in the end.”

It was a special day for Ande Farish and her adorable grey pony, Make My Day, as the CN Finale closed out competition for the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington on Sunday.  The pair celebrated their one year anniversary this week.  They were also champion during this week last year. 

Farish rode for the Lanes End Pony Stables and finished third in the under saddle and the over fences class on Saturday.  They also won one of the remaining over fences classes, which gave them the tricolor over Everwood and Kristen Lutz, who rode for Evelyn Whelan.  Farish was very happy about her win, and said, “He’s usually really good.  He doesn’t swap or anything, you just have to find your distances and he’ll jump it.” 

Although Make My Day is not as brave as Clint Eastwood- “he’s scared of everything on the ground,” commented Farish- he is as sweet a pony as you’ll ever find.  The pair finished their circuit here and will continue to show when WEF moves to Tampa.

Make My Day’s stable mate garnered championship honors for the second week in a row in the other section of the Medium Pony Hunters.  Tuscany and Jennifer Waxman won four out of five classes to win the championship over Tammy Provost’s Nemo and Katherine Newman.  Waxman acknowledged that the pony tends to swap leads, so they worked hard this week to improve that part of their performance.  “He was much better about that this week,” said Waxman.

In the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters, the champion was Jazz and Megan Schall.  When Schall recently purchased Jazz, she knew they would be a good match.  “This is my fifth week showing him.  When I rode him the first time, it just worked out really well.  It was just the right horse and it kind of worked out,” she commented, and added, “I knew he was the one.”  Schall and Jazz were first over fences on Saturday and won the under saddle class.  They also won an over fences class on Sunday to win over Fanfare and Sloane Coles, riding for Nancy Amling.

Kindred Spirit and Alesandra Perna,
champions in Small Junior 16-17 Hunters
Photo by Randi Muster.

Unlike Schall, it was not love at first sight for Alesandra Perna and her handsome bay gelding, Kindred Spirit, who were champions in the Small Junior 16-17 Hunters.  The pair have been together for three years, but Perna revealed, “Actually, the first time I tried him, I didn’t even like him.  He used to be funny about other horses around him and I didn’t like him the first time I rode him.  But my trainer kind of pushed it, and I’m very glad he did.  It ended up being an awesome ride for me.”

Perna and Kindred Spirit have since worked out their differences and were spectacular this week, as they won all four over fences classes and posted a high score of 88.5.  Reserve champion in the division went to Brianne Goutal and Lucky Strike, owned by the Cloverleaf Farm. 

Perna also said that Kindred Spirit has a unique personality and loves treats.  “I have to carry around a package of Mentos wherever I go with him, because I have to give him one before I get on, before I go in the ring, when he comes out of the ring.  He’s extremely spoiled, but he deserves it!”

Competition in Wellington is finished, but WEF will continue in Tampa, FL, on March 23-27, with the Tampa Bay Classic.  The final week of WEF is the Tournament of Champions on March 29- April 2.  The WEF Circuit Champions will be awarded in a special ceremony before the Budweiser American Invitational on April 2 at the Raymond James Stadium.  


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