Scott Lenkart & Impulsive Win First 2008 WEF Welcome Stake
WELLINGTON, Fla., Jan. 17 -
Scott Lenkart made his first competition of the new year count by winning the $10,000 Wellington Golf Cars Welcome Stake on Thursday at the Suncast Opener, the first of 12 weeks of the CN Winter Equestrian Festival, presented by Zimmerman Advertising, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.
Lenkart's horse, Impulsive, has been enjoying a break since last October, a vacation that was well-deserved after winning six Grand Prix events during the 2007 season. As a result, Impulsive had energy in reserve during the $10,000 Welcome Stake, jumping clear in both the first round and the jump-off.
Lenkart was one of six riders to successfully negotiate the track set by course designer Anthony D'Ambrosio of Red Hook, N.Y. As the second rider to attempt the shortened jump-off course, Lenkart went for the win, leaving all the rails in place and stopping the clock in a time of 35.31 seconds. None who followed were able to match his faultless performance. Canada's Amy Millar came closest, knocking down the final jump in a time of 36.17 seconds.
"This is the first class of the year for him and he was quite wild," said Lenkart of the 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding he has been partnered with for four years. "The plan was to go easy, but he was pretty wild so I just let him go and went for it."
Millar, who has been riding Piccobello since last summer, said: "It was a great course. Anthony does a good job of making the horses have rails without building too big. My horse was amazing, she's got all the talent and we are just working on the rideability."
Nicole Simpson also incurred four faults riding SRF Dragonfly to finish third while Millar's older brother, Jonathon Millar, placed fourth with Romanov. Ali Wolff had two shots at victory but placed fifth with H & M Necoll and ran into trouble to accumulate 16 faults with H & M Oberon.
Kelly Soleau took the blue ribbon over Lauren Tisbo in the $2,500 High Amateur-Owner Jumper held in the International Arena. Riding Master Man, her 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Soleau was the only rider to post a clear round.
"The course designer built it just right, not too big and not too small," said Soleau of Marlborough, Conn. "It was the perfect way to start the whole circuit."
Competition in the Suncast Opener runs daily through Sunday. A $25,000 Six-Bar competition and a $25,000 Speed Derby will be Sunday's featured events, beginning at 1 p.m.
Wellington Golf Cars Welcome Stake - Thursday, Jan. 17, 2008
and Impulsive won the $10,000 Wellington Golf Cars Welcome Stake on
Thursday, Jan. 17,
The 2008 CN Winter Equestrian Festival attracts the best horses and riders from around the world to Wellington and offers more than $5 million in prize money. For more information, visit www.equestriansport.com