Lenkart Wins Again in First Ever WEF Speed Derby,
WELLINGTON, FL., Jan. 20 –
Scott Lenkart scored a victory Sunday for the second time during opening week of the CN Winter Equestrian Festival, presented by Zimmerman Advertising, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Having claimed victory in Thursday's $10,000 Wellington Golf Cars Welcome Stake, Lenkart and Impulsive returned to the International Ring Sunday to win the $25,000 Speed Derby, the first time such an event has been held at WEF.
A total of 23 entries entered the competition which features unique natural obstacles including a bank and a tabletop. While nine entries were able to negotiate Anthony D'Ambrosio's track without incurring faults, only Lenkart broke the 80-second barrier, stopping the clock at 79.86 seconds.
"We also won on Thursday in the Welcome Stake, so we are two for two," said Lenkart, of Delano, Minn. who has been partnered with Impulsive for the past four years. "He was ready to go again today. The cold weather didn't help. He was a little wild and he jumps better when he is quieter. He likes to gallop and go fast, but you need a little luck, the jumps have to stay up."
Of the derby course, Lenkart said, "It was a great course, and great fun! Everyone was nervous because it is all new up there, with all-weather footing instead of grass, but no one slipped."
Hillary Dobbs, 19, of Sussex, N.J. slid into second with a time of 80.65 seconds riding Corlett, her 11-year-old mare. It was the first time Dobbs had competed on the newly-installed all-weather footing as she was writing exams at Harvard University, where she is a sophomore, and flew into Florida only on Saturday night.
"I really enjoyed it, the course looked fabulous," said Dobbs who also placed fifth with Marengo. "I knew Corlett would be great out there, and both the horses loved the footing."
In addition to the new speed derby feature, spectators were treated to a six-bar competition where riders negotiate six jumps in a row. In the fourth round, the sixth and final fence was set at a height of 6 ft. 4 ins. Shane Sweetnam was the first to attempt the new height but knocked down the last fence riding Oferro, a result that would place him second. Kent Farrington and Top Limit were next to challenge, but a refusal at the final fence saw Farrington come out of the saddle, nimbly landing on his feet to take third.
Last to go, Danielle Goldstein and the 11-year-old pinto gelding, Nureev du Houssoit, bravely galloped down to the final fence, soaring over it to cheers from the crowd.
"We thought that he had enough scope for it. It is a good gymnastic exercise, and the horses tend to jump better afterwards," said Goldstein, 22, of New York, who trains with U.S. Equestrian Team member Todd Minikus. "I didn't realize how quickly the height went up, but if it goes up that quickly, I am not surprised that there were only four rounds."
The Palm Beach Equine Clinic/Adequan CSI2*, presented by KRR Investments, is the second of 12 weeks comprising the CN Winter Equestrian Festival, presented by Zimmerman Advertising and begins Wednesday, Jan. 23, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The 2008 CN Winter Equestrian Festival, presented by Zimmerman Advertising, attracts the best horses and riders from around the world to Wellington, FL, and offers more than $5 million in prize money.
Results of Class 99 Speed Derby Suncast Corporation Opener WEF 1
Results of Class 1030M Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic Suncast Corporation Opener WEF 1
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