Alison Robitaille Rolls into Winner's Circle in Wellington
WELLINGTON, FL, Feb. 6 -
The fourth week of the CN Winter Equestrian Festival, presented by Zimmerman Advertising, began with a win for Alison Robitaille of Upperville, Va., and her mount, Pourquoi.
The pair was one of 28 entries to contest Wednesday morning's $8,000 1.45m competition which featured a track set by 2008 co-course designer Steve Stephens of Palmetto, Fla. With a clear round in a time of 64.17 seconds, well under the time allowed of 74 seconds, Robitaille shot to the top of the leader board. She managed to hold off Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, Fla., who mounted a late challenge with Alaska in a time of 66.55 seconds as well as Francisco Martinez who stopped the clock at 69.71 seconds with Phelox.
"I went pretty early and my horse is naturally fast, so I just kept going and tried to get a good piece of it," noted Robitaille, 31, of her 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare sired by Concorde. "She really wants to win. This is only the second 1.45m class she has ever done in her life, so I am thrilled with her today."
Robitaille noted that Pourquoi was a horse picked out by her parents, Diana and Bertram Firestone, as a two-year-old in foal.
"She had her baby, and then we broke her as four-year-old. She is really sweet in the barn and she loves her groom, Jose. She nickers when he comes in the barn and she will follow him around without a lead. She is very spoiled," related Robitaille.
In the $6,000 1.40m Speed class, it was Nicole Simpson who emerged victorious from a starting field of 68 entries. Riding Concerto for owner Jane Clark, Simpson crossed the timers in 63.52 seconds to edge out 2004 Olympic gold medalist Chris Kappler who clocked in at 64.85 seconds riding Maserati. Third place went to Ireland's Shane Sweetnam who was riding Memphis for owner Caitlyn Shiels.
The CSI3* Spy Coast Farm Week Four of the CN Winter Equestrian Festival, presented by Zimmerman Advertising, runs daily through Sunday, February 10. Highlights include Thursday's $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup Series Round III and Sunday's $60,000 Spy Coast Farm Wellington Cup CSI3*.
of Class 1002 - $8,000 1.45m
1 - 3168 POURQUOI
ALISON ROBITAILLE 0.00 64.710
of Class 1004 - $6,000 1.40m II, Section 1
1 - 1103 CONCERTO
NICOLE SIMPSON 0.00 63.525 JANE CLARK
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