Simpson Wins $100,000 World Cup Qualifier
WELLINGTON, FL, March 2 -
A tough day of show jumping saw Will Simpson of Thousand Oaks, Calif., emerge the winner of the $100,000 Zada Enterprises Masters Cup, which acted as a World Cup Qualifying event. It was also the second United States Show Jumping Team Selection Trial for the 2008 Olympic Games, which Jeffrey Welles of Brewster, N.Y., now leads with the only perfect score followed closely by Laura Kraut and Cedric who have one fault. The event concluded week seven, the CSI3*-W Zada Enterprises Wellington Masters, presented by PowerIce, of the CN Winter Equestrian Festival, presented by Zimmerman Advertising, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.
A total of 67 horse-rider combinations attempted the track designed by Christa Heibach of Germany but only three produced clear rounds to advance to the jump-off. The tight time allowed of 93 seconds prevented three riders from advancing - Kate Levy and Vent du Nord jumped clear but stopped the clock at 93.72 seconds to place fourth, Nicole Simpson and Jane Clark’s Vicomte D had a time of 93.82 seconds to place fifth, and Wellington’s Laura Kraut and Cedric, a 10-year-old grey German-bred gelding owned by Happy Hill Farm, jumped clear in a time of 94.74 seconds to finish sixth in the final standings.
Will Simpson opened the jump-off, laying down the gauntlet by jumping clear in a time of 40.63 seconds with Carlsson Vom Dach. Nicole Simpson of Wellington, Fla., was next to challenge, but retired on course after having the first fence down with SRF Dragonfly. Welles and Armani, who had been the final entry in the Grand Prix, barely had time to catch their breath before returning for the jump-off. The pair looked fast, and was cheered on the enthusiastic crowd as they approached the final fence, but their time of 41.35 seconds would leave them in second place.
“You can never feel confident when Jeffery is out there. I’ve seen him do some amazing things. He should be getting a speeding ticket,” said Simpson when asked if he thought his time would hold up.
In reference to the fact that only three riders advanced to the jump-off, Simpson noted, “I’m not from these parts. The talk in the schooling area this morning was that the course was brutal, so that’s all I had to go on. But my horse is extremely scopey, extremely careful and extremely fast.”
Simpson traveled from California specifically to contest the United States Show Jumping Team Selection Trial for the 2008 Olympic Games. The pair incurred 12 faults in Thursday night’s Selection Trial, which was Carlsson Vom Dach’s first time in the International Arena, and having added nothing to their score today, are now ranked 15th overall in the standings.
“I didn’t have him ready enough for 9:30 at night in the cold,” noted Simpson of the 12-year-old sired by Cassini I. “It was a miscalculation on my part.”
Simpson has been riding the horse, owned by El Campeon Farms, for just under a year. When asked what it would mean to make the Olympic Team, Simpson noted, “It would be a lifelong body of work with a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It would be the thrill of a lifetime.”
For Welles, the Olympics are also his focus with Armani, owned by Kimmel Yeager Equine and Triton Ventures.
“He is better than ever,” noted Welles of the 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Guidam. “He had a surgery and had a year off, and I started him back here in the 1.40m classes. He wasn’t lame, but he was favoring one leg a little bit, so the surgery was more preventative so that down the road it didn’t bother him. I wanted him to feel good for this year, and he now feels the best he has ever felt. He is very scopey and careful, and has a great personality.”
Week Eight, the CSIO5* CN Open, opens on Wednesday, March 5, and is jam-packed with international show jumping action. Wednesday night will feature the third United States Show Jumping Team Selection Trial for the 2008 Olympic Games, followed by Thursday night’s $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round VII, the fourth United States Show Jumping Team Selection Trial. Friday night brings the drama and excitement of the $75,000 FEI Nations’ Cup, presented by CN, the only Nations’ Cup team competition held in the United States. The week concludes with Sunday’s $150,000 CN US Open Jumping Championship, presented by Cosequin, which acts as the fifth and final Selection Trial.
of Class 101 - $100,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier
1 - 2616 CARLSSON
VOM DACH WILLIAM SIMPSON USA 0.00 91.08 0.00 40.63 EL CAMPEON FARMS
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