Addison Phillips Pulls One-Two Punch in Wellington
WELLINGTON, FL, Jan. 19 -
Addison Phillips of New York, N.Y., took the top two spots in Saturday's $15,000 High Amateur/Owner Jumper Classic held at the Suncast Opener, the first of 12 weeks comprising the CN Winter Equestrian Festival, presented by Zimmerman Advertising, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.
Phillips guided both of her entries, Regina V and Trezebees, to clear rounds over the track set by course designer Anthony D'Ambrosio of Red Hook, N.Y. As she was the only rider to jump clear, Phillips opted not to jump-off. Instead, she nominated Trezebees as the winner and Regina V as the runner-up. Her decision was made simply by the fact that Trezebees was the horse she was on, making it easy to stay aboard and collect her ribbon.
"It was my first class so I decided not to jump-off. I have been at college, busy with exams, so I am trying to get back in the groove," explained Phillips who arrived in Wellington on Friday night. The 18-year-old is a freshman at Harvard University and plans to balance her educational and athletic pursuits by attending school Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and arriving in Wellington in time to contest the WEF Challenge Cup Series each Thursday.
"I thought the course was nice," said Phillips who trains with Andre Dignelli. "The time allowed was a little tight and the people trying to get it were having rails. It was my first time out on the new field. The footing is awesome, and the field and the whole horse show look great."
While Phillips might have been the winner on Saturday, Kelly Soleau of Marlborough, Conn., was named the overall champion of the High Amateur-Owner division. Soleau won Thursday's $2,500 High Amateur-Owner Jumper while one time fault kept her from forcing a jump-off with Phillips in Saturday's competition. It was a case of déjà vu for Soleau who, last year, had also claimed the High Amateur-Owner Championship title on opening week of the CN Winter Equestrian Festival after winning the first class with Master Man.
Of Saturday's competition, Soleau, 23, said, "I had one time fault and ended up third. Master Man was perfect; the time fault was my mistake. I was going a bit too wide. The course rode really nice. Anthony built a little bit smaller than in Thursday's speed class, but I thought he was right on. It was technical enough, the time was quite tight, and you just had to keep going. I went out a bit too far in the corners which is where I got caught out."
Soleau has been partnered with Master Man for the past six years, having purchased the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding from David Raposa. Of Master Man's show ring personality, Soleau said, "He is very cocky, he thinks he knows what to do all the time and what is best for him, which is not always the case especially when the jumps are higher. He has to think that he is the one making all the decisions; we've learned that about him over the past six years."
Competition in the Suncast Opener concludes Sunday with the featured events being a $25,000 Six-Bar competition and a $25,000 Speed Derby, beginning at 1 p.m. As a special feature, Olympic medalist Ashley Holzer will perform her Grand Prix Freestyle. Often referred to 'ballet on horseback', the freestyle sees horse and rider perform a series of intricate movements set to selected music.
Results of Class 1025 SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic Suncast Corporation Opener WEF 1
January 16 -20,
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