Winter Equestrian Festival Week Twelve Wrap-Up:
Wellington, FL - April 4, 2011 -
The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has come to a close after an extremely successful 12 weeks of competition. The FTI WEF hosts the best that the sports of show jumping, hunters, and equitation have to offer in 12 rings of competition.
Alfano and Jersey Boy Light Up the Night
Jennifer Alfano and SBS Farms' Jersey Boy have led the USHJA International Hunter Derby program since its inception, winning classes all over the country in the last few years and proving their expertise in the handy rounds and finesse over the jumps. Tonight was no different, as the pair jumped their way to victory in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby during the twelfth and final "Saturday Night Lights" event at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival.
Competition for the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby began on Friday afternoon in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring where sixty of the nation's most talented horses and riders jumped the first round course. The top twenty five were invited back to compete under the lights in the International Arena this evening, coming back in reverse order from lowest to highest returning scores.
Presented by Dietrich Insurance and Hosted by Tailored Sportsman, the class was held in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The series is also generously supported by Charles Owen & Co., Dover Saddlery, The Clothes Horse, and Essex Classics.
Tonight's beautiful handy course, reminiscent of a scenic country farm complete with picket fences, fresh water ponds, banks, brush walls, and stone columns, was designed by Bobby Murphy and Skip Bailey.
Judging was done by three panels, with each panel awarding scores out of 100 and additional bonus points for height options and handiness. Tonight's overall score was combined with scores from yesterday to give each horse and rider their two round total. Panel one was made up of judges Kitty Barker and Danny Robertshaw, Panel two included John Barker and Paddy Downing Nyegard, and Panel three included Jim Clapperton and Scott Fitton.
Prizes were awarded through twelfth place in tonight's class with the top finisher receiving $15,000 for the winner's share. After finishing second to Scott Stewart and Empire in round one, Jennifer Alfano of Buffalo, NY, and Jersey Boy moved to the top with their fantastic trip over tonight's course. The pair scored a 188 in round one with scores of 94 from both judges, including points for high options. A 325 in the handy round pushed them into the lead for a two round total of 513. The pair took all four high options over tonight's course as well and earned a 9 and two 10s for handiness to add to their scores of 97, 92, and 95 from the three judging panels.
Stewart, of Flemington, NJ, and Empire, owned by Becky Gochman, finished round one with a 189.5 with scores of 94 and 89.5 plus bonus points for three height options. They then finished tonight's round with a 318 to total 507.5 for second place. The pair took all four high options tonight and scored 95, 91, and 92 from the judges with additional handiness points of eight, ten, and ten.
In an exciting move from ninth to third place overall, Holly Orlando of Wellington, FL, rode Sailor's Valentine, owned by Westerly Farm, to a two round total of 472.5. The pair had a score of 177 coming into tonight's competition and finished with a 295.5 over the handy course to jump to the top three in the standings.
Louise Serio and Rock Star, owned by Bright Star 158, LLC, finished in fourth place overall with a score of 466. Kimberly McCormack and Sundance jumped from eighteenth place in round one to third place in the round two standings and placed fifth overall with a total of 465.10. Scott Stewart and Carlos Boy, owned by Alexa Weisman, had an overall score of 452 to place sixth.
"He is so scopey, and everything he has done in life has been so easy for him, which is why he can goof around," she stated. "He doesn't have to put forth a lot of effort usually, but the derbies are harder for him. Like tonight, he really had to focus on the task at hand. The derbies have been a great, great thing for him. Just jumping eight jumps gives him a lot of time to think about what he could do wrong. Being able to turn right to the first jump like that and go on with it sort of sets the tone for him; then he's really thinking. He just needs a challenge."
WEF Week Twelve Jumper Highlights:
In the closing week of the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers were the first class in the International Arena. Laura Chapot of Neshanic Station, NJ, rode Umberto, owned by Mary Chapot, to victory. There were 15 entries in the class and seven of them were clear in the speed format. The fastest over the course was Laura Chapot on Umberto, who crossed the timers in 64.868 seconds. They were faster by four seconds over second place finishers, Nick Novak and YB Blue, who finished in 68.036 seconds. Third place went to Charlie Jayne on Sylvester, owned by Alex Jayne. They had a time of 68.727 seconds.
Chris Kappler and VDL Dundee earned a win in the $2,500 Charles Owen 1.35m Jumpers on Thursday morning. Held in the DeNemethy Ring of the beautiful Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, the class featured a course set by Pierre Jolicoeur of Wellington, FL. Kappler and VDL Dundee bested a field of 22 to earn the top prize.
Nine entries were able to jump clear over the first round course in Thursday's 1.35m and six of those nine finished double clear through the short course. Time was the final deciding factor of the day's standings, and Chris Kappler and VDL Dundee crossed the finish line in the fastest time of 28.326 seconds to earn the win.
Jimmy Torano and Wishfull V, owned by Amy Hentenaar, finished in second place in 28.507 seconds. Laura Chapot and Valentia, owend by Mary Chapot, placed third with a time of 28.930 seconds. Margie Engle and Elm Rock LLC's Perle stopped the clock in 30.219 seconds to finish fourth. Robin Fairclough piloted Veerle, owned by James Fairclough, to a time of 30.830 seconds to place fifth, and Raymond Texel rode Lacey Gilbertson's Namos to the only final double clear in 33.470 seconds to finish in sixth place.
Friday night during week twelve at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival featured the $30,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Zone Team Competition Final. The horses and riders were divided into sections of high, medium and low heights to jump, with each section awarding $10,000. In the highs, Charlie Jacobs, Gabrielle Bausano, Christina Kelly and Karen Polle jumped to victory. In the mediums, Katherine Steenberg, Madeline Cox, Cynthia McGrath, and Heather Irons earned top honors. The lows were the final level to compete, with a win for the team of Shannon Spencer, Erica Polle, Mahala Rummell, and Megan MacPherson.
It was an exciting day at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center's derby field, The Stadium. In a rare opportunity, Modified Adult Jumper riders and Masters Jumper riders were given the chance to show on The Stadium's derby field over a course designed by Anthony D'Ambrosio from Red Hook, New York. Susan Horn rode the Kingsfield Farm entry Phenix De Coquerie to the win in the $1,500 Paddock Cakes Adult Modified Jumpers, and Elizabeth Lamotte rode her own mount, Katharine, to the win in the $1,500 Masters Jumpers.
Besting a field of sixteen entries in the Table A Speed format class, Horn and Phenix De Coquerie flew through the timers with a clean round in 72.776 seconds. Of the sixteen entries, only five were clear, but none were fast enough to catch Horn, who hails from King City, Ontario, Canada.
The second place horse and rider combination in today's Paddock Cakes Adult Modified Jumpers was Nicole Schwarzer and her mount Good Luck Scappino. The duo soared through timers in 73.298 seconds. Third place was awarded to Vicki Lowell and her entry Tippitoo. Lowell and Tippitoo crossed the timers in 73.454 seconds, just missing the second place ribbon.
The Masters Jumpers saw fourteen entries on Saturday afternoon, but last year's winner Elizabeth Lamotte still couldn't be caught. She raced through the timers in 70.611 seconds on the same mount that she rode to the win last year.
Second place in the Masters Jumpers was awarded to Ellen St. John and her mount Tajmyra Greenfield. The pair had a fast time of 71.537 seconds for the second place ribbon. Missing the red ribbon by only fractions of a second, All That and Murray Kessler took home the third place ribbon with a time of 71.825 seconds.
The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded its twelfth and final week of competition on Sunday with the Classics for the Young Jumper divisions in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The morning began with a win for Jeffery Welles and Bilion, owned by Sharon Gunthel and Triton Ventures, in the $10,000 Adequan Five-Year-Old Young Jumper Classic. The $15,000 Adequan Six-Year-Old Young Jumper Classic was held next with a wire to wire victory for Brock Clermont and Pironella, owned by Clermark Equestrian.
Clermont has owned Pironella since she was three years old. He said, "She's very quick, clever and extremely competitive. This circuit was one of the most successful I've ever had with a young horse. This was the best way that we could ask to culminate the circuit. She deserved to win because she was so consistent. I was really happy that I could give her that opportunity to shine."
Clermont was "discouraged" that he was second in the original order in the class, but his fast time in the immediate jump-off was able to hold on for a wire to wire win. He added, "I didn't think I'd have to go that fast until I saw Jeffrey Welles in the Five Year Olds. By watching I realized how fast I'd have to go. There were so many fantastic horses in the class. I put it to the maximum. She's so careful. With my game plan and quality of horse, I was able to put down a fast round that luckily no one was able to catch."
Pironella will continue to compete this year in 1.30m classes and is qualifed to compete at the Final at the Hampton Classic Horse Show.
The $20,000 Adequan Seven-Year-Old Young Jumper Classic then saw an exciting win for Laura Kraut and Quinalt VDV, owned by The Freedom Group. The day concluded with the $20,000 Adequan Eight-Year-Old Young Jumper Classic with a victory for Ashlee Bond and Little Valley Farm's Wistful.
WEF Week Twelve Hunter Highlights:
The Sanctuary High Performance Working Hunter division was among those divisions coming to a close on Thursday. With a total of nine entries in the division, Jennifer Alfano and Jersey Boy took home the tricolor honor in their first and only week at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival.
Jersey Boy, a nine-year-old Hanoverian Gelding by White Star, won three of the division's five classes and placed sixth in the under saddle to secure the championship this week. Jersey Boy is an entry of the SBS Farms out of Buffalo, New York.
The reserve champion this week in the Sanctuary High Performance Working Hunters was awarded to Taken, an entry of Nancy Amling from Palm Beach, Florida. Kelley Farmer had the ride for Amling aboard Taken, an eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. Taken placed second in two classes and third in three classes to secure the reserve tricolor award during this final week of the winter season.
Scott Stewart wasted no time getting down to business on the first of his six mounts in the first round of the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. He secured the lead with Empire, an entry of Becky Gochman, who left the crowd and the judges speechless as he exited the ring. Empire and Stewart secured a score of 94 plus 3 bonus points from the first pair of judges, and an 89.5 plus 3 bonus points from the second pair of judges, giving the winning duo a total score of 189.5 to take the class.
In a great ending to the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, the Beval Palm Beach Adult Medal held its circuit finals in the prestigious International Field. Sixteen entries competed for the win today, with the lucky blue ribbon winner being awarded a new saddle. Mahala Rummel came out the victor in the prestigious culmination of the circuit's adult medal class. Rummell, who rides with Stacia Madden, was aboard her own mount Stoney Creek, a twelve-year-old Royal Dutch Warmblood gelding, for the win.
The second place ribbon in the Beval Palm Beach Adult Medal was awarded to Asta Torokvei, who rides with Beth Underhill. Torokvei rode the Nancy Torokvei entry, Riverdale, to the second place award. Kelly Kozich, who rides with Frank Madden, was aboard the Liberty Farm entry Baheera for the third place ribbon.
On the final day of competition, Alexandra Cleveland picked up her second championship of the FTI WEF in the Low Children's Hunter 2'6" division. Cleveland rode Pinehurst's DaVinci, owned by Pinehurst Stables. They finished second, second, and sixth. The reserve championship went to Tamarack, ridden by Kristie Calamos and owned by Kim Calamos.
The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 12 through April 3. WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are "AA" rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $6 million in prize money will be awarded.
Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.