FTI Winter Equestrian Festival Week Two Wrap-Up: January 19-23, 2011

Wellington, FL - January 24, 2011 –

The second week of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) continued successfully at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. In addition to 12 rings of hunter, jumper, and equitation competition, there was plenty happening on the grounds. Here's what you can do soon at the FTI WEF!

$40,000 Equine Couture/Tuff Rider Grand Prix, CSI 2*

Nick Skelton (GBR) notched his third victory of the circuit tonight with Big Star, owned by Beverly and Gary Widdowson, in the $40,000 Equine Couture/Tuff Rider Grand Prix, CSI2*. The class was the first of 11 events in the "Saturday Night Lights" series at the 2011 FTI WEF. A crowd of 3,800 spectators were there to enjoy world-class show jumping and all that the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center has to offer.

The course designer in the International Arena was Luc Musette of Belgium. There were 37 entries in the grand prix, but only three were able to go clear in the first round to advance to the jump-off.

There were four riders with just one time fault over the 76 second time allowed. Reed Kessler (USA) and Mika finished fourth (76.65 seconds), Ljubov Kochetova (RUS) and Lapsus du Lavoir were fifth (77.03 seconds), Emily George (CAN) and Quidam's Ramiro placed sixth (77.83 seconds), and Angela Covert-Lawrence (CAN) and Utan were seventh in 78.11 seconds.

The first clear round and pathfinder in the jump-off was 22-year-old Brianne Goutal of New York, NY, on Nice de Prissey, a 2001 Selle Francais stallion by Rosire x Amarpour, put down a solid trip and kept all the jumps up, which put pressure on the two remaining riders in the jump-off. They stopped the timers in 43.85 seconds. Goutal and her mount, owned by Cloverleaf Farm, would finish in second place.

Next in was Skelton, who already won two classes in the opening week of the FTI WEF. This time on Big Star, an eight-year-old KWPN stallion by Quick Star x Nimmerdor, Skelton took risks throughout the jump-off and made a daring gallop to the final oxer. It paid off when the scoreboard flashed his time of 40.80 seconds for the win.

Yann Candele (CAN) and Redefin, owned by Susan Grange, were the last to contest. When a rail fell in the first of the double combination, the class results were determined. Candele finished the jump-off with four faults in 44.83 seconds for third place.

Skelton has had Big Star since he was five years old. Although Skelton has competed in six Olympic Games and has ridden some of the most prolific show jumpers in history, he feels that Big Star is something really special. He said, "I have had some really good horses, but I don't think I have ever had one as good as this one. He is a freak. For an eight-year-old horse, he has the brain of a 12-year-old. He is really something else, and he has all the qualities that you need."

FTI WEF Week Two Jumper Highlights:
Wednesday through Sunday

The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) started its second of 12 weeks of competition on Wednesday. In the main International Arena, Charlie Jayne of Elgin, IL, rode Manneken du Coty for Pony Lane Farm to victory in the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumper class.

Nineteen entries contested the Time First Round course, and six were able to find the path to a clear round. Going third in the order were Jayne and Manneken du Coty. They were clear in 58.858 seconds to take the lead, and couldn't be caught through the rest of the class. Mario Deslauriers (USA) and Whistler, owned by Jane Clark, finished second with no faults in 59.363 seconds, while Ben Maher (GBR) was third on his horse Triple X 111. Maher posted a time of 64.044 seconds.

The $31,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 was the second of 11 weekly WEF Challenge Cup grand prix classes. Eighteen-year-old Catherine Pasmore (USA) and My Boy, owned by Pasmore Stables, came away with victory.

Eight of the original 45 Challenge Cup entries were able to jump clear in the first round of competition to advance to the jump-off. Catherine Pasmore, of Charlottesville, VA, was first to qualify for the jump-off in round one and also first to return for the shortened course with her 15-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding My Boy. The pair set the standard with a super fast, clean round in 35.02 seconds which would hold up for the win through seven more trips.

Eric Lamaze (CAN) earned second and third place honors for the day, riding Artisan Farms' Sidoline Van De Cantaur to second place with a jump-off time of 35.66 seconds and Derly Chin De Muze, owned by Ashland Stables, to third place in 36.03 seconds.

Ashlee Bond (USA) and Little Valley Farm's Chivas Z finished in fourth with a clear round in 36.07 seconds. Fifth place honors were awarded to Brianne Goutal (USA) and Cloverleaf Farm's Nice De Prissey for their time of 37.22 seconds, and sixth place went to Nick Skelton (GBR) and Big Star, owned by Beverly and George Widdowson, who stopped the clock in 37.31 seconds. Kate Levy (USA) and Vent Du Nord totaled four faults in 35.21 seconds to place in seventh, while Charlie Jacobs (USA) and CMJ Sport Horse LLC's Ladybird 17 clocked four faults in 37.34 seconds to round out the jump-off in eighth place.

Pasmore considered her win the second biggest of her riding career, ranking just behind a $40,000 victory in the Old Salem Farm Grand Prix this spring, also with My Boy. Although that class had more prize money, Pasmore noted that today's class was definitely the biggest win over the field of riders that were in attendance.

"I was just happy that I made it to the jump-off with the riders that were here," she stated. "I was definitely nervous, but I was happy that I went first because I was able to just go in and ride my best and I did not have any pressure behind me."

After showing together for nine years, the partnership between Brianne Goutal (New York, NY) and her pinto Mon Gamin makes winning easy. They sped to the top of the class in Friday's $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge.

There were 39 entries in today's Time First Round class, and eight of those were clear. The fastest was Goutal on Mon Gamin, owned by Cloverleaf Farm, who stopped the timers in 64.769 seconds. Yann Candele (CAN) rode Carolla Z for owner Liz Currie to second place in a time of 65.100 seconds. Laura Kraut (USA), on Pin Oak Farm's Winde, was third in 67.238 seconds.

The second week of the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), sponsored by Equine Couture/Tuff Rider, concluded on Sunday with the $25,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Classic. In a fantastic display of speed and power, Great Britain's Ben Maher and Oscar, owned by Lindsay Cook, were able to top the field for an exciting victory.

Thirteen of the original 31 entries were able to jump clear in the first round to advance to the jump-off. Six of those horse and rider combinations finished double clear, and it was the fastest jump-off round of Ben Maher and Oscar in 38.723 seconds that earned the victory.

Maher bested the previously leading time of 39.125 seconds set by Nick Skelton (GBR) and Carlo 273, owned by Beverly Widdowson, to move the pair into second place. Finishing in third was Sarah Treddenick (USA) riding My November Guest, owned by Wood Run Farm, with a time of 40.620 seconds. Peter Wylde (USA) and Lipton D"Lothain, owned by Windward Farm and Jessica Suida, finished in fourth after stopping the clock in 40.987 seconds. Fifth place was awarded to Catherine Pasmore (USA) and Pasmore Stables' Vandavid with a clear round in 41.035 seconds, and sixth place was presented to Danielle Goldstein (USA) and Starwyn Farms' Adam Van't Steenputje in 42.949 seconds.

Class winner Oscar is a 15-year-old KWPN Dutch Warmblood gelding (Harcos x Animo). Oscar jumped at the international Basel CSI Horse Show in Switzerland just one week ago and flew straight to Florida this week, arriving on Wednesday. Maher explained that they had not intended to show the horse this week, but decided to jump when Oscar felt fresh upon his arrival. "The plan worked," Maher smiled.

FTI WEF Week Two Hunter/Equitation Highlights:
Thursday through Sunday

Green divisions started the week off in the hunter rings. Among the many green hunter divisions at WEF, the Sofscape Pavers Baby Green Hunters showed their potential Wednesday and Thursday.

Havens Schatt, riding Split Rock Farm's entry, Bacardi, was the Sofscape Pavers Baby Green Hunter champion. Bacardi, a five year-old Warmblood gelding by Casco, was recently purchased in Europe by Derek Braun's Split Rock Farm, Inc. While Bacardi has only just begun showing, he has clearly found his niche in the hunter ring. "His improvement from the first class to the last class this week was amazing," stated Schatt. She went on to say, "The last class this week he went around like a made horse, just loop the reins and gallop the course".

As the weekend approached, the adult amateur riders began competing in various hunter divisions. One of those successful amateurs was Sheila Motley aboard Lansing. The pair grabbed the tricolor in the Adult Amateur 3'3" Hunters. Motley only just began riding Lansing, a Holsteiner gelding, for owner Richard Schechter. "He is so much fun to ride," Motley beamed about her mount.

The weekend arrived and the junior hunters stepped into the spotlight. Shawn Casady, riding the Elm Rock LLC entry, Vida Blue, rode to the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 championship. Casady and Vida Blue were a hard pair to beat this week. The duo received impressive scores of 92 and 95 over fences the first day of competition. They then went on to have a repeat the second day of competition, receiving the same two scores of 92 and 95 over fences. "I want to thank Susie Humes and Elm Rock LLC," said Casady of getting to ride Vida Blue.

The equitation rings were in full swing on Sunday when Asta Torokvei entered the ring in the Beval Palm Beach Adult Medal. Torokvei, who hails from Canada, rode Nancy Torokvei's entry, Riverdale, to win the Beval Palm Beach Adult Medal. The class consisted of two components, an over fences phase, which was followed by a flat phase. "The course had two broken lines without a set number of strides for them, so it gave you a chance to show off if you could," said Torokvei about the course in Sunday's medal class.

Week Three of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center will begin next Wednesday, January 26, 2011. The world's longest running show jumping competition will see even more horse and rider combinations vie for top honors as the weeks continue. Stay tuned for next week's highlights and results.

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.

 

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