Winter Equestrian Festival Week Three Wrap-Up:
Wellington, FL - January 31, 2011 –
The third week of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) has concluded 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 Surpass Grand Prix, CSI 2*
Pablo Barrios (VEN) and G&C Quick Star 11, owned by G&C Farm of Wellington, FL, captured the top prize in Saturday night's $40,000 Surpass Grand Prix, CSI 2*. A crowd of 4,700 spectators were there to enjoy top-class show jumping and all that the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center has to offer.
The course designer in the International Arena was Olaf Petersen Sr. of Germany. There were 41 entries in the grand prix, and 12 were able to keep all of the jumps up to advance to the jump-off. Schuyler Riley described of the course, "The first round was a beautiful course. Rails fell everywhere. It was a very technical, precise-riding course."
Barrios and G&C Quick Star 11 were fourth in the jump-off and set the time to beat with a clear round in 39.87 seconds. The typey mare, who jumps in a hackamore, kept the pedal to the metal throughout and was very efficient through the turns for the win.
"I was early in the jump-off," Barrios recalled, "and there were no clears, so I tried to set a fast time, put a little pressure on, and see what happened with the rest of class. My mare is very fast. I did the strides everywhere so I did not take any risk and it went well.
I knew McLain would be fast, but (my horse) is very fast and even when she doesn't go fast, she still does well."
McLain Ward (USA) and Rothchild, owned by Sagamore Farm, were the next to go clear and they were just off the pace in 40.18 seconds to finish in second place.
"He feels great. He jumped really well last week, and he was beautiful tonight," Ward said of Rothchild. "He had a very nice, long rest after indoors, which was well needed. I was maybe a little conservative. Maybe I could have done one less in the line to the double; the seven might have been there. If I left it out, I could have had it down. If I had to do it again, I'd probably do the same. Pablo did well, and he has a very fast horse. He was hard to beat."
Schuyler Riley (USA) and Lapacco, owned by South Beach Stables, set a time of 43.79 seconds with no faults and finished in third place.
"My horse hasn't been doing the grand prix (classes) for a while," Riley explained. "We had an injury and then a trailer accident, so he was just coming back this fall. For me going in, he is a fast horse across the ground. He can be a little slow in the turns. I was not sure if he was really ready to beat Pablo and McLain today."
She said of Lapacco's performance, "He is really good at night. He's a super brave horse, (with) a lot of scope and rideability. He actually improves at night, and he likes the lights and the crowds. It makes him tune into me more."
The final entry, Andres Rodriguez (VEN) and Larkanaro, had the fastest time of the night in 37.86 seconds, but an unfortunate four faults at the second to last fence relegated him to fifth place.
Barrios competed with G&C Quick Star 11 last week in the 1.40m Jumpers, where they won the class in a jump-off. For tonight's class, Barrios felt that the course suited his mare. "I really liked the course for the mare when I walked it," he acknowledged. "At this height she feels very comfortable. She can jump bigger, but at this height she answers every question. She is one of my best horses."
WEF Week Three Jumper Highlights:
The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) started its third of 12 weeks of competition on Wednesday. In the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumper class, Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) and his always speedy HH Palouchin, owned by Double H Farm, brought home the win.
Pessoa and HH Palouchin (formerly named Palouchin de Ligny, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Baloubet du Rouet x Chin Chin) have been a dynamic duo in the speed classes for many years, and this morning's class was no different from their winning ways. They set the time to beat at 61.125 seconds.
Enrique Gonzalez (MEX) and Katina were close to catching them in 61.989 seconds in the closing rounds of the class, but just missed out for second place. Week 1 winners Nick Skelton and Unique, owned by Beverly Widdowson, were third in 64.212 seconds.
Irish rider Darragh Kenny and Gael Force, owned by Missy Clark and North Run, earned top honors in round three of the $31,000 WEF Challenge Cup on Thursday afternoon. Ten of the original 42 horse and rider combinations jumped clear to advance to the jump-off round. Competitors were then asked to navigate a short course that displayed dynamic speed and power. Four were able to jump double clear, and it was the fastest round of Darragh Kenny and Gael Force in 43.31 seconds that earned top honors. The pair left out a stride in the last line that made the difference.
Brianne Goutal (USA) and Onira, owned by Remarkable Farms LP, were second fastest with their time of 44.77 seconds. Third place went to McLain Ward (USA) and Louisburg Farm's Vocas with their clear round in 45.29 seconds. Pablo Barrios (VEN) and G&C Sinatra had the only other clear jump-off round in 47.65 seconds to finish in fourth place. Ward and his first mount Rothchild, owned by Sagamore Farms, scored the fastest four-fault round in 44.85 seconds to earn fifth place.
The victory marked Darragh Kenny's first grand prix win at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. The young rider, who recently turned 23 years old, was very pleased with the class and praised Gael Force on his consistency. Gael Force is a 13-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Cavalier Royale x King of Diamonds.
Yann Candele of Caledon, CA, won Friday's $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge over a starting field of 46 competitors with Liz Currie's Carolla Z. Candele won over a course designed by Olaf Petersen Sr. of Germany. He went early in the order and set a pace that couldn't be beat in 61.175 seconds. There were 16 clear rounds in the class. Pablo Barrios (VEN) and G&C Napoleon were just behind for second place with a clear round in 61.507 seconds. Ronan McGuigan rode Chin Chon, owned by Eduardo F Cepeda, to third place in a time of 63.312 seconds.
The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded its third week of competition on Sunday afternoon with a $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Classic. Held in the International Arena of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), the class was won by Paulo Santana (BRA) and Taloubet over a starting field of 31 entries. This win was the pair's first WEF victory.
Santana and Taloubet, owned by Jennifer Santana, were the fastest of three double clear rounds to take home top honors. An eleven-year-old KWPN gelding by Baloubet Du Rouet x Quidam De Revel, Taloubet was smooth and confident in the jump-off and earned great praise from his rider. The pair went second over the short course and put down a clear, fast round in 34.537 seconds that would hold up for the win.
Nick Skelton (GBR) and Carlo 273, owned by Beverly Widdowson, were fast and clear, but stopped the clock just short of the target time in 34.905 seconds to finish in second place. Ken Berkley (USA) and Ax-Cent, owned by Rivers Edge, jumped clear in 36.508 seconds to finish in third. Skelton and Unique, also owned by Beverly Widdowson, had four faults in 33.931 seconds, placing in fourth. Completing the jump-off, McLain Ward rode Louisburg Farm's Vocas to four faults in 36.284 seconds to place in fifth.
WEF Week Three Hunter Highlights:
The third week of the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival saw another successful week of competition in the hunter and equitation rings. Green divisions started the week off in the hunter rings. Among the many green hunter divisions at WEF, the Green Conformation Hunters showed off Wednesday and Thursday.
The Green Conformation Hunter division awarded Scott Stewart top honors. Scott was aboard his own entry Touchdown, a six-year-old, Oldenburg gelding by Quattro B. Stewart rode to the tricolor among a starting field of eight entries. Stewart was off to a great start on Wednesday, the first day of competition, when he and Touchdown won both over fences classes, and placed fifth under saddle. The pair won another over fences class the second day of competition and was fifth in the remaining class of the division.
"He was doing mostly dressage in Germany and only started jumping in August," Stewart said about Touchdown. However, he went on to say, "Touchdown is the greenest horse I have this year, but he's really easy."
As the weekend approached, the adult amateur riders began competing in various hunter divisions. One of the many successful amateurs was Visse Wedell and the Far Niente Equine LLC entry, White Cap, a thirteen-year-old chestnut gelding. The pair was champion for the third week in a row in their section of the Low Adult 2'6" Hunters. Wedell and White Cap secured the championship by winning three classes, and placing second and third in the other two classes.
"White Cap is so easy. Sometimes he is the hardest one to ride because he is the easiest. It has taken me a little while to get used to not having to do anything," said Wedell. She went on to say, "It's nice to have a horse you can depend on. Rain or shine, he just goes."
The weekend arrived and the junior hunters stepped into the spotlight. Victoria Colvin, riding Becky Gochman's Waterford, was champion in this week's younger section of the Large Junior Hunters. Waterford is a nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Don Frederico. Colvin, who only recently began showing Waterford, secured the tricolor by winning one class over fences, placing second in another class, placing third in two more classes, and seventh in the remaining class.
Colvin stated that she loves riding Waterford because "he is sweet and very easy". She went on to say "He has a really fun jump because he has a big neck, so you can hold on to it!"
The Children's Hunter riders contributed to the wrap-up of Week 3 of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival on Sunday. Isabel Portela was all smiles when she was named the Coldwell Banker Children's Hunter Horse 15-17 champion. Portela was aboard the James B. Pirtle Enterprises Inc. entry, Millesime Du Valy, an eleven-year-old Selle Francais gelding.
The duo opted not to compete in the fifth class of the division, the under-saddle, but they still had enough points over fences to secure the championship. Portela saw only blue the first day of showing when she won both of the over fences classes on Saturday. Sunday, the pair was also third in an over fences class.
"Hopefully next weekend I'll be in the juniors," said Portela when asked about her goals for the future.
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.