FTI Week 2 Wrap Up…

Reed and Ligist at Spruce Meadows Masters

Reed and Ligist at Spruce Meadows Masters

Week Two Wrap-Up…

Reed Kessler and Ligist Win $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix, CSI 2*

The youngest rider in Saturday night’s $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix was the winner as eighteen-year-old Reed Kessler and Ligist jumped to victory during the highlight event of week two at the 2013 FTI WEF. With riders representing fourteen different countries competing in the class, the USA took the top seven placings and the young women were one, two and three. Kessler and Ligist topped Katie Dinan (19) and Nougat du Vallet and Brianne Goutal (24) aboard Nice de Prissey.

Luc Musette of Belgium set the course for Saturday night’s $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix. The riders were all complimentary of Musette’s course for the evening. Fifty-four entries started the class in round one and nine advanced to the jump-off with four jumping double clear.

Katie Dinan, Reed Kessler, and Brianne Goutal. Photo © Kenneth Kraus.

Katie Dinan, Reed Kessler, and Brianne Goutal.
Photo © Kenneth Kraus.

Katie Dinan and Grant Road Partners’ Nougat du Vallet were the first pair to clear the short course and set the time to beat at 38.19 seconds in the jump-off, eventually finishing second. Ken Berkley and Ax-Cent, owned by Rivers Edge, also cleared the jump-off course and stopped the clock in 39.12 seconds to place fourth. Reed Kessler and Ligist were next to go and blazed through the course in 37.81 seconds to take the lead. Last on course, Brianne Goutal and Cloverleaf Farm’s Nice de Prissey cleared the short course in 38.53 seconds to secure fourth place honors.

Reed Kessler was thrilled with the effort of her horse Ligist in the evening’s class. Kessler and the 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding (Levantos II x Robin Z) recently jumped up to 2.10m in a six-bar class in Geneva and the rider feels that the class really “raised his sights.”

“I think that is the best Goose has ever jumped; he jumped incredibly,” Kessler smiled after her win. “I just tried to keep a nice, tight track and take a shot and he was fantastic. I did see Katie a little bit on the screen. I’m not sure where I made up the time. He is a really fast horse; I use him as my speed horse mostly.”

Second place finisher Katie Dinan was also very pleased with her mount Nougat du Vallet. Dinan, who is currently in college at Harvard University, is off from school for the month and making the most of her time in Wellington.

“I thought that my horse ‘Nugget’ jumped good tonight, I was really happy with him,” Dinan stated. “We did the Mar-a-lago show two weeks ago and we were aiming for this grand prix. I am down here and I am trying to make the most of that, so it was really nice to have a top three placing in this grand prix. I didn’t get a chance to see Reed go, I was walking out my horse, but I thought my jump-off was pretty fast. My horse takes a little bit more time in the air, so I think maybe if I had started out with a little bit more pace I could have helped that, but I can’t complain; he was fantastic.”

Brianne Goutal went last with her mount Nice de Prissey and had the opportunity to see both riders go in the jump-off, but had to take into account her horse’s large stride.

Reed Kessler and Ligist in their winning presentation with ringmaster Cliff Haines and Matt Varney and Rob and Chris Desino of Wellington Equestrian Realty. Photo © Sportfot.

Reed Kessler and Ligist in their winning presentation with ringmaster Cliff Haines and Matt Varney and Rob and Chris Desino of Wellington Equestrian Realty. Photo © Sportfot.

“I was lucky enough to watch both of them from the schooling area on the jumbotron,” Goutal noted. “My horse jumped amazing; I was thrilled with the way he went. He is a much bigger horse than theirs; he has a big stride and he takes a longer time to cover the ground. I was able to leave out a stride from one to two and I think I was quite fast back to three, but he is quite difficult to turn. I had to take a little time back to the in and out and again back to the last line, but I was thrilled with the results. I was thrilled with the way he jumped and both of their rounds were blazing fast, so I am very happy.”

Seeing three of the best young female riders from the United States take the top spots in an international class is encouraging for all of three competitors. Goutal commented, “I think that is nice. We have all grown up together. I have known them since they were on ponies and I think they saw me do ponies. It is nice to have everybody together. It is great to have all of the girls and it is nice for the sport. We need more of that here I think.”

Wednesday through Sunday…

The second week of competition at the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival kicked off on Wednesday, January 16, with a win for Conor Swail (IRL) and Carlotta Singular in the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

The $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off and speed classes were also held in the International Arena on Wednesday with two more wins for the Irish. In the jump-off class, Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm, LLC’s Amaretto D’Arco were victorious. In the speed class, Darragh Kenny guided Cavallo Farms’ Gucci to victory with the fastest clear round out of 54 competitors in 64.462 seconds.

Laura Kraut and Jubilee d'Ouilly West Palm Beach, Florida

Laura Kraut and Jubilee d’Ouilly West Palm Beach, Florida

Laura Kraut and Jubilee d’Ouilly jumped to victory in the $33,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 on Thursday afternoon at the FTI WEF in an exciting jump-off of top competitors. Last to go in a 24-horse tie breaker with McLain Ward holding the first and second positions, Kraut and Jubilee shaved fractions off of the leading time to win in a dramatic finish. Also showing in the International Arena on Thursday, Katie Monahan-Prudent earned victory in the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumper Classic aboard Michael Smith’s V.

Week two of FTI WEF continued on Friday at the PBIEC with a win for McLain Ward and Grant Road Partners’ Super Trooper de Ness in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class out of 81 entries. Also showing on Friday, the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge was held in the International Arena with a win for Laura Chapot and the ever-speedy Bradberry. Nicholas Dello Joio and Pamela Postal’s Triumph finished second with Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm, LLC’s Cyklon 1083 in third.

The second week of competition at the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty, concluded on Sunday with a win again for McLain Ward (USA) and Super Trooper de Ness in the $25,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic. Competing on a beautiful afternoon at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), the pair earned their second victory of the week, winning over Ben Maher (GBR) aboard Jane Clark’s Cella and Pablo Barrios (VEN) and ZL Group, Inc.’s Zara Leandra.

The Junior Jumpers also showed in the International Arena on Sunday competing in their classics for week two. In the $10,000 Griffis Group High Junior Jumper Classic, Lillie Keenan and Chansonette Farm, LLC’s Londinium were the winners. The $10,000 Hollow Creek Farm Medium Junior Jumper Classic saw a win for Michael Hughes aboard Christina Fried’s Zammetje.

FTI WEF  Horse Show Wrap-Up Week 2…

Week 1 Classic winners…

$10,000 Westwind Realty Adult Jumpers 18-35 – Michelle Kamine and Loreana
$10,000 Martha Jolicoeur Adult 36-49 Jumpers – Good Carma and Heather Crespo
$10,000 Charles Owen Low Amateur-Owner Jumpers – Kate Morrison and Vaillant
$10,000 Maria Mendelsohn Low Junior Jumpers – E-Bay and Brittni Raflowitz
$10,000 Horseware Don Little Masters – All That and Murray Kessler
$10,000 Animo USA Medium Amateur-Owner Jumpers – Athena and Kelsey Thatcher

Week 1 Champions…

EnTrust Children’s Jumper 14 & Under – Swag and Jordyn Rose Freedman
FarmVet Adult Modified Jumpers – Tigger and Isabel Sanchez
EnTrust Children’s Jumper 15-17 – Wenda AK and Jacqueline Shilen
Children’s Modified Jumpers – Peper Gold and Autumn Janesky
Paddock Cake Low Adult Jumper 18-35 – Galatee du Roset and Cathleen Mathers
Paddock Cakes Low Adult Jumper 36 & Over – Zazu and Patricia Hurter
Paddock Cakes Low Children’s Jumper – Cha Cha Cha and Heather Vaxer

Another win for Ward in Wellington…

Mclain Ward in London

Mclain Ward in London

The second week of competition at the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty, concluded on Sunday with a win for McLain Ward (USA) and Super Trooper de Ness in the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic. Competing on a beautiful afternoon at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), the pair earned their second victory of the week, winning over Ben Maher (GBR) aboard Jane Clark’s Cella and Pablo Barrios (VEN) and ZL Group, Inc.’s Zara Leandra.

McLain Ward and Super Trooper de Ness Sportfot

McLain Ward and Super Trooper de Ness Sportfot

Week three of the FTI WEF runs Wednesday, January 23, through Sunday, January 27. The week will feature the FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge (FTI GCC), presented by Fidelity Investments®, at 7 p.m. on Saturday evening. The event raises and distributes over one million dollars annually to 32 lucky Palm Beach County charities in a pro-am team competition.

Other highlights in the International Arena will include the $33,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 3 at 1 p.m. on Thursday afternoon and the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The grass derby field at The Stadium at PBIEC will host the $50,000 CSI 2* Grand Prix, weather permitting, at 2 p.m. on Sunday. The 2013 FTI WEF circuit continues through March 31 featuring 12 weeks of world-class competition.

Concluding week two, forty-one entries showed in the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Sunday jumping a course set by Luc Musette of Belgium. Eight were clear to advance to the jump-off and five went double clear. McLain Ward and Grant Road Partners’ Super Trooper de Ness blazed through the short course in 41.853 seconds for the win.

Super Trooper is an eleven-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion by Vigo d’Arsouilles x Polydor. He is a horse that Ward is aiming toward the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy. The pair won a class earlier in the week in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class and a great partnership is forming.

Commenting on his win, Ward stated, “He is a really, really fast and very, very careful horse. We have been trying to build over the last few classes and today was a step up and I thought he handled it very well. I know he is capable of going fast like that, so I figured I would take a nice chance, not doing anything crazy, but take a chance, and he really responded well. It was a nice win and a nice way to start off the circuit with him.”

McLain and Super Trooper Suncast Pres Sportfot

McLain and Super Trooper Suncast Pres Sportfot

Four other riders cleared the short course and finished in the top of the ribbons. Ben Maher and Cella completed the course in 42.390 seconds to place second. Pablo Barrios and Zara Leandra finished in 43.441 seconds for third place honors. Paige Johnson (USA) and Salamander Farm’s Chiron S were fourth in 43.893 seconds. Fifth place went to Christine McCrea aboard Candy Tribble’s Victor E with a time of 45.317 seconds.

Ward is excited about his new partnership with Super Trooper de Ness and looks forward to building their relationship this season. Speaking about the ride, he detailed, “He is very sensitive and very careful, so you have to be quite disciplined in the ride, but the trade off is that he leaves the jumps up. I think you just try to ride him as well as you can. He is just very competitive. I think he is a wonderful horse, so I am very excited about him.”

Ward also spoke about the course and how it suited his horse, as well as his confidence in his mount in the jump-off.

“It was big enough for a 1.50m class,” he remarked. “The triple was quite big. I think he is capable of answering any test, but it is a little bit of a progression because we are just kind of getting going.”

“From fence one to two I left out a stride,” Ward said of his winning time. “I knew how careful he was that he would handle that skinny really well and then I just tried to stay on it. We had a nice turn back on both verticals and it was nine strides in the last line for all the top ones that went fast, so it was kind of a set distance. You know when you are galloping the fence that he is going to do a lot to get out of the way, so that certainly gives you confidence in going fast.”

The Junior Jumpers also showed in the International Arena on Sunday competing in their classics for week two. In the $10,000 Griffis Group High Junior Jumper Classic, Lillie Keenan and Chansonette Farm, LLC’s Londinium were the winners. Dana Scott and Nod Hill Farm’s KM What Ever RV finished second and Chloe Reid and Damascus placed third.

The $10,000 Hollow Creek Farm Medium Junior Jumper Classic saw a win for Michael Hughes aboard Christina Fried’s Zammetje. Second place went to Eugenio Garza aboard El Milagro’s Zarenko. Madeline Thatcher and Pony Lane Farm’s Lancelot 266 finished third.

Source: Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Mclain Ward & Super Trooper

Mclain Ward & Super Trooper

Finals Results: $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic

1. SUPER TROOPER DE NESS          MCLAIN WARD         GRANT ROAD PARTNERS, LLC: 0/0/41.853
2. CELLA        BEN MAHER    JANE CLARK: 0/0/42.390
3. ZARA LEANDRA     PABLO BARRIOS       ZL GROUP, INC: 0/0/43.441
4 . CHIRON S       PAIGE JOHNSONSALAMANDER FARM: 0/0/43.893
5. VICTOR E       CHRISTINE MCCREA       CANDY TRIBBLE: 0/0/45.317
6. ROUNDTHORN MADIOS    LAUREN TISBO         TEQUESTRIAN FARMS, LLC: 0/4/46.028
7. ONISHA     REED KESSLER         REED KESSLER: 0/5/50.136
8. LILLI         GEORGINA BLOOMBERG       DIETMAR GUGLER & GOTHAM ENTERPRIZES: 0/8/47.451
9. E-MUSE YEK         DARRAGH KERINS     DARRAGH KERINS & MAARTEN HUYGENS: 1/80.809
10. ZHUM CWMCLAIN WARD         ILAND FARDER & MISSY CLARK: 4/73.638
11. QUIET EASY 4     BEN MAHER    MRS/ PHILLIPS: 4/75.606
12. UATA       BRIANNE GOUTAL     CLOVERLEAF FARM: 4/75.668

McLain Ward wins again for second week of WEF…

Mclain in Palm Beach

Mclain in Palm Beach

Week two of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) continued on Friday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) with a win for McLain Ward and Grant Road Partners’ Super Trooper de Ness in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class. Laura Chapot and Bradberry won the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m speed class and Laurie Stevens and Iceman took home their second championship of the circuit in the Camping World Adult Amateur Hunter 51 & Over division.

The second week of FTI WEF competition, sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty, will run January 16-20. Highlight events include the $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty CSI2* Grand Prix on Saturday evening and the $25,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Classic on Sunday afternoon. The 2013 FTI WEF circuit runs through March 31 featuring 12 weeks of world-class competition.

Luc Musette of Belgium is the course designer in the International Arena for week two. Eighty-one entries showed in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class with 27 qualifying for the second round. Seventeen entries jumped the short course without fault and the fastest of those jump-off rounds belonged to McLain Ward and Super Trooper de Ness with a time of 39.287 seconds.

Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm, LLC’s Beluga finished second in 40.551 seconds. Laura Kraut and Equinvest’s Maranon LS stopped the clock in 40.763 seconds to place third.

Class winner Super Trooper de Ness is an eleven-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion by Vigo d’Arsouilles x Polydor. Grant Road Partners originally purchased the horse two years ago and he showed briefly with young rider Katie Dinan, but will now become a full-time mount for McLain Ward on the road to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Normandy, France. Super Trooper is sired by the 2010 World Champion, Vigo d’Arsouilles, and Ward thinks that he has all of the potential to reach that level. Following the pair’s win on Friday, Ward detailed his plans.

Super Trooper and McLain Ward

Super Trooper and McLain Ward

“I am going to be riding him for the next two seasons,” he stated. “We bought him two years ago with great hopes and unfortunately he had a couple of health problems, but he is fully recovered now. The Dinans were kind enough to give me the opportunity to try and bring him up to the level that we believe that he is and aim him towards the World Equestrian Games next year, so we are trying to build the relationship.”

Prior to his purchase by the Dinan family, Super Trooper de Ness had begun to jump the big grand prix classes in England and competed on the Sunshine Tour in Spain with great success. Ward saw the stallion and recognized his ability immediately.

“He is an incredible horse,” the rider declared. “We believed that when we bought him two years ago and unfortunately he just hit a few bumps in the road early on. He is unbelievably talented. I think he may be the most careful horse I have ever ridden; he just needs to get back up to the top level. I think he is really confident right now and when he gets there, I think he is going to be a really tough horse to beat.”

The pair was certainly tough to beat in Friday’s class as they won over more than 80 competitors. Commenting on their rounds in the class, Ward noted, “He felt really good. We have been kind of experimenting with different spurs and different things with the bit, just trying to figure out what works the best and making mild changes. In the first round today it felt like we had it really together and he is so careful that in the jump-off he just makes it very easy to do the difficult turns and what not.”

Ward plans to jump Super Trooper again in the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Sunday and then hopes to gradually work him up towards the bigger classes throughout the circuit, building toward the ultimate goal of the WEG next year. He will have next week off to relax and then continue on during week four.

Also showing on Friday, the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge was held in the International Arena with a win for Laura Chapot and the ever-speedy Bradberry. Nicholas Dello Joio and Pamela Postal’s Triumph finished second with Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm, LLC’s Cyklon 1083 in third.

Source: Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Final Results: $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Jump-Off

1. SUPER TROOPER DE NESS          MCLAIN WARD         GRANT ROAD PARTNERS LLC: 0/0/39.287
2. BELUGA     SHANE SWEETNAM    SPY COAST FARM LLC: 0/0/40.551
3. MARANON LS       LAURA KRAUTEQUINVEST: 0/0/40.763
4. UMBERTO   LAURA CHAPOT         MARY CHAPOT: 0/0/40.812
5. PJOTTER VAN DE ZONNEHOEVE   MCLAIN WARD         LOUISBURG FARM: 0/0/41.122
6. KING KOLIBRI   LAUREN TISBO  TEQUESTRIAN FARMS LLC: 0/0/41.178
7. C’EST CI BON 4    LAUREN CROOKS      GLENN YOUELL & CROOKS SHOW JUMPING: 0/0/42.666
8. ONIRA       BRIANNE GOUTAL     REMARKABLE FARMS LP: 0/0/42.687
9. ZIEDENTO  RAMIRO QUINTANA   ST. BRIDE’S FARM: 0/0/42.828
10. DOLORESBEN MAHER    MRS. WANG: 0/0/42.890
11. VICOMTE D       BEN MAHER     JANE F. CLARK: 0/0/42.956
12. BROOKLYN BLUES   ALEXANDRA PAILLOTCAROL SOLLAK: 0/0/43.011