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

Laura Kraut wins with her new mount Jubilee d’Ouily…

Laura started with Jubilee in Novemeber. The experienced mare was ridden by Trevor Coyle (IRL) for many years

Laura started with Jubilee in Novemeber. The experienced mare was ridden by Trevor Coyle (IRL) for many years

Laura Kraut and Jubilee d’Ouilly Top $33,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 2…

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 Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (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.

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 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. In Thursday’s $33,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 2, Musette saw 57 entries in the first round of competition with 24 advancing to the jump-off. Only nine competitors were able to clear the short course without fault as they raced against the clock, and Laura Kraut and Jubilee d’Ouilly’s time of 35.57 seconds took top honors.

McLain Ward finished second and third with his mounts Rothchild and Zhum CW. Ward and Sagamore Farm’s Rothchild stopped the clock in 35.70 seconds to place second. Ward guided Zhum CW, owned by Ilan Ferder and Missy Clark, to third place in 36.22 seconds.

Jubilee d’Ouilly is a 16-year-old Selle Francais mare by Palestro II x Graphit, owned by A. Le Bon and F.X. Le Bon. The mare has had a very successful career in Europe and just made her first trip to the United States this winter as a new mount for Kraut. The rider detailed, “I got her at the end of November. She is now 16 years old. She has had an illustrious career with Penolope Leprovost and Trevor Coyle, so I have big shoes to fill.”

“Trevor unfortunately got hurt, so they called me and asked if I would take over the ride, which was an unexpected and pleasant surprise,” Kraut smiled. “I have jumped her twice. I jumped in Paris and then London. In London she was very unlucky; she had one down in the grand prix, but she should have been clear, she jumped a really good round.”

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

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

Jubilee just got out of quarantine in Wellington on Monday and is off to a great start for the winter. Kraut is not sure how long she will have the ride, but plans to enjoy her time with the talented horse.

“Trevor doesn’t know how long his injury is going to last, so he is not sure when he can come back,” Kraut explained. “I think they both agreed that she is not getting any younger. She needs to kind of go on if she is going to go, being 16, so I don’t know. I am just happy to have the ride on her for now.”

Last to go in the jump-off, Kraut was able to watch McLain Ward go on his first mount and figure out a plan with Jubilee. Their times were extremely close.

“I stayed specifically to watch McLain go on Rothchild,” she noted. “I didn’t see him go on his second, but he did six strides from jump one to jump two, which I knew I couldn’t do. She doesn’t have that kind of stride, but she is a very quick horse, so I just thought I could outturn him to the orange jump. That would be the only place I made up that time because he was galloping.”

Ward was not sure if his time would hold up with some of the good horses and riders that followed him. He stated, “I actually thought all four at the end of the jump-off had a chance; they are all great riders and fast horses. That mare with Laura is a very experienced, older horse who has always been super fast, just naturally fast. Rothchild did kick out pretty hard rolling back, which I think slowed him up a little and I checked to the last jump. Smooth is always faster and that wasn’t so smooth, so there were a couple of little mistakes on my part, but I was thrilled with both of my horses. The horse of Ilan and Missy’s is new. I went as fast as I really wanted to go today and it wasn’t quite fast enough. A great rider and a very experienced horse beat you and that is going to happen sometimes.”

Kraut looks forward to the rest of the circuit now having Jubilee as well her Olympic partner Cedric to show in the big classes. She stated, “The owner is obviously aware that I have Cedric and so I think that she is looking forward to me being able to jump Jubilee alongside with him. With her being 16 years old and Cedric being 15 years old, neither one of them can go, go, go all the time, so I think it is really nice that I will have two sort of premier horses and just be able to flip-flop between them.”

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. Out of 41 competitors and seven entries that made it to the jump-off, the pair had the fastest of six double clear rounds in 37.220 seconds. Andres Rodriguez and Arao Enterprises, LLC’s Aberdeen 33 finished second in 37.508 seconds.

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

Final Results: $33,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 2…

1. JUBILEE D’OUILLY: 1997 Selle Francais mare by Palestro II x Graphit
LAURA KRAUT (USA), A. Le Bon and F.X. Le Bon: 0/0/35.57

2. ROTHCHILD: 2001 SBS gelding by Artos x Elegant De L’Ile
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Sagamore Farms: 0/0/35.70

3. ZHUM CW: 2004 KWPN gelding by Querlybet Hero x Cambridge
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Ilan Ferder & Missy Clark: 0/0/36.22

4. ZAFIRA: 2004 KWPN mare Nassau x Cappucino van Berkenbroek
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Haity McNerney: 0/0/37.33

5. QUOINTREAU UN PRINCE: 2004 Selle Francais gelding by Diamant de Semilly x Rosire
LAURA CHAPOT (USA), LAURA CHAPOT & MCLAIN WARD: 0/0/38.19

6. WANNICK WH: 2003 KWPN stallion by Heartbreaker x Joost
CHRISTINE MCCREA  (USA), Candy Tribble/Windsor Show Stables: 0/0/38.43

7. G&C FLASH: 2002 Hanoverian gelding by Forrester x Grannus
LUIS LARRAZABAL (VEN), Gustavo Mirabal: 0/0/38.72

8. ULTIMO: 2001 KWPN gelding by Marlon x Laroche
HECTOR FLORENTINO (DOM), Stransky’s Mission Farm: 0/0/39.18

9. UTAN: 2001 KWPN gelding by Burggraaf x Concorde
ANGELA COVERT (CAN), Eastwood Group: 0/0/39.99

10. CARLOTTA SINGULAR: 2002 Hanoverian mare by Chasseur x Singular Joter
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Susan Grange: 0/4/36.38

11. ROCKY W: 1998 KWPN gelding by Libero H x Corofino
KAITLIN CAMPBELL (USA), Kaitlin Campbell: 0/4/36.49

12. HH LET’S FLY: 1999 Hanoverian gelding by Lordanos x Forrest
RODRIGO PESSOA (BRA), Double H Farm: 0/4/36.76

Conor Swail starts off WEF Week 2 with a win for Ireland…

Conor Swail, shown here last year at WEF, finished sixth in the Final Grand Prix of the 12 week circuit

Conor Swail, shown here last year at WEF, finished sixth in the Final Grand Prix of the 12 week circuit in 2012

The second week of competition at the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) 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 second week of FTI WEF competition, sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty, will run January 16-20. Highlight events include the $33,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 on Thursday afternoon, 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 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 jumper competition. In the first class of the week, 24 entries showed in the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m speed class. Only six entries were able to clear the course without fault, and the fastest clear round belonged to Ireland’s Conor Swail and his mount Carlotta Singular, owned by Susan Grange. The pair was first to go in the class and set an unbeatable pace at 61.578 seconds.

Conor Swail and Carlotta Singular

Conor Swail and Carlotta Singular

Ramiro Quintana finished second in 63.718 seconds riding Largo, owned by Maverick Ventures, LLC. Darragh Kenny placed third in 65.161 seconds riding Delilah, owned by Derbypie. Conor Swail also took fourth place honors with his time of 65.683 seconds aboard Cloverleaf Farm’s Vancouver D.M.L.

Carlotta Singular, an eleven-year-old Hanoverian mare by Chasseur x Singular Joter, is a brand new ride for Swail. The mare showed successfully under Canadian rider Yann Candele for several years and now seems to be off to a good start with her new partner.

Swail stated, “I just started riding her ten days ago. She is a very nice jumper with a lot of experience. She is fun to ride.”

Commenting on his round today, Swail noted, “Today was good. I was first to go and her own natural way is quick. She likes running along and being fast anyway, so just doing the turns and floating along, it suits her actually. It was a nice round; I was very pleased with how she jumped.”

Going first, Swail’s plan was just to be neat and tidy around the course. “I wanted to get a nice result. There was still a good bit left, but like I said, she is naturally fast, so it makes it a lot easier just to be neat and tidy. The course was good. It was big enough I thought. It was flowing and he gave you a few options. It was nice.”

Swail will ride Carlotta for the rest of the circuit. He plans to show the mare in the $33,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 tomorrow afternoon and will then show in the $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty CSI2* Grand Prix on Saturday evening.

Conor Swail with ringmaster Cliff Haines and Luis Miguel Martinez of G and C Farm

Conor Swail with ringmaster Cliff Haines and Luis Miguel Martinez of G and C Farm

“My plan is for her to do the bigger classes,” Swail stated. “I am just getting used to her a little bit now and trying to figure her out and see what she does well.”

Swail has several nice mounts for this year’s circuit and looks forward to having more success as the weeks continue.

“I have started to ride Sue Grange’s horses now and she has a lot of nice horses,” he detailed. “It is a nice opportunity for me to have a good season here. Carlotta will be the main one and also Landsdowne; he is a nice stallion. Those too I will do mainly for the big classes. There are also a few other very nice ones to do the other classes.”

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 a class of 94 competitors, 22 entries made it to the jump-off round and 12 jumped double clear. Sweetnam and Amaretto D’Arco won it in a time of 31.438 seconds. Pablo Barrios and ZL Group’s Zara Leandra were just fractions behind in 31.502 seconds to finish in second.

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. Matt Williams and North Star’s Cyrina Z finished second in 68.330 seconds.

Week two will continue on Thursday with the $33,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 as the highlight class in the International Arena at 1 p.m. For full results, please visit http://www.showgroundslive.com.

Source: Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Final Results: $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m

1. CARLOTTA SINGULAR      CONOR SWAIL          SUSAN GRANGE: 0/61.578
2. LARGO           RAMIRO QUINTANA        MAVERICK VENTURES, LLC: 0/63.718
3. DELILAH     DARRAGH KENNY      DERBYPIE: 0/65.161
4. VANCOUVER D.M.L.         CONOR SWAIL          CLOVERLEAF FARM: 0/65.683
5. WOTSAMILLION    LAURA KRAUTSTONE HILL FARM: 0/69.268
6. NOUVELLE       LAURA KRAUT    EVITA GROUP: 0/70.977
7. MERLIN         JEFFERY WELLES  NOEL GROSS: 4/63.616
8. JUBILEE D’OUILLY  LAURA KRAUTA. LEBON: 4/64.749
9. COLGATE         PABLO BARRIOS  PABLO BARRIOS: 4/65.435
10. DIXSON         IAN MILLAR       ARIEL AND SUSAN GRANGE: 4/66.882
11. AMOR VAN DE ROSTAL   MAC CONE     CHADBURN HOLDINGS, INC: 4/69.288
12. SEVENTH FEE     MICHAEL DORMAN     WYNDMONT: 4/71.044

FTI Week 1 Wrap up…

Mclain Ward (USA)

Mclain Ward (USA)

FTI WEF Week 1…

Shane Sweetnam won the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m speed class aboard Sweet Oak Farm’s Solerina and then went on to take top honors in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class aboard Spy Coast Farm, LLC’s Eregast Van’t Kiezelhof on Wednesday. Laura Chapot also had a win on day one riding Mary Chapot’s Zealous in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge.

Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa and HH Let’s Fly galloped to victory in the $30,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 1.

Peter Wylde (USA) and The Wannahave Group’s Sandor De La Pomme finished second with their time of 36.392 seconds. Third went to Shane Sweetnam (IRL) aboard Spy Coast Farm, LLC’s Siri with a time of 36.591 seconds. Luis Larrazabal (VEN) and Anabel Simon’s G&C Sacramento placed fourth with their time of 36.664 seconds.

Week one continued on Friday with a win for New York’s Georgina Bloomberg and South Street in the $1,500 Adequan 7-Year-Old Young Jumper Championship. Out of 35 competitors, ten entries went clear to jump-off, and Bloomberg and South Street had the fastest of eight double clear rounds in a time of 31.818 seconds. Laura Chapot finished second aboard Mary Chapot’s Castellana with a jump-off time of 32.829 seconds. Marilyn Little and Raylyn Farms, Inc.’s Nightfire 25 were third in 33.224 seconds.

Other highlight classes in the International Arena on Friday included the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off and speed classes. The jump-off class was won by Laura Kraut and Wish, owned by Stone Hill Farm. The speed class saw a win for Darragh Kenny aboard Cavallo Farms, LLC’s Gucci.

Over 3,500 fans packed the stands at the PBIEC on the opening Saturday night to watch the women beat the men for the fifth year in a row in the $55,000 Nespresso Battle of the Sexes. It was the closest race yet in the three-phase competition between the male and female teams, but the ladies pulled out another victory in the end with a final score of 24-20.

Georgina Bloomberg and Nick Skelton

Georgina Bloomberg and Nick Skelton

The women’s team was captained by Georgina Bloomberg and also included riders Laura Kraut, Margie Engle, Marilyn Little, Maggie Bracco, Nicole Bellissimo, Debbie Stephens, Brianne Goutal, Candice King, and Schuyler Riley.

Charlie Jayne led the men’s team, which included riders Shane Sweetnam, Richie Moloney, Daniel Bluman, Luis Larrazabal, Ramiro Quintana, Steve Schaefer, Darragh Kenny, Alex Granato, and Nick Skelton.

In addition to the winning prize money, a few special awards were presented this evening. Darragh Kenny won a gift certificate from The Brazilian Court Hotel and Beach Club for the overall best time in both the speed and match race rounds aboard his mount Vanotrouska.

Charlie Jacobs in Buenes Aires for Nations Cup

Charlie Jacobs in Buenes Aires for Nations Cup

A $1,000 prize was also to be awarded to the rider that had the most clear rounds in the six-bar competition. When Skelton, Bloomberg, and King all cleared the final round and decided not to continue any further, the money was split between all three riders.

The $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic was held in the International Arena in the afternoon with a win for McLain Ward riding Ilan Ferder and Missy Clark’s Zhum CW. In a class of 18 entries, nine jumped the first round course without fault to jump off, and Ward and Zhum CW completed the fastest double clear round in 38.663 seconds.

In the International Arena on Sunday, Michael Hughes and Christina Fried’s MacArthur won the morning’s $10,000 Griffis Group SJHOF High Junior Jumper Classic. The $10,000 Animo USA Medium Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic saw a win for Santiago Diaz and Quel Pacha.

The second week of competition at the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), sponsored by The Mar-a-Lago Club, concluded on Sunday afternoon with a win for Charlie Jacobs (USA) and CMJ Sporthorse LLC’s Flaming Star in the $30,000 Mar-a-Lago Club Grand Prix.

Jumping a course set by Eric Hasbrouck, 46 horse and rider combinations contested Sunday’s class. Thirteen entries jumped clear to advance to the jump-off, and 10 went double clear. The fastest of those clear jump-off rounds belonged to Charlie Jacobs and Flaming Star in a time of 37.163 seconds.

Alvaro de Miranda (BRA) and RD Jumping Higher, Ltda.’s Show Show finished second stopping the clock in 37.413 seconds. Reed Kessler (USA) and Ligist were third with a time of 37.708 seconds.

Source: Equestrian Sport Productions

Charlie Jacobs wins the $30,000 Mar-a-Lago Club Grand Prix…

Charlie Jacobs in Buenes Aires for Nations Cup

Charlie Jacobs in Buenes Aires for Haras el Capricho Nations Cup

The second week of competition at the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), sponsored by The Mar-a-Lago Club, concluded on Sunday afternoon with a win for Charlie Jacobs (USA) and CMJ Sporthorse LLC’s Flaming Star in the $30,000 Mar-a-Lago Club Grand Prix.

Week one of FTI WEF was sponsored by The Mar-a-Lago Club. FTI WEF 2 runs January 16-20 and is sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty. The 2013 FTI WEF runs through March 31 featuring 12 weeks of world-class competition.

Jumping a course set by Eric Hasbrouck, 46 horse and rider combinations contested Sunday’s class. Thirteen entries jumped clear to advance to the jump-off, and 10 went double clear. The fastest of those clear jump-off rounds belonged to Charlie Jacobs and Flaming Star in a time of 37.163 seconds.

Alvaro de Miranda (BRA) and RD Jumping Higher, Ltda.’s Show Show finished second stopping the clock in 37.413 seconds. Reed Kessler (USA) and Ligist were third with a time of 37.708 seconds.

Charlie Jacobs and Flaming Star

Charlie Jacobs and Flaming Star

Class winner, Flaming Star, is fourteen-year-old Anglo European gelding by Fairman, and has a great track record as a speed horse for Jacobs. Following Sunday’s win, Jacobs noted, “He has had a very good year. Obviously it is a great start for him to come out the way he has here. I feel very fortunate to have the horse in my barn. I have taken him twice to South America and both times he has won a car for me; he is that kind of speed horse. He is a real quick horse and real catlike over a course like today’s size. Today’s course was a very good match for him and his skill set.”

“I thought the course and the ring itself rode very nicely,” Jacobs acknowledged. “Eric Hasbrouck did a wonderful job in my opinion, building the course appropriately for roughly 50 riders. Maybe he got one or two more clean than he expected, but I thought it was very appropriate for week one out of the gate. I am really happy with it.”

Alvaro de Miranda (more commonly referred to as ‘Doda’) had set a very fast pace in the beginning of the jump-off and Jacobs had to be very sharp to beat him. He admitted, “I didn’t think I was going to catch him. I was out here warming up and people were saying Doda just flew around this course. I was having discussions with my trainer about maybe taking a stride out or two in the first line, but after I jumped the first jump and my horse sort of curled over it nicely, I knew that there was absolutely no five for me. It had to be a forward six. Then I elected to slow down a bit so I could make the turn quickly after jump three.”

Commenting on the difference in time, Jacobs stated, “My horse was real catlike on that turn right in front of the Swedish oxer. We just sort of sliced it and kept going. There were just hundredths of a second that split the three of us, so it was really a horse race.”

With the international growth of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, brand new competitors are arriving each year, including Alvaro de Miranda, of Brazil. Following the day’s class, Miranda also spoke about his mount, Show Show, who he has had for just four months.

“Originally we bought this horse for my wife, but she didn’t adapt to him so much because he has a lot of blood and he is a little bit big for her,” the rider explained. “She told me to ride him a little bit and if I liked him I could keep him for me and enjoy it. He is a very good horse. I use him in this difficult job more as a second horse in Europe. He does all of the speed classes. When I have one grand prix like this he can do a very good job, so I am very happy.”

Charlie Jacobs and Flaming Star in their winning presentation with ringmaster Cliff Haines and Giovana Pirolo, Membership Coordinator at The Mar-a-Lago Club.

Charlie Jacobs and Flaming Star in their winning presentation with ringmaster Cliff Haines and Giovana Pirolo, Membership Coordinator at The Mar-a-Lago Club

In the jump-off, Miranda was extremely fast, but knew that one of the eight riders to follow might catch up. “I knew that I was in the beginning of the jump-off. I had a good feeling when I came out, but I thought that one could beat me because I know that the classes are always very fast here,” he detailed.

This is Miranda’s first time traveling to Wellington to compete for the winter and the rider was very complimentary. Miranda and his wife, Athina Onassis de Miranda, brought 16 horses with them from Europe for the circuit. He smiled, “We brought them all. Only one horse that is not okay for the moment we left behind, but we brought all of the others. We brought our 16 horses and two ponies for my daughter. We brought all of the dogs and everything.”

“I love it,” he stated. “I did the winters in Europe for the last 15 years and then I always wanted to come here, but something always came up the last moment that we couldn’t make it. Now we made it and I am really happy. Some people told me 12 weeks is too long, but I think it is too short for me. I really love it here.”

Third place finisher Reed Kessler also commented on her round in Sunday’s class and her always dependable mount Ligist, a.k.a Goose. Kessler stated, “I have been in Europe and Goose has been my speed horse and many a time I have been going after Doda in the jump-off knowing that I had to go really, really fast. Goose was great. He has a really big stride, so again you were tempted to do five or six down the first line, but it just didn’t really materialize to be an option for everybody. I think maybe I could have done eight (strides) around to the double. I did nine, but they are both lightning fast riders, so I was happy with third.”

“Goose is like the backbone of my string,” Kessler said, speaking about her horse’s plans for the circuit. “He is the Jack of all trades. You couldn’t ask for a better horse; he does everything. He will rip around the speeds. If he needs to do the grand prix, he can do any height. We build our schedule around Cylana and Mika and the other horses and then wherever he needs to fill in, he fills in. He is a rock star like that. Everyone thinks the sun rises and sets with Cylana, but without Goose it would be hard to fill the schedule.”

In other results from the International Arena on Sunday, Michael Hughes and Christina Fried’s MacArthur won the morning’s $10,000 Griffis Group SJHOF High Junior Jumper Classic. The $10,000 Animo USA Medium Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic saw a win for Santiago Diaz and Quel Pacha.

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

Final Results: $30,000 Mar-a-Lago Club Grand Prix

1. FLAMING STAR     CHARLES JACOBS     CMJ SPORTHORSE, LLC: 0/0/37.163
2. SHOW SHOW        ALVARO DE MIRANDA          RD JUMPING HIGHER, LTDA: 0/0/37.413
3. LIGIST       REED KESSLER         REED KESSLER: 0/0/37.708
4. USER ID     DARRAGH KENNY      ATLANTA EQUESTRIAN CENTER: 0/0/38.280
5. QUICK DU POTIER ALONSO VALDEZ PRADO      ALONSO VALDEZ PRADO: 0/0/38.661
6. SANDOR DE LA POMME    PETER WYLDE          THE WANNAHAVE GROUP: 0/0/39.062
7. UATA         BRIANNE GOUTAL     CLOVERLEAF FARM: 0/0/39.495
8. VANCOUVER D.M.L.         CONOR SWAIL          CLOVERLEAF FARM: 0/0/40.722
9. ORMSBY HILL     LIZA FINSNESS           LIZA FINSNESS: 0/0/42.791
10. UNEX DAMORA Z   TIM GREDLEY         UNEX COMPETITION YARD: 0/0/44.621
11. ZERLY      CHRISTINE MCCREA  CANDY TRIBBLE: 0/4/ 37.976
12. BELMONTLAURA KRAUT          BEVERLY WIDDOWSON: 0/4/38.954

Mclain Ward wins Suncast Classic in Wellington…

Mclain Ward WEF 1

The $25,000 Suncast Championship Jumper Classic was held in the International Arena in the afternoon with a win for McLain Ward riding Ilan Ferder and Missy Clark’s Zhum CW. In a class of 18 entries, nine jumped the first round course without fault to jump off, and Ward and Zhum CW completed the fastest double clear round in 38.663 seconds.

Finishing in second, Peter Wylde and Lewin 5, owned by Societe Civile De L’ecurie Meutry, jumped clear in 39.118 seconds. Shane Sweetnam and Sweet Oak Farm’s Solerina were third in 39.146 seconds.

McLain Ward first rode Zhum CW in November and immediately won the $10,000 Holiday & Horses Welcome Stake one day later in the pair’s debut in the show ring. Ward has now shown the nine-year-old KWPN gelding by Querlybet Hero x Cambridge a few more times and is getting a better feel for the ride.

“I think I have ridden him three more times, so that’s good,” Ward smiled. “He was great the other day; I think he ended up second in the 1.40m and then we did the 1.45m and he was very good. He kind of went well all week and he was excellent today. Our turns were a little rough, we have to work on those a bit, but he is super careful and he has a big step. It was a good start to the circuit and a good finish to the week.”

In the jump-off, Ward was going for speed. “I like to try to win always and this is a good series, this Suncast series,” he stated. “I knew the turns were a little bit difficult in the jump-off and again that is not his greatest strength at this point in time, so I tried to make it up with a little bit of foot speed. We had a little bit of a funny angle on the Suncast fence, but the horse really gave a great effort and it worked out.”

Zhum CW lives at Ilan Ferder’s farm and works in their program. Ward described, “I go ride him once in a while, but Ilan and Kirsten (Coe) prepare him nicely and they do a great job, so it is a good team effort.”

Emphasizing Zhum CW’s careful jumping style, Ward further detailed, “He is a little bit his own way, but he is always in the hunt with you. He is in the fight with you and he delivers a lot of clear rounds, so we will just kind of keep moving up the ranks and hopefully it keeps going his way.”

 

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

1. ZHUM CW & MCLAIN WARD    (ILAN FERDER & MISSY CLARK) : 0/0/38.663
2. LEWIN 5 & PETER WYLDE     (SOCIETE CIVILE DE L’ECURIE MEUTRY) : 0/0/39.118
3. SOLERINA & SHANE SWEETNAM    (SWEET OAK FARM) : 0/0/39.146
4. CAPALL ZIDANE & RONAN MCGUIGAN    (RONAN MCGUIGAN): 0/0/39.816
5. TEIRRA & ALISE OKEN    (HI HOPES FARM LLC) : 0/0/40.091
6. QUICK DU POTIER & ALONSO VALDEZ PRADO    (ALONSO VALDEZ PRADO) : 0/0/41.453
7. NOUVELLE & LAURA KRAUT     (EVITA GROUP) : 0/4/41.001
8. S& L SLINGBACK & ADRIENNE STERNLICHT    (ADRIENNE STERNLICHT) : 0/8/45.174
9. CROSSFIRE 10 & EMANUEL ANDRADE    (HOLLOW CREEK FARM) : 0/8/46.412
10. VICTOR E & CHRISTINE MCCREA    (CANDY TRIBBLE) : 1/88.728
11. HH CABALLERO & QUENTIN JUDGE    (DOUBLE H FARM) : 3/90.954
12. ZINNIA & ANDREW WELLES    (ANDREW WELLES) : 4/85.999

 

Women are undefeated in WEF Battle of the Sexes…

Credit: Sportfot

Credit: Sportfot

Over 3,500 fans packed the stands at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on the opening Saturday night to watch the women beat the men for the fifth year in a row in the $55,000 Nespresso Battle of the Sexes at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) in Wellington. It was the closest race yet in the three-phase competition between the male and female teams, but the ladies pulled out another victory in the end.

Week one of FTI WEF runs January 9-13, sponsored by The Mar-a-Lago Club. The week will conclude on Sunday with the $30,000 Mar-a-Lago Club Grand Prix in the International Arena at PBIEC. The 2013 FTI WEF runs through March 31 featuring 12 weeks of world-class competition.

Eric Hasbrouck is the course designer in the International Arena this week and set the tracks for Saturday’s classes. In the highlight $55,000 Nespresso Battle of the Sexes, the three-phase contest included speed rounds, match races, and six-bar competition.

The women’s team was captained by Georgina Bloomberg and also included riders Laura Kraut, Margie Engle, Marilyn Little, Maggie Bracco, Nicole Bellissimo, Debbie Stephens, Brianne Goutal, Candice King, and Schuyler Riley.

Charlie Jayne led the men’s team, which included riders Shane Sweetnam, Richie Moloney, Daniel Bluman, Luis Larrazabal, Ramiro Quintana, Steve Schaefer, Darragh Kenny, Alex Granato, and Nick Skelton.

The first round of competition in tonight’s Nespresso Battle of the Sexes was the speed round, with a 6 to 4 win for the men. The match races followed, with the men and women competing side by side over identical courses. The women were the winners of that round with six points over the men’s four, bringing the total team points to a ten-ten tie.

The final six-bar competition would be the deciding factor of the evening. Four men and four women returned from each team with the opportunity to earn two points per clear round. The competition started at 1.60m (5’3″) in height and moved up to 1.80m (5’11”) through three rounds.

Following the first six-bar round, only three riders continued from each team after Maggie Bracco and Shane Sweetnam each had rails. In round two, Charlie Jayne, Laura Kraut, and Daniel Bluman all had rails. Nick Skelton was the only member of the men’s team to advance to the third round competing against Candice King and Georgina Bloomberg. The six jumps were taken down to four with the larger height, and with the men on 18 points and the women on 20, all three riders jumped clear. The final tally was 24 to 20 – a victory for the women.

Georgina Bloomberg and Nick Skelton

Georgina Bloomberg and Nick Skelton

Captain of the winning team, Georgina Bloomberg, was thrilled to be a part of the women’s fifth consecutive victory in the event. Bloomberg was last to jump in the final round aboard her horse Highrise and gave the women the solid four-point lead.

Commenting on her last round, Bloomberg stated, “I have a lot of confidence in my horse, but I have never done him in this kind of class and I have actually never done him in a night situation, so my only worry was getting to the first jump. I didn’t know how he was going to react to the crowd and stuff, but I have all the confidence in the world in his scope and he is careful. I just had to be able to fit in each two stride and not mess it up for him.”

“I had faith in us,” Bloomberg said of her team. “We seem to do a little bit better under pressure. It made me a little nervous in the end because Nick is obviously so good at this. I knew we needed a little bit of luck on our side, but I never lost faith.”

Speaking about her fellow teammates, Bloomberg smiled, “Everyone was amazing. We really form a team because we all work together every day. We know each other so well. It is nice to do a team competition and not be riding against each other and to really be rooting for each other. We always seem to come together well and be there for each other and I think that is what gives us the edge, that we are really just a great team.”

Bloomberg enjoyed the atmosphere of the Saturday night class and the enthusiastic crowd cheering everyone on.

“It is great to look up and see the stands full and hear the music playing,” she acknowledged. “It means a lot to us to have people come and watch us and support us, especially with this kind of event, so it was a great night.”

Both men and women's team together Credit Sportfot

Both men and women’s team together Credit Sportfot

Men’s Team Captain Charlie Jayne echoed the sentiments. “All the way around the ring was packed, which was really exciting,” he said. “The crowd was really behind you. And it came down to the end, which was better than last year. This year we had some fast riders and I think that showed. We started off winning the first two with Shane and rRchie and that was nice momentum. We really stuck with it the whole time. Unfortunately the cups rolled out not in our favor for the six bar.”

In addition to the winning prize money, a few special awards were presented this evening. Darragh Kenny won a gift certificate from The Brazilian Court Hotel and Beach Club for the overall best time in both the speed and match race rounds aboard his mount Vanotrouska.

This was Kenny’s first time competing in the Battle of the Sexes and he was excited to win the special award for his speed in the two rounds. Kenny remarked, “It is really cool. I did a mare that belongs to a client of mine, Megan Bifano. She is a really super mare; she was fantastic tonight. She tried so hard and she is really, really fast and really competitive. This is a lovely, lovely prize. She is a junior jumper, so she is used to going fast, but nothing like this.”

“I have never done this,” Kenny added. “It was my first year, so to win the speed award was quite nice. It was a fun class and I would love to do it again for sure. Hopefully I will have a six-bar horse next year too.”

A $1,000 prize was also to be awarded to the rider that had the most clear rounds in the six-bar competition. When Skelton, Bloomberg, and King all cleared the final round and decided not to continue any further, the money was split between all three riders.

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

Rodrigo Pessoa Wins First SSG Riding Gloves Bonus of 2013…

Photo credit: Sportfot

Photo credit: Sportfot

The first bonus of the year offered in the SSG Riding Gloves ‘Go Clean for the Green’ promotion was awarded to Rodrigo Pessoa.  The 2004 Olympic Champion from Brazil picked up a $3,000 bonus for wearing SSG ‘Digital’ Riding Gloves on his way to victory in the first $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup of the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, held January 10 in Wellington, FL.

As the lead-off rider in a nine-horse jump-off, Pessoa posted a clear round in a time of 35.94 seconds to set the pace with Let’s Fly, a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Double H Farm.  None who followed were able to catch his time, giving Pessoa his first win of the 12-week circuit in addition to a $3,000 bonus from SSG Riding Gloves.

“It’s a good start to the circuit, and a nice way to kick off the season,” said Pessoa.  “It’s never easy to go first, but you try to have a plan and execute it as best as you can.”

The win also marked the first time that Pessoa has claimed the bonus money in the SSG Riding Gloves ‘Go Clean for the Green’ promotion, now in its third season at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

“I think the promotion is great, and it’s a great incentive,” said Pessoa.

SSG Riding Gloves will continue to offer a $3,000 bonus in each of the weekly WEF Challenge Cup Series events, as well as a $1,000 bonus in the Amateur-Owner Jumper High Classic and the Junior Jumper High Classic competitions.  If the winning rider in any of these three competitions is wearing SSG ‘Digital’ style gloves with the SSG horse head logo clearly visible, they will be presented with a cash bonus during the awards presentation.  If not awarded, the bonus money carries forward to the next event in the series.  A total of $60,000 in bonus money is on offer from SSG Riding Gloves at the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival.

SSG ‘Digital’ Riding Gloves are available for purchase at numerous Wellington locations, including Tackeria, as well as on-site at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival show grounds at various retailers including Running Fox and Beval Saddlery.

Source: Jennifer Ward/ Starting Gate Communications

Rodrigo and Let’s Fly win the first $30,000 WEF Challenge of the season…

Rodrigo Pessoa and HH Let's Fly

Rodrigo Pessoa and HH Let’s Fly

 $30,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Rd1 II.2.a (38 Entries)

Placing Horse Rider Owner Jump Off
Faults | Time
1 HH LET’S FLY RODRIGO PESSOA DOUBLE H FARM 0 | 35.94
2 SANDOR DE LA POMME PETER WYLDE THE WANNAHAVE GROUP 0 | 36.392
3 SIRI SHANE SWEETNAM SPY COAST FARM, LLC 0 | 36.591
4 G & C SACRAMENTO LUIS LARRAZABAL ANABEL SIMON 0 | 36.664
5 QUALITY GIRL TODD MINIKUS TODD MINIKUS, LTD 0 | 36.813
6 WATERLOO SCHUYLER RILEY M. MICHAEL MELLER 0 | 39.744
7 ASLAN LJUBOV KOCHETOVA LJUBOV KOCHETOVA 0 | 45.264
8 VENUS MARILYN LITTLE RAYLYN FARMS, INC.  
9 AX-CENT KENNETH BERKLEY RIVERS EDGE  
10 USER ID DARRAGH KENNY ATLANTA EQUESTRIAN CENTER  
11 EVENING STAR HEATHER CARISTO WILLIAMS MR. & MRS. RALPH CARISTO  
12 PATRIOT WILTON PORTER SLEEPY P RANCH LLC