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2007 Winter Equestrian Festival Week Six Wrap-Up

Zada Enterprises, LLC Wellington Masters, Feb. 28-March 4

Wellington, FL – March 5, 2007 – Markus Fuchs of Switzerland made his first trip to Wellington, Florida, worthwhile by claiming the $100,000 Zada Masters Cup on Sunday, March 4, during the CSI-W Zada Enterprises LLC Wellington Masters at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

Having only arrived on American soil earlier in the week, Fuchs finished second in Thursday's $25,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round VI before winning on Sunday. His partner in both classes was La Toya III, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare that he has been riding for the past six years.

Sunday saw 53 challengers line up to take their chances over what was expected to be a difficult track set by Venezuela's Leopoldo Palacios. The Olympic course designer did not disappoint, with a double combination at fence 9 and a triple combination at fence 13 both causing their fair share of casualties in the World Cup Qualifier.

In the end, nine riders managed to solve the puzzle and jump a clear round. The jump-off also gave the crowd some thrills with nine combinations trying to better each other's time. Brianne Goutal, 18, of New York City laid down the gauntlet as the first rider on course, jumping clear in a time of 42.91 seconds riding Onira. Another young woman, Kate Levy of Katonah, New York, followed her into the ring, and immediately bettered her time, clocking in at 41.43 seconds.

Three riders later, Fuchs, a 2000 Olympic Team Silver Medalist and 2001 World Cup Champion, left all the rails in their cups and stopped the clock at 40.90 to move into the lead. None who followed were able to better his time, with Canadian Eric Lamaze coming the closest at 42.55, a time that would only be good enough for third place.

For his efforts, he pocketed $30,000 in prize money, getting his three-week stay in Wellington, Florida, off to a strong start. Levy's impressive second place finish netted her a check for $22,000.

Goutal took fourth place with Onira while Belgium's Gilbert de Roock was fifth riding the eye-catching roan, Kira III. Thursday’s winner, Georgina Bloomberg, was also double clear in the jump-off riding Cim Christo to place sixth.



Jumper Results – Wednesday through Saturday

Wednesday

Peter Leone of Greenwich, Connecticut posted the first win of week number six of the 2007 Winter Equestrian Festival, racing to a nearly wire to wire victory in the $8,000 1.45m Jumpers.

Fifty starters lined up for the 8 a.m. start. Of those, twenty horse and rider combinations went fault-free over the speed course, while one had a single time fault, and another 18 riders had a single knockdown. Riding out of the fourth spot in the order, Peter Leone posted a pace that wouldn’t be caught throughout the balance of the class. Leone, aboard the big strided Julia Du Brio, whipped around the speed track in a relentless 58.087 seconds. The only one to come close to Leone was Great Britain’s Robert Smith on Gerry Maguire. Smith clocked in 58.644 seconds, 5/10ths of a second off the lead time.

Joe Fargis and his veteran partner Edgar 12 slotted into the third spot on Wednesday, tripping the timers in 59.230 seconds. Chris Kappler and VDL Maseratie were 1.2 seconds behind Fargis in fourth place. Kappler crossed the finish line in 60.458 seconds.

Rounding out the top six in Wednesday’s 1.45m Jumpers were Jay Hayes of Canada aboard Livarot HB, followed by Lauren Hough and Rodos. Only 6/1000ths of a second separated this duo as Hayes posted a finish time of 61.573 seconds, while Hough clocked in just behind at 61.579 seconds.



Thursday

Georgina Bloomberg scored her first major victory of the year by winning the $25,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round VI on Thursday, March 1. Part of the CSI-W Zada Enterprises, LLC Wellington Masters, the competition marked the sixth week of show jumping at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL. 2001 World Cup Champion Markus Fuchs made a clear round look easy, stopping the clock at 84.75 seconds with La Toya III to finish in second place.

Friday

One hundred and thirty-eight competitors were on the starting list for today’s Acorn Hill 1.40m Speed Challenge, the regular Friday fixture at the Winter Equestrian Festival. Because of the huge numbers, Friday’s class was divided into three separate sections.

In Section A, it was a dominating victory for Neshanic Station, New Jersey’s Laura Chapot. Riding Cilthe Z, Chapot put in a stunning fault-free performance, clocking in at 75.617 seconds, a full 3.2 seconds faster than second place finisher Julie Welles of West Simsbury, Connecticut, who clocked in at 78.832 seconds aboard Gael Force. Wellington’s McLain Ward finished a distant third with Ademain.

In the B Section of the Acorn Hill Speed Challenge, Robert Smith of Great Britain, a three time winner on the Internationale Arena field last year, made his first trip down victory lane for the 2007 tour, posting a narrow win over Ft. Lauderdale’s Jimmy Torano.

Laura Bowery of Bridgehampton, N.Y. posted her second big win of the 2007 Winter Equestrian Festival tour in Section C, racing to victory aboard Palona. Bowery’s finish time of 63.939 seconds was 1.8 seconds better than Great Britain’s Nick Skelton, who slotted in second with Namur 47. Skelton crossed the finish line in 65.761 seconds.

Saturday

A stellar field of top American riders, plus international competitors from ten different countries dotted the line-up for today’s main event at the 2007 Winter Equestrian Festival, at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club in Wellington, Florida. In addition to the riders from the United States, competitors from Canada, Ireland, France, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Argentina, all took part in the afternoon feature. When all was said and done in today’s $20,000 1.50m Classic, it was the Irish flag that was flying for Darragh Kerins, as he broke through for his first major win of the season on Night Train, topping a jump-off field of eleven for the victory.

Hunter Results – Thursday through Sunday

Thursday

In the Second Year Green Working Hunters, Rainmaker and Caroline Weeden of Lake Forest, IL, brought home the championship tricolor. Rainmaker jumped to two firsts and two fourths. Reserve champion in the division was Castle Rock, ridden by Holly Orlando for Danielle Giorgio.

The champion in the Green Conformation Hunters, sponsored by Equestrian Properties, was West Point, a seven year old Bavarian Warmblood gelding ridden and owned by Krista Weisman and ridden by Scott Stewart. West Point was first and second over fences yesterday, won the model and hack and was first over fences today. West Point has shown promise, and he was last year’s WEF circuit champion in the Pre-Green Hunters. Stewart was reserve champion on Trousseau, who is only six years old.

Stewart took home the Regular Working Hunter championship, sponsored by Farnam Companies Inc., on his horse, Good Life. Popeye K, owned by Elizabeth Spencer and ridden by Tommy Serio, has kept his winning streak going with a fifth straight championship in the Regular Conformation Hunters. They won over the reserve champion, Carpaccio, ridden and owned by Chris Brown.

Friday

In the Adult Amateur 3’3” Hunter division sponsored by Kilkenny Insurance Agency, the champion was Maui Jim, ridden and owned by Sally Duffield of Wellington, FL. Maui Jim won three over fences classes this week and placed fourth in the under saddle in their first time competing at 3’3”. The reserve championship went to Fame, ridden and owned by Laura Lee Montross.

In the First Year Green Working Hunter division, there was only one section of competition for the first time this season. The champion was Ovation, ridden by Scott Stewart for owner Molly Ohrstrom of The Plains, VA. This was Ovation’s third championship this season. The reserve champion was Hush, ridden by Nicole Simpson for Clara Lindner.

The junior riders began their equitation competition today with the USEF Show Jumping Talent Search class, which was split into two sections. The winner of the A section was Maggie McAlary of Amherst, NH, on Mid-Accord. The section B victor was Jessica Springsteen of Colts Neck, NJ, who rode Papillon 236.

The winner of the Ariat Adult Medal class was Lindsey Mohr, who rode Allegro for the Mill Creek Stables to victory over Joy Harrington-Graue, Alexandra Wexler and Jennifer Januzis. Jennifer Reid and Kitsous du Carry rounded out the top five in the class.

Saturday

In the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters, Sarah Ward’s Blink and Maggie McAlary won the championship. This week, McAlary and Blink finished second and third over fences on the first day and was first and third today. The reserve champion in the division was In Style, ridden by Grace Socha for Paige Cole. The Amateur-Owner Over 35 champion today was Reese, ridden by Shaw Johnson Price. Price won the under saddle class and one over fences class to take championship over Dresden and Cindy Firestone.

Sunday

In the Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunters sponsored by Kilkenny Insurance Agency, Clara Lindner and In the Black won the championship.In the Black jumped to second and third place ribbons yesterday, was third in the under saddle and won both over fences classes today. The reserve champion in the division was Midnight Date, ridden and owned by Rachel Geiger.

Maggie McAlary won her second hunter championship of the week on Reed Kessler’s Carita in the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters. Carita was first and third over fences yesterday and won the second jumping class today. The reserve champion was Mirasol, ridden and owned by Addison Phillips.

Alexandra Thornton was a big winner this week once again. The 13-year-old rider from Bedminster, NJ, saw double tricolors. On High Noon, she was champion in the Large Junior 15 & Under Hunters for the third week. In the Small Junior 15 & Under Hunter division sponsored by Davlyn Farms, she was champion for the fourth time this season on Tobasco. The younger Large Junior Hunter reserve championship went to Onassis, ridden by Jennifer Waxman for Sarah Ward. Folklore and Alexandra Arute finished as reserve champions in the younger Small Junior Hunter division.

Various divisions of the Adult Amateur Hunters, which are sponsored by Carol A. Sollack PA and Illustrated Properties, finished competition today. In the A section of the Adult Amateur 18-35 Hunters, Peter Pan and Arriana Boardman, who rode for Katharine Press, took home the championship. The reserve champion of section A was Serendipity, ridden by Mary Alexis Healey and owned by Mary LeBlanc. The B section championship went to Barcelona, ridden by Ansley Grainger for Sherry Geddes, and the reserve champion was Playtime, ridden by Jennifer Reid for Stacee Scott.

In the Adult Amateur 36-50 Hunters, Jeanine Zuckerman and Winter Castle, who is owned by Vanessa Redfern, finished as champions. The reserve championship went to Cozzi and Kelly Klein.

 

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