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Eric Lamaze Leads Another One-Two Canada Finish in $25,000 MJS Dealerships WEF Challenge Cup at Winter Equestrian Festival

Wellington, FL – February 23, 2006 – The strong and talented Canadian contingent continued to pour it on Thursday at the 2006 Winter Equestrian Festival, notching another one-two finish in the WEF Challenge Cup Series. A crowd of 5,875 show jumping fans, toasting in the hot South Florida sun, watched a huge starting field in the first round and then saw Eric Lamaze beat fifteen riders in the jump-off to post Team Canada’s third win in five weeks in Challenge Cup series action.

Eighty-two starters gathered for the 1 p.m. lift off for the $25,000 MJS Dealerships WEF Challenge Cup Round V of the series. Scoring was FEI Art. 238.2.2. Time First Jump-off. Leopoldo Palacios-Jugo of Venezuela is the Internationale Arena Course Designer.

Of the eighty-two that started, eighteen horse and rider combinations produced clear rounds over the course that consisted of seventeen jumping efforts, including a double and triple combination and a water jump. Four riders were clear, but picked up a single time fault. Another eighteen riders had a single knockdown, while seventeen collected two rails down. Twelve had twelve or more and nine were either eliminated or retired.

The first two riders to return for the encounter against the clock, Anne Kursinski and Chris Kappler, each had a knockdown.

The youngest rider in the class, sixteen year old Aimee Aron, then produced the first clear ride of the tiebreaker, riding out of the third spot in the order. On Ostara, owned by the Kinloch Enterprises, Aron was clear and broke the beams in 39.23 seconds.

Then it was a round of twelve for Katie Prudent, and immediately following that, a four fault go for both Schuyler Riley and Nicole Simpson. Leslie Howard and Rodrigo Pessoa followed with eight faults each before the lead in the class finally changed hands.

Riding eighth in the speed phase, Frankie Chelser Ortiz grabbed the lead from Aron with the second clear go in the jump-off. Aboard the Sher Al Farm’s Picolien Zeldenrust, Chesler Ortiz trimmed a healthy 1.91 seconds off of the top time, clocking in at 37.32 seconds.

Jeffery Welles and Armani, owned by Kimmel Yeager Equine and Triton Ventures, gave it a shot and came close, falling shy of the target by 6/10ths of a second. Welles tripped the timers in 38 seconds flat. Ingrid Norman’s Calmero Orion with Francois Mathy of Belgium was also clear following Welles, but missed his time, finishing in 38.28 seconds.

Two rounds of four faults each for Luciana Diniz of Brazil and Laura Kraut of the United States were followed by today’s winning ride from Eric Lamaze.

Up on the Ashland Stable’s Narcotique de Muze II, Lamaze found a beautiful pace from the start and made a great roll back turn between fences seven and eight. That turn saved enough time for Lamaze to post another win for the streaking Canadians. Lamaze raced home 1.45 seconds faster than Chesler Ortiz, racing under the wire in 35.87 seconds.

“It’s always fast here,” he said. “Frankie was very fast. I had a chance to watch a few go and I got an idea between the lines of what I wanted to do with my horse. After that you kind of hope it just goes that way once you get on the course.” Then Lamaze added with a laugh, “The strategy here is always the same, fast!”

“The jump-off was kind of wide open right at the start,” he explained. “But then you had that roll back and there was a lot of galloping to big verticals, one across the middle and the last jump was a tall vertical. It was a good jump-off test.”

About his mount today, Lamaze stated, “She’s a new horse for me. She came to me in the fall last year. I did just a little with her back in September and then did indoors in Europe and started her back in work here in Florida.”

For Chesler Ortiz, staying on top of her horse was on her mind in the jump-off. “Last time I went in the jump-off, I just went in blazing and I fell off,” she laughed. “So this week I went in thinking I’d be happy with third. We laid down a really good round with a good time and everybody ended up chasing me, and that got a lot of rails. I held the lead a long time, until Eric finally caught me.”

“It was a good class,” Lamaze said. “I think Leopoldo (Palacios) did a great job. There’s nothing wrong with having eighteen clear. I think it was very fair. The horses needed to ride well and they needed to jump well. I don’t think any horses came out of the ring felling that they left everything out there and that’s a good thing.”

Is this fast start the best Canadian performance in WEF history? “I guess it is,” said a beaming Canadian Chef D’Equipe Terrance “Torchy” Millar. “So many of our riders have had great results here in Florida. Eric’s performances speak for themselves. Ian (Millar) had a couple of nice showings early, Mario Deslauriers has been great, Chris Pratt won a big class and now Eric and Frankie today, and it’s just fantastic! It is really encouraging for our country to see these kinds of performances.”

Thursday’s main event was Round V of the $25,000 WEF Challenge Cup Series.

The nine week long series of Thursday grand prix events are major money qualifiers for the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, and are also key qualifying events for the all new $200,000 FTI Rider Challenge, a rider bonus pool of $200,000. To win the challenge, riders accumulate points from both their performances in the Thursday WEF Challenge classes and Sunday Grand Prix events. The rider with the most points on March 12 will be awarded $100,000. Second place will be given $50,000, third place will receive $30,000, and $20,000 will be given to fourth place. FTI Consulting of Annapolis, MD, is sponsoring the $200,000 FTI Rider Challenge.

Sunday’s feature, the $100,000 Zada Enterprises, LLC Masters Cup, CSI-W, is one of only two East Coast World Cup qualifying classes remaining, and is the fourth stop on the 2006 American Grand Prix Association (AGA) tour.

Next week, the CN Worldwide Wellington Open presented by Cosequin CSI 5*, includes the debut of the CN Worldwide Global Champions Tour on Sunday March 5, 2006.

One of the season highlights of the show jumping in Wellington is the Nations’ Cup, a competition that pits teams of show jumpers from multiple countries against each other in two rounds of competition. The 2006 Nations’ Cup, presented by CN, will be contested on Friday, March 10th during the CN Wellington Finale CSIO 5*and it marks the fifth time that the Winter Equestrian Festival will host this prestigious international event. Making the competition especially exciting, the Nations’ Cup will once again be held at night under lights in the Internationale Arena.

Rank Num Name NAT Horse R1 Faults R1 Time J/O Faults J/O Time

Results of 101 $25,000 MJS Dealerships - WEF Challenge Round V-FEI art. 238.2.2.-Internationale Arena-Zada Enterprises Wellington Masters CSI 3* - 2/23/06

1 1862 ERIC LAMAZE CAN NARCOTIQUE DE MUZE II 0.00 87.68 0.00 35.87 $7500


2 3353 FRANKIE CHESLER ORTI CAN PICOLIEN ZELDENRUST 0.00 86.41 0.00 37.32 $5500


3 1947 JEFFERY WELLES USA ARMANI 0.00 86.44 0.00 38.00 $3250


4 3180 FRANCOIS MATHY BEL CALMERO ORION 0.00 83.25 0.00 38.28 $2000


5 1973 AIMEE ARON USA OSTARA 0.00 86.82 0.00 39.23 $1500


6 2597 CAYCE HARRISON USA COEUR 0.00 85.46 4.00 34.38 $1250


7 41 CHRIS KAPPLER USA VDL ORANTA 0.00 87.50 4.00 35.00 $1000


8 1183 ANNE KURSINSKI USA LORENZO 0.00 86.37 4.00 35.31 $750


9 2749 LUCIANA DINIZ BRA MEAUTRY'S LOCARNO 0.00 85.56 4.00 36.19 $750


10 1236 LAURA KRAUT USA ANTHEM 0.00 85.67 4.00 36.99 $500


11 600 NICOLE SIMPSON USA EL CAMPEONS TOSCA 0.00 86.31 4.00 37.08 $500


12 2295 SCHUYLER RILEY USA NOTTINGHAM 0.00 85.70 4.00 38.58 $500


13 2459 LESLIE HOWARD USA YOUP 0.00 86.04 8.00 35.60 $450


14 786 RODRIGO PESSOA BRA HARRY POTTER 0.00 85.62 8.00 48.05 $450


15 3375 KATIE PRUDENT FRA WANNAHORSE OLANTA 0.00 87.45 12.00 35.61 $450


16 1871 ASHLEY FLEISCHHACKER USA CYCAN 0.00 86.87 18.00 55.62 $450


T17 1182 ANNE KURSINSKI USA ROXANA 112 0.00 84.89 dns. $450


T17 3133 SAMANTHA MCINTOSH BUL LOXLEY 0.00 86.41 dns. $450



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