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Eric Lamaze Wins $100,000 in FTI Rider Challenge at Winter Equestrian Festival

Ward, Silverman and Madden Round Out Top Four

Scott Stewart Victorious in Golden Horse Jewelry Hunter Rider Challenge

Wellington, FL – March 19, 2007 – The 2007 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) wrapped up competition in Wellington yesterday and two of the most prestigious rider awards were given. Eric Lamaze of Canada won the second annual FTI Rider Challenge and a bonus of $100,000, while Scott Stewart of New Jersey led the way in the inaugural Golden Horse Jewelry Hunter Rider Challenge.

The FTI Rider Challenge took place during the 2007 WEF, from January 24 to March 18 at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club in Wellington, FL. The FTI Rider Challenge is a rider bonus pool for $200,000 in which the riders accumulated points in the eight WEF Challenge Cups, the CN Jumper Classic and the Sunday grand prix events that were all part of WEF in Wellington.

McLain Ward of Brewster, NY, vaulted up the standings after his win in Saturday’s €300,000 CN Worldwide Florida Open Grand Prix. He finished in second place and pocketed $50,000. Lisa Silverman, an amateur rider from New York City, had consistent placings throughout the eight weeks of competition to finish third and picked up $30,000. Last year’s winner, Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, NY, finished fourth and took home $20,000.

The top check went to Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, Ontario, Canada. Lamaze won the WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 on Lorrain Z and had four other top five finishes in the Thursday and Sunday grand prix events. Lamaze was fourth in the €300,000 CN Worldwide Florida Open Grand Prix with Hickstead. He also had great showings with Ronaldo, Narcotique de Muze II and Why Not.

“We have a lot of nice horses,” Lamaze affirmed. “We tried to use them well and when the classes suited them. I think that’s how you get to this result. I had some good luck, but so did a lot of other riders. There were a lot of classes, so you have to show consistency throughout the circuit.”

When asked how he would spend his bonus check, Lamaze laughed, “I don’t know, to be honest. The cost of traveling, competing and operating a business is very high in this industry, so it will probably go back into the pot for future competitions.”

“It means a lot to me to win,” he went on to say. “I think the FTI Rider Challenge is good for the sport, and it’s a nice way to end the circuit. It goes a long way with the riders and makes everyone compete hard on the circuit.”

FTI is a premier provider of problem-solving consulting and technology services to major corporations, financial institutions and law firms when confronting critical issues that shape their future and the future of their clients, such as financial and operational improvement, major litigation, mergers and acquisitions and regulatory issues.

Strategically located in 24 of the major U.S. cities, London and Melbourne, FTI’s total workforce of more than 1,100 employees includes numerous PhDs, MBAs, CPAs, CIRAs and CFEs, who are committed to delivering the highest level of service to clients.

Scott Stewart of Flemington, NJ, was the victor in this year’s Golden Horse Jewelry Hunter Rider Challenge with Molly Ohrstom’s Ovation, a 7-year-old German Warmblood gelding. The Golden Horse Jewelry Hunter Rider Challenge is an added bonus to the festival and is awarded to the horse-and-rider combination that earns the most points from the following hunter divisions during WEF: First Year Green Hunter, Second Year Green Hunter, Green Conformation Hunter, Regular Working Hunter and Regular Working Conformation Hunter.

The award, which counted points until March 16, 2007, is a custom made, 18-karat gold ring set with precious stones from Golden Horse Jewelry. The Golden Horse Jewelry Hunter Rider Challenge winner was honored with a ceremony during the Parade of Champions yesterday afternoon in the Internationale Arena before the start of the grand prix.

Stewart and Ovation blew the field away and earned a total of 631 points for the award. The pair took the championship in the First Year Green Hunters during the second week of WEF and never looked back. Stewart also earned the second spot in the rider challenge with West Point, a Green Conformation Hunter, with a total of 503 points.

Both third and fourth places went to Tim Goguen on Boulevard Deir and Africa, respectively. Havens Schatt ended up in fifth place partnered with Glass Castle, and James Toon rounded out the top six placings in the challenge with Avalon.

Winter Equestrian Festival circuit champion awards will be presented after the final two weeks of competition in Tampa, FL, at the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, presented by the Tampa Tribune and Sweetbay Supermarkets on Saturday, April 7, 2007.

For more information on FTI Consulting, please visit their website at: http://www.fticonsulting.com.

For more information on the Winter Equestrian Festival, please visit: http://www.stadiumjumping.com, or call 561-793-JUMP.

For more information on Golden Horse Jewelry, please visit http://www.goldenhorsejewelry.com.



Photo Credit: Eric Lamaze receives his $100,000 check from FTI Consulting Chairman of the Board Dennis Shaughnessy, McLain Ward, Lisa Silverman and Beezie Madden. Photo © 2007 Peter Llewellyn/PMG Pictures. The Golden Horse Jewelry ring, photo © 2007 PhelpsSports.com.

 

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