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Captain Canada Does It Again! Ian Millar Victorious in WEF Challenge Cup

Wellington, FL – March 8, 2006 – The eighth round of the $25,000 WEF Challenge Cup, the Thursday feature of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), had two Canadians in the top three, with Ian Millar and In Style taking the win and Frankie Chesler Ortiz and Picolien Zeldenrust finishing third. Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) finished second on Coeur, while McLain Ward (USA) and Larioso were fourth. These four were the only clear trips that advanced to the jump-off.

This week is the CN Wellington Open CSIO 5*, presented by Cosequin, and the course designer is Bolivia’s Jose “Pepe” Gamarra. Gamarra set an inviting track that had a triple combination, an open water and a generous time allowed that took the problematic footing concerns into consideration. Four were clear through to the jump-off. Cara Raether (USA) and Ublesco had just one time fault to put them in fifth place, while Cian O’Connor (IRE) and Complete were the fastest four faulters for sixth place.

The first to return for the jump-off was Millar, who had gone seventh in the original order. On the 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding In Style, owned by Susan Grange and Lothlorien Farms, Millar attempted the jump-off course. He kept a flowing pace throughout and made a great rollback to fence 14. Millar galloped to the last, wide oxer and stopped the timers with a clear round in 42.37 seconds. “It was a percentage gamble,” Millar admitted. “I certainly could have gone faster, but given the footing conditions of the day, I thought what I should do is go about that speed, and if I got beat, I got beat. With that group of riders, I could easily have been second. First was very nice.”

Pessoa and Double H Farm’s Coeur were next in. Pessoa had a conservative pace after a slip following the second fence in the jump-off. He made neat turns throughout the shortened course. They made an excellent, tight rollback to 14 and finished with the anticipated no jumping faults, but did accumulate one time fault in 45.01 seconds. “I had a nice, steady jump-off,” Pessoa affirmed. “I took a slip after fence two, so my concern was just to bring the horse safely through the finish and have him ready to go on Sunday. I’m really pleased about coming second.”

Pessoa noted that Coeur has not shown in two weeks due to Pessoa being sick. “He was good for not jumping two weeks. He jumped really well in the first round. It was a nice course, and I’m quite pleased with his performance,” he said. Pessoa will be ready for Sunday’s grand prix as well, now that he is fully healed. “I had cellulitis, which is like a bacteria. I had one spot right inside my knee, so I really couldn’t ride. I’ve been on antibiotics and now it’s fine,” he explained.

Ward was a threat to Millar’s time with the very quick Larioso (who is owned by Ward and Blue Chip Bloodstock), but after a rail at the second jump and the last fence down, Ward was relegated to fourth place. They were the fastest in the jump-off however, with a time of 40.67 seconds.

Chesler Ortiz and Sher Al Farm’s Picolien Zeldenrust did not have the time or the clear round needed to beat their fellow countryman. Chesler Ortiz had a rail at fence 14 after the rollback and finished in 43.59 seconds for third place.

The main concern of footing in the classes on the Internationale field was the topic of heated discussions today. Millar knew he had to be somewhat cautious, but he felt confident with In Style. “That horse is very well-balanced, and we had enough stud in there. You never like it when the footing’s a little shaky because it’s not the slip you have, it’s the consequence to your horse,” he explained. “Show management is certainly making every attempt to get this situation corrected, but it is a factor right now.”

Millar, who celebrated his 60th birthday this year, has been having the best WEF of his career. Millar won the Thursday and Sunday grand prix in the first week on Redefin and was second in another grand prix. “It’s been a long time since I’ve had two horses that could come at it this hard,” he pointed out. “Probably since Big Ben, and that was a while back! You need the horse power or you’re wasting your time. I have two lovely horses this year, for sure.”

He carefully planned In Style’s schedule so that he would be ready for the difficult last two weeks of circuit. “We’ve been very cautious with the amount that In Style has done this whole tour,” Millar conveyed. “Mainly Redefin has been doing the big work. The idea was to have In Style ready to go hard these last two weeks. In our case, we have the Nations’ Cup as a team. In Style will jump two rounds tomorrow night and then he jumps two rounds on Sunday. For sure he’ll jump one round, and hopefully he jumps two. Next week is a big week too.”

With the showing load off of his shoulders, In Style was bright and poised for today’s competition. “I felt he was going to be ready, and he certainly was ready. I would say we have him fit, fresh and ready to go. I am extremely pleased.”

Like all top athletes, Millar acknowledged that it is more than just him that led to the victory. “We’ve got a great team and a great ownership group. We all know it’s not just the rider,” he pointed out. “You’ve got to have the horse, the grooms, the training, the maintenance team behind you, the vets, the blacksmith – it’s a huge effort. We’re very, very proud of the whole team.”

The CN Wellington Open CSIO 5* continues tomorrow with the $10,000 Speed Stake for the international division. The highlight of the week, the $75,000 Nations’ Cup CSIO 5* presented by CN, will start tomorrow evening at 7 p.m.



Results of Class 102 $25,000 WEF Challenge Cup CSIO* FEI 238.2.2 - CN Wellington Open CSIO 5* - March 8, 2007

T/A: 77.00 T/A: 45.00

1 631 IN STYLE IAN MILLAR CAN 0.00 75.52 0.00 42.37 $2375

SUSAN GRANGE

2 1148 COEUR RODRIGO PESSOA BRA 0.00 74.42 1.00 45.01 $1350

DOUBLE H FARM

3 1514 PICOLIEN ZELDENRUST FRANKIE CHESLER ORTI CAN 0.00 76.55 4.00 43.59 $800

SHER AL FARM

4 3079 LARIOSO MCLAIN WARD USA 0.00 72.83 8.00 40.67 $650

MCLAIN WARD

5 1744 UBLESCO CARA RAETHER USA 1.00 77.46 $550

TRELAWNY FARM

6 3155 COMPLETE CIAN O'CONNOR IRL 4.00 71.60 $450

CASTLEMARTIN STUD

7 570 MR PRESIDENT CONNOR SWAIL IRL 4.00 72.64 $400

SHANNON GROUP

8 2174 CURIUS GEORGINA BLOOMBERG USA 4.00 73.60 $350

GOTHAM ENTERPRIZES

9 2844 OLINDA TODD MINIKUS USA 4.00 73.73 $300

HOULIHAN LAWRENCE

10 2287 ANTHEM LAURA KRAUT USA 4.00 74.52 $275

SUMMIT SYNDICATE

11 1536 ROCKFORD I KERI POTTER BRA 4.00 75.32 $250

KERI POTTER

12 2111 UP CHIQUI KENT FARRINGTON USA 4.00 75.91 $250

ALEX BOONE

13 1469 NARCOTIQUE DE MUZE II ERIC LAMAZE CAN 4.00 75.95

ASHLAND STABLES

14 2771 CALMERO ORION FRANCOIS MATHY BEL 4.00 75.98

INGRID NORMAN

15 2764 LARRY JACKSON REED STEPHEN GBR 5.00 78.94

MRS. P TORDOFF

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

Results of Class 1003 $8,000 1.45m, II, Sec 2(b) - CN Wellington Open CSIO 5* - March 8, 2007

T/A: 72.00 T/A: 38.00

1 2636 RULANDA CAROLYN KELLY 0.00 71.837 0.00 28.575 $2375

LULU EQUESTRN ENT

2 3652 RUFUS RODRIGO PESSOA 0.00 69.419 0.00 32.729 $1350

DOUBLE H FARM

3 1458 LINDBERG DES HAYETTES ERIC LAMAZE 0.00 69.204 0.00 33.377 $800

STEVEN COHEN

4 1438 QUICK STUDY LAUREN HOUGH 0.00 69.854 0.00 33.656 $650

LAURA MATEO

5 3378 LENNOX LEWIS 2 LESLIE HOWARD 0.00 66.196 4.00 31.683 $550

PETER HOWARD

6 2410 IMPULSIVE SCOTT LENKART 0.00 66.095 4.00 32.959 $450

BENNETT SPORT HORSES

7 2459 SANTA TERESITA GENTLE R EDUARDO SALAS HERRER 0.00 69.245 4.00 33.949 $400

SANTA TERESITA

8 2694 NEMO ROBERT KRAUT 0.00 69.468 4.00 34.097 $350

MEGHAN MORAN

9 1481 PRESTINE ERIC LAMAZE 4.00 35.839 4.00 35.839 $300

ASHLAND STABLES

10 1335 CANDIDE PETER LEONE 0.00 71.274 5.00 42.945 $275

HAPHCO INC.

11 1342 JULIA DU BRIO PETER LEONE 0.00 70.141 8.00 31.505 $250

ALEXIA SIMONNARD

12 3066 CANDALETTO 4 KEVIN BABINGTON 0.00 69.724 8.00 34.855 $250

KINDLE HILL FARM

13 1853 SAMARA ANNE KURSINSKI 0.00 69.977 12.00 37.683

LEATHERDALE FARMS

14 2286 MISS INDEPENDENT LAURA KRAUT 0.00 67.648 21.00 50.135

MISS INDEPEND. GRP

15 3432 LE PRESTIGE ST LOIS LAURA KRAUT 1.00 72.053

FREEDOM GROUP

Photo Credit: Ian Millar (CAN) and In Style, winners of the $25,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 7 at the Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo © 2007 Peter Llewellyn/PMG Pictures.

 

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