Ian Millar Makes It Two In A Row in $35,000 WEF/PBIEC Cup
Canadian Veteran Scores Second Consecutive Grand Prix Victory
Wellington, FL – January 28, 2007 – Hot off their win in Thursday's $25,000 WEF Challenge Cup I, Canada's Ian Millar and Redefin returned to the winner's circle on Sunday, January 28, after taking victory in the $35,000 WEF/PBIEC Cup.
A total of 53 riders lined up to attempt the track set by Luc Musette of Belgium. While the course designer was limited to building fences set at a maximum height of 1.45m, he challenged the horses and riders in two combinations, fence five which featured a triple combination of oxer-vertical-oxer, and the final obstacle at fence 13, which was a double. While many riders faulted in these two combinations, fences fell throughout the course. Even still, 19 riders were able to post a clear round and book their ticket to the jump-off.
Young Puerto Rican rider Francis Tresroig who trains in the U.S. with Norman Dello Joio, was the pathfinder, just as he had been in the first round. Despite the pressure of being the first to go, Tresroig posted another clear round riding Ascertijo in a time of 47.055 seconds to move into the early lead.
A few horses later, Tresroig watched his hopes for his first grand prix win slip away as Olympic Champion Rodrigo Pessoa made easy work of the course, despite having Oasis lose a shoe in the middle of the double combination with two fences left to go. The Brazilian stopped the clock in 44.24 seconds with the horse he began riding last May for owner Double H Farm of Illinois.
The lead immediately changed hands as eight-time Canadian Olympian Ian Millar, who celebrated his 60th birthday earlier in the month, proved that he is only getting better with age. Although he had barely made the time allowed in the first round to advance to the jump-off, time was not an issue for Millar the second time around. Riding Redefin, Millar was masterful in steering the nine-year-old grey Dutch Warmblood gelding home in a time of 44.214 seconds to narrowly edge Pessoa out of top spot.
Millar had to play the waiting game as there were still 12 horses to go. The only serious challenge came from the final rider, Argentina's Pato Muente, who went for broke with As Di Villazana. With the crowd cheering him on, Muente cleared the final obstacle, but the clock told the final tale, stopping at 44.603 seconds and assuring Millar of his second victory of the week.
"I knew my time was beatable, but at this time of the day, the shadows become a real factor and it is harder to jump clear," said Millar, who collected the winner's check of $10,500 for Redefin's owner, Susan Grange and Lothlorien Farm. "Redefin was acquired by Susan Grange at the end of his six-year-old year, and I starting riding him right away. He first came to Wellington as a seven-year-old, and we have slowly been building him up for the past two seasons. He is one of the most naturally talented horses I have ever worked with, and now we are teaching him the skills to jump the big grand prix classes."
Redefin learned his lessons well, carrying Millar to two Grand Prix victories in the same week - a first for Millar at the Winter Equestrian Festival. As for Pessoa, he was full of praise for Oasis, the 11-year-old bay gelding ridden last year at the Winter Equestrian Festival by McLain Ward.
"I thought that my horse jumped magnificently," said Pessoa, who was World Champion in 1998 and is the only rider to ever win three consecutive World Cup Finals. "It is always difficult to go in the middle of the jump-off when you have so many riders still coming behind you. I am getting to know this horse pretty well, and so I was confident. Overall, I was thrilled with his performance."
With the fastest four fault round in the jump-off, Canadian Eric Lamaze took fifth place with Why Not for owner Eddie Creed while Ireland's Darragh Kerins brought another ribbon back to Double H Farm by finishing sixth with the handsome Belgian-bred stallion, Orlando.
Show jumping action continues next week in Wellington, Florida, with the CSI2* Nutrena/Western Hay Wellington Classic from January 31 to February 4.
Rank Num Horse Name NAT R1 Faults R1 Time J/O Faults J/O Time
Results of Class 100 $35,000 WEF/PBIEC INAUGURAL CUP - WEF/PBIEC Inaugural
January 28, 2007 –Internationale Arena
1 1654 REDEFIN IAN MILLAR 0.00 77.995 0.00 44.214
2 3145 OASIS RODRIGO PESSOA 0.00 73.711 0.00 44.240
DOUBLE H FARM
3 2170 AS DI VILLAZANA PATO MUENTE 0.00 74.395 0.00 44.603
SAN JOSE STABLES
4 399 ACERTIJO FRANCIS TRES ROIG 0.00 77.295 0.00 47.055
J ADALBERTO ROIG JR
5 1243 WHY NOT ERIC LAMAZE 0.00 76.213 4.00 42.718
DON EDDIE FARM
6 500 ORLANDO DARRAGH KERINS 0.00 77.975 4.00 44.997
DOUBLE H FARM
7 601 POLYGRAAF WILLIAM LOWRY 0.00 76.633 4.00 50.367
WINSOR FARM SALES
8 1711 UP CHIQUI KENT FARRINGTON 0.00 74.036 8.00 42.095
9 1516 AVAILABLE LEVANTOS MARIO DESLAURIERS 0.00 74.184 8.00 42.919
10 1729 OKIDO CODY AUER 0.00 72.585 8.00 44.402
11 491 NADIA GEORGINA BLOOMBERG 0.00 71.356 8.00 44.561
12 1017 LORENA 90 FEDERICO SZTYRLE 0.00 73.440 8.00 44.962
PHOTO CREDIT: Ian Millar and Redefin won the $35,000 WEF/PBIEC Inaugural Cup on January 28, 2007, in Wellington, FL. Photo by PMG Pictures/Peter Llewellyn.
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