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James Billington & Midnightlady Claim Their Biggest Win of WEF

WELLINGTON, Fla., Feb. 22--Great Britain's James Billington and Midnightlady had their biggest win of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival Sunday in the $25,000 Fidelity Investments 1.50-meter Classic at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Of the 48 starters, nine were clear to return for the jump off.

Billington said he knew his mare was "very game" and thought he "may as well have a go at it."

"I knew what I had to do and today it all worked," he said.

James is the son of British Olympian Geoff Billington and he came to the U.S. a year ago to work with and learn from John and Beezie Madden, and plans to return to England at the end of WEF to work with his father.

It has been a "fantastic experience" working for the Maddens," he said.

"John is the best trainer on the ground and Beezie is one of the best riders in the world."

Billington and Midnight Lady, owned by the Deeridge Farm of Aurora, N.Y. and Wellington, posted a clear time of 41.849 secs. in the jump off.

Lauren Hough and Presioso, owned by the Sequoyah Farms, LLC, were second with a time of 42.564 secs., and third was Nick Skelton of Great Brittan aboard Nemo 119, owned by Beverly Widdowson, with a time of 42.578 secs., 1/100th slower than Hough.


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