WELLINGTON, Fla., Jan. 11--Canada's Mario Deslauriers aboard Lutopia won the $25,000 Gold Coast Feed Speed Derby at the first headline event of the 2009 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival Sunday. Jimmy Torano on Heechhiem's Tampa won the $25,000 Gold Coast Feed Six-Bar Competition.
Deslauriers, who been riding Lutopia, owned by Jane F. Clark, since August last year, was fault-free in 104.276 secs. to beat out 19 other riders for the top prize of $7,500.
Leslie Howard, of Westport, Conn. was also fault-free, on Lennox Lewis 2, 2.088 secs. further back to place second. Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, N.Y. on Prima rounded out the top three to take home $5,5000.
Deslauriers had great confidence in his horse going into the competition with a course of 21 jumps including a bank and a table that was designed by Olympic course designer Steve Stephens.
He said he just "let her do her thing."
The long derby course during the first week of WEF proved to be more of a challenge to the rest of the field. A blue and white lattice one-stride positioned by the in-gate of the International Arena gave many of the riders a tough time. It led to two riders being dismounted and two others ran out.
The crowd that came out in perfect South Florida tropical weather were excited by the twin bill of the speed class and a six-bar competition of nine combinations.
Torano of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. won the six-bar on the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood that he has owned since August last year. The gelding had won a six-bar in The Netherlands before he bought him.
"The jump was not a big deal," he said of the final jump which reached a height of 6 ft. 3 ins. "I had jumped him at six feet earlier in the week so I knew it would not be a problem."
$25,000 Gold Coast Feed Speed Derby
Pl Horse Rider Nat Faults Time
1.LUTOPIA MARIO DESLAURIERS CAN 0 104.276
2.LENNOX LEWIS 2 LESLIE HOWARD USA 0 106.364
3.PRIMA BEEZIE MADDEN USA 4 109.290
4.CHILI PEPPER LAURA CHAPOT USA 4 109.358
5 BRADBERRY LAURA CHAPOT USA 8 110.814
$25,000 Gold Coast Feed Six-Bar Competition
Pl Horse Rider Faults
JUMP OFF 4
1. HEECHHIEM'S TAMPA JIMMY TORANO 0
2T. PAPAGANO 077 PABLO GAMBOA 4
2T SHAKESPEARE MICHAEL TOKARUK 4
2T OKIDO CODY AUER 4
PBIEC INFORMATION & TICKETS: http://equestriansport.com
FTI exists to help companies and their stakeholders protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex economic, legal and regulatory environment. FTI is the trusted advisor entrenched in many of the game-changing events that make headlines, move markets and create business history. To locate one of FTI's offices in the United States or around the world, call: 410.951.4800 or online at http://www.fticonsulting.com
THE FACILITY: The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center is home to the Winter Equestrian Festival and the site of the first outdoor Nations Cup held in the United States. The competition areas include the 360' x 280' all-weather International Arena, the Bertalan DeNemethy Arena, Mogavero Ring and Grand Hunter Field in addition to several other competition rings. The competition and warm up rings have all-weather footing. Amenities include the International Club, refreshment and shopping areas.
DIRECTIONS: From the Florida Turnpike south, take Exit #93, Lake Worth Blvd., and travel west, crossing over US 441. Travel five miles to South Shore Blvd., turn right on South Shore and proceed one mile to Pierson Road, then turn left at the light. Spectator Entrance is first left, Equestrian Club Road.
From Interstate I-95, take Exit #49. Travel west on Forest Hills Blvd. 11 miles to South Shore Blvd. Turn left on South Shore and follow to Pierson Road. Turn right at the light on Pierson. Spectator Entrance is first left, Equestrian Club Road.
FOOD: A diverse menu of food and beverages is available at the vendor courtyard and at vendor areas around the International Arena, and are open during show hours.
SHOPPING: The vendor courtyard and individual booths around the International Arena offer equestrian equipment, apparel, jewelry, home furnishings and more.
CAR RENTAL: Enterprise Rent-a-Car for your car rental needs. Call 1-800-593-0505 or go online to enterprise.com and use the WEF reference number 41W0087 and the PIN; win for a discount.
HOTELS: Hampton Inn and Suites Wellington
2155 Wellington Green Drive, Wellington, FL 561-472-9696
(Closest hotel, just two miles from show grounds)
Hampton Inn Lake Worth Road
8205 Lake Worth Road, Lake Worth, FL 561-472-5980
(New location just five miles from Wellington)
Hampton Inn West Palm Beach
Okeechobee Blvd. at Jog Rd.
2025 Vista Parkway, West Palm Beach, FL 561-682-9990
(Just 12 miles away at Emerald Dunes)
RV: For recreational vehicle rentals and full hook ups at on the PBIEC show grounds weekly, monthly and seasonal call Gigi at RV sales +1 954 583-3382 or go to: http://www.rvsalesofbroward.com
GOLF CARS: Dever, Inc., the Official & Exclusive Supplier of Golf Cars. Orders and information at http://www.deverinc.com
or telephone Dever Inc.'s PBIEC office at 859-509-7265 or the home office at 800-714-2201.
HORSE TRANSPORTATION: BROOK LEDGE, INC. WEF Official Horse Transportation. Daily service to Ocala, vans based in Wellington, one horse or van load, all trips expedited, Florida serviced year round, dozens of trips weekly. Quotes, questions, call: Andrea 800-523-8143 or Email: email@example.com
Photo: Canada's Mario Deslauriers aboard Lutopia won the $25,000 Gold Coast Feed Speed Derby at the first headline event of the 2009 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival Sunday. © 2008 Roxane Theidel-ESP
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/mario-deslauriers-speed-derby-jimmy-torano-fti-01-09.html">Mario Deslauriers Wins Speed Derby, Jimmy Torano Takes Six-Bar at FTI Winter Equestrian Festival</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com