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Peter Charles & Murka's Pom d'Ami Win FTI Winter Equestrian Festival $75,000 CSI 2* Grand Prix

WELLINGTON, Fla., Mar. 15--Great Britain's Peter Charles on Sunday captured his second Grand Prix of th FTI Winter Equestrian Festival by riding Murka's Pom d'Ami to victory in the $75,000 CSI 2* Grand Prix at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

In one of the season's most trilling international jump offs, Charles and Murka's Pom D'Ami, owned by Olga White, were the fastest of three double clear rounds in the twelve-horse jump off. The pair posted a time of 42.54 secs, Ramiro Quintana of Argentina and Q's Charm, owned by Kathryn Quirk, finished second, completing the second round course in 46.23 secs. Russian Olympian Ljubov Kochetova of and Ilion Kilen, owned by Kochetova, rounded out the top three with a time of 48.44 secs.

While walking the course, Charles asked course designer Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany, to move the flower boxes around fence 11 to make the inside turn from fence three to 15 possible in the jump off. Olaf complied, making the jump off one of the most exciting of the 12-week circuit. Almost half of the competitors is the second round opted for the inside turn.

"With the flowers there the turn was impossible, it was a risky, chancy turn with the flowers gone," Charles said.

"The turn gave me a big advantage. I gained a lot from one to two, and just let him come home from there. I let him run home and do the eight strides down the last line."

Quintana, who went first in the second round and opted not to do the inside turn because it looked "too hard for him (Q's Charm) at the moment" felt the "winner should have gone inside."

"I wanted to go fast but not give away my clear round. I wanted to go clean, medium fast, and put pressure on everyone else."

It worked.

As the second round continued, Quintana thought, "I was getting lucky, I felt some one would go faster and clear."

It turned out that only Charles and Murka's Pom D'Ami stepped up.

Early in the first round, the time allowed expanded from 83 sec. to 88 secs. Quintanta, who originally acquired a time fault, obviously liked the decision as it put him into the jumpoff.

Charles agreed. "The course did its job without going to time. For a good course designer, time is only on of his tools."

"I'm glad for that horse as well (Pom D'Ami), he jumped a double clean in the Nations Cup, had some soreness issues, and now he's jumping like a million dollars, just pinging off the floor."


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