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Ward and Chapot Win Opening Jumper Classes at Winter Equestrian Festival in Tampa

Tampa, FL – March 28, 2007 – In the opening day of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Tampa, FL, the open jumpers had an opportunity to stretch their legs after a week off of competition. Today marks the start of the Tampa Bay Classic, CSI-W, the first of two weeks at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the end of the Winter Equestrian Festival.

The opening class in the covered arena was the 1.45m Jumpers and was held as a speed (Time First Round) format. The courses this week are designed by Robert Ellis of Great Britain. Seventeen entries went to post and eight scored a clear round.

The pacesetter early on was Jonathon Millar (CAN) on Noble 1, who finished in 73.903 seconds. The lead changed hands not long after that when Beezie Madden entered the ring on Jet du Mesnil. Madden and the 10-year-old Selle Francais chestnut owned by John Madden Sales easily cleared the course and stopped the timers in 67.529 seconds.

Jet du Mesnil arrived at Madden’s barn in the middle of WEF in Wellington and showed lightly. “The people who had him in France said, ‘We really want him to go to you.’ We went and tried him, really liked him and bought him. He’s easy, scopey, nice to ride,” she described. “He’s really nice.”

Madden noted that she does not know her new horse well but was pleased with his performance in the speed class. She commented, “I was pleasantly surprised with him. He’s got a big stride, so he covers a lot of ground. I don’t know him well enough to do the turns, but he’s not like a quick rabbit-type of horse. I think he’ll be fast enough with his stride. I’d like to finish with the 1.50m this week and probably do the WEF (Challenge Cup) next week.”

Madden could not rest easy with fast competitors behind her, especially the final entry into the ring. Her World Equestrian Games teammate, McLain Ward, rode Larioso, a horse he owns with Blue Chip Bloodstock, and hurried around the course. Ward made every inside turn and sliced an incredible five seconds off of Madden’s time in 62.028 seconds. Larioso, who is “naturally fast across the ground and over the jumps,” Ward said, easily picked up his first win in Tampa.

The second class, the 1.40m Jumpers, was held in the same format but saw considerably more entries. Fifty-three attempted the course, and 17 were clear without time or jumping faults. The early leader was Laura Chapot on Sprite, who is sitting second in the WEF circuit championship standings for the division. They raced around in 63.442 seconds, a time that could not be matched. Youp and Leslie Howard were second in 63.442 seconds, while Jonathon Millar and Fancy Hill had a great round in 66.208 seconds.

Sprite, a 12-year-old Selle Francais mare, returned in fine form today. Chapot agreed, “She felt fantastic. She was bucking outside. In fact, she bucked between fence one and two. I was glad she saw the second jump!”

Chapot was happy with today’s course. “It’s a nice course and a nice class, both for the ones that wanted to go fast and the ones who just wanted to get miles in the ring.” Chapot did not use the class as a warm-up. Sprite “always” goes for speed and the new show setting “didn’t faze her.” Chapot added, “She was just so bold and strong today, I was just trying to get her slowed down the whole way around.”

Chapot was one of the earlier entries in the class, which can sometimes be a disadvantage. “It’s harder in a speed class because you’re not sure how fast the course is going to be and how fast you’re going to have to go. That part of it is difficult,” she explained. “I like to go early in some senses because then I don’t overanalyze things and think too much about what other people do. But, in the speed class like that, it’s a bit of a disadvantage. The hard part about it is that you don’t really know if you’re plan is going to work. You have to go in there a little bit blind and trust in what you’ve chosen as your plan.”

The Tampa Bay Classic, CSI-W continues tomorrow with the main action, the $25,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 9, in the covered arena at 3 p.m. with 56 entries.



CLASS: $8,000 1.45mTIME FIRST ROUND TABLE II, SEC 1,

1. 712, LARIOSO, MCLAIN WARD, MCLAIN WARD, 0, 0, 62.028

2. 70, JET DU MESNIL, BEEZIE MADDEN, JOHN MADDEN SALES, 0, 0, 67.529

3. 12, MEMPHIS, CAITLYN SHIELS, CAITLYN SHIELS, 0, 0, 67.598

4. 741, HIP HOP, LESLIE HOWARD, DAVID GOODWIN, 0, 0, 72.501

5. 284, NOBLE 1, JONATHON MILLAR, KELLY SOLEAU, 0, 0, 73.903

6. 418, COULETTO K. JAMES, KATHERINE MIRACLE, OVERLOOK FARM INC., 0, 0, 76.297

7. 280, REDEFIN, IAN MILLAR, SUSAN GRANGE, 0, 0, 76.599

8. 925, QUIDAM'S RAMERO, ERIC LAMAZE, CLAUDE DUFRESNE, 0, 0, 77.170

9. 71, LOUISIANA, SLOANE COLES, JULIE COLES, 4, 63.467

10. 27, GRACE, LISA JACQUIN, FLINTWOODE FMS LLC, 4, 69.069

11. 196, COSTA, JONATHAN MCCREA, CANDY TRIBBLE, 4, 69.392

12. 924, NARCOTIQUE DE MUZE II, ERIC LAMAZE, ASHLAND STABLES, 4, 69.729

CLASS: $6,000 1.40mTIME FIRST ROUND TABLE II, SEC 1,

1. 316, SPRITE, LAURA CHAPOT, LAURA CHAPOT, 0, 0, 63.442

2. 736, YOUP, LESLIE HOWARD, S'BLIEFT GROUP, 0, 0, 65.885

3. 283, FANCY HILL, JONATHON MILLAR, JEBB'S CREEK INV, 0, 0, 66.208

4. 568, SINTRA, TODD MINIKUS, KARA M. TEDESCHI, 0, 0, 70.656

5. 404, PERFEKT, CANDICE KING, PERFEKT GROUP, 0, 0, 72.397

6. 69, SELECT, BEEZIE MADDEN, ELIZABETH BUSCH BURKE, 0, 0, 77.141

7. 76, TRUE LOVE, SARAH SEGAL, ROBERT SEGAL, 0, 0, 77.153

8. 209, CALLAWAY 4, DEBBIE STEPHENS, CENTENNIAL FARM, 0, 0, 80.030

9. 406, MIRACLE, JACKIE LEEMON, VICTORY LANE FARM, 0, 0, 80.332

10. 920, TOMORROW, NICOLE SIMPSON, NICOLE SIMPSON, 0, 0, 81.490

11. 417, COTTON CANDY 2 DE, KATHERINE MIRACLE, OVERLOOK FARM INC., 0, 0, 81.620

12. 669, SEA COAST CANTONA Z, DANIELLE TORANO, JIMMY TORANO D, 0, 0, 83.785



Photo Credit: Larioso and McLain Ward, winners of the 1.45m Jumper class at the Tampa Bay Classic, CSI-W. Photo © 2007 Randi Muster.

 

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