Naomi and Mario Deslauriers Win in WEF Challenge Cup Round III with Fast Pace
Wellington, FL – February 8, 2007 – In today’s $25,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round III, a third Canadian rider took home the blue ribbon and top prize money of $7,500. Mario Deslauriers and Naomi set a blistering pace early in the class for the win, joining Ian Millar and Eric Lamaze on the list of Canadian grand prix winners on this year’s circuit.
The Palm Beach Equine Clinic/Adequan Gold Coast Classic, CSI 3* presented by bluhammock music runs through Sunday, February 11, 2007. The course designer for this week is Finland’s Aki Ylaenne, who set a challenging course today with 13 numbered obstacles and 16 jumping efforts. The class was scored as a Time First Round format at a height of 1.50m and had a time allowed of 92 seconds.
The first of only three clear rounds was the second horse in the ring, Hidden Creek’s Wapino with Margie Engle. They stopped the timers at 84.76 seconds, which would hold on throughout 45 more trips for second place.
Deslauriers and Naomi were the sixth pair to tackle the course, and the tall rider and game 12 year old Belgian mare made every inside turn possible on a fast pace. They came home in an incredibly fast time of 76.28 seconds, a time that could not be matched, with or without faults.
“You never know. I went early, and it turns out I didn’t need to go that fast. There were so many fast horses and fast riders after me,” Deslauriers noted. “Naomi was great today. Actually, I didn’t know today was a time first round. I had her entered, and I was planning to enter her the week of the 22nd, where there is another time first round, to use her again. She’s excellent at these.”
The only other clear round came from Popeye, ridden by Norman Dello Joio and owned by the Popeye Group. They went for the slow, clear round and finished in 90.58 seconds, which would surprisingly hold up for third place.
Three additional riders would leave all the jumps up, but time faults relegated them to lower ribbons. Fourth place would go to Kate Levy and Vent du Nord, who finished with one fault in 93.60 seconds, Laura Kraut and Cedric would place fifth with one fault in 93.69 seconds, and Erynn Ballard with Robin van Roosendael received sixth place with two time faults in 96.53 seconds.
Today’s course posed many questions with difficult turns, stout jumps and a tricky triple combination set by the in-gate. Of the 47 entries, 21 had more than eight faults. Three riders retired and one was eliminated.
“The course was difficult today. It was actually a big 1.50m,” Deslauriers said. “A few turns were different. From two to three, it was awkward to turn inside. To turn to the triple at the in-gate, it’s impressive for a horse to come in on an oxer to two big enough verticals. There you needed a horse that was brave and at the same time adjustable because those two verticals were delicate to jump. When you want to go fast at 1.50m, it gets harder and harder. It could have been easier, but it was a good track.”
With a more experienced horse like Naomi, Deslauriers knew he could make the turns and depend on her to clear the jumps. “As a rider, I like it when [the course is] a bit harder than too soft,” he pointed out. “Naomi is comfortable going at that pace, so it was a good class for me. You try to put the best effort in and see what happens. Today after my round, I thought for sure I would be in the top three. After it went more and more, I knew it was a good trip. When you ride a course like this as time first round and every time you turn the corner and see your distance, you go really fast because there’s not much adjustment to make. It was one of those days that it really worked out well for me.”
The jumper action continues tomorrow at the Winter Equestrian Festival. In the Internationale Arena, the Acorn Hill 1.40m Speed Challenge follows the High Junior and High Amateur-Owner Jumpers.
Results of Class 101 - $25,000 WEF Challenge Cup III - Palm Beach Equine Clinic / Adequan Gold Coast Jumper Classic - February 8, 2007
1 1518 NAOMI MARIO DESLAURIERS CAN 0.00 76.28 $7500
2 2731 HIDDEN CREEK'S WAPINO MARGIE ENGLE USA 0.00 84.76 $5500
HIDDEN CREEK FARM
3 389 POPEYE NORMAN DELLO JOIO USA 0.00 90.58 $3250
4 211 VENT DU NORD KATE LEVY USA 1.00 93.60 $2000
KATE LEVY LLC
5 1315 CEDRIC LAURA KRAUT USA 1.00 93.69 $1500
K & H ENTERPRISES
6 538 ROBIN VAN ROOSENDAEL ERYNN BALLARD CAN 2.00 96.53 $1250
LOOKING BACK FARM
7 3438 RUSSEL NICK SKELTON GBR 4.00 83.97 $1000
8 2109 HOT WHEELS DARRAGH KERINS IRL 4.00 87.13 $750
9 2909 VAILLANT JIMMY TORANO USA 4.00 88.66 $750
HARRY R. GILL
10 1980 PAVAROTTI TODD MINIKUS USA 4.00 90.00 $500
TODD MINIKUS LTD
11 754 PROMISED LAND CHRISTINE MCCREA USA 4.00 91.81 $500
12 601 POLYGRAAF WILLIAM LOWRY USA 6.00 97.01 $500
WINSOR FARM SALES
Photo Credit: Naomi and Mario Deslauriers, winners of the $25,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round III at the Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo © 2007 Randi Muster.
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