Authentic and Beezie Madden Win in $25,000 WEF Challenge Series Round IV Grand Prix
Wellington, FL – February 15, 2007 – Under grey skies, the jumpers took to the field for the fourth round of the $25,000 WEF Challenge Series during the Kilkenny Internationale, CSI 3* week of the Winter Equestrian Festival. The 2006 World Equestrian Games double silver medalists, Authentic and Beezie Madden, made easy work of the 15 horse jump-off to take first place, while Ireland’s Darragh Kerins and Hot Wheels sped around for a second place finish.
Today’s course was designed by Germany’s Olaf Petersen. It featured an inviting, rolling track of 13 numbered obstacles that featured a triple and double combination. Fifteen riders were clear, while 12 had one rail. Nalla and Courtney Vince crossed clear with one time fault, as did Georgina Bloomberg on Mila.
The first to return for the jump-off was Cocu with Molly Ashe, who rode for Jane F. Clark. They pulled a rail at the third jump, finishing with four faults in 41.93 seconds. Next to go was Cara Raether on Ublesco. They kept a nice pace to finish clear in a time of 45.07 seconds.
Next in the ring was Madden on Abigail Wexner’s Authentic. Authentic went wide left after the second jump, a triple bar that was another long four or short five strides to a vertical. Madden pulled him back to the right in five strides and continued on the course. Afterwards, she said with a laugh, “I had planned to do four strides, but I got so far off to the left. I didn’t even have to pull on the reins to do five, just the right one to get back in line.” Authentic slipped easily over the top of the jumps, made the inside turn to jump nine, and finished handily in 40.53 seconds.
Madden had already decided not to return with Judgement, saving him instead for the grand prix on Sunday. “He’s only done two classes, so his fitness level isn’t as high as it is in the middle of the year. There were so many clean that I’d have to run pretty fast with him, so I thought it was better preparation for Sunday to not go,” Madden explained.
Chris Kappler and VDL Maseratie were next to challenge, but a rail at the oxer out of the one stride cost them. They crossed the timers in 40.98 seconds with four faults. Michael Walton and La Rocco Junior, owned by Penlyn Farm, sped around the course, but had a slip in the turn. Walton let up on the pace a bit and finished clear in a time of 45.00 seconds.
Darragh Kerins and Hot Wheels made a great turn in the rollback from fence eight to nine and looked to challenge Madden’s time. However, they finished just off the pace in 41.90 seconds, which would hold up for second place.
Laura Kraut and Love Z had two rails in 42.39 seconds. A string of four consecutive clear rounds from the first round came next. Erynn Ballard (CAN) and Robin van Roosendael pulled a rail at fence 10a and finished in 46.16, while fellow Canadian Ian Millar and Redefin had less luck, totaling eight faults in 46.55 seconds. A third Canadian rider, Eric Lamaze on Ronaldo, would have a rail as well, but finished in a speedy 41.35 seconds. Sarah Segal and True Love would finish with the fastest time of the day, 40.04 seconds, but it came with eight faults.
Frankie Chesler Ortiz (CAN) and Picolien Zeldenrust made a good run at victory, but their clear round was not quite fast enough in 42.54 seconds. Laura Kraut piloted Cedric, who jumped lofty over the course to finish clear in 44.39 seconds. The last to challenge was Madden’s WEG teammate, McLain Ward, on Sapphire. An unfortunate rail kept them from the win, and they crossed the timers in 41.22 seconds.
“I thought somebody could beat my time,” Madden admitted. “Authentic is deceiving because he’s so naturally fast. I added a stride to fence three, and I added a stride to that double where other people did do less.”
Kerins said he did not see Madden go, but he had planned to leave strides out and could not accomplish it, like Madden. He thought Hot Wheels, a ten year old Argentinean-bred gelding, jumped “super.” He added, “I’ve had him for two years. We’ve taken our time with him. We’ve had our ups and downs, but he seems as solid now as he’s ever been.”
Although half of the class went in the rain, neither rider thought it was a factor in today’s class. Kerins pointed out, “There seemed to be more clears in the second half of the class when the rain started than the beginning.” About the course, Madden said, “I thought it was a good course. It wasn’t real big, but it was tricky. You needed a lot of rideability, and there were careful jumps. I was surprised at the end that so many went clear at the end. I don’t think it was that anybody figured out how to do it better, it just happened that way.”
The jumpers in the main ring consist of High Junior and Amateur-Owner classes tomorrow morning, followed by the Acorn Hill 1.40m Speed Challenge in the Kilkenny Internationale, CSI 3*.
Results of Class 101 $25,000 Kilkenny WEF Challenge Cup
February 14 -18, 2007
T/A: 79.00 T/A: 53.00
1 64 BEEZIE MADDEN USA AUTHENTIC 0.00 72.78 0.00 40.53
ABIGAIL S. WEXNER
2 2109 DARRAGH KERINS IRL HOT WHEELS 0.00 75.24 0.00 41.90
3 2939 FRANKIE CHESLER ORTI CAN PICOLIEN ZELDENRUST 0.00 76.56 0.00 42.54
SHER AL FARM
4 1315 LAURA KRAUT USA CEDRIC 0.00 77.31 0.00 44.39
K & H ENTERPRISES
5 2697 MICHAEL WALTON USA LA ROCCO JUNIOR 0.00 74.15 0.00 45.00
6 712 CARA RAETHER USA UBLESCO 0.00 78.81 0.00 45.07
7 657 CHRIS KAPPLER USA VDL MASERATIE 0.00 74.60 4.00 40.98
8 2964 MCLAIN WARD USA SAPPHIRE 0.00 77.47 4.00 41.22
9 1231 ERIC LAMAZE CAN RONALDO 0.00 78.00 4.00 41.35
10 594 MOLLY ASHE USA COCU 0.00 73.03 4.00 41.93
JANE F. CLARK
11 538 ERYNN BALLARD CAN ROBIN VAN ROOSENDAEL 0.00 76.83 4.00 46.16
LOOKING BACK FARM
12 74 SARAH SEGAL USA TRUE LOVE 0.00 73.82 8.00 40.04
13 3519 LAURA KRAUT USA LOVE Z 0.00 75.12 8.00 42.39
14 1654 IAN MILLAR CAN REDEFIN 0.00 77.78 8.00 46.55
15 61 BEEZIE MADDEN USA JUDGEMENT 0.00 76.48 ret.
Photo Credit: Beezie Madden and Authentic, winners of the $25,000 WEF Challenge Series Round IV at the Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo © 2007 Kenneth Kraus/PhelpsSports.com.
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