2007 Winter Equestrian Festival Week Eight Wrap-Up
2007 Winter Equestrian Festival Week Eight, CN Worldwide Wellington Final CSI 5*, March 14-March 18
Wellington, FL – March 19, 2007 – As the 2007 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington drew to a close yesterday, fans of show jumping were treated to fantastic sport once again. The Stars and Stripes flew tall in the Internationale Arena and as the Star Spangled Banner played, one of America’s favorite riders took home the top prize. Ten-time AGA Rider of the Year Margie Engle of Wellington, FL, and her veteran partner Hidden Creek’s Perin raced to the win in the €25,000 Medium Tour Final 1.50m Classic at the CN Worldwide Wellington Finale, CSI-5*. Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) and Double H Farm’s Rufus finished second and Ingrid Norman’s Ivoire du Rouet and Francois Mathy of Belgium were third.
The final 1.50m Jumper Classic was designed by Guilherme Jorge of Brazil and featured a first round course of 12 numbered obstacles, including a tough triple combination at fence ten. Eight riders cleared the course to advance to the jump-off. William Lowry (USA) and Rio Corde just missed the timed round by finishing with one time fault, while 13 riders had four faults.
Daniel Deusser (GER) and Hooligan de Rosyl, owned by Stal Tops, moved up in the order to be the first clean round of the afternoon and were the first to attempt the jump-off course. Deusser hustled across the ring from fence 15 to the one stride. They jumped fence 8 and made a quick rollback to 9, but had a slip on the ground. Hooligan de Rosyl jumped beautifully and came home clear in a time of 34.72 seconds.
They were followed by Kimberly Prince (USA) on Carnivale, owned by Overlook Farm Inc. Prince had a slower gallop through the course and had a tight spot to fence 9, but notched another clear round for a time of 38.37 seconds.
This season’s FTI Rider Challenge winner, Eric Lamaze of Canada, was next in on Claude Dufresne’s Quidam’s Ramero. Lamaze had a good round going until the rollback, when Quidam’s Ramero balked. Lamaze had to circle and finished the course with four jumping and five time faults in 50.23 seconds.
Markus Fuchs (SUI) and La Toya III, owned by Adolfo Juri, would be a threat to Deusser’s lead. They sped from jump to jump, but had an unfortunate rail at fence 9 for four faults in a time of 34.18 seconds.
Engle and Perin were next, and Engle started pushing before she even got to the first jump. Perin responded beautifully and had no trouble over the jumps. They had a slip in the rollback and were tight to fence 9, so Engle pressed Perin to the final oxer. Perin stretched out over the orange and yellow fence and stopped the timers with a clear round in 33.06 seconds.
Georgina Bloomberg (USA) and Curius had another clean round but were unable to catch Engle’s time. They finished in 35.36 seconds for fifth place. Mathy and Ivoire du Rouet had another quick jump-off, but were still over a second off Engle’s pace in 34.42 seconds.
The last to challenge was Pessoa on Rufus, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Landaris. Pessoa galloped across the ring from fence 15 to the one stride and had a fantastic rollback, but it was not quite enough. They finished in 33.88 seconds for second place.
The Winter Equestrian Festival is finished in Wellington, but continues again on March 28-April 1 for the Tampa Bay Classic, CSI-W at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center. The second week of competition, the Tournament of Champions, runs from April 3-7 and culminates with the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational at Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, April 7 at 7 p.m.
Jumper Results – Wednesday through Saturday
Switzerland’s Markus Fuchs and Nirmette brought home the win in the €20,000 Welcome Stake in the CN Worldwide Wellington Finale, CSI-5*, the final week of the Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club. Wednesday’s event was an opening class for the international division of open jumpers. Fuchs went for the win and beat Mario Deslauriers (CAN) on Levantos and Eric Flameng of Belgium on Mazelle, who finished in second and third respectively.
In a 17 horse jump-off, it was Kent Farrington (USA) and Up Chiqui who finally caught Laura Kraut (USA) and Miss Independent for first place in the €25,000 Chesapeake Benefit Cup for a Just World/WEF Challenge Cup Round 8 at the CN Worldwide Wellington Finale, CSI-5*.
This week’s course designer, Guilherme Jorge of Brazil, set an inviting track that took the footing into account. There were 62 entries in the class and 17 saw their way clear to the jump-off. Twenty-three riders had four faults, while Katherine Miracle and Couletto K James had just one time fault. There was just one retirement and one elimination.
After the class started, horse show management and the course designer made the decision to change the jump-off course. The 17 riders in the jump-off were allowed to walk the new jump-off course after the first round.
The CN Worldwide Wellington Finale, CSI-5* continued Friday with three classes in the Internationale Arena. Alexa Weeks piloted Madison to their first win in the $10,000 Show Jumping Hall of Fame (SJHOF) High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. Markus Fuchs (SUI) won his fourth class at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), this time on La Toya III in the €20,000 Speed Stake. Wrapping up the day, Laura Chapot and Cilthe Z raced to victory in the Acorn Hill Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge.
Fuchs has had a successful first season in Florida with his two talented mares. La Toya III, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Adolfo Juri, won the Sunday grand prix in week six of WEF. Fuchs has had a long, thriving career with La Toya III.
Laura Chapot is another top grand prix rider that has had an amazing winter circuit. In Friday’s $6,000 1.40m Acorn Hill Farm Speed Challenge, she and Cilthe Z, who is owned by Mary Chapot and Harry Vogel, garnered their fourth win together. Chapot has ridden the eight-year-old Warmblood mare since last summer and has steadily moved her up through the circuit.
Weeks has reunited with her Dutch Warmblood mare Madison this winter and they capped off the season with a win in the $10,000 SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. They flew around the jump-off course to finish in 34.362 seconds, just ahead of Omona AW and Carolyn Kelly, who posted a time of 34.664 seconds.
Saturday – First Event of CN Worldwide Global Champions Tour
The luck of the Irish was on American rider McLain Ward’s side on Saturday. He and his veteran partner Sapphire stayed clear through two rounds of competition and had the fastest clear round in the jump-off to win the largest purse ever offered in an outdoor show jumping event in the United States, the €300,000 CN Worldwide Florida Open Grand Prix, CSI-5*. The grand prix today was the first leg of nine competitions that make up the CN Worldwide Global Champions Tour.
It was the culminating show jumping event of the 2007 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington before the circuit moves to Tampa, FL, for two weeks of competition. In the biggest individual finishes of their careers, Frankie Chesler Ortiz (CAN) and Danielle Torano (USA) finished second and third, respectively.
Today’s class began with the top 50 qualifiers at noon. Judy Garafalo Torres (USA) and Oliver III were the first clear round in the 15th position. Eleven more clear rounds would join her to move on to the second round. The second round brought back the top 15 from the first round. The order of go was determined by the first round time. Two four-fault rounds were quick enough to stay on to the second round, while one rider, Daniel Deusser of Germany on Pristanna, had just one time fault from the first round and advanced as well.
Hunter Results – Thursday through Sunday
Sandy Ferrell and Sunset Strip celebrated the final week with a win in the Second Year Green Hunter division, and Holly Orlando and Castle Rock took the reserve championship. In the Regular Working Hunter division sponsored by Farnam Companies, Inc., Scott Stewart of Flemington, NJ, rode his veteran Good Life to the tricolor.
Champion in the Green Conformation Hunter division, sponsored by Equestrian Properties, was Stewart on West Point. Serio and Popeye took the reserve championship. In the 3 & 4 Year Old Pre-Green Hunter division, Ferrell was again victorious and brought home the championship aboard Prestwick. Reserve champion was Stepped in Snow, ridden by Cookie Beck.
In Section “A” of the Pre-Green Hunter 3’ division, Ken Smith piloted Significant to the championship, while Caroline Moran’s Sabantha Fortuna and Havens Schatt took the championship in Section “B.” The championship in the First Year Green division went to Scott Stewart aboard Ovation, while Winter Place and Cookie Beck took the reserve championship.
Kelly Tropin of New Canaan, CT, piloted her own Stoney Creek to the blue ribbon and the medal in “A” section of the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal class, presented by Becker College. Tropin was one of four riders invited back to test and proved herself worthy of the challenge. Taking second place in Section “A” was Callie Seaman, and Maria Schaub rounded out the top three.
Zazou Hoffman rode her veteran partner Littlefoot, owned by Missy Clark of North Run, to victory in Section “A” of the ASPCA Maclay. Jennifer Walters and Opportunity jumped to second place behind Hoffman. In Section “B” of the ASPCA Maclay, Maya Bluestone brought home the blue ribbon with Archie, and Chelsea Moss earned second place with Logan.
In the Over 35 Amateur-Owner Hunter division, Mary Jane King rode her own Acapella to championship honors. Teri Kessler piloted Pavarotti to the reserve championship in the Over 35 Amateur-Owner Hunter division.
The Section “A” championship of the 51 & Older Adult Amateur Hunters went to Carol Cone riding Harmony Bay, a Swedish Warmblood stallion. Harmony Bay was Grand Champion of the Winter Equestrian Festival last year, and this week marks the pair’s fourth championship this year. Reserve champion was Stephen Martines on Cabachon.
Cone also earned the Section “B” championship with Trusted. Reserve champion in Section “B” of the 51 & Older Adult Amateur Hunters went to Norlando, ridden by Marsia Holzer.
The Mogavero Arena was filled with expectations and high hopes on Sunday as 40 of the best junior riders in the country competed in the Winter Equestrian Festival Equitation Championship for the RW “Ronnie” Mutch Trophy, and Maria Schaub took aboard Aaron for the second time. Maggie McAlary finished second with her own Mid Accord.
After the second round, McAlary had earned the highest total with 189.50 points, but the judges called the two riders back to change horses. Schaub had a total of 188.50 points.
The one-of-a-kind format for the R.W. Mutch Trophy class offers a unique challenge to the riders, as they are isolated from their trainers and support staff and must put their strategy in order and prepare for the class on their own. Riders are responsible for the management and schooling of their mount and are required to walk the course on their own. Communication between riders and trainers is not allowed.
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