Daniel Bluman & Gemma W. Photo © Sportfot
Israel’s Daniel Bluman made careful plans for Gemma W this season, plans that paid off on Thursday with a victory in the $146,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 12, a qualifier for the $500,000 Rolex CSI5* Grand Prix on Saturday.
Gemma W, owned by Blue Star Investments and Over the Top Stables, picked up a top-five finish in her only other appearance at WEF this season – a CSI4* grand prix during Week 8. Since then, Bluman has had her fully focused on making a big impact during WEF 12.
“Gemma had a very successful 2022 and I’ve been taking it easy with her and not jumping a bunch; the plan was to have her fit and ready for this week to come and attack this grand prix qualifier,” said the 33-year-old two-time Olympian. “She was fresh, and the plan was to do the leave outs everywhere and use her ground speed to put in a competitive time with enough pressure on the couple riders after me.”
Bluman is no stranger to success during Rolex Week at WEF after finishing second in the Rolex CSI5* Grand Prix in 2022 on Ladriano Z and 2019 with Gemma W.
“The Rolex Grand Prix in Wellington has been my favorite class,” he said. “I haven’t decided the plan for Saturday yet, but I can say for sure that it will be a very exciting class with great horse-and-rider combinations and a packed house with great atmosphere here in Wellington.”
Pavlova Delights in the Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunter 3’6″
California’s Nick Haness and Pavlova rose to the occasion on Thursday of WEF 12 to steal the champion spot in the Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunter 3’6” division in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Arena.
Winning two of the three classes over fences, Haness and Pavlova, an eight-year-old Oldenburg mare by Diatendro, posted a high score of 90 in the stake for owners John and Stephanie Ingram. The pair also received scores of 88 and 87 the previous day, combined with a second-place finish under saddle to earn the top tricolor.
“I rode Pavlova for the first time last week but she’s an amazing horse to ride,” said Haness, who has made a return to WEF for the final week of competition after spending time commuting between California and Florida to show this season. “She won both rounds yesterday and we were up for champion today, so I wanted to put in some good rounds. In the incentive class, she scored a 90 and was beautiful throughout the course.”