Eduardo Menezes and Caruschka 2. Photo copyright Sportfot.
Wellington, FL – March 16, 2016 – Week ten of the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), sponsored by Horseware Ireland, began Wednesday morning at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL with a win for Brazil’s Eduardo Menezes and Caruschka 2 in the $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m Jumper Classic.
WEF 10, sponsored by Horseware Ireland, features CSI 3* jumper and ‘AA” rated hunter competition running March 16-20, 2016. The week features the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 10 on Thursday, the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m Classic on Friday, the $130,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3* on Saturday, and the $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Sunday. The 12-week WEF circuit runs through April 3 offering more than $9 million in prize money.
Michel Vaillancourt (USA) is the course designer in the International Ring for WEF 10. First thing Wednesday morning, Vaillancourt saw 63 entries with 17 clear rounds over his 1.45m speed track. Twelfth to go in the order, Menezes and Caruschka 2 raced through the early morning fog to clock the winning time of 59.44 seconds.
Richie Moloney (IRL) and Equinimity LLC’s Alsvid finished second in 60.30 seconds. Ronan McGuigan (IRL) and Capall Zidane placed third in 61.39 seconds, and Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Susan Grange’s Tennyson earned fourth place honors in a time of 61.77.
Menezes has owned Caruschka 2, a 12-year-old Oldenburg mare (Caspar x Continue), for five years and has a great partnership with the talented mare. She came from breeder Gestüt Lewitz, and Menezes purchased the mare as a seven-year-old after she went to the FEI World Breeding Jumping Championships for Young Horses in Lanaken, Belgium.
Speaking of his winning round with Caruschka on Wednesday, Menezes stated, “This mare is a very good speed horse. I think it was a very good course for her. She has a huge stride and you can take strides out here and there, and in the end it works great.”
“She is a very sweet horse. She has a lot of character,” Menezes detailed. “On a daily basis, she is a hot horse to ride, but she will never buck or spook. She is very easy to handle at home, but when she gets to the show she knows that she is here and then she gets her engine really going. Then I just have to hold the reins and let her go.”
Caruschka 2 and Menezes will compete next in Friday’s $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m Classic and then compete in three classes during week 11.
In the spring, Menezes and his horses head to Europe. Menezes then has his sights set on the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro with his top horse, Quintol.
Also competing in the International Ring on Wednesday, the $6,000 1.40m speed, sponsored by Illustrated Properties, was held in a California split. Laura Chapot (USA) and Mary Chapot’s Shooting Star won Section A, and Clementine Goutal (USA) and Arao Enterprises’ Caballito topped Section B.
The tenth week of competition at the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival continues on Thursday with the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 10 featured in the International Ring. The High Performance Working Hunters will award championship honors in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring. For more information and full results, please visit www.pbiec.com.
Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.