Kent Farrington and Blue Angel. Photo © Sportfot.
Mario Deslauriers and Ardeche van de Zelm Win $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic; ASPCA Maclay Awards Two Sections
Wellington, FL, March 3, 2013 – Week eight of the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), sponsored by G&C Farm, concluded on Sunday afternoon with an exciting victory for Kent Farrington (USA) and Robin Parsky’s Blue Angel in the $150,000 CSIO 4* Grand Prix, presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). In an 11-horse jump-off, Farrington and Blue Angel were 1/100th of a second faster than Beezie Madden (USA) and Abigail Wexner’s Cortes ‘C’ who finished second. Conor Swail (IRL) and Lansdowne, owned by Ariel and Susan Grange, placed third.
Anthony D’Ambrosio of Red Hook, NY, was the course designer in the International Arena at PBIEC for the week. In Sunday’s feature class, 53 entries showed and eleven went clear to advance to the jump-off. In the second round, six cleared the short course without fault, and it was a race to the finish as the times got faster and faster.
Charlie Jayne (USA) and Chill RZ, owned by Alex Jayne and Maura Thatcher, showed the way to a clear round in the jump-off and eventually placed sixth with their time of 41.02 seconds. McLain Ward (USA) and Grant Road Partners’ Antares F went next and improved on that time in 38.83 seconds to place fourth. Germany’s Janne Friederike Meyer and Cellagon Lambrasco, owned by Meyer, Friedrich and Anne Sophie, were just 2/100ths of a second slower in 38.85 seconds to take the fifth place prize.
Conor Swail and Lansdowne went next and put on quite a show as they stopped the clock in 38.57 seconds to eventually place third. Beezie Madden and Cortes ‘C’ upped the ante once more as they completed their round in 38.25 seconds. Just when it seemed like Madden might not be beat, Kent Farrington and Blue Angel raced through the timers in 38.24 seconds, just 1/100th of a second faster, to grab the top spot.
Farrington’s winning mount, Blue Angel, is an eleven-year-old Anglo European mare by Luidam x Ascendant. Farrington just started riding her in Wellington this winter and as he put it, the pair “sort of jumped into the deep end of the pool,” going for the big classes right away.
“We did the 1.30m, 1.40m, and then we were off and running,” Farrington stated. “Winning with her gives me confidence in what I’ve been doing. I want to continue to try to grow with the horse and really get her into my system and get to know her better.”
“She is a special horse that’s actually the type of horse I grew up riding, more Thoroughbred-type,” Farrington described. “We had a lot of horses off the racetrack and I used to race ponies as a kid, so I’m used to riding really hot, small horses like that. That’s sort of right up my alley.”
In their short time together, Farrington and Blue Angel have had several top finishes, including a second place in this week’s $43,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 8.
“I haven’t ridden it that long, but it’s naturally a fast horse,” Farrington point out. “I have actually practiced a few jump-offs in here. We have come close to winning a few classes – the WEF on Thursday was a speed round and she was second. McLain (Ward) won with a spectacular round that was unbeatable. Today was our day and we got a little redemption.”
Commenting on Sunday’s course, Farrington remarked, “I didn’t think there would be as many clear as there were, but I think that shows the strength of the field today.”
Farrington and second place finisher Beezie Madden are fresh off a win for Team USA in Friday night’s $75,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup presented by G&C Farm. Madden and her mount Cortes ‘C’ have had a great season, also including a win in the $125,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix, CSI 3*-W presented by Spy Coast Farm during week six.
Madden agreed with Farrington’s comment on Sunday’s class. “I thought it was a good course,” she stated. “In a class like this I would prefer a few less clean, but I thought it tested carefulness and scope and a little bravery at the end with the [brush] box going into the triple [combination]. I think he had a really good feel for the horses. A lot of the riders had their top horses in today, so it makes for some very good jumping.”
Madden commented on her round in the jump-off, explaining, “I saw Conor go before me, so I knew it was very, very fast. I was just trying to use my horse’s big stride. I could set off right through the timers fast; I could trust him to jump the first fence clean and just gallop to that, and hope to be really fast to the second fence. I think I eased up a bit to the fifth fence, the oxer. I think I pretty much matched Kent everywhere else. It’s hard to say where you lost a hundredth of a second.”
Third place finisher, Conor Swail, had a great round with Lansdowne but knew he had some fast riders still to come.
“I certainly didn’t think I had it, but I was very happy to go into the lead,” he noted. “Lansdowne is a fantastic horse. He’s now 10 years old and he has jumped a few of these bigger classes. He knows what to do with himself now. I was delighted. I think the top four riders, those rounds would win most grand prixs. It was crazy.”
With a world-class line-up, Sunday’s class certainly proved the talent of the horses and riders in the jump-off. Swail was happy to be a part of the action.
“It’s nice to ride with these guys and be competitive with them,” he acknowledged. “You learn a lot by being in this company. By riding with the best, it’s how we get better. We all enjoy the competition. Any one of us could win each particular day. We never think we cannot win. We want to be on the top.”
Mario Deslauriers and Ardeche van de Zelm Win $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic
Earlier in the day on Sunday, Mario Deslauriers (USA) and Ardeche van de Zelm, owned by Mario’s wife Lisa Deslauriers, topped the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic. In a class of 41 entries, seven cleared the first round course to advance to the jump-off, and Deslauriers and ‘Ardeche’ completed the only double clear round in a time of 34.87 seconds to earn the victory.
Ardeche is a 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Gran Corrado x Darco. After his win on Sunday, Deslauriers explained, “Ardeche is a horse that my wife Lisa rides also, that we have had for several years. It is a great horse. We were having some bad luck with his health for a little while, but we always try to bring him back because we know he is so good and he proved it today. He just had a couple of classes for practice and then he can just go in here and do what he does. He is exceptional.”
“He has won the Queen’s Cup; he has won several grand prixs. We just had a lot of bad luck with him, but touch wood, we keep hoping,” Deslauriers added. “With a horse like that it makes it easy for the rider because you just have to be in range. He is so special and he is just a show horse. He gets in the arena and he hears the bell and he has already picked up the canter. He is very smart and it is just a real joy to ride him.”
Laura Kraut (USA) and A. Lebon’s Jubilee d’Ouilly finished second with four faults in 33.43 seconds. Alonso Valdez Prado (PER) and Quick du Pottier were third with four faults in 34.90 seconds. Daniel Deusser (GER) and Stephex Stables’ Evita van de Veldbalie had four faults in 34.93 seconds. Kraut also took fifth place honors with the Evita Group’s Nouvelle with four faults in 35.51 seconds.
Victoria Colvin and Charlotte Jacobs Put In Blue Ribbon Performances in ASPCA Maclay Sections
The ASPCA Maclay class was split into two sections after entries swelled to over sixty riders during week eight of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival. Victoria Colvin finished first in Section A, presented by Sidelines Magazine, aboard Asparagus, a 19-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Missy Clark. Caitlin Boyle and her horse Loredo were second followed by Jack Morgan’s third place finish aboard Allison Haupt’s Vangoch.
Charlotte Jacobs rode Catherine Tyree’s Patrick to first place in Section B, presented by Alessandro Albanese. Gabrielle Bausano was second to Jacobs with her own Calito 7. The top three was rounded out by Lucille Green and her horse Accord.
Colvin, of Loxahatchee, FL, barely had time to prepare for her winning round after quickly hopping on Asparagus following her rounds that morning in the jumper ring. “I didn’t even have the chance to walk,” Colvin admitted. “I just got here and went in and rode the course, and it went pretty well,” she smiled.
Not surprisingly, the ever-humble Colvin gave the credit to her experienced mount, Asparagus. “I’ve shown him only a few times at WEF and he’s just perfect!” Colvin described. “He’s done everything so he never sets a foot wrong. He just keeps his head still and has a nice jump that won’t pop you out of the tack.”
A challenging combination that riders were asked to do was a figure-eight through jumps set up with hay bales and it proved too daunting for many riders, however Colvin welcomed the challenge. “I liked the ‘hay bale’ combination because it had so much turning, which I always enjoy,” Colvin commented.
Jacobs, of East Aurora, NY, and Patrick also had no problem navigating the challenging course, designed by Skip Bailey. “The course was fun. I like that there were a lot of natural obstacles included. It’s a different experience,” Jacobs described.
“All of the horses were a little fresh with the weather being a little cold and windy, and Patrick had two weeks off before this,” Jacobs continued. “He was a little bit fresh, but I like that.”
Jacobs is leasing Patrick from barn mate Catherine Tyree, who aged out of junior divisions last year. “He’s been amazing. He’s a lot like my other equitation horse, Stallone VDL, so we clicked pretty much right away. We work really well together,” Jacobs explained.
“Patrick is just perfect. I love him and he’s so much fun to ride. He has the best canter and is just a very nice horse,” Jacobs concluded.
Both Jacobs and Colvin have their eye on ASPCA Maclay Finals in November. Jacobs and Colvin have already accumulated enough points to qualify and look forward to competing in one of the country’s most prestigious equitation competitions.
Sunday’s class concluded hunter and equitation competition for week eight of the FTI WEF, sponsored by G&C Farm. Week nine of competition will run March 6-10, 2013, and is sponsored by The Bainbridge Companies at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.
Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival
The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 9 through March 31. The FTI WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $7 million in prize money will be awarded. For more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com.
About FTI Consulting
FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 3,800 employees located in 24 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.56 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2011. More information can be found at www.fticonsulting.com.
Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.
Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations