Laurenz Buhl and River Dance Semilly. Photos © Sportfot.
Andrew Ramsay and Welfare Claim Victory in $34,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m; Kurtz, Gochman and Rizvi Top “Jump for the Children” Pony Hunter Classics
Wellington, FL – March 6, 2015 – Friday evening of week nine at the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) featured the $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series Semi-Final, presented by Kingsland Equestrian, under the lights of the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Laurenz Buhl (GER) took the victory with Gotham Enterprizes LLC’s River Dance Semilly. Stephen Moore (IRL) placed second with Fantasy, owned by Oakland Ventures LLC, while Alise Oken (USA) and Hitchcock vd Broekkant were third.
Douglas Elliman Real Estate is the title sponsor of week nine’s competition. WEF nine runs March 4-8, 2015, featuring the $372,000 FEI World Cup™ Grand Prix CSI-W 5*, presented by Douglas Elliman Real Estate, on Saturday, March 7. Several classes throughout the week will be live streamed at www.coth.com. Watch Saturday night’s grand prix beginning at 7 pm here – http://bit.ly/1FY5PkK. Sunday’s $85,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic will be shown live beginning at approximately 10:00 a.m. at http://bit.ly/18QxRVj.
The Under 25 competition saw 34 entries with just two able to clear the challenging track set by Alan Wade (IRL) without fault. Buhl and Moore, both 22 years old, went head-to-head in the tiebreaking jump-off.
First to go, Buhl and River Dance Semilly completed the short course in a fast time of 45.67 seconds, but dropped a rail at the final fence that left the win in the balance. Moore tried for a clear round, but also had a rail on course with Fantasy. His time was slower time in 45.78 seconds to put the pair in second place.
Buhl first came to the United States to ride for Georgina Bloomberg’s Gotham Enterprizes two years ago and happily returned at the end of 2014 to spend his winter in Wellington. He showed River Dance Semilly for the first time in the under 25 class on the derby field during week six and was excited for the opportunity to compete the 10-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Kalaska de Semilly x Ulior des Isles) again under the lights.
“I came to Georgina in October and I started to ride him a little bit, but when the season started here she showed him. Then, lucky me, I got the opportunity to ride him for the under 25 series. I rode him once two weeks ago and now this class,” Buhl explained. “He is very comfortable to ride. He is careful, he is quick and he gives you a very good feeling on the jumps, so it is actually an easy job.”
Buhl was disappointed to have the rail at the final fence in the jump-off, but he was thrilled to get the win in the end and took the experience in stride.
“I got a little bit excited to the last jump,” he declared. “I actually planned to do one more stride there, but I just saw the distance and I took it. That was the wrong decision, but it still came out good. This series definitely gives you that experience. It is great that we have the opportunity to jump under the lights. It is just different to jump in this ring, so it is great for us.”
Moore also had a good learning experience under the lights with his mount, Fantasy, a 10-year-old Hanoverian mare (For Pleasure x Acord II). Moore first came to Wellington last winter and returned to train with Darragh Kenny this year. Fantasy began the winter with a second place finish with Kenny in the Trump Invitational Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, and has since carried Moore throughout the under 25 series.
“She has been knocking on the door; we have just had stupid mistakes,” Moore stated. “She should have been clear in a couple of the classes. Tonight she was very good and jumped a nice clear. She should have been clear in the jump-off too, but it was my own fault.”
The riders agreed that Alan Wade’s course was difficult, but fair, with many different challenges. For Oken and Hi Hopes Farm LLC’s Hitchcock vd Broekkant, it was the tight time allowed that placed the pair in third with one time fault on the first round course.
“When I walked it, it was a stout 1.45m, but there was not one place that I thought was going to be the toughest area,” Oken stated. “I think Alan did a really good job of making it difficult throughout the course. You didn’t have any time to take your time. I had to go first, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I probably would have done things a bit different if I had known I had to go faster, but I think he did a great job designing tonight.”
With seven classes held throughout the WEF circuit, the Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series, presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, gives young riders a valuable stepping-stone from the junior and amateur ranks to the grand prix level. The $50,000 series final will be held week 11 on Sunday, March 22.
“This under 25 series is a great opportunity for young riders to have experiences like showing out on the derby field and under the lights,” Oken noted. “I was riding my eight-year-old, so he is a young horse and I think it was a great experience for him to be under the lights. I didn’t know what to expect, but it was really good preparation for him and I for the future. I can’t thank Artisan enough for sponsoring the series.”
“It gives us a chance to be competitive in this kind of environment,” Moore added. “There is no chance that I would jump in a Saturday night class. This is a brilliant chance for me to do something like this, or to jump on the derby field, and it gives us something that we can really lock stock into and aim towards, so I am very thankful for the chance. Thank you to the Zieglers and Gianluca Caron and Kingsland (as well as The Dutta Corp. and Guido Klatte).”
FEI 1.45m Win for Andrew Ramsay
Andrew Ramsay (USA) and Shalanno Farms LLC’s Welfare got their win on Friday after several top finishes in the FEI world ranking classes at the 2015 WEF. The pair placed second in back-to-back FEI 1.45m classes in week seven’s CSI 5* competition, then settled for third place in Wednesday’s international 1.45m to begin this week’s CSI 5*-W. Friday afternoon, the pair proudly took the lap of honor for the $34,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m speed class against an impressive roster of worldwide competitors.
Sixty-nine entries showed over Alan Wade’s (IRL) 1.45m track Friday afternoon with 13 clear rounds. Sixth in the order, Ramsay and Welfare set the winning time at 62.71 seconds. With a clear round aboard Spruce Meadows’ Quiz, Darragh Kenny (IRL) jumped into second in 63.15 seconds. Meagan Nusz (USA) and Amalaya Investments’ Vesuvius earned the third place prize with their time of 64.47 seconds.
“We have been really close,” Ramsay said of his hard-earned victory. “This horse has been amazing. We jumped him two weeks ago, and he was second in both the speed classes. I felt like we were close; we were just missing something. Then he was third earlier in the week, so I really wanted to make up for that third and try to get him there, and he was great today. He really fought for me in the ring, and he was a good boy.”
Ramsay has had Welfare, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Pacific x Zortin), for two years.
“In the last year, he has really come together, jumping higher level 1.45m and 1.50m classes,” Ramsay detailed. “He has been a great horse, and I think having a system here with this nice, long tour has helped him. This is my first time in Wellington for the whole season. Last year I did a bit in California and then came out here, but this year, to be in one place the whole time and really work and train and be able to improve is really nice.”
Commenting on his winning round, Ramsay explained, “We saw some people do eight strides from one to two and we planned nine. He (Welfare) has a nice, normal stride, not necessarily a big stride, but he is naturally a fast horse. He makes up time just turning back to the fences. I think that in general we just had a pretty good pace. We were tidy, but we took time where we wanted to. We set him up so that we would hopefully come in clear and still be fast enough. There were very fast rides and some faster times, but it all worked out for us this time. We can finally take a long blue ribbon home, which is really nice.”
Ramsay also won the $8,000 1.45m jump-off class on Thursday with his mount Adamo van’t Steenputje. With a great season underway, the rider will continue to compete through the end of the WEF circuit before heading back to his farm in Holland for the summer. From California, Ramsay rode as a junior and took time off from the sport while he attended college. He is now developing his riding to the top level and hopes to return to Wellington again next winter.
Also showing in the International Arena on Friday, the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge was held in a California Split with a one-two-three finish in Section A for Laura Chapot (USA). Chapot won the class aboard her own Bradberry and finished second and third respectively with Mary Chapot’s Zealous and Umberto. Daniel Zetterman (SWE) topped Section B with Gyllebo Farm LLC’s Chellana, with Wilton Porter (USA) and Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Delinquent JX in second, and Heather Caristo Williams (USA) aboard Alexander LLC’s Wistful in third.
Emma Kurtz and All My Love Start Friday with a Win in the $5000 “Jump for the Children” Large Pony Hunter Classic
On Friday morning, the pony hunters took over the Stadium Derby field for the $5,000 “Jump for the Children” Large Pony Hunter Classic. Instead of the classic sand ring, the ponies and riders competed out on the grass field over a derby style course built by designer Danny Moore. Out of a field of 13, Emma Kurtz piloted Dr. Betsee Parker’s pony, All My Love, to the blue ribbon. Kurtz had a dominating performance earning a score of 88 in the first round paired with an 87 in the second round for a grand total of 175.
Taylor St. Jacques took home second and third place honors. Madeline Scully’s pony, Spot On, finished in second place with a total score of 167. Love and Logic, St. Jacques’ second mount, took home the third place prize after earning scores of 80 and 84. Kurtz and Dreamland, an entry of Linda Evans, rounded out the top four.
Coming into today Kurtz was the defending champion having won the Large Pony Hunter Classic on the field last year with Dreamland. All My Love stepped up to the plate and brought home the win for Kurtz this year. “I was nervous going into today,” Kurtz stated. “I can’t explain it, but I was a little up going into the ring.”
Kurtz first rode All My Love two years ago in the Green Large Pony Hunters. After separating for a year, Kurtz started riding All My Love again a few weeks ago. Despite little practice time, Kurtz was ready for today. “I’ve shown All My Love on the grass before so that was a big confidence boost going into today,” Kurtz explained.
After earning the high score of 88 in the first round, Kurtz felt the pressure to defend her title and earn another high score in the second round. Kurtz laughed, “Going into the second round all I was thinking was, ‘Don’t screw up!'”
Tomorrow Kurtz will return to the show ring in the Junior Hunter divisions.
Mimi Gochman and True Love win the $5,000 “Jump for the Children” Medium Pony Hunter Classic for the Second Year in a Row
The second class on the field was the $5,000 “Jump for the Children” Medium Pony Hunter Classic. Fifteen riders completed the first round and those with the top 11 scores came back to jump a second course. Mimi Gochman, from New York City, and David Gochman’s pony, True Love, entered the second round in first place with a score of 87. The pair held on to their lead, earning a score of 85, giving them a grand total of 172.
Coming into the class Gochman already had the pressure of being the defending champion, but kept her composure throughout the two rounds. After Gochman won again today, she commented, “It feels really good to win again because he [True Love] could do it and today he did.”
Finishing just three points behind Gochman was Farah Rizvi and Trillville. Rizvi turned in consistent performances in both rounds earning scores of 84 and 85. Sophia Calamari and El Nino took home the third place with a grand total of 157. Erika Luter and Elegance rounded out the top four just one point behind Calamari.
Although Gochman competed in the “Jump for the Children” Medium Pony Hunter Classic last year, her pony is no stranger to the field. Gochman explained, “He [True Love] used to be an eventing pony so he really likes going on the field, and it is fun to be with him out there.”
“He has a really good rhythm and he is really comfy, so he is easy to find the jumps on,” Gochman started. “He listens really well and is always confident to the jumps.”
While Gochman enjoys competing in the traditional hunter rings with True Love, the change of venue provided for an exciting experience. “It was really fun to show on the field because there is so much space and it is so pretty,” Gochman remarked.
Zayna Rizvi Finished First and Second in the $5,000 “Jump For The Children” Small Pony Hunter Classic
Zayna Rizvi and Peacock Ridge LLC entry, Rollingwood’s Knee Deep, topped the field of 21 competitors in the $5,000 “Jump for the Children” Small Pony Hunter Classic. The pair was ahead after earning a first round score of 88 and secured the blue ribbon with a second round score of 85.
Rizvi’s second mount, Sandcastle, owned by Richard Cunkle, finished the first round in seventh place. In the second round, Sandcastle and Rizvi earned a score of 83 to put them in second place overall. Tessa Brown and Land’s End Lady Slipper finished one point behind Sandcastle to take home the third place prize. Kate Taylor and Clovercroft Love Bunny rounded out the top four.
This year was the second time competing on the field for Rizvi and Rollingwood’s Knee Deep. Last year the duo finished in fourth place and this year they were able to take home the top prize. “After the first round I told her [Rizvi] not to get too excited,” trainer Patricia Griffith stated. “We have to remain consistent and earn another great score. Her fourth fence wasn’t the best, but she had the determination to make the rest of the course perfect and it was.”
After two great rounds today, Griffith complimented her young student. “She [Rizvi] is an incredible student. She always tries to follow the plan. We have been working towards this event and last week we were champion and reserve champion, and today we continued to put it all together.”
Before Rizvi took over the ride on Rollingwood’s Knee Deep, her older sister competed with him. Rollingwood’s Knee Deep has now been with the Rizvi family for three years, and he continues to earn top ribbons. Griffith commented, “He [Rollingwood’s Knee Deep] is so solid. Indoors, Outdoors, Devon, or Pony Finals, you always know he is going to come out and be great.”
Griffith went on to talk about the different venue, “It is great the ponies and young riders get to come out here and learn how to do these types of courses.”
The EnTrust Capital Small Junior Hunters 16-17 will award championship honors tomorrow in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring. The 372,000 FEI World Cup™ Grand Prix CSI-W 5*, presented by Douglas Elliman Real Estate, will be featured in the International Arena at 7 p.m. For full results and more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.
Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.