McLain Ward and Bellefleur PS Z. Photo © Sportfot.
Wellington, FL – March 9, 2018 – McLain Ward and Bellefleur PS Z topped the $35,000 Bainbridge 1.45m Classic CSI 5* on Friday, March 9, during week nine of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), marking the reigning FEI World Cup champion’s second CSI5* victory in as many days at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.
Fresh off a win in Thursday’s $132,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge CSI5* aboard Hija van Strokapelleken, owned by Evergate Stables LLC, Ward (USA) returned to the International Arena at PBIEC to take the win aboard another gray mare, Bellefleur PS Z, a nine-year-old Zangersheide owned by Susan Heller and Ward’s daughter, Lilly Ward.
When Ward entered the ring in the 54-entry speed class, Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and her mount Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili, owned by Bull Run Jumpers Five, had set a quick time to beat of 56.19 seconds over the Alan Wade-designed course.
“I didn’t think Kristen was actually beatable to be honest. She has a much bigger stride on that horse than I have on mine,” said Ward, who was ultimately able to shave more than a second off of Vanderveen’s time, finishing on 54.80 seconds.
Yuri Mansur and Babylotte Win $35,000 Rose Hill Farm 1.45m Classic CSI 2*
Brazil’s Yuri Mansur and Babylotte topped 82 additional entries to win the $35,000 Rose Hill Farm 1.45m Classic CSI2* on Friday, March 9.
Mansur and the 12-year-old KWPN mare owned by Mansur and Euro Stables tripped the jump-off timers in 35.11 seconds to take the victory over fellow Brazilian Pedro Muylaert who finished in 36.05 seconds riding C’est Dorijke, owned by Ricardo Facchini. Third place with a time of 36.33 seconds went to the USA’s Hunter Holloway riding Eastern Jam for owner Hays Investment Corp.
Riley McKesson Captures $5,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby Victory
Ten-year-old Riley McKesson of Wellington, FL triumphed in the $5,000 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby riding Rollingwoods Stickler, owned by Annakate Long.
McKesson and Rollingwoods Stickler scored an 87 in the first round – the highest score of the class – and added an 82 in the second round to come away with a total score of 169 and the win. Kat Fuqua and her own Finesse RF scored 84 and 83 for a 167 total for second place. Third place went to Olivia Markman and her own Glynhafan Red Kestral, who had a 156.50 total.