Sambalino and Becky Gochman Top Elite Shavings Amateur-Owner Over 35 Championship
Wellington, FL – January 21, 2012 – A great crowd came out to watch the $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix, CSI 2* at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). Topping a full field of competitors and winning in front of more than 4,000 spectators was Great Britain’s Scott Brash on Stan Brash’s Intertoy Z. Olympic gold medalist Eric Lamaze (CAN) was second on Torrey Pines & Ashland Stables’ Derly Chin de Muze. Eighteen-year-old Katherine Dinan (USA) was third on Grant Road Partners’ Vancouver.
The second week of the FTI WEF runs through Sunday, January 22, and is sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty. The 2012 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of competition that conclude on April 1, 2012, and they will be awarding more than $6 million in prize money through the circuit.
This week’s course designer in the International Arena is Luc Musette of Belgium. The class had 50 entries, and 12 of those were clear to advance to the jump-off. Brash noted, “The course was good. It wasn’t overly big, but it is nice to not have to jump big every single weekend. Although it wasn’t too big there were still not too many clear. Twelve clear was good, and the jump-off was good. It caught a lot of people. It was a good class.”
The jump-off started slowly with the first four riders having faults, but then Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER) recorded a clear round on Cantano, owned by Octavia Farms LLC. She crossed the timers in 42.16 seconds, which would hold up for fourth place. The next clear round came from Andrew Bourns (IRL) on Roundthorn Madious. They stopped the clock in 42.50 seconds for fifth place.
Brash was the next in, and he brought the winning pace down to 40.02 seconds. “He is a big, slow jumper but he was fast tonight. The big ring suits him,” Brash said.
Eric Lamaze went for the victory with Derly Chin de Muze, but they were just off the pace in 40.23 seconds.
“I saw Scott go and he was very fast,” Lamaze remarked. “I did one less to the double, but she is a big horse and she is fairly inexperienced, so I was very happy with the result. I think I went as fast as I could go, it just wasn’t fast enough tonight. It was close, but I am really happy.”
He said of Derly Chin de Muze, “It is a horse that the Fleischhackers own. She was purchased for Ashley but she was nice enough to lend her back to me. I started the horse as a seven-year-old and then did a little bit with her last year. I am very happy to have her and she is a really good horse. It is a horse that is going to for sure have a great career. We are going to aim at the highest standard with her.”
The final horse on course was Vancouver and Katherine Dinan. They were quick and clean in 41.20 seconds for third place. Dinan was also named the Leading Lady Jumper Rider, an award sponsored by Martha Jolicoeur of Illustrated Properties in memory of Dale Lawler.
“I am just excited to be consistent in the classes here. Last year I did a few grand prixs here but this is really the first year where I am trying to do them consistently every weekend in bigger classes,” Dinan said. “I am lucky to have Vancouver who is perfect. He is a brave soul and he will try anything for me, so that made me feel a lot of confidence going into these big classes under the lights. I am just thrilled to be in the jump-off and to go clear and try to go as fast as I can while staying composed. That is a big thing for me.”
Dinan trains with McLain Ward, who was injured last week and still recovering at home this week. “This week has been a little different because my trainer is at home, so I have been kind of having to figure a few things out for myself a little more, but for the most part I just try to figure what I am going to do walking the course, and then try to execute it as well as I can,” Dinan pointed out. “I was glad to be able to do something to put a smile on his face while he is at home.”
The 26-year-old Brash already has a wealth of international experience, and has had his own business for seven years. Brash has owned Intertoy Z, a 13-year-old Zangersheide gelding by Interadel x Centauer, since he was five years old, and they have grown up together to compete in the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games and the European Championships.. Brash has come to the FTI WEF for the entire circuit this winter and brought four horses. He hopes to get his top horses ready for an Olympic Games bid.
“It is great to win here. Hopefully I can continue to do as well. It is quite important. You want to come here and get up and running for the season and get your horses going early and then hopefully just tick along really, but you have to prove a bit of form,” Brash explained. “When it comes down to championships there are only so many horses that can do them to be honest and you just have get your horse in good form and then keep it sound really and then keep things right until the championships. That is the main idea.”
For sponsors Wellington Equestrian Realty, tonight’s class was a a great event in a successful week at the FTI WEF. “I think for a couple of weeks now we have had a great crowd,” said Matt Varney. “It is Wellington coming out to support the sport. It is just something that we as a company are proud to be a part of.”
Amateur-Owner Hunters Garner Tricolors
Sambalino and Becky Gochman, of New York, NY, scored the championship tricolor for week two in the Elite Shavings Amateur-Owner Hunter Over 35 division at the 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival. The pair placed first, second and second over fences and finished second under saddle. Katie Robinson and Deeridge Farm’s Lady O received the reserve tricolor, placing first, second, third and fifth over fences and earning sixth place under saddle.
Sambalino is a ten-year-old Brandenburg gelding by Samba Hit. Scott Stewart imported the horse from Germany as a four-year-old and he has been winning classes throughout the country ever since. On the way to earning the division championship this afternoon Sambalino scored an impressive 92 in the stake class. High scores of 86 and 89 also kept the gelding in the top ribbons.
Following her win, Gochman commented on the tough competition in the Amateur-Owner division this year and praised her fellow competitors. “I feel like this older group of amateurs are amazing riders with spectacular horses and we are all riding up to each other,” she stated. “It feels really good to be part of this group and I feel like we are all having a blast. It was so competitive out there. I think we are all good friends and it is a neat group of people, so when everyone has such nice horses and we are all out there doing our best, it makes the show a happy place.”
Gochman was very happy with her rounds over the two days of competition and commended Sambalino on his efforts, stating, “Sambalino was amazing these past two days. The courses were more difficult, but they were a lot of fun. Sambalino is a special horse in general and he just really wanted to do it this week; he definitely gave me all he had.”
Describing Sambalino’s style, Gochman noted, “He loves when I just sit there and try to do nothing – which is, of course, the hardest thing to do. He responds that way; he loves to show off his jump and he doesn’t want anybody to interfere with him. I think when you have a horse as careful as he is any interference with the rider scares him. He wants to be able to do it himself, which is a cool feeling.”
Gochman has owned Sambalino for three years now and this is her second year showing him. She explained that she has gotten to know the gelding very well now and feels lucky to have him. “We are getting to know each other more and more and I’m getting to feel more comfortable with him and understanding his little quirks,” she smiled. “It’s really a blast and he’s just a once in a lifetime horse. I know I will never see another horse like him; there’s nothing compared to Sambalino.”
The highlight jumper class tomorrow is the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic in the International Arena at 1 p.m. Hunter competition at the 2012 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival will conclude for week two tomorrow with the presentation of championship awards in the Children’s Hunter 14 & Under. Week three of the FTI WEF runs from January 25-29 and is sponsored by Horseware Ireland. For full results please visit www.showgroundslive.com.
About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival
The 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 11 through April 1. The FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival 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 $6 million in prize money will be awarded.
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 23 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 $1.4 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2010. More information can be found at www.fticonsulting.com.
Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.