Rodrigo Pessoa and Citizenguard Cadjanine Z. Photos © Sportfot.
The Closer and Havens Schatt Seal the Deal in Loddon Stalls Pre-Green Hunter Level One
Wellington, FL – February 20, 2014 – Week seven of the 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) continued on Thursday afternoon with a shared victory for Brazil’s Alvaro de Miranda aboard AD Uutje and Rodrigo Pessoa with Citizenguard Cadjanine Z in the $125,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 7. Held in a “California Split” due to the large number of entries, the competition awarded two sets of placings, each with $125,000 distributed.
Sponsored by Adequan, FTI WEF week seven runs February 19-23, 2014. The week will feature the $34,000 G&C Farm 1.45m on Friday, the $280,000 Adequan Grand Prix CSI 4* on Saturday night, and the $84,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Sunday. The FTI WEF, held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, features 12 weeks of world-class competition through March 30, awarding $8 million in prize money.
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Fredric Cottier of France set the track for Thursday’s $125,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 7 in the International Arena at PBIEC. The class saw a total of 115 entries in round one with 30 clear trips to jump-off. The short course saw ten clear rounds with two combinations opting not to return. Alvaro de Miranda completed the fastest tie breaking round in 37.63 seconds overall for the win in Section A of the class riding AD Uutje. Rodrigo Pessoa finished in 37.89 seconds with Alain van Campenhoudt’s Citizenguard Cadjanine Z for the win in Section B. Another rider for Brazil, Yuri Mansor, had the third fastest time of 39.01 seconds with QH Amor.
With the split class, the top three finishers in Section A were Alvaro de Miranda and AD Uutje in 37.63 seconds, Yuri Mansor and QH Amor in 39.01 seconds, and Reed Kessler (USA) with Ligist in 39.60 seconds.
Section B saw the top placing for Rodrigo Pessoa and Citizenguard Cadjanine Z in 37.89 seconds followed by Kent Farrington (USA) and Amalaya Investments’ Willow in 39.14 seconds, and Laura Kraut (USA) with Cherry Knoll Farm Inc.’s Cedric in 42.96 seconds.
De Miranda and AD Uutje also shared a victory in week two’s $34,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 and the rider noted that his horse, a 13-year-old KWPN gelding by Monaco x Calypso, is making great progress throughout the circuit.
“He is improving a lot,” the rider stated. “Sometimes it is still difficult for me between the lines, with a stride to add, but today in the first round it was easier than last time and I think, I hope, I can get him very good for the last grand prix.”
“He is a very nice horse, very sweet and nice to ride,” de Miranda said. “Only when you have lines that are very short, sometimes it is a little bit difficult for me to get him together, but it is improving. It is slow, but it is getting there. Nelson Pessoa did a very good job. He found the right bit for him, and he has helped me at home. I think that makes a difference because three or four months ago I was very lost with this horse, and with Nelson’s help everything came much easier. I see progress every day.”
Going into the jump-off, de Miranda knew that it had to be another very fast round with the leading time of Rodrigo Pessoa to chase. He remarked that this jump-off was even faster than his win during week two.
“With this horse, for sure, this was the fastest day for me,” he stated. “I saw Rodrigo go and the mare is so fast. I knew that from jump one to two I needed to take more risk. I think that was the only difference maybe because the rest Rodrigo was very fast, but at the end we both won, and that is good.”
AD Uutje will compete with de Miranda on the Brazilian team in next week’s $75,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup, presented by G&C Farm, and the riders are excited to have such a promising team going in after the top three finish for Brazil on Thursday.
“I am very happy,” de Miranda stated. “It was a long class with a lot of riders, and it is very special to have three Brazilians like that. It is very good before the Nations Cup also to give us more motivation. It was perfect for us.”
Pessoa agreed, adding that it is great to see so many new riders coming to compete in Wellington. “I think it is really good,” Pessoa acknowledged. “This circuit is really booming. There are a lot of newcomers. For us in particular, for the morale, I think it is really good. Uutje is going to do the Nations Cup, and I am going to do the Nations Cup with Status. He was clear as well today, but he didn’t go in the jump-off. Yuri that was third will go with that horse and then one more rider. It doesn’t mean that we are going to win the Nations Cup, but it is promising that the horses are jumping well and it is good for next week when our Chef d’Equipe (Jean-Maurice Bonneau) arrives. He will be happy with what we have been doing so far, hopefully.”
Pessoa was very happy with his top finish on Thursday aboard Citizenguard Cadjanine Z, a 12-year-old Zangersheide mare by Canabis Z x Feinschnitt I Z. He started riding the mare in July of 2013 and explained that she was previously ridden by Gregory Wathelet from Belgium and went to the Olympic Games in London with him in 2012.
“She is a difficult mare, but she has a lot of potential,” Pessoa described. “She is very scopey, and she is very fast. She has a big stride. Her rideability is not always great, but she is a fighter. We had a slow start to the circuit, but I think she is coming around and we will see her now in some bigger classes as well.”
Pessoa explained that Cottier’s jump-off track suited his mount very well. “It was a really good jump-off for her because it was a big gallop and she has a very big stride,” the rider noted. “Actually, the course was ideal for her in the jump-off, it could not have been any better. I was really happy to be competitive with her.”
In addition to the prize money in Thursday’s class, de Miranda earned a special $3,000 bonus as part of the SSG ‘Go Clean for the Green’ promotion for wearing his SSG ‘Digital’ Riding Gloves. Each week of the Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Series, a $3,000 bonus will be awarded to the winning rider if they are wearing SSG ‘Digital’ Riding Gloves in all rounds of competition with the SSG logo clearly visible.
An $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m class was also held on Thursday with a win for Kevin Babington and Meco Equestrian LLC’s Cord 11.For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.
The Closer and Havens Schatt Seal the Deal in Loddon Stalls Pre-Green Hunter Level One
The first hunter championship of week seven was awarded to Kelley Corrigan’s The Closer with Havens Schatt in the irons in the Loddon Stalls Pre-Green Hunter Level One three-foot division. Schatt and The Closer won the first class over fences on Wednesday and then placed first and second over fences on Thursday to earn the division championship.
Le Reve Farm, Inc.’s At Ease and Christopher Payne finished in reserve with first and second place ribbons on Wednesday and a second place finish in Thursday’s under saddle.
The Closer is a seven-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Sir Donnerhall. Owner, Kelley Corrigan, is from Lexington, KY, and bought the horse this past summer. He started showing in the Low Hunters there, and this is the third week that Schatt has shown him in the Pre-Green classes in his first trip to Wellington.
“He is green,” Schatt described. “He was a dressage horse, so he is very keen on his lead changes. Sometimes he will do a lead change in the line or just by getting confused, but he has been super brave here. I showed him in ring 7, ring 6, and this ring. Kelley is doing him in the adults. She was first and second today. He is just a really good, brave guy.”
Schatt explained that The Closer has beauty and consistency around the course that make him a winner. “His stride and his rhythm are always the same,” she stated. “He is very big and he is black, so he is very pretty. He is very pretty to watch go around the course, and he jumps all of the jumps the same. You don’t get a ten, but you don’t get a four. He is pretty much an eight all the way around and for an amateur horse, which is ultimately what he is supposed to be – for me that is what it is supposed to be about – (it’s about) consistency and nice rhythm and a nice way around the ring.”
The Closer will now have a couple of weeks off before showing at the end of the FTI WEF circuit. Schatt sees a bright future for the horse and hopes to keep him happy and enjoying his job as he continues to learn and compete.
About FTI Consulting, Inc.
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 4,000 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 $1.58 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2012. For more information, visit www.fticonsulting.com.
About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival
The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 8 through March 30. 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.
Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.
Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations