Wellington, FL – January 13, 2019 – The first week of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded competition on Sunday, January 13, with the $75,000 Rosenbaum PLLC Grand Prix at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Beat Mändli (SUI) and Simba, owned by Grant Road Partners LLC, flew to the win of the first grand prix of the season.
There were 37 entries in the Sunday afternoon grand prix, competing over a course set by Eric Hasbrouck of the United States. Only six found the key to a clear round and returned for a jump-off.
First in was Mändli on Simba, owned by Grant Road Partners LLC. As one of three clear rounds, they set an unbeatable time of 37.539 seconds to secure victory.
Tina Allen Secures Victory in the Hunt Ltd. Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” 36+
On the final day during the opening week of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival, the Hunt Limited Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’6” 36+ wrapped up competition in the Equine Tack & Nutritionals Ring. Returning for the flat phase and two additional over fences classes, Tina Allen of New Canaan, CT accumulated 24 points to claim the championship title.
Already in good standing with a first place, a seventh, and eighth place, and a third in the under saddle, Allen piloted her self-owned grey gelding, Sinatra, to a win in the stake class. The victory was enough to push the pair into the lead just several points over Krysia Nelson who took home the reserve championship. Nelson finished the division on a total of 19 points aboard Cobham Park.
Allen purchased the coming seven-year-old Westphalian gelding (Last Man Standing x Lovely) two years ago and she has been bringing the young horse up through the divisions with their current division as the goal.
Beat Mändli and Dsarie. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.
October 28, 2017 – Beat Mändli of Switzerland made his first visit to the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) a successful one, claiming the victory in the $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, on Saturday night.
Competing for the coveted President of the United States Perpetual Cup, donated by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, as well as valuable Longines FEI World Cup™ qualifying points, the grand prix was the highlight event of the week-long show, continuing through Sunday, at the Capital One Arena in downtown Washington, D.C.
Mändli was one of 26 international jumper competitors to contest the first round track set by course designer Alan Wade (IRL), and he and his mount Dsarie, owned by Grant Road Partners GmbH, were one of 11 combinations to advance to the jump-off. As the sixth to return, Mändli and the nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare set what proved to be an untouchable time of 32.07 seconds.
U.S. Olympian and reigning Longines FEI World Cup™ champion McLain Ward came the closest to besting Mändli, finishing in second aboard HH Callas, owned by Double H Farm, with a time of 32.30 seconds. Young U.S. rider Catherine Tyree, 23, rounded out the top three in a time of 33.83 seconds aboard Enjoy Louis, owned by Mary and Joseph Tyree.
“I feel great. Everything worked out better than I was thinking at the start of the week,” said Mändli. “I’m just super happy for the horse and for the whole team. It was a great night for me.”
It was a good night for Ward as well, who only partnered with HH Callas, a ten-year-old warmblood mare, at the beginning of the 2017 show season.
“I was pleased. We didn’t have a brilliant grand prix last week in Tryon. It was nice to rebound and have a good finish today,” said Ward. “Beat had a spectacular jump-off tonight. You were going to have to be pretty perfect to be able to catch him.”
With 11 horses in the jump-off, the first-round course proved slightly easier than Alan Wade anticipated, but the course designer was still happy with the outcome.
“I thought they’d have had to ride harder to jump clear, but horses seemed to be jumping very well,” said Wade. “Still at the end of the jump-off, the cream rose to the top, and the best competitors are here on the podium.”
Part of the reason for the horses jumping well could be attributed to new footing installed in the Capital One Arena for the 2017 horse show, something that WIHS President Victoria Lowell spoke to following the class.
“There was no question that we had to invest in the best possible footing for the horses,” Lowell said. “I was so happy to hear the positive feedback that we had this year because [the footing] was the most important thing to our board this year. The World Cup designation is very, very important to us. We need to make sure that this event continues. It’s a very historic event; it’s a very special event because it’s downtown in the city much like Madison Square Garden was. We work very, very hard to make it the best show possible.”
Following the conclusion of Saturday night’s class, several special awards were presented along with the top grand prix prizes. Mändli was presented with the $10,000 Leading International Rider Award, sponsored by Robin Parsky; the Leading Foreign Rider Award, and the International Jumper Championship. Tyree was awarded the $10,000 Leading 25 Years of Age & Under Award, sponsored by Sleepy P Ranch, and the Leading Lady Rider Award, sponsored by Longines. The Leading Jumper Owner Award went to Grant Road Partners.
The George Morris Style of Riding Award was also presented earlier in the day to Mändli, as the International Jumper rider who best exemplifies the American style of equitation and jumping and the respectful, dignified, and workmanlike manner of a true sportsman.
Newly introduced this year in honor of the late Dr. John Steele, the “Doc Steele” Spirit Award, presented by M. Michael Meller, went to Cristalline, ridden by Adrienne Sternlicht and owned by Gabrielle Kuna, recognized as the horse that best exemplifies the heart and athleticism necessary to be competitive at the highest levels of show jumping.
Clara Propp and Trinity Beitler Ride Quicksilver Butterfly to Visse Wedell, Realtor Small Pony Hunter Championship
Wellington, FL – March 26, 2017 – Switzerland’s Beat Mändli emerged victorious riding Grant Road Partners’ Simba in the $50,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix CSI 2* to conclude competition for week eleven of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.
Guilherme Jorge (BRA) set his final course of week 11 for 45 starters in the two-star grand prix. Twenty-three qualified for the jump-off, and six completed double clear rounds. It was Mändli and the 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding Simba (Toulon x Argentinus) that took the win in 43.66 seconds.
Canada’s Jordan MacPherson jumped to second place with JEM Stables’ Aanwinst in 44.77 seconds. Fellow Canadian Beth Underhill rode Sandy Lupton’s Count Me In to third place in 45.26 seconds.
Prior to his purchase by the Dinan family in 2015, Simba was jumping successfully in England, and has since continued his career under Mändli’s guidance.
“I am just very happy to have him to ride, and he has been going better and better every time he goes in the ring,” Mändli detailed. “He is fun. He was good in Vilamoura last year. Then he had a little bit of a rest, and now we have just been playing around with him and preparing for the tour in Europe. That was maybe the third time that I have gone fast with him in a jump-off, and it is the first time that it worked out, so I am very happy.”
Speaking further of Simba, Mändli stated, “I hope he is going to be a five-star grand prix horse. He has all the quality and the ability to do it. He just sometimes wants to do it too well and gets a little bit strong. I just have to work on keeping his energy in control; all the rest is perfect. He is a careful, scopey horse who wants to do the job. It will be interesting to see where he goes.”
Mändli, the 2007 FEI World Cup Jumping Final winner, rides under the Dinan family’s ownership and teaches young rider Katie Dinan full-time. For Mändli, as well as his young horses and student, the addition of the CSI 2* division this year has been a great enhancement to the show.
“I think it is a very good addition, especially to a professional who is training someone,” Mändli noted. “Now I can do my two or three horses in the two-star and then focus completely on my student when she goes in the five-star. For younger horses, of course, not everyone is ready to go in the five-star classes, so I think it is a really good thing.”
Second place finisher Jordan MacPherson has had her mount Aanwinst, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Odermus R x Jackson) for five years now, and enjoyed the opportunity to compete in the two-star division for more experience with her mount.
“I would say that we have a really good partnership,” MacPherson stated. “When I got her, she was seven, so we were able to grow and move up through the ranks together. It has definitely been great for me to learn how to bring a young horse along up to the two-star level. I think over the last couple of years she has really proven herself as a great horse, and I am just really happy that I get to ride her and that I get to compete with her.”
Speaking of her round, MacPherson detailed, “I went 16th in the jump-off, so at that point there was only one clean. My plan was to go quick enough, but to leave the jumps up, knowing that there had only been one clean before me.
“I think that the addition of the two stars has been a great learning experience and a great way to get in the ring with great competitors and great horses, and be able to compete against the best at the two-star level,” MacPherson added.
Coming in third, Underhill was riding the ten-year-old Hanoverian gelding Count Me In (Count Grannus x Sherlock Holmes), a horse that she has competed for three years.
“He started doing some national grand prixs in Canada and the U.S. last year,” Underhill described. “This is his first year jumping in the International Ring here at WEF, so that has been really exciting and great exposure for him. I could not have been more proud of him today. There were a lot of clears, but it felt like we were in great company.”
Remarking on the class, Underhill stated, “I thought the course was perfect. It was demanding, but fair. I think all of the horses came out of this week jumping more confidently; certainly mine did. It was a really wonderful experience for my horse having this division. It is a great opportunity for young horses like mine to develop and learn the skills that they need to without the pressure of the 1.60m height. It feels special when there is a five-star at the same time. You have the opportunity to be part of that, but still bring the young horses along the way that you would like to.”
Also competing in the International Arena on Sunday, the $10,000 Martha Jolicoeur, Douglas Elliman Low Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic was pinned in a California Split with a win for Caroline Donnally and Reve du Razzy in Section A, and victory for Hannah Patten and Love in Section B.
Clara Propp and Trinity Beitler Ride Quicksilver Butterfly to Visse Wedell, Realtor Small Pony Hunter Championship
After having her flight canceled on Saturday, Clara Propp of New York, NY flew to Wellington on Sunday morning in time to ride Quicksilver Butterfly and win the championship title in the Visse Wedell, Realtor Small Pony Hunters. Propp piloted Quicksilver Butterfly, an entry owned by Aquitaine Equine, to a sixth place finish in the handy trip.
Trinity Beitler of Coconut Creek, FL stepped in to show the 11-year-old Welsh Pony mare on Saturday and won two over fences classes, in addition to placing third under saddle.
“It feels really good to win champion today,” said Propp. “My sister used to ride Quicksilver Butterfly. I started riding her at WEF this circuit. She’s a really sassy pony. My favorite thing about her is that she has her own motor, and I love her jump. I am happy my friend Trinity rode her when my flight was canceled.”
Remarking on why she enjoys showing at WEF, Propp continued, “I like coming down to WEF because it is warm, and I get to see my friend Alexa [Lignelli]. She was reserve champion today, and we used to go to school together.”
Alexa Elle Lignelli of New York, NY captured the reserve tricolor ribbon. Lignelli guided her own iParty to win the under saddle, place second in two over fences classes, as well as a fourth place finish in another over fences round.
Speaking of her 2007 mare, Lignelli said, “She is a dreamy mover and is so much fun to ride. She just glides across the ground and over the jumps. Whenever we do the handy, we call her ‘High Heels’ because if you do a tight turn and don’t balance her she gets really unbalanced. She can be sassy but is also very kind.”
The Winter Equestrian Festival continues in its final week of competition on March 29 – April 2, 2017. For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.
Beat Mandli on course at The Wanderer’s Club (Photo courtesy of Equinium Sports Marketing/The Ridge at Wellington)
Wellington, Florida (March 3, 2016) – With the elegant backdrop of The Wanderer’s Club setting the stage for the first day of Week 9’s competition, the two grass arenas of the Turf Tour hosted Wednesday’s divisions, two 1.30-1.35m classes and Low, Medium, and High Schooling jumpers. Adjacent to the rolling golf course and overlooked by the Wanderer’s clubhouse, the unique and beautiful venue is a spectacular addition to the Turf Tour’s already varied schedule, and hosted some of the biggest names in show jumping as they raced against the clock over the springy, natural footing.
Navigating the two courses of brilliant jumps laid out by designer Nick Granat, Swiss Olympian Beat Mandli took first and second place over the red course of the 1.30-1.35m with Celina and Uepind de Brekka, finishing on blisteringly fast jump off times of 38.874 and 40.512. Over the green course, Clementine Goutal and Caballito proved unbeatable in the jump off, with a final time of 32.874. She was tailed closely by Laruen Crooks and C’est Ci Bon 4, who rode to a jump off time of 33.421. Olympian Ben Maher and Jane Clark’s Tic Tac set an initial first round double clear in 44.126 seconds over the green course, which was favored heavily by Wednesday’s competitors. The jump offs over both courses were challenging but based in strong basics, a reflection of the Tour’s mission of cultivating young and developing athletes, both human and equine.
The second arena at The Wanderer’s Club featured High, Medium, and Low Schooling Jumpers over two courses that ran concurrently with the 1.30-1.35m. The laid back, ‘show when you like’ atmosphere was especially apparent at The Wanderer’s, as horses and riders arrived, warmed up, and showed at their leisure, enjoying the Meadowbrook Horse Transport shuttle to take them door-to-door, as well as complimentary lunch and snacks provided for all riders, grooms, owners, and spectators. “It’s a really unique way to do things,” said Olympian Nona Garson, who organizes and runs the Turf Tour with Craig Bergman and George D’Ambrosio. “Riders can sharpen their skills riding against Olympians on exceptional footing and over expertly designed courses, but all at their own pace and in a beautiful setting. Our headline class, the $15,000 Grand Prix, kicks off Friday, March 4 at 8am, and post entries are always welcome for both arenas.”