Beezie Madden and Simon. Photo © Sportfot.
$10,000 G&C Speed Stake Victory Goes to Darragh Kenny and Delilah; LDM Dramatik and Amy Smith Secure Championship Title in Low Adult 2’6″ Hunters Section A
Wellington, FL – March 1, 2013 – The powerhouse U.S. show jumping team of Kent Farrington, Reed Kessler, Laura Kraut and Beezie Madden earned victory in Friday night’s $75,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup presented by G&C Farm, at the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL. Teams representing seven different countries participated in the evening’s competition with a win for Team USA over Canada in second and Germany in third.
Week eight CSIO competition runs February 27 – March 3, 2013. The Hollow Creek Farm FEI Children’s, Junior, and Young Rider Nations Cups will be featured on Saturday, March 2. The $150,000 CSIO 4* Grand Prix, presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty, will be held on Sunday afternoon. The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival features 12 weeks of competition running from January 9 – March 31, 2013, and will be awarding almost $7 million in prize money throughout the circuit.
Friday’s nights Nations Cup competition consisted of two rounds shown over a challenging course set by Anthony D’Ambrosio of Red Hook, NY. Teams of four represented the countries of Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Germany, USA, Colombia and Venezuela.
After the first round, each team dropped their highest score. In the second round, all seven teams returned in order of highest to lowest total faults. The winner was determined by the lowest total of each team’s top three riders from each round.
The winning team from the United States was represented by Kent Farrington and RCG Farm’s Uceko, Reed Kessler and her Cylana, Laura Kraut and Cherry Knoll Farm, Inc.’s Cedric, and Beezie Madden riding Abigail Wexner’s Simon under the guidance of new Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland.
In round one, Farrington had four faults aboard Uceko and Kessler, Kraut and Madden all jumped clear rounds to lead the way into the second phase of competition. In round two, Farrington and Kessler each jumped clear rounds, Kraut and Cedric had four faults, and when it was determined that the USA could not be beat, the team decided that Madden and Simon did not have to jump. They finished on a two round total of four faults for the victory.
Beezie Madden had a little trouble at the water in round one but still jumped clear for her team. She noted, “I probably had the most interesting round. Other than the water jump, he felt great. He was fantastic. I looked at the scoreboard afterwards; I thought he was clear of it. I knew he hit the box, but that was probably putting it mildly. I was just happy he recovered from that and he finished off with a clear.”
Eighteen-year-old Reed Kessler had her first win as well as her first double clear in a Nations Cup class and was very excited.
“To ride on the home team in front of the home crowd is a really big honor so I’m thrilled that it went the way it did,” Kessler smiled. “Cylana was awesome. She has shown pretty lightly all of circuit to prepare for this. It’s my favorite thing when I ride her to hear the crowd scream and she gets so animated and so wild. When she heads to the first jump, she has total focus. She could not have done better.”
Kent Farrington had a rail in round one but came back strong for the second round. He commented, “I’ve known that horse a little while and our first ride wasn’t our best. Towards the end of the round he just got too strong and he took over at the last oxer. I was actually pleased with how he came back in the second round. He performed more like himself and was more relaxed.”
Laura Kraut had a great night with Cedric and enjoyed winning on home turf.
“I was thrilled with Cedric tonight,” Kraut smiled. “Both rounds he was fantastic. The second round I was maybe a little overly cautious down the last line and he had such a light rub. I think he thinks he was double clear. I think he’s pleased right now. As Reed said, it was very comforting to ride tonight. Normally, I would be very tense about riding in front of the home crowd, but when you have three horse/rider combinations going with you, I felt pretty comfortable that if I did something really stupid they’d be there to back me up. I’m thrilled that we won and I’m really happy for Robert because he was really nervous. He just sort of listened to what we thought we wanted to do and supported us. We’re all getting to know each other and our new system. But I think it worked quite well.”
Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland was very happy with his team and admits to being a little nervous.
“I was told I was pacing a lot,” Ridland laughed. “What do you do? For me, this has been a long journey and great to get here. It was about a year ago that I was named coach and we went through the Olympic trials and all that. At the same time, Furusiyya and the FEI changed the Nations Cup and there are a lot of us that feel this is one of the best things that will have happened to the sport in a long time. It will revive the Nations Cup. We knew this was going to be a really big deal coming in being a qualifier for the Final and we made it a huge priority before the beginning of the year, not only to try to win this, but to be in a good position for the Final.”
Friday night’s Canadian team consisted of Eric Lamaze and Morningside Stud & Torrey Pines Stables’ Wang Chung M2S, Tiffany Foster and Artisan Farm LLC’s Victor, Mac Cone and Chadburn Holdings, Inc.’s Amor van de Rostal as well as Ian Millar and Ariel and Susan Grange’s Dixson with Chef d’Equipe Mark Laskin.
In round one, Lamaze had five faults for a rail and one time fault, Foster and Millar jumped clear, and Mac Cone was eliminated for the drop score. All four riders continued on into round two where Lamaze, Foster and Millar all jumped clear. Mac Cone’s score was once again dropped to leave the team on five faults total for their second place finish.
Third place finisher, Team Germany, included Janne Friederike Meyer aboard Meyer, Friedrich and Anne Sophie’s Cellagon Lambrasco, Johannes Ehning and Nybor Pferde GMBH & Co. KG’s Salvador V, Andre Thieme and his Contanga 3, and Daniel Deusser aboard Stephex Stables & Pedro Veniss’s Cornet d’Amour headed by Chef d’Equipe Dietmar Gugler.
In round one, Germany dropped Ehning’s score of eight and kept Meyer’s four fault score and Theime’s one time fault with a clear round from Daniel Deusser. In round two, Deusser once again jumped clear, Meyer was clear, and Ehning and Theime each had four faults, one of which was dropped. The team finished on five faults from round one and four faults from round two for a nine point total.
The fourth place team from Ireland finished with eleven faults. Other teams included Colombia, who finished on a score of 41 to place fifth, Venezuela, who had a two round total of 48 to finish sixth, and Mexico, who finished on a score of 59 to place seventh.
All in all, there were five double clear rounds for the night, including Reed Kessler, Tiffany Foster, Ian Millar, Daniel Deusser and Cian O’Connor on Splendor. Foster was especially enthusiastic about her performance aboard Victor.
The 2013 season has seen the introduction of a new formula for the FEI Nations Cup. Following a new sponsorship deal with the Saudi Equestrian Fund, this historic series will now be known as the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup. Under the new rules, the world has been divided into six regions for the purpose of qualifying teams for a World Final. The six regions are Europe 1 and 2, North America, South America, Middle East, Asia and Africa.
On behalf of Furusiyya, HH Prince Faisal Al Shalan was present for the class and commented on the evening. “First of all we are very happy for the American team for their win today,” he stated. “They were amazing and they had really good horses coming in. The other teams also performed really well and it was very close.”
“To start off, Furusiyya is a single Arabic word and it is based on embracing the idea of horsemanship, chivalry and equestrian knowledge in general,” he added. “The term is a derivation of ‘faris,’ the horseman and the horse, so it’s a combination of both. In time, Furusiyya will become the brand name under which Saudi Arabian equestrian products will be licensed and marketed. To date, there is a perfume called Furusiyya which is a product for sale in Saudi Arabia. It is our duty in Saudi equestrian to sponsor Saudi equestrian activities for the nobility. Not only in the narrow sense of their history and heritage, but rather in the cultural and behavioral aspects that surround the sport in celebration of the horse. It has instilled chivalry, honor, value and virtue. This is the essence of our mission in the Saudi Equestrian Fund-the connection between horse and rider is universal and we are fortunate that the horse is so noble that they allow us to share their strength and passion.”
Class and weekly sponsor Gustavo Mirabal of G&C Farm also spoke about the evening. “I am very proud to again be the Nations Cup sponsor as well as many FEI classes,” Mirabal stated. “I think we have to do this in America-more FEI classes and more FEI points so we can have more riders in the top of the world. I recognize all of the American riders as amazing riders and people, and I am proud to be the sponsor.”
Also commenting on the class, John Madden, representing the FEI, noted, “I think we witnessed a little bit of history tonight. This is the first Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup here in North America. Last week we witnessed it in Abu Dhabi and we think it’s a really bright future for our sport.”
“I would like to, on behalf of the FEI, thank the USEF as our host federation and ESP, Michael (Stone) and everybody for a great job this evening,” Madden acknowledged. “I think we really have to thank Gustavo and G&C. They really bring the hemisphere together. They bring the Americas together like a family and we really have to thank His Highness Prince Faisal and Furusiyya. Thank you, on behalf of the FEI for bringing the world together.”
Equestrian Sport Productions’ CEO Mark Bellissimo added, “I’d also like to thank the sponsors and His Highness. This is an amazing start of a tradition in the United States and it is great that the U.S. team was able to prevail here. Canada and Germany also did very well and I think we’re just pleased to have top sport in Wellington.”
“I’d like to thank my friend Gustavo Mirabal, who stepped up very early in our ownership of this and has just been an amazing sponsor and supporter through all dimensions of the sport,” Bellissimo said. “It takes great sponsors to elevate the sport in the United States and we hope this is a relationship for many years to come. Again, we thank the FEI and USEF for creating the platform for this great demonstration.”
Darragh Kenny and Delilah Dash to Victory in $10,000 G&C Farm Speed Stake
G&C Farm’s $10,000 Speed Stake was also held on Friday with a win for Ireland’s Darragh Kenny and Delilah, owned by Derbypie, LLC. In a field of 35 international starters, Kenny and Delilah completed the fastest of 9 clear rounds in 59.07 seconds. Germany’s Johannes Ehning and Cayenne 162, owned by Winley Farm LLC, finished second in 59.63 seconds. USA’s Reed Kessler and Ligist were third with a time of 61.54 seconds.
Delilah is a 13-year-old KWPN mare by Lancelot x Gracio owned by young American rider Hasbrouck Donovan, who has shown successfully in the junior jumpers. Kenny explained that he has been keeping the mare fit for her rider over the winter and asked if he could use her as a speed horse this week.
“It is a super horse,” Kenny stated. “She is so easy and brave and uncomplicated and careful. She has a huge stride and you can really gallop with her. She wants to win, so it makes my life really easy.”
Commenting on Friday’s class, Kenny noted, “It was a really nice result. I thought it was a really good course for a speed class. There were enough questions and tight turns, but also a lot of galloping. It was really interesting because in a really good speed class you have to be careful about leaving the jumps up too and a good few people at the start had faults. You just had to be a little bit careful and then you had to go pretty quick.”
Kenny is frequently one of the fastest riders in any class and explained that confidence in his horses is key. “I am lucky; I just know how to go fast,” he smiled. “At this stage I have had a lot of practice. It is a simple thing. If you can trust your horses to jump the jumps clear, then speed comes a lot easier. Delilah is so careful and she tries so hard that when I turn back to anything, even if I am not at the perfect distance or even if I am going too fast, I know she is going to try. That makes it easier; it gives you more room to go faster.”
Also showing in the International Arena on Friday, McLain Ward and Tequestrian Farm’s Coco 135 earned a victory in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge. Johannes Ehning and Appearance 2, owned by Nybor Pferde GMBH & Co. KG, triumphed in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class.
LDM Dramatik and Amy Smith Secure Championship Title in Low Adult 2’6″ Hunters Section A
Amy Smith and her newly acquired mount, LDM Dramatik, topped the Low Adult 2’6″ Hunter Section A division during week eight of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). Smith and her fourteen-year-old Westphalian mare were fifth and fourth over fences on day one of competition for the division. The pair was second, fourth and first over fences on day two.
Reserve championship honors went to Elizabeth Reed and her own Serenade. Reed and Serenade were third over fences day one and earned a blue ribbon over fences on day two.
Smith bought LDM Dramatik from Lynn Berg only two weeks ago, who was competing the mare in Adult Amateur divisions at the FTI WEF. While their relationship may be new, the pair is clearly a winning match.
“She’s been awesome. Last week, [during World Championship Hunter Rider Week], we were fifth in the classic out of 73 and ninth and eleventh out of 73 in the other two over fences classes,” Smith recalled.
Smith has enjoyed getting to know her new mount as the two continue their success at the FTI WEF. “My horse that I had for six years was totally different from her – it’s like night and day. She stays consistent, while he would change at every jump. If you saw a long one on him, he might go for it or you might chip. I’m adjusting to her well. She makes it easy,” Smith described.
“She’s such a good girl, she’s really right there for you,” Smith continued. “She helps you out and she never changes unless she needs to.”
Smith also praised LDM Dramatik’s way of going for making her so competitive at a high-caliber competition like the FTI WEF. “A lot of it is the way she goes across the ground. She’s just so smooth and she jumps the same style from any distance. She doesn’t stay in the air too long over jumps and she’s got just the right amount of arc. She can cover up your mistakes, also. If you get a little too deep to a fence, she’ll still jump it very well,” Smith explained.
Smith has been competing at the FTI WEF since 1990. She looks forward to her annual trip south from Nashville for more than just the Florida sunshine. “The facilities are beautiful, first of all. The competition is the toughest in the country which makes me ride better. It makes me more competitive,” Smith commented.
“And of course, who couldn’t love being in Palm Beach in the winter?” Smith added with a smile.
Week eight of the FTI WEF, sponsored by G&C Farm, will continue Saturday, March 2, 2013, with the THIS National Children’s Medal 15-17 class in Ring 8 of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The Hollow Creek Farm FEI Children’s, Junior, and Young Rider Nations Cups will be held in the International Arena. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.
Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival
The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 9 through March 31. 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. For more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com.
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 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 $1.56 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2011. More information can be found at www.fticonsulting.com.
Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.
Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations