Emily Ward and Millioninmind. Photo © Sportfot.
Wellington, FL – January 19, 2020 – Great Britain’s Emily Ward, 20, made a splash in the Under 25 division at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) by winning the $25,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix CSI2* riding Millioninmind on Sunday, January 19, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.
Fifty-five horses challenged Oscar Soberon’s (USA) opening track with 19 returning for a deciding jump-off. After winning the Hermès Under 25 Welcome just a day earlier, Ward wasted no time in establishing herself as the one to beat this season. She and Millioninmind, owned by Steven Barnes, stopped the clock in a quick 35.99 seconds over second-place finisher Sydney Shulman’s (ISR), who finished in a time of 36.18 seconds riding Jill Shulman’s Azilis du Mesnil.
“I’ve actually never competed in America before, but I am off to a great start,” said Ward, 20, who rides for Canadian Tiffany Foster’s Little Creek Equestrian. “We’ve owned Millioninmind since he was six years old, so we’ve had him quite a long time. He took me on my first senior Nations Cup team, and won my first international grand prix with me. Now, he has come over here and flourished.”
Andrew Welles Scores FEI Victory
Andrew Welles rode Brindis Bogibo, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, to best a field of 67 and win the $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.45m Classic CSI2* to close out the day in the International Arena at WEF.
Speed and strategy were in tall order as Welles guided his mount through a 13-horse jump-off to stop the timers at 36.58 seconds for owner Itasca Group LLC.
“This was my horse’s first week competing this year, and I wanted to make it a point to improve on jump-offs coming into the season,” said Welles. “My plan was to give it our best shot. He was really in tune with the course today and I give him a lot of credit, he felt great out there. Especially in the jump-off, he was fully engaged going from jumps two to three where I left out a stride and his focus continued throughout the rest of the course.
“He is actually a horse that has been in our lives for four and a half years,” continued Welles. “But he was recently sold and then, thanks to the Razbeck and Hogan families, we were able to buy him back for me to ride. It’s been really special to have him back in our lives.”
For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.