Niels Bruynseels at Knokke Hippique (Photo: Knokke Hippique)
The second Major of the year, the Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen, takes place on 22nd July and is expected to attract over 40,000 spectators to witness the prestigious competition. The course, set by Frank Rothenberger, is considered to be one of the most challenging and demanding 5* tracks. The sport’s finest horse and rider partnerships are tested to their limits, displaying enviable skill and talent, striving to make history and to be crowned the Rolex Grand Prix champion.
Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping Rider Watch
With the world’s best horse and rider combinations set to take center stage for Rolex Grand Prix, there are some notable contenders whose recent performance would state they are on track for a Rolex Major win:
Niels Bruynseels, the current Rolex live contender, has continued his great form since producing a lightning jump-off round at The Dutch Masters aboard his 12-year-old mare Gancia de Muze in March. The notoriously fast duo took the top prize in the Rolex Grand Prix at Knokke Hippique following a speedy and faultless jump-off. With the next stage of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping very much in his sites, Bruynseels will be pulling out all the stops to make sure his Rolex Grand Slam journey continues.
One of the most experienced riders on the circuit, Swiss hero Steve Guerdat, has had a successful summer so far. His most notable victory was in front of HM The Queen at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in May. Seeing off top-class competitors, Guerdat rode an impeccable round to snap up the Rolex Grand Prix victory. Guerdat is no stranger when it comes to winning Majors; crowned champion at CHI Geneva on more than one occasion, Guerdat stays calm under pressure and will certainly be a formidable contender for the Rolex Grand Prix in Aachen.
Fellow Rolex Testimonee, Eric Lamaze, has prepared well for the CHIO Aachen. At the Rolex Grand Prix in Windsor, he shaved time off Guerdat’s winning result, but a light touch on the pole resulted in four penalties. Fresh from his victory in the ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Spruce Meadows with his 15-year-old mare, Fine Lady, Eric Lamaze will be hoping to continue his recent form as he eyes up the coveted Rolex Grand Prix trophy.
Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca is also looking strong, having won the Rolex Grand Prix in Rome (Piazza di Siena). De Luca and his chestnut gelding, Halifax Van Het Kluizebos, jumped two immaculate clear rounds, stopping the clock at 45.37 secs, making him one to watch.
Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum has tasted victory at CHIO Aachen once before, having won the Rolex Grand Prix in 2005 on her 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Shutterfly. Michaels-Beerbaum will have the patriotic home-crowd support, willing her to repeat her 2005 success thirteen years on.
Rolex Testimonee, Scott Brash, the first and only rider to win the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, brings a wealth of experience and always performs well under pressure.
Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5. Photo by Starting Gate Communications.
Calgary, Alberta – Three-time Olympic medalist Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 won the $500,000 ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup on Saturday, July 7, at the CSI5* Spruce Meadows ‘North American’ tournament, presented by Rolex, in Calgary, AB.
The victory marked the third one of the week for Lamaze and the second for Fine Lady 5, a 15-year-old Hanoverian mare (Forsyth x Drosselklang II) owned by Andy and Carlene Ziegler’s Artisan Farms and Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable. Having won Thursday evening’s demanding $131,600 1.55m Progress Energy Cup, the pair was poised for another win. They did not disappoint their legion of fans and were the only horse-rider combination to successfully jump the two-round track set by Spanish course designer Santiago Varela without fault.
“I really respect this fantastic mare,” said Lamaze of his 2016 Olympic individual bronze medal partner. “She gives me everything she has and really understands the competition. We had a few rattles in the first round, and it made her that much better for the second round.”
Eight riders jumped clear in the first round, but Lamaze was the first to repeat his faultless performance in the second round. There was only one competitor still to come who could potentially match his clear scorecard to force a jump-off, the formidable Kent Farrington of the United States aboard Creedance. When a rail fell, the cheer went up from the crowd for a Canadian victory.
“It really begins in the second round,” Lamaze said of the format that sees the top 12 riders following the opening round of competition move forward, carrying their faults with them. “I’m not going to lie; I wasn’t happy with who was coming behind me! Fortunately, I was sitting on my best horse with the most experience. I know this arena very well; I’ve jumped in it many times, and that gives you an advantage when it comes to the second round.”
Currently ranked number four in the World Rider Rankings, Lamaze’s win in the $500,000 ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup capped a tremendous four weeks of competition comprising the Spruce Meadows ‘Summer Series’. The 2008 Olympic champion claimed no fewer than six victories with four different horses, namely Fine Lady 5, Chacco Kid, Chesney, and Saura de Fondombe.
“It’s a long, grueling four weeks of competition but every win at Spruce Meadows in the International Ring is special to me,” said Lamaze, 50, who is the all-time leading money winner at the renowned Calgary show jumping venue with earnings in excess of $5.6 million. “Spruce Meadows makes great riders and horses. I will never change my mind on that.”
Lamaze, who divides his time between training bases in Wellington, FL and Brussels, Belgium, said, “Every sport in the world is about confidence. Any win at a five-star competition with these types of jumps does tremendous things for your confidence. My next show with Fine Lady is Aachen (Germany), and I’ll be able to walk in there carrying this confidence.”
The 2018 edition of CSIO5* Aachen runs from July 17 to 22. Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 are the defending champions of the €100,000 Turkish Airlines Prize of Europe, having won the past two years in a row.
Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5. Photo by Spruce Meadows Media.
Calgary, Alberta – Canadian Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze stood in the winner’s circle for the third day in a row after claiming the $385,000 CSI5* ‘Continental’ Grand Prix riding Fine Lady 5 on Sunday, June 17, at the Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ tournament in Calgary, AB.
Having won Friday night’s $131,600 Scotiabank Cup in spectacular fashion aboard Chacco Kid, Lamaze again won on Saturday, taking the $70,200 Canadian Utilities Cup with new mount, Saura de Fondcombe, owned by Katharina Peter. His third win on Sunday came aboard Fine Lady 5, his individual bronze medal partner at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Riding Fine Lady 5, the 15-year-old Hanoverian mare (Forsyth x Drosselklang II) his Torrey Pines Stable owns in partnership with Andy and Carlene Ziegler’s Artisan Farms, Lamaze was one of seven riders to jump clear and qualify for the jump-off over a testing track set by course designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil. In the same scenario as Friday night’s Scotiabank Cup, Lamaze was chasing the jump-off time posted by young American Lucy Deslauriers and Hester when he entered the ring. And in a repeat of Friday night, Lamaze was again faster, stopping the clock in 43.22 seconds compared to the 43.66 posted by Deslauriers.
Lamaze is using the Spruce Meadows Summer Series consisting of four weeks of CSI5* competition, the highest level of show jumping competition sanctioned by the Federation Equestre International (FEI), to prepare for September’s FEI World Equestrian Games in Tryon, NC. When Fine Lady 5 was originally purchased in the spring of 2014 from Germany’s Holger Wulschner, she was not intended to be used for 1.60m grand prix competition.
“Fine Lady was purchased as a speed horse, as a 1.45m/1.50m ranking horse,” explained Lamaze, who is based in Wellington, FL and Brussels, Belgium. “Prior to the Rio Olympics, we stepped her up and put her in some big competitions here at Spruce Meadows in the Summer Series and she just blossomed. Then we moved her up at Aachen and she won. At the Olympics I couldn’t believe it; the final round was big and although I wouldn’t say she jumped it easily – none of the horses jumped it easily – she jumped it. It was a very pleasant surprise.
“Any horse that did well in recent major championships, the ones that ended up on the podium at an Olympics or World Championships, most of them came here in the summer time and trained for the four weeks,” continued Lamaze. “In a year when there is a world championship, there is no better place to prepare than the Spruce Meadows Summer Series. It makes you a better rider. This Summer Series serves us on many levels. It’s good for developing younger horses and younger riders and it also prepares more experienced combinations for major championships.”
As Fine Lady 5 is his intended mount for the World Equestrian Games, Lamaze is choosing her classes carefully. He will now rest the mare for two weeks before bringing her out to contest the Spruce Meadows ‘North American’ tournament from July 4 to 8.
“I love coming to Spruce Meadows; we have real competition here,” said Lamaze, who is the all-time leading money winner at the Calgary venue. “It’s the only venue in Canada that I come to. This facility has been very good to me. And I love competing in front of our fans. It feels like home.”
Lamaze will now have a week off from competition before returning to Calgary for the back-to-back Spruce Meadows ‘Pan American’ and ‘North American’ tournaments.
Eric Lamaze and Chacco Kid. Photo by Spruce Meadows Media.
Calgary, Alberta – Canada’s Eric Lamaze scored back-to-back victories at the CSI5* Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ tournament on June 15 and 16. Hot off his win in Friday night’s $131,600 Scotiabank Cup, Lamaze returned to the Meadows on the Green arena on Saturday to claim victory in the $70,200 Canadian Utilities Cup.
On Friday night, Lamaze qualified both Chacco Kid, a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Chacco Blue x Come On) owned by the Chacco Kid Group, and his 2016 Rio Olympic bronze medal partner, Fine Lady 5, for the jump-off, joining six other horse-rider combinations. Once Chacco Kid posted a time of 37.13 seconds over the course designed by Brazil’s Guilherme Jorge to move into the lead by over two seconds, Lamaze elected to withdraw Fine Lady 5 in the hopes his leading time would stand up for the win. Stand up it did, with Lamaze and Chacco Kid claiming the Scotiabank Cup over 19-year-old American Lucy Deslauriers who stopped the timers in 39.16 seconds riding Hester.
“Most grand prix events don’t even offer $100,000 in prize money so when you’re going for $131,000 on a Friday night, you are jumping for real money,” said Lamaze. “It was an incredible class. The track that Guilherme set was built for speed. If you wanted to win, you had to be committed.
“After the jump-off round I had with Chacco, I didn’t think I could possibly go any faster with Fine Lady!” said Lamaze of his decision to withdraw Fine Lady 5, automatically placing the pair eighth.
The leading all-time money winner at Spruce Meadows, Lamaze increased his lead even further on Saturday by winning the Canadian Utilities Cup. A total of 12 riders jumped clear in the first round to advance to the tie-breaker including Lamaze aboard a new mount, Saura de Fondcombe, owned by Katharina Peter. As the tenth rider to return for the jump-off, Lamaze was chasing a time of 36.07 set by Daniel Coyle of Ireland riding Quintin. Despite the new partnership, Lamaze guided the 12-year-old selle francais mare (Balou du Rouet x Paladin des Ifs) home in a time 35.38 seconds to claim his second victory in as many days at the iconic Canadian show jumping venue.
“Last night, the jump-off was insane! Today was a little more subdued,” laughed Lamaze, 50, who also finished runner-up in Thursday night’s $40,000 1.50m Husky Energy Classic with Saura de Fondcombe. “It was a solid 1.50m course with 12 clear, and I had a good position going towards the end. She is a very careful, genuine mare. She’s had a lot of experience at this level and you can take a lot of risk. She’s a really good horse.
“As I always say, if you win a class at Spruce Meadows, you can win anywhere in the world,” said Lamaze. “Horses learn a lot and riders learn a lot by competing here. It’s real sport. If you want to participate in any major championships, you have to prove you can survive Spruce Meadows!”
Lamaze will saddle up Fine Lady 5, the 15-year-old Hanoverian mare (Forsyth x Drosselklang II) he owns in partnership with Andy and Carlene Ziegler’s Artisan Farms, for Sunday’s $385,000 CSI5* ‘Continental’ Grand Prix beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Following the Spruce Meadows Summer Series, concluding on July 8, Lamaze will return to his home base in Brussels, Belgium. From there, he will compete at the CSI5* Global Champions Tour in Chantilly, France, from July 12 to 15 followed by CHIO Aachen, Germany, from July 17 to 22.
Wellington, FL – March 15, 2018 – Canadian Olympic champion Eric Lamaze claimed his third WEF Challenge Cup win of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) season on Thursday, March 15, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. The now 28-time winner of the class earned victory in the $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 10 with Chesney, owned by Artisan Farms LLC.
From a field of 85 entries in the $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 10, nine advanced to jump off over the track set by 2015 Pan American Games course designer Michel Vaillancourt (CAN). Lamaze and Chesney, an 11-year-old KWPN gelding by Indoctro x Kannan, tripped the jump-off timers in an unbeatable 36.59 seconds to take the win.
Second place with a time of 37.07 seconds was the USA’s Amber Harte riding Austria 2, owned by Take the High Road LLC. Rounding out the top three was Georgina Bloomberg (USA) aboard Manodie II H, owned by Gotham Enterprizes LLC, who finished on a time of 37.50 seconds.
Tim Goguen Pilots Publisher to Triple Crown Nutrition Green Hunter 3’ Championship
Tim Goguen got his week underway aboard Publisher, owned by Paula Polk Lillard, with a championship win in the Triple Crown Nutrition Green Hunter 3’ division. The pair rose to the top with an 84, two 85s, and an outstanding 90 from the judges, which resulted in three firsts and a second over fences. The duo additionally took fourth place on the flat.
Wellington, FL – January 25, 2018 – Canadian Olympic champion Eric Lamaze added another accolade to his list of accomplishments on Thursday of the third week of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). He notched his 25th WEF Challenge Cup victory, this time in the $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 3 with Chacco Kid at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.
The $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 3 had 85 entries, and there were 27 clears over the course designed by Peter Grant of Canada. Seventeen of those returned for the jump-off, and it was once again Lamaze and Chacco Kid who were fastest to lead the victory gallop. They crossed the timers in a speedy 40.02 seconds, the fastest time of the day and also a clear round. Lamaze now ties Olympic gold medalist McLain Ward (USA) for 25 WEF Challenge Cup victories, the most in the history of the class. Lamaze and Chacco Kid won this class just last week as well.
Jennifer Hannan and Mindful Crowned Champions in Antares Sellier France High Performance Working Hunters
Jennifer Hannan and her mount, Mindful, owned by Kensel, LLC, took to the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter ring on Thursday and captured the championship title with three firsts and a fifth over fences and a second in the under saddle in the Antares Sellier France High Performance Working Hunters.
“He is a really good horse, and he knows his job,” said Hannan of the 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding. “He’s a blast to ride and has all the stride and scope you could ask for.”
Eric Lamaze riding Chacco Kid. Photo by Starting Gate Communications.
Wellington, Florida – Eric Lamaze scored his first win of the 2018 season, claiming victory over 109 starters in the $35,000 CSI2* Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round II on Thursday, January 18, at the 12-week Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.
Mexican course designer Oscar Soberon whittled the enormous 109-horse starting field down to nine for the tie-breaking jump-off. None was faster than Lamaze and Chacco Kid, with the pair stopping the clock in the winning time of 34.68 seconds. Remarkably, there was a three-way tie for second place as Emanuele Camilli of Italy and Cian O’Connor and Paul O’Shea, both of Ireland, crossed the timers in exactly 36.76 seconds.
Lamaze concluded his 2017 show season by competing at CSI5* events in Paris, France and Geneva, Switzerland in December, before relocating to Florida for the winter season.
“Every year at the start of WEF, I use a horse that is coming off Paris and Geneva; rather than give him a rest, I keep him going and compete with him in Florida as he is already in form,” explained Lamaze, who has won Olympic gold, silver, and bronze medals during his illustrious career. “For a lot of the riders, their horses have been on a lay-off. Today’s class was very competitive with 109 starters, but it was nice for Chacco Kid to do a round at a lower height of 1.45m than he was jumping in Paris and Geneva. When it comes to the jump-off, he has the experience going fast. I know him well, and I don’t mind taking some risks that perhaps a year ago I wasn’t comfortable doing.”
Lamaze welcomed Chacco Kid to his Torrey Pines Stable during the Winter Equestrian Festival two years ago by way of Colombia. The now 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Chacco Blue x Come On) is owned by the Chacco Kid Group, comprised of Sara and Rick Mershad, Carol and Ludi Sollak, and Carlene and Andy Ziegler.
“The development of this horse has been a little backwards,” explained Lamaze of Chacco Kid’s progression since 2016. “Although he had been ridden by good riders in Colombia, he had never been exposed to big international shows. He was very inexperienced that way but, with it being an Olympic year, we wanted to save my Olympic horse, Fine Lady 5, as much as possible. Normally you would have him start out competing at 1.45m, but he ended up doing the big Nations’ Cups in Aachen and Rome, and the grand prix at La Baule, so it went a little backwards. Now I’m doing what we should have done in the beginning. He has the biggest heart, and always tries 100 percent. It is very impressive what this little horse has done.”
While Lamaze is traditionally based in Wellington for the duration of the winter season, his competition schedule is a little different for 2018.
“I will have a different strategy this year as I’m going to do the Rolex show in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Holland, as well as the Global Champions Tour in Mexico City, which are both in March. I’m planning my winter season around those two events,” said Lamaze, 49, who splits his time between training bases in Wellington and Brussels, Belgium. “I did quite a bit of the Global Champions Tour last year, and I really enjoyed being part of the Hamburg Diamonds team with Harrie Smolders, Audrey Coulter, and Jos Verlooy; it was great to be among great riders and enjoy good team spirit. Of course, we have World Championships to think about this year as well. You try to target one or two horses towards that, keep competing, and pick the one that is performing the best at the time.”
In the meantime, Lamaze is building on his success by adding more horses to his competition roster. Last year, Lamaze put together a group of owners to purchase Jewel 8, a nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Kannan x Indoctro), and continues to strengthen his stable with horsepower.
“We have some promising young horses coming up including Viva, a new mare that I think a lot of,” said Lamaze, who was double clear earlier on Thursday in the 1.45m competition riding Viva. “I have another new nine-year-old that is spectacular, so we are adding some new horses to our string thanks to the continuing support of Andy and Carlene Ziegler of Artisan Farms, as well as some wonderful new owners who have gotten behind me. It’s very exciting!”
Eric Lamaze and Chacco Kid. Photo by Stefano Grasso for Global Champions League.
Doha, Qatar – Canada’s Eric Lamaze, riding alongside Harrie Smolders, led the Hamburg Diamonds to the overall victory in the final event of the Global Champions League held November 10 and 11 in Doha, Qatar.
The 2017 Global Champions League saw 18 teams participate, with the majority named for stops on the Global Champions League tour. Heading into the final event of the season, the Hamburg Diamonds held a narrow lead over Valkenswaard United, with the final rankings to be decided over two days in Doha.
Lamaze incurred nine faults in Friday’s opening round, hindered by two broken ribs suffered days earlier, while his teammate, Harrie Smolders of The Netherlands, jumped a clear round to keep hopes of an overall victory alive. On Saturday night, Lamaze delivered when it counted most, producing a clear round aboard his 2016 Rio Olympic bronze medal partner, Fine Lady 5, a 14-year-old bay Hanoverian mare (Forsyth x Drosselklang II) owned by Andy and Carlene Ziegler’s Artisan Farms in partnership with Lamaze’s Torrey Pines Stable. When Smolders matched his fault-free performance riding Don VHP Z, the Hamburg Diamonds secured the 2017 Global Champions League title with a total of 312 points over Valkenswaard United, who kept the pressure on right until the end and finished runner-up with 308 points. The Mexico Amigos finished a distant third with 250 points.
The Hamburg Diamonds won a total of €2,269,614 in prize money throughout the 2017 Global Champions League season. Lamaze, Smolders, and six-time British Olympian John Whitaker were joined by Audrey Coulter of the United States and Jos Verlooy of Belgium, both two-time World Cup Finalists, in representing the Hamburg Diamonds over the course of the 2017 season for owners Copernicus and Euro Horse. Two riders from each team are selected to compete in each of the 15 Global Champions League events held around the world.
“Thank you to Axel Verlooy and the Coulter family for including me on their team this season,” said Lamaze, 49, who rode alongside Smolders, Coulter, and Jos Verlooy during his 2017 season appearances. “When Axel first approached me, I didn’t hesitate to join such a strong team. It took the best riders to win the championship title.
“I would also like to thank my owners, particularly Andy and Carlene Ziegler, for allowing me to ride their horses in the Global Champions League this year,” added Lamaze.
Lamaze competed in four Global Champions League events riding his 2016 Rio Olympic mount, Fine Lady 5. He also made three appearances with Chacco Kid, an 11-year-old chestnut Oldenburg gelding (Chacco Blue x Come On) owned by Andy and Carlene Ziegler, Rick and Sara Mershad, and Ludi and Carol Sollak, who, collectively, form The Chacco Kid Group.
Lamaze has two competitions left on his 2017 schedule. The three-time Canadian Olympic medalist will compete at the CSI5* Paris Masters in France from November 30 to December 3 before heading to Switzerland for the CHI Geneva from December 7 to 10. In Geneva, Lamaze will defend his title in the innovative Rolex IJRC Top Ten Final, which offers 475,000 Swiss francs in prize money to the top ten ranked riders in the world, on Friday night, December 8, as well as contest the Rolex Grand Prix, part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, on Sunday, December 10.
Scott Stewart and Fun Prevail in Shapley’s Grooming Products High Performance Conformation Hunters
Wellington, FL – February 9, 2017 – Canadian Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze topped the $130,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 5 riding Fine Lady 5 on Thursday at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.
2012 London Olympic course designer Robert Ellis (GBR) built the track for 55 competitors in Thursday’s class. Fourteen horses advanced to the jump-off with Lamaze and Fine Lady 5, owned by Artisan Farms, LLC and Torrey Pines Stable, returning third to post a fault-free round in 41.23 seconds. His time could not be beat and gave Lamaze his second WEF Challenge Cup Series victory of the 2017 season after also winning round 3 with Houston.
Hardin Towell (USA) came the closest to bumping Lamaze from the top, but finished double clear in 43.72 seconds for second place riding Lucifer V, owned by Evergate Stables, LLC. From the lead-off position in the jump-off, Margie Engle (USA) settled for third with a double-clear effort in 45.27 seconds aboard Royce for owner Gladewinds Partners, LLC.
Mexico’s Alberto Michan stopped the clock clear in 45.69 seconds for fourth riding GC Chopin’s Bushi, owned by Iron Horse Farm, and Ben Maher (GBR) rounded out the top five with a double-clear finish in 45.80 seconds aboard Don Vito for Poden Farms.
“She is really an unbelievable horse,” said Lamaze of Fine Lady 5, the mount he piloted to an individual bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. “I have said it before: no one wants to compare anyone to Hickstead, but she is getting there slowly. For me, it is going to be the second horse of a lifetime.”
Thursday’s victory marked Lamaze’s 25th WEF Challenge Cup win in his career, four of which were in the irons of Fine Lady 5, a 14-year-old Hanoverian mare (Forsyth FRH x Drosselklang II).
“I have been doing [the WEF Challenge Cup Series] for quite some time,” he said. “I think for [Fine Lady 5], she suits every sort of competition.”
Second place rider, Hardin Towell, was pleased with Lucifer V’s performance, saying, “We were riding for second today. I knew I wasn’t going to catch [Eric]. Fine Lady is fast, and they looked fast today. I set my plan and went as quickly as I felt I could to leave up the jumps.”
Also competing in the International Arena on Thursday, Luis Larrazabal (VEN) won the $8,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m CSI 2* speed class riding Atlodetto FZ, owned by San Francisco Stables, LLC.
The $2,500 Engel & Völkers High Amateur-Owner Jumper speed class saw a win for Cristobal Collado (MEX) riding Creativo, owned by E2 Stables, while Emma Heise (USA) riding Broekie claimed the $1,500 Sleepy P Ranch High Junior Jumper speed class for Old Willow Farm.
Scott Stewart and Fun Named Champion Shapley’s Grooming Products High Performance Conformation Hunters
Scott Stewart of Wellington, FL rode Fun, owned by Gochman Sport Horses, LLC, to win the championship in the Shapley’s Grooming Products High Performance Conformation Hunters during WEF 5. The pair won the model, the stake, and an over fences class, earned second place in the handy, and third place under saddle for an impressive total of 35 points.
“He is really fun,” said Stewart. “He was a little tired yesterday because the weather was so hot. Yesterday wasn’t his best day, but today he was a little bit fresher and jumped better. He is a blast to ride and really sweet.”
Fun is a coming seven-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Chello III VDL. Stewart has campaigned the gelding since 2015 and the pair also claimed the championship in the High Performance Conformation Hunters during week one and week three of WEF.
“We did him in the Pre-Greens a couple years ago,” said Stewart. “Last year he did the Green Conformation Hunters and Becky [Gochman] also shows him in the 3’3″ Amateurs.”
Havens Schatt of Georgetown, KY and Custom Made settled for the reserve champion title with a total of 29 points. The pair won the handy and the under saddle, earned third place in the model and an over fences class, fourth place in the stake, and fifth place in another over fences class. Custom Made, owned by Shaw Johnson Price, is a 2005 Mecklenburg gelding by Chambertin that Price also shows in the Amateur-Owner division.
The fifth week of WEF continues on Friday featuring the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m CSI 5* and the $35,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m CSI 2* in the International Arena. Also on Friday, the Ariat National Adult Medal will decide a winner. For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.
Augusta Iwasaki and Small Affair Are Champions Three Weeks in a Row
Wellington, FL – January 28, 2017 – Eric Lamaze, Canada’s 2008 Olympic Champion and 2016 Olympic individual bronze medalist, guided his Rio mount Fine Lady 5 to victory in the $130,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 3* on Saturday night at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL. Lamaze topped Germany’s Olympic team bronze medalist Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum riding Comanche 28 in second, and Spanish Olympian Sergio Alvarez Moya aboard G&C Unicstar de l’Aumone in third.
Belgium’s Luc Musette built the course for Saturday night’s grand prix under the lights in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Forty-three entries contested the first round track, with seven advancing on to the jump-off, and three double clear rounds.
Lamaze, with Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable’s Fine Lady 5, stopped the clock in 40.26 seconds for the win. Michaels-Beerbaum and Artemis Equestrian Farm’s Comanche 28 finished second in 40.79 seconds. Moya was close behind for a third place finish in 40.80 seconds with G&C Farm’s Unicstar de l’Aumone. Laura Chapot (USA) clocked the fastest four-fault round with Mary Chapot’s ISHD Dual Star to place fourth in 41.83 seconds.
Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 concluded a banner 2016 season with a win in the Rolex Top Ten Final at CHI Geneva (SUI) in December before a short rest and gearing up to compete this winter.
“She felt really good tonight,” Lamaze said of the 14-year-old Hanoverian mare (Forsyth FRH x Drosselklang II). “I gave her a long rest after the Olympics, and then started back and just did Paris and Geneva. I plan on using her quite a bit at the beginning of the circuit here since she is fit from Geneva already. Then we will give her a rest before returning to Europe.”
Fine Lady’s quick foot speed carried the pair easily through the jump-off track, and Lamaze remarked on the long gallop home to the final oxer on course.
“You need to have the distance in front of you to be fast,” he noted. “If there is something in front of you, you take it. One pull and I’m easily third or maybe fourth.”
He added, “This was a difficult course, but she has done some very big classes lately. This was hard, but for her but it was a little bit of an easier class.”
Michaels-Beerbaum was happy with the progress that her mount, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Coupe de Couer x Baloubet du Rouet), has made since last winter in Wellington.
“I think Fine Lady is a really fast horse, and Comanche is just learning to go fast,” she stated. “I was very happy with him tonight. Comanche, I believe over the last year, has gained a tremendous amount of experience. He has always been a fantastic jumper, but he has been slightly green in the ring and a little bit spooky. Over the last year he’s been to shows all over the world, and I think that has helped him. I think he has grown up a lot, and tonight you could really see he gained a lot of self-confidence.”
Michaels-Beerbaum applauded Lamaze on his victory, adding, “It is a great honor to sit next to this guy and to be second to him by just a tiny bit.”
Riding for Spain, Moya was aboard a young mount in the nine-year-old Selle Francais mare Unicstar de l’Aumone (Ninio de Rox x Timorrak des Isles) for his first experience in a WEF “Saturday Night Lights” grand prix.
Moya stated, “I was very confident with her. She has never been under the lights, but she is always great. She tries her best, and she never doubts anything. She is naturally very fast, so I did not want to override the jump-off. It was not an easy class, and it is an honor to be next to Eric and Meredith. I am very happy with my third place.”
Allyn Mann, representing class sponsor and week three title sponsor Adequan®, was on-hand for the night’s event and remarked on the competition.
“What an honor to be sitting here with Eric, Meredith, and Sergio,” Mann stated. “The beauty of these equestrian disciplines is that it is an acknowledgment of these animals and what we ask them to do. Tonight was a wonderful example of that. We are honored and humbled by the opportunity to help the health and well-being of the horse so that these riders can go out and do what they love to do, which is to compete.”
Michaels-Beerbaum was also presented the award for Leading Lady Rider for week three, the award sponsored by Martha Jolicoeur of Douglas Elliman Real Estate in memory of Dale Lawler.
Also competing in the International Arena on Saturday, Eugenio Garza and El Milagro’s Victer Finn DH Z won the $15,000 Engel & Völkers High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. The $1,500 Sleepy P Ranch High Junior Jumper speed class saw victory for Cooper Dean aboard William Upton’s WEC Quidam-Quidam. The $1,500 Equiline Medium Amateur-Owner Jumper speed class awarded top honors to Michelle Navarro-Grau riding Tazman.
Augusta Iwasaki and Small Affair Are Champions Three Weeks in a Row
On Saturday, Augusta Iwasaki of Calabasas, CA and Small Affair claimed their third championship in a row in the Engel & Völkers Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division at WEF. In the past three weeks, the pair has won ten over fences classes. This week, they took the blue ribbon in three over fences classes, placed second in another, and finished fifth under saddle.
Small Affair, owned by Lyn Pederson, is a coming 14-year-old Selle Francais gelding by Elf d’Or. Iwasaki started riding him almost exactly a year ago and has shown him all over the country.
“He’s kind of grumpy,” said Iwasaki of her accomplished hunter mount. “He likes to keep to himself, and he thinks he’s the best.”
Iwasaki, who is just 12 years old, splits her time between riding in the pony divisions, Junior Hunters, and equitation classes. She is looking forward to hopefully showing in the USHJA/WCHR Peter Wetherill Hunter Spectacular during week six.
When asked which division she enjoys showing in the most, Iwasaki responded, “The Junior Hunters, for sure.”
Emma Wujek of Grosse Pointe Farms, MI took reserve honors aboard Puppet, owned by John and Stephanie Ingram LLC. The pair earned second place under saddle, and finished second, fourth, fourth, and eighth over fences. Puppet is a 2006 gelding by Palladium Ex Poladii.
The third week of WEF concludes on Sunday with the $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic in the International Arena. The Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under division will award championship and reserve honors in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring. For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.