David Oberkircher and Upper. Photo © Sportfot.
Wellington, FL – February 17, 2019 – The sixth week of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded on Sunday, February 17, with jumper competition on the grass derby field at Equestrian Village at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. David Oberkircher (USA) and Upper, owned by Southfields Farm LLC, rose to the top of the $25,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix.
Riding out on the beautiful grass derby field in the morning, some of the best up-and-coming show jumpers in the world competed for top grand prix honors. There were 43 entries in the class, with 13 of those going clear to advance to the jump-off.
Martin Fuchs and Cristo Top $25,000 CP Grand Prix
Taking advantage of an opportunity to show on the grass derby field at Equestrian Village, the individual silver medalist at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 was able to speed to the lead of the class. Martin Fuchs (SUI) rode Jacques Bodenmuller’s Cristo to a blazing time of 33.733 seconds to win the $25,000 CP Grand Prix, the closing event of WEF 6.
Twenty-four entries went to task on the first round, and five went clear to contest the jump-off. Fuchs went first on Cristo, setting an unbeatable time.
“I didn’t really like that I was first to go with him,” said Fuchs. “I would have preferred that my inexperienced horse was first to go so I could do a normal round with him, and then do a quick round with Cristo, to see how fast I had to go. Since I honestly really didn’t know the other riders in the jump-off, I just thought I didn’t want to be second, so I took the forward option, which was good, but now I ended up being quite a lot faster.”
Coming closest was Caelinn Leahy (IRL) on Steve Schaefer’s Dymendy. They finished in 36.206 seconds. Third place went to Hector Florentino (DOM) riding Venus, owned by Raylyn Farms Inc., in 37.330 seconds.
Final Day of Hunter Week Closes Out with Huge Wins for Coco Fath, Brenna Magness, and Hannah Hoch
The final day of WCHR Hunter Week at the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival came to a close on Sunday, February 17, with top junior and amateur hunter riders returning for one final day of special competition. Well-braided horses and riders in shadbellies once again took to the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center as the day kicked off with the $5,000 Peggy Cone Memorial WCHR Adult Hunter Classic.
As one of the largest classes of Hunter Week, the classic saw more than 70 top hunter combinations contest for a chance to make the top-12 callback for the second round of competition. Coco Fath of Fairfield, CT and Akinda were late in the order of go for the first round, but rocketed right to the top of the leaderboard with a top score of 89.00 points for their effort. While 11 of the class’s best-scoring riders returned before Fath to contest the second course, none could overcome Fath and the Hillside Farm LLC’s 13-year-old Warmblood mare. The team’s second round score of 81.00 points gave them a combined total of 170.00 points which was 2.5 points higher than second place winner Ava Lindsay and Fabricio 23.
For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.