Ben Maher and Tic Tac. © Sportfot.
Wellington, FL – January 23, 2022 – Week two of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), presented by Hygain Feeds, concluded with victory on the Derby Field at Equestrian Village for 2020 Olympic individual gold medalist Ben Maher (GBR) and longtime partner Tic Tac, owned by Jane Forbes Clark, in the $140,000 Hygain Feeds Grand Prix CSI3*.
Equestrians from across the globe made their way to participate in another top week of various hunter, jumper, and equitation competitions. In addition to WEF’s normal venue at PBIEC, week two allowed international jumper riders the first opportunity to familiarize themselves with the turf at Equestrian Village, which will make an appearance in several more weeks throughout the circuit. A large field of 74 up-and-coming international riders first faced the $25,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix but the day culminated in the afternoon grand prix.
In total, 11 nations were represented in the overall field, but Ireland gave themselves a fair chance at the victory as Friday’s $37,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round Two winner Eoin McMahon added himself to the list. Ultimately, 13 of the original 46 contestants managed to successfully answer all of Soberon’s questions, and the short track was then set for their return. O’Shea and Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu immediately put on the pressure as he returned first and blazed through the timers in 43.88 seconds clean. O’Shea held on to that victory until Maher stepped foot onto the field with the 19-year-old SBS stallion (Clinton x Darco). Maher shaved mere milliseconds off of the Irishman’s previous leading time and landed at the top in 43.52 seconds.
Maria Brugal Edges Out the Competition to Win the $25,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix
Young riders kicked off Grand Prix Sunday with 72 entries contesting Oscar Soberon’s first round course of the $25,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix. Eleven riders went fault-free to advance to the jump-off where international talent finished atop the podium with Maria Brugal (DOM) leading the way on her own J’Adore Flamenco.
Twelfth to go in the starting order, Brian Moggre (USA) found the first clear path with Stevie Macken’s Nobel S. They led the way in the jump-off with a smooth effort in 48.04 seconds, which would ultimately land them in the fifth-place position. Zoe Conter of Belgium was next to challenge in the jump-off, quickening the pace with Natan van’t Laarhof in 47.62 seconds, good enough for third place. Shortly after, Welcome winner Tom Wachman (IRL) stormed around the short course in 46.19 seconds, this time aboard Coolmore Show Jumping’s Lazarro delle Schiave. The riders that followed tried to catch Wachman’s time, but at the expense of a jumping fault.
It was Brugal who managed to shave a couple hundredths of a second off of Wachman’s time for the win in 46.17 seconds with J’Adore Flamenco.
For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.