Opening Press Conference Held for 2013 FTI WEF, Highlights of Winter Circuit Discussed
Wellington, FL – January 9, 2013 – The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) hosted its opening day of competition on Wednesday, January 9, at the beautiful Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL, with big wins for Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam. Sweetnam kicked things off with a bang in back to back victories in the first two classes of the circuit in the International Arena.
Sweetnam won the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m speed class aboard Sweet Oak Farm’s Solerina and then went on to take top honors in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class aboard Spy Coast Farm, LLC’s Eregast Van’t Kiezelhof. Laura Chapot also had a win on day one riding Mary Chapot’s Zealous in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge.
Week one of FTI WEF runs January 9-13, sponsored by The Mar-a-Lago Club. The week will feature a full schedule of exciting hunter/jumper competition, including the $55,000 Nespresso Battle of the Sexes exhibition class as the start of the “Saturday Night Lights” series and fun events like the Jump for HomeSafe fundraiser. Highlights of week one include the $30,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 1 on Thursday, the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Saturday afternoon, and the $30,000 Mar-a-Lago Club Grand Prix on Sunday. The 2013 FTI WEF runs through March 31 featuring 12 weeks of world-class competition.
Lexington, KY – September 28, 2012 – It was a thrilling $50,000 World Cup Qualifier at the Kentucky National Horse Show as 41 competitors gathered at the Rolex Stadium for their last chance to take the top honors and the highly coveted Leading Rider Award for the 2012 Hagyard Challenge Series. It was Shane Sweetnam who held on to his solid lead at the top of the standings for the 2012 Hagyard Challenge Series.
Consisting of seven grand prix classes held during the 2012 show series at the Kentucky Horse Park, the Hagyard Challenge Series, sponsored by the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, offers a $50,000 Leading Rider Award. Sweetnam stepped forward to receive the award during the World Cup Qualifier at the Kentucky National Horse Show.
During the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show, Sweetnam piloted Solerina to the first place finish in the $10,000 Hagyard Welcome Stake, and also picked up the first place award with his other mount, Amaretto D’Arco, during the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic on August 24, 2012. Sweetnam captured the lead with 830 points, and added an additional 40 to his cumulative score to win the prize money.
North Salem, NY − September 12, 2012 – The first day of The American Gold Cup FEI CSI 4* dawned clear and cool with a cloudless sky in North Salem, NY. The magnificent Old Salem Farm is the new home of the 2012 show after an off-and-on hiatus and it’s back and better than ever. The American Gold Cup is one of the world’s most prestigious show jumping events, now celebrating its forty-second year.
The highlight of Wednesday’s action was the $7,500 Hallway Feed & KER Sport Horse Nutrition Open Jumpers held in the meticulously groomed grass Grand Prix field.
McLain Ward came away with the win aboard Esplanade 7.
“Esplanade is a nice seasoned horse, has a lot of experience on grass fields like this,” he said. “I went pretty early in the order but I knew what my plan was and I was lucky enough she performed great and then held up for the whole afternoon.” Ward said he has been riding the 14-year-old chestnut mare for the owners, Louisburg Farm, off and on for about two years. “I don’t show her too often because she’s a Iittle bit in her sunset years but when she comes out, she’s normally in the prizes.”
Lexington KY – August 28, 2012 – It was a thrilling Welcome Stake for the final week of the Kentucky Summer Series, during the KHJA Horse Show. It was Shane Sweetnam who rode to the top of the standings for the 2012 Hagyard Challenge Series. Sweetnam’s first place finish knocked Kaitlin Campbell into the second place position, with Reed Kessler holding strong in the third place position.
Consisting of seven grand prix classes to be held during the 2012 show series at the Kentucky Horse Park, the Hagyard Challenge Series, sponsored by the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, offers a $50,000 Leading Rider Award. The rider accumulating the most points throughout the series will be presented with the bonus during the $50,000 World Cup Qualifier at the Kentucky National Horse Show in September 2012.
On Friday, August 24, 2012, Sweetnam piloted Solerina to the first place finish in the $10,000 Hagyard Welcome Stake, and also picked up the first place award with his other mount Amaretto D’Arco during the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic at the Bluegrass Festival. After Friday night’s win, Sweetnam now holds the lead with 830 points.
Lexington, Kentucky – Shane Sweetnam of Ireland and Shawn Casady of Midtown, Tennessee, both picked up bonus money in the SSG Riding Gloves ‘Go Clean for the Green’ promotion during the Bluegrass Festival held August 15 to 19 in Lexington, KY.
Sweetnam won the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic on Friday, August 17, with a double clear performance aboard Amaretto D’Arco, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion owned by Spy Coast Farm. Posting one of four double clear performances, Sweetnam’s time of 39.95 seconds gave him the victory over Kaitlin Campbell of Brookeville, MD, riding Rocky W, who stopped the clock in 40.24 seconds.
“I have been using the SSG ‘Digital’ Riding Gloves for quite a while, and I have really grown to like them,” said Sweetnam. “They have a really good grip, are comfortable, and work no matter what the weather is like. I am thrilled to have earned the bonus money again.”
Lexington, KY – August 17, 2012 – The lights were bright in the Rolex Stadium as the onlookers cheered on their favorite horse and rider combinations in a highly competitive 14-horse jump off. It was the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic that took center stage tonight, seeing a field of 50 entrants vie for the top prize and valuable series points. Shane Sweetnam and Amaretto D’Arco jumped to the fastest of only four double-clear efforts, leading the night’s victory gallop. Kaitlin Campbell was just a hair shy of Sweetnam’s time, finishing in the second place spot with Rocky W.
Tonight’s class was the fifth of seven grand prix events that make up the Hagyard Challenge Series, sponsored by Hagyard Medical Institute and presented by Pfizer Animal Health. The rider accumulating the most points throughout the series will be presented with the bonus during the $50,000 World Cup Qualifier at the Kentucky National Horse Show in September 2012.
Allen Rheinheimer designed the track tonight, utilizing standalone verticals, rollbacks, technical lines, an oxer-oxer double combination, a vertical-oxer double combination, and a tight oxer-vertical combination leading into a daunting oxer. Riders had to navigate the course within the tight time allowed of 95 seconds, treading carefully with the agility to leave all the rails in their cups.
Wellington, FL – March 15, 2012 – The FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) continued on Thursday with round ten of the $32,000 WEF Challenge Cup Series and a victory for Irish rider Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm’s Amaretto D’Arco. In a twelve horse jump-off, the pair was fastest of just two clear rounds, topping Canada’s Tiffany Foster and Victor, owned by Torrey Pines Stables and Artisan Farms LLC.
Sponsored by Artisan Farms, week ten features two classes on Sunday, March 18, on the grass field at The Stadium. Starting at 10:30 a.m., the $15,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Final runs first and is followed by the $80,000 Pennfield Feeds Grand Prix CSI 2* at 2 p.m.
Today’s WEF Challenge Cup saw 46 entries showing over a course set by Michel Vaillancourt of Aiken, SC. Twelve posted clear rounds to return for the jump-off, but just two were able to clear the second round.
Wellington, FL – December 2, 2011 – Irish rider Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm LLC’s Little Emir galloped to victory in the $31,000 G&C Farm 1.45m FEI ranking class on Friday at Equestrian Sport Production’s Holiday and Horses event. The pair stopped the clock in 42.90 seconds to edge out Katie Dinan and Grant Road Partner’s Nougat Du Vallet, who were the only other combination to make it to the jump-off. Dinan and Nougat Du Vallet finished second with their time of 45.10 seconds.
Anthony D’Ambrosio set a challenging course for the 33 entries in today’s class and just the two riders were able to jump clear. An oxer to vertical double-liverpool combination caused problems for many, and a tight time allowed caught several others. Sweetnam and Dinan finished first and second, followed by three riders with time faults.
Emilie Martinsen of Denmark finished the course with one time fault in 84.76 seconds to place third on Carisma. Margie Engle and Pauly Du Breuil, owned by the Garbers, Engles and Lea Allen, had one time fault in 84.93 seconds to finish fourth. Jessica Springsteen and Stone Hill Farm’s Vornado Van Den Hoendrik had three time faults in 86.22 seconds to place fifth. Columbia’s Daniel Bluman and Fatalis Fatum had the fastest four fault round in 77.50 seconds to take home sixth place honors.
La Baule, 13 May 2011 – Ireland won the opening leg of the 2011 FEI Nations Cup series in a nail-biting thriller at La Baule in France today. On an afternoon when the form-book was turned on its head, Robert Splaine’s side of Shane Sweetnam (Amaretto Darco), Billy Twomey (Romanov), Cian O’Connor (Larkhill Cruiser) and Cameron Hanley (VDL Southwind) produced superb jumping to finish with a two-fault advantage over the runners-up from Belgium, while the mighty German side had to settle for third spot in the eight-nation clash.
Nations Cup jumping is never predictable, which is one of the reasons for its continuing popularity more than a century after it all began. But few could have expected that the host country – defending series champion and winners on their home turf in 2010 – would finish second-last, followed only by the newcomers from Denmark. On a difficult day for the Danes, already disadvantaged by the withdrawal of second-line rider Emilie Martinsen after her horse, Caballero, suffered a colic attack, they retired early in the second round. So they go into the next leg in Rome (ITA) in two weeks’ time already trailing on the leaderboard, and with a mountain to climb if they are to survive their debut-season at the elite level of this super-tough sport.
A FEW SURPRISES Course designer, Frederic Cottier, appeared to have been quite lenient as the competition began, but by the end of the first round there had already been a few surprises including elimination for World No. 1 Kevin Staut whose mare, Silvana de Hus, stopped twice at the penultimate combination to the dismay of the home crowd.