Wellington, FL – February 2, 2011 – The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) began its fourth week of competition on Wednesday morning with another win going to Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) and HH Palouchin in the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers. This was the pair’s third win in a row, also winning both of week three’s 1.45m classes.
The fourth week of the FTI WEF, sponsored by Adequan, continues through Sunday, February 6. The highlight jumper classes this week are Thursday’s $31,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 4 at 1 p.m., Saturday’s $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Classic at 2 p.m. and the $55,000 Nespresso Battle of the Sexes at 7 p.m., and Sunday’s $75,000 Adequan CSI 2* Grand Prix at 2 p.m. The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of competition through April 3, 2011, and will be awarding more than $6 million in prize money through the circuit.
This week’s course designer in the International Arena is Richard Jeffery of Great Britain. Beginning the week, there were 36 entries in the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m class, and ten of those were clear to lead the standings. Rodrigo Pessoa and Double H Farms’ HH Palouchin were the fastest of those clear rounds with an unbeatable time of 55.552 seconds to take the top prize.
Wellington, FL – February 2, 2011 – The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation Board of Trustees hosted a cocktail reception on Friday, January 28, 2011, to honor the equestrian athletes that represented the United States during the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG), the recipients of the Foundations’ Gold Medal Club Anniversary Awards, the Lionel Guerrand-Hermes Trophy, and the Whitney Stone Cup. The reception was held at Player’s Club in Wellington, FL.
The reception opened with lovely remarks by Foundation President Jane Forbes Clark, recognizing the efforts of all the equestrian athletes that represented the United States during WEG, as well as their team of supporters. The United States earned a Team and Individual Gold Medal and an Individual Silver Medal in Reining, an Individual Gold Medal in Vaulting, a Team Silver and Individual Bronze Medal in Driving, and two Individual Bronze Medals in Dressage.
The party also recognized members of the Gold Medal Club, the most loyal and generous supporters of the USET Foundation. These individuals have been a vital and essential source of support to the U.S. equestrian teams. Special awards were presented to those supporters recognizing their giving at the Gold Medal Club level for 10, 15, 25 and 30 years.
Wellington, FL – January 30, 2011 – The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded its third week of competition on Sunday afternoon with a $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Classic. Held in the International Arena of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), the class was won by Paulo Santana (BRA) and Taloubet over a starting field of 31 entries. This win was the pair’s first WEF victory.
This week’s course designer in the International Arena was Olaf Petersen Sr. of Germany. Petersen designed a challenging course for the day’s class, which narrowed down the field to just six entries who continued to the jump-off. Santana and Taloubet, owned by Jennifer Santana, were the fastest of three double clear rounds to take home top honors. An eleven-year-old KWPN gelding by Baloubet Du Rouet x Quidam De Revel, Taloubet was smooth and confident in the jump-off and earned great praise from his rider. The pair went second over the short course and put down a clear, fast round in 34.537 seconds that would hold up for the win.
EHNING MAKES IT FIVE FOR GERMANY AT ZURICH by Louise Parkes
Zurich (SUI), 30 January 2011 – Marcus Ehning brought the German tally to five wins in the 2010/2011 Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping series with a convincing victory riding Noltes Kuchengirl at the ninth leg in Zurich, Switzerland today. In an exciting seven-way jump-off against the clock, the defending champion pipped British birthday boy, 28 year old Ben Maher riding the rejuvenated Robin Hood W, while Australia’s Edwina Alexander and Cevo Itot du Chateau finished third.
Remarkably, two Spanish riders made the cut into the jump-off and the first of these, Pilar Cordon, slotted into fourth when double-clear with Nuage Bleu while German superstars Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Shutterfly had to settle for fifth with a single mistake against the clock. Today’s result however has promoted Michaels-Beerbaum to runner-up spot in the Western European League standings which continue to be led by World No. 1 Kevin Staut from France whose first-round double-error proved costly today.
Wellington, FL – January 29, 2011 – Pablo Barrios (VEN) and G&C Quick Star 11, owned by G&C Farm of Wellington, FL, captured the top prize in tonight’s $40,000 Surpass Grand Prix, CSI 2*. This was the second event of 11 in the “Saturday Night Lights” series at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). A crowd of 4,700 spectators were there to enjoy top-class show jumping and all that the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center has to offer.
The third week of the FTI WEF concludes with tomorrow’s competition. The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of competition through April 3, 2011, and they will be awarding more than $6 million in prize money through the circuit.
This week’s course designer in the International Arena is Olaf Petersen Sr. of Germany. There were 41 entries in the grand prix, and 12 were able to keep all of the jumps up to advance to the jump-off.
Schuyler Riley described of the course, “The first round was a beautiful course. Rails fell everywhere. It was a very technical, precise-riding course.”
THERMAL, CA (January 29, 2011) — Canadian Olympian John Pearce made it clear that he is determined to make a return trip to the Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix when he scored both the blue and red ribbons in Friday’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, at the HITS Desert Horse Park in Thermal, California.
Pearce, of Bermuda Dunes, California, and Forest View Farm’s Chianto took the victory gallop in the Friday’s feature class after he got the best of the 33 starters that challenged Canadian Course Designer Danny Foster’s first-round course and the 13 pairs that advanced to the jump-off to secure $7,500 in first-place prize money.
“Danny (Foster) did a beautiful job on the course,” said Pearce. “For the first Grand Prix of the circuit, he hit it right on the money! He couldn’t have done it any better.”
Green Cove Springs, FL — January 29, 2011 — Show Jumping action took center stage for the finale of the Jacksonville Winter Series. Starting with the $10,000 Children-Adult Jumper Classic, sponsored by Cedar Street Advisors, it was the Sunshine State’s own Alissa Kinsey from Ft Myers and phenom mare Grisset taking the top spot.
Dave Ballard of Olympic fame took over course designing honors for this final week of competition and created layouts that both tested exhibitors and took spectators’ breaths away at times. A starting field of 27 crossed through the in gate on Saturday afternoon with high hopes of claiming the big prize in the $10,000 Cedar Street Advisors Children-Adult Jumper Classic. Nearly half survived the 68 second limited twisty 12 obstacle first round to advance into the dash for the cash jump off.
Wellington, FL – January 27, 2011 – Irish rider Darragh Kenny and Gael Force, owned by Missy Clark and North Run, earned top honors in round three of the $31,000 WEF Challenge Cup on Thursday afternoon at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Sponsored by Nespresso, the WEF is in its third of 12 weeks of competition at the beautiful Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). The circuit will continue through April 3, 2011.
Olaf Petersen, Sr. of Germany is designing the courses in the International Arena for week three and set a great course for the afternoon’s competition. Eight of the original 42 horse and rider combinations jumped clear to advance to the jump-off round.
Competitors were then asked to navigate a short course that displayed dynamic speed and power. Four were able to jump double clear, and it was the fastest round of Darragh Kenny and Gael Force in 43.31 seconds that earned top honors. The pair left out a stride in the last line that made the difference.
Laura Chapot, daughter of show jumping legends Frank & Mary Chapot, joins us this week to tell us about her successes so far at the Winter Equestrian Festival and shares her plans for the year to come. Tune in right here…
STAUT CONTINUES TO LEAD STANDINGS AS ROLEX JUMPING SERIES RESUMES IN ZURICH by Louise Parkes
Zurich (SUI), 27 January 2011 – World No. 1, Kevin Staut, continues to lead the Western European League standings as the 2010/2011 Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping series resumes this weekend in Zurich following a four-week break. And, although he is already well-qualified for the final which will take place in Leipzig, Germany from 27 April to 1 May, the Frenchman is listed amongst the star-studded field of competitors at the popular Swiss fixture.
Riders from 19 countries will line out in the preliminary competition which will decide Sunday’s start-list, and the home contingent includes 2010 Zurich champion Steve Guerdat who, despite five outings so far this season, has collected only 15 qualifying points and has plenty more to do if he is to make the cut into the final. Staut has collected a massive 87 points so far, thanks to good results at all but one of the qualifiers to date and to his victory in Geneva in December. Riders are likely to need at least 40 points to have the chance of finishing within the top-18 qualifying group when the Western European league draws to a close at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands at the end of March.