Sara Wayda and Faroukh. Photos courtesy of Equinium Sports Marketing/The Ridge at Wellington.
Wellington, Florida (February 23, 2016) – A quick and careful ride from Sarah Wayda aboard her own Faroukh put her at the head of the class following a day of competition for Turf Tour Week 7 at the International Polo Club. With only 11 horses putting in clear rounds to advance to the jump off, Wayda set the jump off time at 40.078 seconds, just beating out big names like Katherine Dinan, Olympian Beat Mandli, Darragh Kenny, and Conor Swail in the Turf Tour’s seventh week of Grand Prix competition.
Faroukh, an 18-year-old Rheinlander gelding by Rembrandt, is owned and trained by Wayda and Andrew Philbrick of Hunter Farms in Princeton, New Jersey, and their plan for this week included using the Turf Tour’s Grand Prix to prepare Faroukh for Sunday’s Grand Prix at the PBIEC Stadium. “The Turf Tour is a fantastic option to compliment the winter equestrian season,” said Philbrick. “We planned far in advance to have Faroukh come to the Turf Tour on Friday and then the Stadium on Sunday. Sara always rides very clean rounds, and we have been working on her getting faster in the jump offs. Today she really stepped on it and it went fantastic; this horse tries very hard and is very special to us.” Sara and Faroukh were trailed by only seven other double clear efforts, all within a few tenths of a second of her time.
Week 7’s Turf Tour lineup included some of the best in the business, including Beat Mandli, Katherine Dinan, Debbie Stephens, Beth Underhill, Darragh Kenny, and Conor Swail. Second place went to Sandra Dalman of Southview, Inc. riding A-Frieda-O, with a double clear round and final time of 40.627. Maria Schaub riding Hilfinger van de Celemnhoe was third, also with a double clear and a time of 40.687, and fourth was Katherine Dinan took fifth and sixth aboard Zander and Simba, with final times of 40.825 and 40.850 seconds. She was followed by Darragh Kenny in sixth, seventh, and eighth with Caliber (double clear, 42.43.080), Utopia Di San Patrigi (double clear, 44.116 seconds), and Glamour Van De Kakebee (four faults in the jump off, 42.960). Ninth and tenth place were awarded to Tina Yates riding Valencia and Chelsea Ross riding Calida.
“This week’s Grand Prix is a bit more technical, building on the basics as we progress more into season,” said course designer Nick Granat. The spacious polo fields of the International Polo Club require riders to ride accurately and find their distances correctly, or sacrifice time and rails. Friday’s competition also included Low, Medium, and High Schooling Jumper and Young Horse classes in addition to the Grand Prix, and on Wednesday Beth Underhill aboard Count Me In and Brianne Goutal with Zemike K were victorious in the $2,400 1.30-1.35m classes. Hosted by The Ridge at Wellington, the 2016 Turf Tour is the brainchild of Olympian Nona Garson, George d’Ambrosio, and Craig Bergmann, who intended for the series to act as a catalyst for the growth and development of horses and riders. The Turf Tour combines breathtaking venues with amenities as world class as its competitors. Week Eight of the Turf Tour will again take place on the beautiful grounds of the International Polo Club on Wednesday and Friday, February 24 and 26, 2016.
On March 18, The Ridge at Wellington will also host the second of its Hunter Derby Days competitions, featuring a $5,000 Dietrich Insurance USHJA National Hunter Derby and $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby. Set in the evening under the lights of the spectacular covered arena at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center and attended by some of the top names in hunter competition, the second and final Hunter Derby Days competition this season is not to be missed!
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