Tag Archives: Winter Equestrian Festival

Kelli Cruciotti Vanderveen Takes Final FEI Win at WEF in $50k CabanaCoast Grand Prix CSI2*

Kelli Cruciotti Vanderveen and Forever SFN. © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – April 3, 2022 – The final day of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded 13 weeks of competition on Sunday, April 3, with the last international jumper class of the circuit on the Derby Field at Equestrian Village as well as the closing classes across all divisions at Wellington International. Kelli Cruciotti Vanderveen (USA) emerged as the last international victor as she and Forever SFN won the $50,000 CabanaCoast Grand Prix CSI2*.

Guilherme Jorge (BRA) built one final challenging effort for the 45 two-star competitors in the class. He tested the entries with an early triple combination, but the efficient time allowed of 74 seconds was only the deciding factor for two duos. Thirteen more had their hopes dashed with the fault of a single downed obstacle. As the first round concluded, the returning line-up consisted of 11 representatives from four different nations prepared to battle it out over the jump-off track.

Cruciotti Vanderveen was the second to return for the short course and established the first clear round over the track with Springpaarden Fonds Nederland’s 12-year-old KWPN gelding Forever SFN (Azteca VDL x Non Stop) in a time of 38.18 seconds. Five other horses would go clear over the track, but none would come close to the leader’s blazing time.

Fabio Leivas Da Costa (BRA) and Bonne Chance Farm LLC’s Ilex put in another top effort to take second place in the class. Da Costa skillfully navigated the nine-year-old KWPN gelding (Baltic VDL x Chin Chin) through each obstacle but fell still two seconds shy of Cruciotti Vanderveen’s top time to finish in 40.14 seconds. The USA landed in both the first and third positions as Katherine Dinan galloped into third place with Dijon Terdoorn Z. Dinan piloted the Grant Road Partners LLC’s 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Diamant De Semilly x Lord Z) to a final time of 40.19 seconds just behind Da Costa.

Nicola Philippaerts Closes Out WEF with Victory

The final class in the International Arena was the $50,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m National Grand Prix. With 51 entries in a starting order stacked with six Olympians and riders from 13 countries, course designer Ken Krome (USA) had his work cut out for him. He set a formidable test that only brought back six for the jump-off. Rising to the top of the class was Belgian Olympian Nicola Philippaerts riding his own Gijs.

Philippaerts came back third in the jump-off, chasing a time of 44.446 seconds set by Darragh Kerins (IRL) and Intuitive, owned by Eve Jobs, which would hold up for third place. Philippaerts and Gijs brought the winning time down to 41.421 seconds. Second place went to 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games individual gold medalist Ben Maher, who rode Point Break, owned by Maher, Pamela Wright, and Charlotte Rossetter, to a clear round in 43.344 seconds.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Ashlee Bond Forges Successful Partnership for Victory in $500k Rolex Grand Prix CSI5* at WEF

Ashlee Bond and Karoline of Ballmore. © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – April 2, 2022 – The pinnacle event of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) came to an exciting conclusion on Saturday, April 2, in the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5*. Olympian Ashlee Bond (ISR) and Karoline Of Ballmore ascended to the top of the podium after an exciting five-horse jump-off.

Course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) set a large and technical course befitting a five-star event for the 40 entries that qualified for the class. With a line-up of who’s who in show jumping, five horse-and-rider combinations were able to find the key to a clear round and return for the jump-off.

“It’s always very special to build this grand prix,” said Jorge. “I’ve been coming to Wellington since 1999. This is the fifth time in a row I’ve designed the Rolex Grand Prix. Wellington is home now, so for me it feels very special.

“It’s always very challenging [to design this grand prix course], because it’s the end of the season,” continued Jorge of his design plan. “This arena itself gives us a lot of variety. I knew I had to build a tough course, because we had a really, really strong group of horses and riders. I made some adjustments in the end because of the heat and the humidity; I took the spread out of the last few oxers, because we are all feeling the weather a little bit. But it was fantastic jumping and conditions of the field. Everything worked out very well, so I’m really happy with it.”

As a late addition to the starting order due to a scratch in the original order, Spencer Smith (USA) and Quibelle, a 13-year-old Hanoverian mare by FRH Quaid x Stakkato owned by Gotham Enterprizes, LLC, were first into the ring for both the opening round and the jump-off. Over the shortened course, they had an unfortunate rail for four faults in 45.68 seconds, which would leave them in fifth place at the end of the class.

Chloe Reid (USA) was next to contest with Live Oak Plantation LLC’s Souper Shuttle. She and the 11-year-old Hanoverian mare by Stakkato x La Zarras 2, which she has ridden for three years, put in an efficient clear round in a time of 47.63 seconds to take the lead, but with two more double clear rides after her, she would land in the third-place position on the podium.

Always a threat in the jump-off, Daniel Coyle (IRL) piloted Legacy, a 12-year-old Zangersheide mare by Chippendale Z x Bon Ami owned by Ariel Grange, to the fastest time of the jump-off in 43.88 seconds, but a downed jump for four faults gave them fourth place at the end of the class.

Bond and Karoline Of Ballmore, competing in their first jump-off together, were able to blaze through the jump-off course in 44.09 seconds and leave all of the jumps up to take the lead.

Daniel Bluman, winner of the 2012 edition of this finale grand prix, was clear and just off the winning pace in 44.29 seconds with Ladriano Z, owned by Over The Top Stables LLC, which gave Israel a one-two finish.

Jumper Turned Hunter Catena 5 Ends Circuit on High Note in Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” 18-35

Julia Weiss, of Amagansett, NY, and her own Catena 5 reigned supreme on Saturday in the Amateur-Owner Hunters 3’3” 18-35, sponsored by Adequan.

The division took place in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring over two days and saw 18 horse-and-rider teams compete in four over fences classes and an under saddle.

Weiss and Catena 5, a 12-year-old Holsteiner mare, posted the top score over fences each day with a 90 in the handy on Friday and a 91 on Saturday. They also won the under saddle and received a second place over fences to end on a total of 36 points for the championship.

Reserve champion in the division went to Quest, owned and ridden by Stephanie Danhakl, of Pacific Palisades, CA. The pair won two of their over fences classes and were third in the under saddle to end on 24.5 points.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Debney Takes a Leap of Faith to Win $37k Bainbridge Companies 1.45m CSI5*

Grace Debney and Zarina De Vidau. © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – April 1, 2022 – The third day of international competition on Friday, April 1, during the final Rolex-sponsored week of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), closed out with Grace Debney (GBR) winning her first-ever five-star class in the $37,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.45m CSI5*.

Fourteen nations were represented in the 50-horse lineup of the five-star class. Course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) built a track worthy of the day’s main event with a single-round speed challenge to be completed under an efficient time of 76 seconds. Daniel Coyle (IRL) and his top mount, Farona, took the early lead in the speed class as he stopped the clock in 55.30 seconds with Ariel Grange’s 12-year-old KWPN mare (Baltic VDL x Lux Z). The pair held the headline position until nearly the end, but Debney made it clear she did not come to take second.

Debney and her long-time partner Zarina De Vidau, a horse she has had since acquiring her to do the junior jumpers, put complete faith in one another and became the only combination to lower the time on the scoreboard below 55 seconds. By leaving several strides out across the course and relying on the trust they have built, Debney and the Temple Equestrian LLC’s 11-year-old CDE mare (Diamant De Semilly) shook up the competition with a final time of 54.97 seconds.

Gilbertson’s New Partnership Successful in $37,000 CabanaCoast 1.45m Qualifier CSI2*

Jorge’s course for the $37,000 CabanaCoast 1.45m Qualifier CSI2* left only 13 of the original 76 entries eligible for the class’s short course. The tight time allowed of 71 seconds played a factor for 10 riders, while five more fell victim to a downed rail. Riders from the U.S., Germany, Canada, Ireland, and Great Britain made up the jump-off.

Trailblazer Lacey Gilbertson (USA) was the front runner as the final adjustments were made and set the time to beat with a blazing fast double-clear performance of 38.58 seconds. Samuel Hutton (GBR) immediately followed with another clear round but settled into the temporary second place with a slightly slower time. The remainder of the competitors gave it their best shot with all but five going fault-free, but Gilbertson and Seabrook LLC’s 12-year-old BWP mare Karlin Van’t Vennehof (Fantomas De Muze x Quasimodo Van De Molendreef) held tight to the top position throughout the entirety of the second round.

Ireland’s Tom Wachman shot into the victory gallop with HH Fireball as the pair flew to a fast second place. He and Coolmore Show Jumping’s 12-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Number One D’Isp x Toulon) landed roughly half a second behind Gilbertson for the honors. Hutton slipped into the third-place position as his time of 39.67 seconds with Abdel Saïd’s 12-year-old BWP gelding H&M Kirlo van den Bosrand (Cardento 933 x Utrillo VD Heffinck) fell just below Wachman’s time of 39.10 seconds.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Noche De Ronda Makes Comeback in $37k Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m CSI5*

McLain Ward and Noche De Ronda. © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 30, 2022 – The final week of the Winter Equestrian Festival jumped into a week of intense action on Wednesday, March 30, 2022. 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games team silver medalist McLain Ward (USA) won Wednesday’s featured event, the $37,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m CSI5*, with top mount Noche De Ronda.

Guilherme Jorge (BRA) designed a flowing track that used a vast majority of the field to test its 54 contenders. The two-phase course included a total of 15 obstacles with the first phase to be completed in 44 seconds and the second phase having a time allowed of 43 seconds. Jorge’s elements included several double combinations as well as a water obstacle to test some of the world’s best competitors. Eleven nations were represented in the original starting lineup with Mexico’s Eugenio Garza Perez holding on to the lead at the halfway mark of the event.

Ward piloted the 13-year-old Oldenburg mare Noche De Ronda (Quintender 2 x Lovis Corinth), a horse he co-owns with Marilla Van Beuren and Bob Russell, to the top position after the pair stopped the clock fault-free and with a time of 30.81 seconds.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Darragh Kenny Flies to First in $216k Palm Beach County Sports Commission Grand Prix CSI4*

Darragh Kenny piloting Volnay Du Boisdeville. © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 27, 2022 – The final day of competition at the penultimate week of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) boasted a day of elite competition as the best in the world geared up for the highlight event, the $216,000 Palm Beach County Sports Commission Grand Prix CSI4*. In a nail-biting jump-off, Darragh Kenny (IRL) took the final international win of the week with Volnay Du Boisdeville.

Forty-four qualified combinations elected to contest Olaf Petersen Jr.’s (GER) challenging grand prix track, but representatives from most of the 16 nations struggled to find a successful path around every obstacle. At the event’s halfway mark, only three athletes consisting of Darragh Kenny (IRL), Petronella Andersson (SWE), and Zoe Conter (BEL) had procured an elusive jump-off spot. Petersen included a triple bar, triple combination, and two liverpool elements to test the riders. What he crafted in degree of difficulty, however, Petersen compensated for in time as he allowed a healthy time allowed of 91 seconds to navigate the course.

As the class wound down, the second half of the entries rose to the occasion and an additional six contenders emerged fault-free for a nine-horse jump-off lineup. Sweden’s Petronella Andersson was the first to take on the short course and put the pressure on as she once again cleared the timers fault-free, which would hold up for fourth place. Kenny was second into the arena and, as he shaved a second off of Andersson’s time, once again took the leading spot with a time of 39.43 seconds. The remainder of the field gave it their all, but the class concluded with his performance still in the lead.

Kenny’s fellow countryman, Mark McAuley (IRL), donned his sixth red ribbon of the circuit after chasing Kenny down to the wire and landing with mere milliseconds between them. McAuley fell just shy after landing on a time of 39.52 seconds with SNC McAuley Equestrian’s 13-year-old BWP gelding Jasco VD Bisschop (Dulf Van Den Bisschop x Krunch De Breve).

The last of the podium honors went to the final jump-off contenders, Daniel Bluman (ISR) and Ubiluc. Having seen the entirety of the jump-off class play out, Bluman piloted the Over the Top Stables’ 10-year-old Mecklenburg gelding (Ubiko x Lucian) across the track in top form and took over the third-place position after landing double clear in 40.43 seconds.

Beerbaum Bests All in Large Pony Hunter Division

The Large Pony Hunter division kicked off competition in Ring 12 on Pony Island with 18 young riders taking to the division’s final three over-fences classes. Brianne Beerbaum took the champion title of the division with consistent top performances aboard Heritage Farm, Inc.’s Rashinga. The pair rode to a first-place ribbon in three out of the four over fences classes and secured the fifth-place ribbon in the division’s under-saddle class for a total of 31 points.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Paul O’Shea and Chancelloress Win $140k CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Series Final

Paul O’Shea and Chancelloress. © Sportfot.

Competition for “Saturday Night Lights” during week 11, sponsored by the Palm Beach County Sports Commission, of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) was packed with action during the circuit’s penultimate week. While hunter riders had the opportunity to take center stage on the Derby Field at Equestrian Village over the weekend in both international and national derby events, show jumpers took to the Wellington International Arena to compete for the top prize in the $140,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Final. In a mad dash across the finish line, Paul O’Shea (IRL) and Chancelloress claimed the leading spot.

The night culminated with both an overall series champion as well as the final class winner. Spectators in the night’s crowd were treated to extra excitement as the new name of the venue, Wellington International, was revealed prior to the first horse on course. Course designer Olaf Petersen Jr. (GER) raised an impressive challenge to the field of 48 starters representing 17 nations, and only five of the original entries managed to earn a slot for the short track. The jump-off came down to a battle between the U.S. and Ireland as Spencer Smith (USA), Laura Kraut (USA), and Alex Matz (USA) took on countrymen Mark McAuley (IRL) and O’Shea.

With three to follow, McAuley was the first to produce a double-clear effort in a tidy time of 36.97 seconds aboard LT Competition’s 10-year-old CH mare O’Hara ELS (Ogano Sitte x Liandero). However, the taste of victory didn’t last quite as long as hoped when O’Shea immediately followed and shaved over a second off of McAuley’s effort in 35.51 seconds.

“I knew Alex would be fast, and that Laura was after me too,” explained O’Shea. “I didn’t get to see Mark go but he is always fast, so I just tried to do the best round that I could.”

O’Shea credited his mount with rising to the occasion for the class and has high hopes for the end of season with the Trelawny Farms’ 13-year-old Hanoverian mare (Chacco-Blue x Balou Du Rouet).

The Irish also took the overall victory of the CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Series as Shane Sweetnam was named the leading rider through the entirety of the circuit. Despite never having worn the winning cooler, Sweetnam’s consistency and six top-five placings throughout the season with four different mounts was enough to earn the honors.

Jimmy Torano and Laskano Can’t Be Beat in $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

As top hunter riders took their final turn on the turf at Equestrian Village, Jimmy Torano once again led the lap of honor across the grass as he claimed yet another victory aboard Isalou Inc.’s Laskano. Thirty of the country’s best hunter riders donned their shadbellies astride perfectly manicured athletes for the $50,000 USHJA International Derby. The competition was down to the wire but ultimately, as the pair have done repeatedly throughout the WEF season, Jimmy Torano and Laskano emerged at the top of the elite field. Torano and his talented mount held one of the top 12 coveted spots from the start and returned as one of the final few pairings to contest Ken Krome’s handy course.

Looking on to determine the class winner were Bob Crandall and Ken Krome from the Panel One judges box and Rob Bielefeld with Melissa Bark for Panel Two. Krome designed a handy phase worthy of its opponents that included multiple rollbacks, a trot fence, and a two-stride combination in a bending line to a bounce. Competitors could earn four additional points for high options and were rewarded with extra points for handiness.

The top 12 returned in reverse order and after returning in the tenth-place position, Hannah Isop put the pressure on the remaining riders when she and Red Ryder, an 18-year-old Selle Francais gelding, scored a total of 210 for their efforts in the handy. The massive score catapulted Isop into the lead and put the pressure on Torano to display another flawless effort.

Kelley Farmer took the yellow ribbon honors aboard a horse that is competing for the first time in the U.S.

Torano was not going down without a fight, however, and he gave it his all with the 10-year-old Westphalian gelding to earn another incredible score over the 200-mark with a total of 206 points from the respective judges. The round once again led the field, and Torano piloted Laskano to an overall score of 393 points.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Laskano Continues Derby Win Streak in $15,000 USHJA International Hunt & Go at WEF

Jimmy Torano and Laskano. © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 25, 2022 – The 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival continued week 11 competition, sponsored by Palm Beach County Sports Commission, on Friday, March 25, 2022, with top hunter competition on the grass Derby Field at Equestrian Village and international jumpers in CSI4* and CSI2* classes on the main grounds of Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Taking home yet another derby win this winter, Jimmy Torano and Laskano captured the title in the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Hunt & Go. Victoria Colvin, Macquarie Simon, and Caroline Olsen took the top prizes in the three sections of the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby.

Thirty-two riders attempted a course of 13 obstacles in a “Hunt & Go” format, with the first seven fences as their classic round, and the last six fences judged as their handy round.

This “Hunt & Go” format also allowed for a possible extra two points awarded per section for high options taken and handy round bonus points awarded up to a maximum of 10 per judging panel.

Over a course designed by Ken Krome, it was the 30th pair to go, Laskano and Jimmy Torano, that would claim yet another derby victory.

Simon, Olsen, and Colvin Win in $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

The $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby out on the grass saw junior, amateur, and open sections with 41, 33, and 43 entries, respectively.

Each section would follow the “Hunt & Go” format with riders attempting a course of 13 obstacles with the first seven fences as their classic round, and the last six fences judged as their handy round with extra points being awarded for high options taken.

The junior and amateur sections ran together but were pinned separately, and riders from each section could end up riding back-to-back, as was the case with the amateur and junior winners, Macquarie Simon and Caroline Olsen.

Macquarie Simon and her own Call Me Cool were 43rd in the order of go and posted a pair of 87s (+2 high options each) for her “classic” and “handy” portions of the course giving them a total of 178 and first position in the amateur section.

The Open section of the derby ran separately and was won by Victoria Colvin on Joelle Sedlacek’s My Style.

Victoria Colvin and My Style chose all of the high options with base scores of 86 and 89 to give them a final total of 179 to earn the first-place sash.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Isabella Russekoff and Balou’s Fly High Win Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m CSI4*

Isabella Russekoff and Balou’s Fly High. © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 23, 2022 – The second-to-last week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), sponsored by Palm Beach County Sports Commission, began on Wednesday, March 23, 2022. Isabella Russekoff (USA) and Suave Pony LLC’s Balou’s Fly High were victorious on the opening day of WEF 11 in the $10,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m CSI4*, which served as the qualifier for the “Saturday Night Lights” feature, the $150,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Series Final Classic CSI4*.

Olaf Petersen, Jr (GER) set the power-and-speed track for 78 starting competitors, representing 19 nations. Going clear proved to be quite possible, with 39 riders finding their way fault free. Doing so quickly, however, proved to be a challenge, answered best by Russekoff and Balou’s Fly High, who soared through the short course in 31.66 seconds.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Vogel Victorious in $50k Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix Final

Richard Vogel and Looping Luna. © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 20, 2022 – Week 10 of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), sponsored by Horseware Ireland, concluded its competition on Sunday, March 20. Richard Vogel (GER) bested 28 of the world’s most promising young show jumpers for the win in the $50,000 Hermès Under 25 Series Grand Prix Final.

The young athletes brought their A-game against Michel Vaillancourt’s (CAN) track, and 11 members of the opening field navigated their way into the jump-off. The time-allowed was an issue for only two riders, and six riders did not advance due to a downed rail. Grace Debney (GBR) took the lead for the return and set a challenge for the remainder of the exhibitors with her time of 37.81 seconds. As the first to go, however, Debney left the door open for two pairs to find a slightly faster clear path around and settled for third place aboard the Temple Equestrian LLC’s 11-year-old Selle Francais mare Boheme De La Roque (Kannan x Quick Star).

Carlos Hank Guerriero (MEX) had one of his best rides to date aboard the H5 Sport Horses LLC’s 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding H5 Chacco San (Chacco-Blue x Sandro Boy). The 21-year-old left all of the rails untouched and sliced over the fences to overthrow Debney by mere milliseconds with a time of 37.76 seconds.

However, the class’s winning ride would come from Germany’s Richard Vogel. Having seen where he needed to make moves for the win, Vogel piloted the Horse Management GMBH’s eight-year-old Hanoverian mare Looping Luna (Lord Fauntleroy x Calido I) over a clear round in 36.16 seconds and knocked over a second off of Guerreiro’s time.

While Vogel won the final grand prix, he also took home top honors for the entire series, which encompassed events over five different weeks of the WEF circuit. The victory felt extra sweet for Vogel who, at the age of 24 years old, is in his final year of eligibility for the Under 25 series.

Darragh Kenny Closes Out Horseware Ireland Week with Win in $75,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI4*

The $75,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI4* rounded out show jumping in the International Arena on Sunday of WEF 10. Vaillancourt’s final design of the week was an unbeatable challenge for many, and the class saw only eight combinations advance to the jump-off track. The large starting field included 58 horse-and-rider pairings from 15 nations, but only three of those countries would be represented in the jump-off. Challengers accrued faults in various areas throughout the tough track with the time-allowed of 76 seconds dashing the hopes of three entries and a combination of downed rails alongside additional time penalties disappointing the rest.

Ever the dominating force, McLain Ward (USA) was the first double clear with his newer mount, Kasper Van Het Hellehof. The lead would be short-lived, as Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam upped the ante aboard the Triple S Group’s 10-year-old KWPN mare Holliewood (Nabab De Reve x Diva). Sweetnam, however, would hold the title for mere minutes as his fellow countryman, Darragh Kenny (IRL), once again rode to the fastest time as he blazed forward into the lead with a time of 36.64 seconds.

The victory gallop was poised to be all-Irish until the USA’s Lillie Keenan battled her way into the boys’ club as the final contender on course. Keenan piloted her highly successful partner Skyhorse, a 15-year-old BWP gelding (Calvaro F.C. x Quidam de Revel), to the spot directly behind Kenny with a tight time of 37.20 seconds. Daniel Coyle (IRL) bookended the Irish podium as he stepped into the third-place position aboard Ariel Grange’s 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding Oak Grove’s Carlyle (Casall x San Patrignano Corrado).

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Triumphant Return for Confu and Laura Kraut in $216k Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI4*

Laura Kraut and Confu. © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 19, 2022 – Events at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) on Saturday, March 19, culminated in the $216,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI4* during the “Saturday Night Lights.” At the night’s conclusion, Olympic team gold and silver medalist Laura Kraut (USA) took home the top prize with her long-time partner, Confu, owned by St. Bride’s Farm.

Forty-five entries from 14 nations across the globe contested Michel Vaillancourt’s (CAN) opening course. His challenge for the riders included two double combinations, a triple combination, and a triple-bar early on at obstacle three. The first clear-round came as the fifth rider on course, Ashley Vogel (USA), produced a top ride aboard Madiba AG Z. Two horses later, Sweden’s Petronella Andersson put in her bid for the top title and ensured a jump-off. As the class neared its halfway mark, the field of returning riders grew with Mark McAuley (IRL), Lillie Keenan (USA), and Ben Maher (GBR) adding their names to the coveted list. Belgium’s Abdel Saïd put forward a heroic effort to repeat his winning performance in the WEF 9 grand prix but tipped just over the time allowed of 83 seconds and incurred a single penalty.

A final tally of 10 world-class pairs set the stage for an exciting jump-off across the evening’s final short course. Vogel led the charge but would not see the top of the podium as she accrued four faults. Andersson was the first to put in a successful double-clear, but McAuley was quick to up the ante. The night looked to be in the bag for the Irish as McAuley sat in second and Conor Swail put in a blazing round as the second to last to go into the lead, but Kraut and Confu clearly had other plans as the last to go in the jump-off.

The duo proved they are never a pair that should be counted out. Kraut and the 15-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Contact Me x Cambridge 8) exploded into action, finishing with a final time of 36.44 seconds.

The luck of the Irish was clearly still strong during the penultimate day of the Horseware Ireland week as both Swail and McAuley joined Kraut in the lap of honor. Swail once again locked in the honors of the runner-up position, this time with his own 13-year-old Selle Francais gelding Vital Chance De La Roque (Diamant De Semilly x Rivage Du Poncel) after flying over the final fence in 37.10 seconds.

McAuley and SNC McAuley Equestrian’s 13-year-old BWP gelding Jasco VD Bisschop (Dulf Van Den Bisschop x Krunch De Breve) duplicated their third-place finish in a four-star grand prix when they stopped the clock mere milliseconds behind Swail for a finishing time of 37.55 seconds. The pair was previously second-place recipients as well in the $216,000 NetJets Grand Prix CSI4* during WEF 3.

For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.