Tag Archives: Winter Equestrian Festival

Luciana Lossio Scores Victory in Beerbaum Stables CSI2* Grand Prix

Luciana Lossio & Lady Louise Jmen. Photo © Sportfot.

Action during the NetJets sponsored Week 3 of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded at Wellington International on Sunday with the CHF50,000 Beerbaum Stables CSI2* Grand Prix. Peter Grant (CAN) designed a substantial and tricky first round for 46 horses and riders. Brazil’s Luciana Lossio emerged victorious from a five-horse jump-off riding Lady Louise Jmen.

A former Minister of the Superior Electoral Court of Brazil, Lossio was all business out of the courtroom and in the show ring this weekend to take the featured class in the Beerbaum Stables CSI2* division. Lady Louise Jmen, a 2010 Brazilian-bred mare Lossio owns herself, clocked a jump-off time of 35.01 seconds. It was less than a second faster than second-place finisher Hardin Towell (USA), but enough to drop him to the runner-up position on his own Boheme du Moulin. Third place went to Wesley Newlands (CAN) and Maestro van het Binnenveld for owner Wesland Farms.

Lossio was beaming when she came out of the ring on Lady Louise Jmen, and with an ecstatic smile, said, “I very concentrated on my plan in the jump-off, and I went jump by jump in my mind. I took care of each jump and she was fantastic today. I’m so happy that we got it!”

The magic witnessed in the arena didn’t happen overnight for Lossio and her mare. “I’ve been with Lady Louise Jmen for six years now and I know her very well. She’s very calm, and a very intelligent mare. She has a lot of strengths; she can jump whatever you put I front of her. We have a really good relationship. She trusts me and I trust her like no other horse.”

Junior Hunters Shine During Closing Weekend of WEF 3

The T & R Development Large Junior Hunter 3’6″ 15 & Under division kicked off weekend activities in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring with Infinity G taking the champion tricolor under the direction of Clara Propp.

Propp guided the 2013 Warmblood gelding by Carthino Z and owned by Aquitaine Equine to consistent top-three finishes over fences and a second-place ribbon under saddle to seal the high-point title.

“Going into today, I just wanted to stay consistent because he was so good yesterday,” said Propp. “I didn’t want to have any major mistakes and I think we accomplished that.”

The Snaks 5th Avenchew Junior Hunter 3’3″ 15 & Under division capped WEF 3 for junior hunters in the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring on Sunday. The pair to shine the brightest was Agatha Lignelli and Pritchard Hill, a 2012 Warmblood gelding owned by Lignelli and her family.

“The course was simple, but the jumps were on the bigger side,” recalled Lignelli. “There were a couple spooks, but I thought he was jumping amazing.”

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Ben Maher Soars in CSI4* NetJets Grand Prix

Ben Maher (GBR) & Dallas Vegas Batilly. Photo © Sportfot.

Reigning Olympic champion Ben Maher (GBR) claimed victory in the CHF216,000 NetJets CSI4* Grand Prix in front of a packed house at Wellington International during “Saturday Night Lights” on January 28. The Wellington Equestrian Festival (WEF) welcomed forty-five international combinations to vie for top honors during the NetJets-sponsored WEF 3.

Maher and Dallas Vegas Batilly have been partnered together for only four months. The mare was previously campaigned by France’s Nicolas Delmotte. “She’s taken some time to get used to me and my system. She’s jumped some great rounds and was clear in the grand prix in Geneva. But every time we come to the jump-off, we’ve had problems with the steering.

“She’s very sensitive, but the jump-off really suited me tonight,” continued Maher, who is currently ranked sixth on the FEI world rankings list. “I could take strides out everywhere and tried to keep it smooth and trust her. I’ve learned I have to ask her to do things, not tell her. Everything worked and it certainly paid off this evening.”

Course designer Peter Grant (CAN) built a testing track that started with a bang as five early clears promised a thrilling second round. The code was cracked on his course by fourteen advancing to a tie-breaking jump-off. Talent from Brazil, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, and the United States made up the list of riders with their eye on the prize over the short course.

Appearing halfway through the original order, Maher clocked his clear round aboard Dallas Vegas Batilly, a 2013 Selle Français mare (Cap Kennedy x L’arc Triomphe *bois Margo) owned by Charlotte Rossetter and Pamela Wright. He returned in the jump-off to chase down current leader and Irish Olympian Shane Sweetnam aboard Namaste van het Eyckeveld, owned by Voquest LLC. By one tenth of a second, Maher unseated Sweetnam from the top of the leaderboard and posted an eventual winning time of 38.35 seconds.

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Lacey Gilbertson and Karlin van’t Vennehof Claim Adequan WEF Challenge Cup

Lacey Gilbertson & Karlin van’t Vennehof. Photo © Sportfot.

Lacy Gilbertson (USA) impressed in the CHF50,000 CSI4*Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 3 on Thursday afternoon during Week 3 of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at Wellington International. Course designer Peter Grant (CAN) welcomed 55 pairs to the International Ring and set the stage for a nine-horse jump-off.

Despite her conservative jump-off plan, Gilbertson and Karlin van’t Vennehof were deceivingly fast and accurate to stop the clock at 41.41 seconds over the short course. The 2010 Belgian Warmblood mare (Fantomas de Muze x Quasimodo van de Molendreef), owned by Seabrook LLC, bested Lillie Keenan (USA) and Argan De Beliard, coming in at 43.09 seconds for the runner-up position. Jacob Pope (USA) and Highway FBH, owned by The Highway Group, rounded out the podium positions in 44.78 seconds.

Gilbertson partnered with Karlin van’t Vennehof, the former mount of her trainer Shane Sweetnam, at the beginning of the 2022 WEF season. Since day one, the pair has been extremely consistent in the show ring.

“I think I have so much confidence in her that when I go in the ring, no matter what happens if I do it half right, we are going to be clear,” said Gilbertson. “She’s so scopey and she’s my type of ride so I’m very comfortable on her. I think that’s the main thing that’s helped us click and keep the consistency.”

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Farrington Clinches CHF140,000 Florida Coast Equipment CIS3* Grand Prix

Kent Farrington & Landon. Photo © Sportfot.

The Winter Equestrian Festival’s (WEF) Week 2 finished with a fantastic display of sport on the grass derby field at Equestrian Village on Sunday afternoon. U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington and Landon stormed to a win in the CHF140,000 Florida Coast Equipment CIS3* Grand Prix over runner-up Daniel Coyle (IRL).

A sweeping course designed by Oscar Soberon (USA) welcomed an all-out foot race in the jump-off. The five who advanced were led off by Coyle and Ariel Grange’s Gisborne VDL, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion. They set the pace at 40.05 seconds.

Returning immediately after, Farrington and Landon, a 10-year-old Zangersheide gelding owned by Haity McNerney, quickly took over the lead by only fractions in 39.30 seconds. In the end, Landon could not be caught.

“Landon is a big-strided horse, but Daniel’s horse is also a big-strided horse, and I thought he had an incredible round,” said Farrington. “I probably have a little quicker foot speed than him, but it took a lot to beat that round today because he was dropping strides everywhere on a huge gallop the whole way around.”

Landon’s speed across the group proved enough to take top honors, the gelding’s first grand prix win to date. “He’s very careful and a competitive horse,” said Farrington. “I have a great team coming up and he’s one of that group, so it was an exciting day for the horse and our team.”

Audrey Schulze Dominates CHF25,000 Hermes U25 Grand Prix

The final day of international competition during WEF 2 saw a stacked field of 75 up-and-coming show jumping combinations. The CHF25,000 Hermes Under 25 Grand Prix launched a full day of sport on the derby field. Audrey Schulze (USA) eventually emerged victorious aboard Darquito.

Darquito is the former ride of Ireland’s Andrew Bourns, and Bourns was the first to congratulate the pair as they left the ring.

“There were a lot of places without numbers where you just had to get on an open gallop, and luckily my horse has a huge stride where he just eats up the ground,” detailed Schulze. “His stride is definitely an advantage in the jump-off because it’s much bigger than any other horse I’ve ever ridden, so it’s much easier to do one less stride everywhere.”

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Kent Farrington and Greya Give It Their All in $50k Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix

Kent Farrington & Greya. Photo © Sportfot.

The third week of the 2023 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) saw national level jumper competition peak on Saturday night during the $50,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix. WEF 2, presented by Florida Coast Equipment, went under the lights at Wellington International for a win that went to Kent Farrington (USA) aboard the rising star, Greya.

“It’s [Greya’s] first time jumping under the lights,” explained Farrington. “So, I tried to just work out of her normal gallop which is already pretty quick. Luckily, it worked out tonight and I thought she was incredible.”

The 2023 WEF season is an exciting one for Farrington’s team as he looks forward to introducing his younger string of mounts to top international competition at the venue.

“The last year has been a rebuilding time for my string as some of my main horses are winding down their international careers,” he continued. “It’s time for the young ones to step up; I have a group of horses – the oldest being ten – that are starting to jump in the international scene and I’m excited to see what happens with each of them.”

Corras and Amira Kettaneh Debut on Top

The Voltaire Design Large Junior Hunter 3’6” 16-17 highlighted hunter action in the Rost Arena on Saturday. Tri-color honors went to Amira Kettaneh and Corras, a 2014 Latvian Warmblood gelding by Corrwiko and owned by Robert Ruckh. The reserve champion ribbon was presented to Carlee McCutcheon and Casimir, owned by Anne Glunk.

Kettaneh first sat on Corras the day before earning a championship in their first outing together. Their performances were highlighted by two wins over fences and a high score of 89. “I got this ride yesterday which was very exciting and I’m very grateful for this opportunity.”

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No Worries for Akuna Mattata in Adequan WEF Challenge Cup

Nicole Shahinian-Simpson & Akuna Mattata. Photo © Sportfot.

Fifteen years together has created a winning partnership between U.S. rider Nicole Shahinian-Simpson and Akuna Mattata. The pair topped a field of 64 to win the CHF37,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 on the grass derby field at Equestrian Village on Friday afternoon.

Shahinian-Simpson has known Akuna Mattata since she was born, one of three triplet fillies by embryo transfer out of her former mount SRF Dragonfly de Joter. Akuna Mattata, a 2008 Holsteiner mare (Quinar Z x Landwind II), took some time to develop and hit a winning stride with Shahinian-Simpson in the international ranks.

“There were so many clear, I was questioning whether I was going to jump-off to get ready for Sunday,” admitted Shahinian-Simpson. The decision to give it a go, however, paid off.

“She feels fit and strong, and I don’t show her a lot, so I figured why not. The jump-off was nice with a lot of gallops. She covers the ground so fast. When you gallop the jumps on her you never really think about the clear, you just go to the jumps and she does the rest.”

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Tic Tac Back to Winning Ways with Ben Maher

Ben Maher & Tic Tac. Photo © Sportfot.

Tic Tac felt right at home on the grass derby field at Equestrian Village to kick off week two of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) on Thursday. Olympic Champion Ben Maher (GBR) piloted Tic Tac, a 2003 Belgian Sport Horse (Clinton x Panama du Seigneur) owned by Jane Forbes Clark, to win the CHF37,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty CSI3* 1.45m Speed.

Maher and the 20-year-old Tic Tac have a longstanding partnership that has made them an often-unbeatable pair. “Tic Tac knows everything now, so it’s more about just keeping him fit and enjoying everything,” said Maher of Tic Tac, who has taken up permanent residence in Florida. “He stays here year-round; we don’t travel him to Europe. We’re very fortunate with the staff and team at home looking after him. He knows his job and he loves this arena.

“I’ve said this before, but I think this arena is one of the nicest grass arenas in the world,” said Maher of the derby field at Equestrian Village. “It’s really old-school ground here and I think as an older horse, he likes the brighter jumps and loves the ground.”

Amber Broder Claims Ariat National Adult Medal

The Ariat National Adult Medal started Thursday morning in the Rost Arena with Amber Broder and her stunning 2005 warmblood gelding, Tip Jar, sealing the deal for the win.

“It rode really nice,” said Broder of the track. “Last week, I made a mistake in a roll back, so my big goal was to do that, and I didn’t ride it perfectly in the first round, but I got a chance to redeem myself in the test and give him the ride he deserves, because he’s the best horse in the world.”

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Jad Dana Ends WEF 1 on a Win

Jad Dana & After Eight. Photo © Sportfot.

The first FEI week of the 2023 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) season ended with the CHF37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic in the international Ring on Sunday, January 15. Jad Dana (LBN) won the day aboard After Eight as the sun set over Wellington International.

Nick Granat (USA) designed a tricky twelve-obstacle course with a time allowed of 72 seconds. Fifty-nine riders vied for a clear round to take them into the jump-off. Only ten pairs managed to make it to the second round. In the end, it was Dana and his super mare, After Eight, a 2010 Swedish Warmblood (Diarado x Cardento) owned by Springhill Farm, with the quickest time of 37.70 seconds.

“She’s amazing and she’s been in top form; she won a grand prix two weeks ago and then she came out, was great in the first round and an even better jump-off,” said Dana of the mount he had a little over a year. “That was so fun to ride, and she makes it fun.”

Julie Hogan Takes Adult Amateur Tri-Color

The Vogel Adult Amateur Hunter 36-49 (Sec B) class helped conclude an exciting first week for hunters at WEF. The stars of the day were Julie Hogan and her lovely mare, Latoya, a 2013 mare by Languster Prydsholm, owned by The Ridge Farm LLC. Hogan and Latoya won three over fences classes and the under saddle to collect championship points.

“Everything went really smoothly today,” she said. “We had a really great day yesterday, winning both over fences, and we won the flat today, and I just wanted to go in today and put in a solid performance in the two over fences classes. My mare jumped really well and she’s a star.”

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Darragh Kenny Is Best in CHF140,000 Southern Arches CSI3* Grand Prix

Darragh Kenny & Volnay du Boisdeville. Photo © Sportfot

A wave of unseasonably cold weather for Wellington, FL worked to Darragh Kenny’s advantage during “Saturday Night Lights”, giving Volnay du Boisdeville a little extra spring in his step. Together, they topped the CHF140,000 Southern Arches CSI3* Grand Prix during week 1 of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

“He’s an incredible horse and he’s better when he’s fresh,” said Kenny of Volnay du Boisdeville, a 2009 Selle Français stallion (Winningmood x Jaisco B) owned by Vlock Show Stables. “The cold weather was a good factor for us tonight because it had him a little fresher than normal.

“You can trust him at the jumps and he’s very fast in jump-offs,” continued Kenny. “I knew it was a competitive jump-off, so I just tried to go as quick as I could and hope that the jumps stayed up.”

Gochman Clinches CP National Grand Prix

The $30,000 CP National Grand Prix set the afternoon tone in the International Arena on Saturday with a win for 18-year-old Mimi Gochman (USA) aboard Cosmos BH.

The entry list included forty pairs, all very eager to put forth a clear round inside the time allowed (76 seconds). Five riders advanced to the jump-off: Laura Chapot (USA), Alison Robitaille (USA), Mario Deslauriers (CAN), Rebecca Conway (USA), and the eventual winner, Gochman.

Gochman gushed over her budding partnership with Cosmos, saying, “I always knew he had talent and stride and scope but he’s going to be amazing. He’s one of those stallions that stands proud.”

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Tanner Korotkin and Quinn Have Wings in Wellington Equestrian Realty CSI3* 1.45m Speed

Tanner Korotkin and Quinn 33. Photo © Sportfot.

The Wellington Equestrian Realty CSI3* 1.45m Speed highlighted Friday, January 13, in the International Arena at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). It was a foot race to the finish, and the win went to Tanner Korotkin for the USA aboard Quinn 33.

The international entry list included fifty-four horses and riders jumping against the clock. Nick Granat (USA) designed a technical 1.45m track, with twelve obstacles total and a time allowed of 72 seconds.

The fastest time of the day was posted by 21-year-old Korotkin and his 2010 Holsteiner gelding (Quidam De Revel x Contender). The pair finished just below the minute mark in 59 seconds for owner Eickendorf Horses.

“The course designer definitely gave us a lot of options to go very fast today,” said Korotkin. “The horse that I’m on I’m very confident with, and we have had a lot of wins recently. I thought it was a very solid course for his style and how he likes to go.”

Taylor Madden Tops Talent Search

Standing out in the equitation ring on Friday, Taylor Madden won the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search 2*. Thirty-four riders showed off in the two-phase class that tested each pair over fences and on the flat.

Twelve riders were called back for the flat test, and Madden, of Wellington, FL, aboard Mac One III, a 2009 Anglo European gelding (Luidam Elite x Lagos), ended at the top of the list.

“It felt good; this was his first time showing since Maclay Finals, so we were both a little rusty,” said Madden, 20. “The flat class went well. I would say that is a strong suit for both of us. He can really show off in the extended work and I’ve known him for a really long time so that’s very helpful.”

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