Tag Archives: Winter Equestrian Festival

Daniel Coyle Sweeps Final Day of Competition at WEF

Daniel Coyle and Simba de la Roque. Photos © Sportfot.

Emotional Win for Kelley Farmer and Kodachrome in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

Wellington, FL – April 2, 2017 – The Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series hosted its $50,000 final event at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) circuit on Sunday, April 2, with a win for Ireland’s Daniel Coyle and Simba de la Roque. With consistent results in classes throughout the 2017 circuit riding Diamonte Darco, Lucas Porter (USA) was the winner of the Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series overall. Coyle also went on to take top honors aboard Dillinger in the afternoon’s $50,000 Suncast® 1.50m National Grand Prix.

Olaf Petersen, Jr. (GER) set the final track for the Under 25 Grand Prix Series Final, featuring the top 22 competitors from the series overall, and eight clear rounds to jump-off for the final prize. Coyle and Ariel and Susan Grange’s Simba de la Roque cleared the short course in 39.94 seconds for the win.

Great Britain’s Jessica Mendoza and Horst van de Mispelaere finished second in 41.19 seconds. Shawn Casady (USA) and Abigail Wexner’s Vanilla placed third in 43.71 seconds. Ailish Cunniffe (USA) also cleared the jump-off track in 44.66 seconds to finish fourth riding Whipstick Farm’s Casper. The final double clear round belonged to Wilton Porter (USA) in 44.71 seconds, guiding Sleepy P Ranch’s Delinquent JX to fifth place.

Simba de la Roque was one of many new horses that Coyle got the ride on for Ariel and Susan Grange at the start of the WEF season. He has used the Under 25 Series to gain valuable experience and get to know the 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Kannan x Allegreto) better.

“I have been aiming Simba for this series throughout the circuit, mainly the $35,000 classes and the grand prix today,” Coyle (22) stated. “I did get a little lucky today; Jessica had a very good round. Just turning back there to the second to last fence, I lost my stirrup and the last two jumps got a little risky, but Simba is a fantastic horse. He has been great here all year.”

Coyle continued, “This is a great division to either get to know a horse, or to bring a horse to the next level. That class today was a real competitive class. It was really hard to win. Under 25 classes are really strong now; it is a really strong division. For me to get Simba going at that level is a big step and now I do not feel like I’m that far away from the next level. I think that horse eventually will be jumping the big grand prixs. I am very happy. I had a great last week winning two classes with the young horses, and a great second place finish in the grand prix last night, and today has been brilliant for me.”

In addition to his win on Sunday, Coyle was presented with the Hermès Talented Young Rider Award for the 2017 WEF circuit. The award is given to the top young rider between the ages of 16-25 who receives the most points in FEI competition during the circuit.

Mendoza (20) was also riding a new mount this winter in her ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Horst van de Mispelaere (Wandor van de Mispelaere x Polydor).

“This horse is new for me since December, so I kind of used this Under 25 series to get used to him and get him jumping,” Mendoza stated. “My plan all along was to do the $35,000 classes, and this final was my main goal at the end of the season. It really worked out well.”

Commenting on the series further, Mendoza added, “I thought it was great because we got a few different types of classes. We got to jump under the lights at the other venue; we had the Nations’ Cup format, which was a great experience for that horse. Also, the opportunity to jump on the grass was really great. My horse had great experiences in different rings and different formats. I think he is going to be a very versatile horse, and I think this has really helped that.”

Competing at the Winter Equestrian Festival for the first time, Mendoza had great experiences with all of her horses, from the Under 25 Series up to the grand prix level.

“I loved it,” Mendoza acknowledged. “It is nice to get away from Europe for three months and be based in one place. My horses have completely changed and turned into super horses now, so it was a great experience.”

Casady (22), who works for John and Beezie Madden, got the ride on Abigail Wexner’s Vanilla this year for the Under 25 Series and had solid results with the experienced mare throughout the circuit.

“I started riding her at the beginning of circuit, and our relationship has developed through these classes,” Casady said of the 15-year-old Danish Warmblood mare (Nabab de Reve x Clinton).
“She has her own personality. She is an old mare, so she has her way, and I have to respect that. Throughout the series we had a lot of four-fault rounds, so it is really nice to come have a double clear today.”

Remarking on his jump-off, Casady stated, “I just wanted to be smooth and not too risky. Like I said, we have had a lot of four-fault rounds, so I just wanted to be consistent and quick. That is a little bit how you have to ride her – just smooth and nice. She does not want you chasing after her.”
For his success throughout the circuit and an overall win in the series, Lucas Porter jumped Diamonte Darco, Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s 12-year-old Great Britain Sport Horse mare (by Unbelievable Darco).

As the overall Series winner, Porter (19) will be invited to compete in the CSI2* division of the Chantilly Horse Show, a Global Champions Tour event, from July 13-16, 2017, in France. In addition to his entry, Porter will also receive two tickets to the Chantilly VIP lounge and transportation for one horse generously provided by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte.

“I definitely achieved my goal, and it feels great,” Porter stated. “Coming back from Europe last November, I really pointed Diamonte Darco at the Under 25 Series this WEF. The past few years, I have been fourth or sixth in the overall. It has been really one of my goals since I started the series to win the overall, so I am very happy to do it this year.

“I have been to Chantilly before, but I was really young the last time I went,” Porter added. “I will be over in Europe beginning April 28. I will do a few shows before then, but I will definitely be going to Chantilly, especially now that I get free entry. It is a super show. I am really looking forward to it.”

Porter thanked Hollow Creek Farm for sponsoring the series and putting up the impressive increase in prize money for the FEI sanctioning this year. In its seventh season, the 2017 Under 25 Grand Prix Series, presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, expanded to ten events offering a total of $215,000 in prize money. New for 2017, all classes were sanctioned as CSI-U25 events by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), with the exception of the Team event, and were held under FEI rules.

“On behalf of the Andrade family and Hollow Creek Farm, we would like to congratulate all of these promising athletes on fantastic competition throughout the series,” said Hollow Creek Farm representative Jennifer Ward. “It has been great watching these riders come into their own, and we would like to give special recognition to Lucas Porter, who has enjoyed fantastic results throughout the years and is now standing on the podium as the overall winner of the 2017 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series.”

Coyle Tops Second Class of the Day in $50,000 Suncast® 1.50m

Following his win in the Under 25 Grand Prix, Coyle went on to his second win of the day in the $50,000 Suncast® 1.50m National Grand Prix. Thirty-six entries jumped the final class of the circuit, with five clear rounds to jump-off. Coyle and Ariel and Susan Grange’s Dillinger were the fastest double clear in 39.89 seconds.

Jessica Mendoza (GBR) finished second to Coyle again, this time in 41.86 seconds riding Milena Pappas’s Constance. Liubov Kochetova (RUS) and Urus 2 placed third in 43.87 seconds.

Dillinger is another of the many talented mounts that Coyle took over riding for Susan and Ariel Grange this winter. The rider explained that it has taken him some time to gel with the ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Contender x Capitol I), but he is thrilled with how they ended the circuit.

“Dillinger has been a hard one to figure out. He is probably the hardest one of them all,” Coyle admitted. “He has loads of scope and he tries to be very careful; his mind just sometimes gets in the way.

“The end of last year, Sue decided to cut him because he was a stallion up until then,” Coyle continued. “We did not really notice a change to start with, but now I think his attitude has changed, and he is so much more focused. You do not have to work him half as much, so he feels better in his body. I knew he was going to be an uphill battle, but the last several rounds that he has jumped, he has felt like a different horse. I am leaving the circuit feeling really good about him. I think that was probably the best round I have ridden the whole circuit.”

Taking on so many new horses was a big challenge for Coyle this winter, but he took his time to get to know each horse and figure out what they need.

“The start of the circuit was brilliant with Cita,” Coyle recapped. “Then she started to go up and down a little bit, and we changed tactics for her. Then I changed everything with all of the horses. I tried to start from scratch basically and work with them the best that I could. That is where Sue and Ariel are incredible. They really let me take my time.

“The older horses are just starting to progress through now, as we can see in the last week,” continued Coyle. “It is an amazing feeling to leave a big show like this with some great wins. It feels incredible.”

Also competing in the International Arena on Sunday, Claudia Villamil and Quite Close VD Smis won the $10,000 SJHOF High Junior Jumper Classic, presented by Sleepy P Ranch.

Following his unprecedented success this circuit, Chile’s Samuel Parot was presented the Harrison Cup Perpetual Trophy as the horse owner whose horses won the most jumping money in all of the open jumper classes held at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

Emotional Win for Kelley Farmer and Kodachrome in the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby

Kelley Farmer of Keswick, VA and Kodachrome, owned by Nina Koloseike Moore, topped the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on the grass derby field to conclude the final week of WEF. Kodachrome won the class last year with Russell Frey, who Moore had purchased the nine-year-old gelding Warmblood gelding for and worked with Farmer up until he passed away in May of 2016.

The class was held over two days with 41 competitors tackling the first round course. The top 25 horse and rider combinations returned on Sunday for a handy round designed by Ken Krome that consisted of ten jumps with four high options and a trot fence. The combinations were scored by two panels of judges: panel one consisted of James Clapperton and Rob Bielefeld, while panel two was made up of Ken Krome and Danny Robertshaw. During both rounds, riders could jump the high option of several fences in order to receive bonus points, and during the second round, riders received a handy bonus from the judges.

Kelley Farmer and Kodachrome

Entering the second round, Farmer and Kodachrome were sitting in fourth place with a score of 179.25, but their handy round score of 199.5 brought their total score up to 378.75 to take the win. Peter Wylde of Lake Worth, FL and MTM Hands Down, owned by Beechwood Stables, LLC, captured the reserve honors. The pair earned a first round score of 173.5, and after winning the hand round with a score of 203.5, they moved up to second place with a combined score of 377. Amy Momrow of Wellington, FL finished in third aboard Melissa Wight’s Aeroplane. Momrow piloted the new mount to first and second round scores of 181.5 and 193 for an overall score of 174.5.

Commenting on her win, Farmer said, “It was an emotional win. I am thrilled for Nina [Moore]. I just called her, and she was very emotional and excited. We are both thrilled for the horse. I am really honored that Nina let me continue where Russell [Frey] left off and keep going with what Russell had planned for that horse. Russell had big plans for Kodachrome, and the horse has done nothing but try to succeed and fill them.”

Moore originally purchased the horse for Frey with hopes that he had Derby Finals potential. Farmer and Kodachrome have been competitive ever since she picked up the ride and piloted the talented gelding to a second place finish at the 2016 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship.

The riders praised the decision to hold both rounds of the derby on the grass field.

“The horses are so used to being in the ring,” said Farmer. “I think horses and riders can get a little stage fright until they get out there and get comfortable competing on the grass. I think having both rounds out here lent itself to more horses going well and being comfortable. I would love to show on the grass more and more.”

While Wylde’s mount, MTM Hands Down, is a well-known and successful junior hunter, the 14-year-old Warmblood gelding is new to the derby scene, competing in his first derby just a few weeks ago.

“MTM Hands Down is my student’s, Annabel Revers’, Large Junior Hunter,” detailed Wylde. “She has had great results with him and won Junior Hunter Finals with him. We thought it would be fun to introduce him to derbies. So the first derby I did with him was a few weeks ago, and he was sixth. I thought he was brilliant this weekend. Riding on this grass field is fantastic. The horses jump so well on it, and it is a thrill to ride on.”

Wylde rode MTM Hands Down to win the handy round and move up from ninth place to finish in second place.

Speaking of his strategy going into the handy round, Wylde said, “I knew I had nothing to lose because I was ninth coming in and I needed to really go for it in the handy. He turned really well, and I tried to make the shortest turns. I was happy to get tens from both judges for the handy score. I think that really helped me.”

Momrow and Aeroplane are another pair new to the international derby scene, but their consistency over the two-day class garnered them a third place finish. Aeroplane was purchased as a junior hunter, but Momrow recently took over the reins to compete in the derbies with the 2006 Hanoverian gelding by Embassy.

“This is our first year really stepping up in the international derbies,” Momrow stated. “Aeroplane has been a really solid and consistent horse. He is very brave and really enjoys being on the grass. The grass field is a great environment, and the horses jump beautifully on it.”

Entering the second round, Momrow sat in third place. She was the only rider who finished in the top three on the first day that maintained a top three final placing. Both Maggie Jayne of Elgin, IL and Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL, who were sitting in first and second going into the handy round, finished outside the top six.

“I changed my strategy,” she continued. “At first going into the handy round, we thought I would just take some of the lower options and be conservative. Then, we decided that since this is our breakout year and we do have the goal of going to derby finals, that we should test ourselves and do all the high options and try to tidy up the turns. I definitely think I could have been handier, but I thought my horse put in a great effort.”

Kelley Farmer and Derby Lane, LLC’s Point Being finished in fourth with scores of 173 and 196.5 for a 369.5-point total. David Oliynyk and Lori Gaudet’s Generous placed fifth, with an overall total score of 364.75, carrying over a 174 from round one and a 190.75 in round two. Havens Schatt and Mostly Sunny, owned by CH Farm, LLC, rounded out the top six with scores of 165 and 196 for a 361-point total.

Sunday’s competition concluded the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival. Equestrian Sport Productions would like to thank everyone for another spectacular season. For full results and more information, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Samuel Parot and Atlantis Win $216,000 The Wanderers Club Grand Prix CSI 4* at WEF

Samuel Parot and Atlantis. Photos © Sportfot.

Emma Wujek and Puppet Top Engel & Völkers Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under

Wellington, FL – April 1, 2017 – Chile’s Samuel Parot closed out a fantastic winter circuit with a win in Saturday night’s $216,000 The Wanderers Club Grand Prix CSI 4* competing in the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Cita finished second, and Margie Engle (USA) aboard Royce placed third.

Olaf Petersen, Jr. (GER) set the course for 45 competitors in the final “Saturday Night Lights” event of the season and saw five clear rounds. Parot and Coyle jumped the only double clear rounds.

Lillie Keenan (USA) was first to jump-off, but knocked a rail at the first fence and finished fourth with her time of 43.46 seconds riding Chansonette Farms’ Super Sox. Parot was next to go aboard his own Atlantis, stopping the clock in 42.52 seconds. Engle and Gladewinds Farm’s Royce followed, but also had a rail at the first fence, placing third on their time of 43.31 seconds. Coyle and Ariel and Susan Grange’s Cita then jumped the second place round, clear in 43.85 seconds. Last to go, Beezie Madden (USA) and Abigail Wexner’s Breitling LS had one fence down in 44.40 seconds to finish fifth.

“It is super. I really have had a very good season,” Parot stated. “Every Saturday night grand prix I have had good results, but I really wanted to win one. Today I am really happy. The horse was very good. He is a very fast horse.”

Parot said at the start of the week that it was his goal to win Saturday’s grand prix. He also jumped Atlantis, a 14-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Andiamo Z x Royal Bravour L), to a win earlier this circuit in the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 6.

Making an unbelievable winter season even better, Parot also earned wins aboard three other horses. He topped week four’s $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m riding Dazzle White, week seven’s $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic aboard Quick du Pottier, week eleven’s $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m riding Couscous van Orti, and week twelve’s $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m speed class riding Quick du Pottier.

“The competition here is very strong. You have to be very, very good,” Parot stated. “These are many of the top riders and top horses in the world. Everyone here is very good, and to win anything here is always a great feeling. Every class here is tough.”

The key to Parot’s winning program is quite simple. “Good horses,” he stated. “When you have good horses, everything is easier. I like horses that are careful, scopey, and fast. All of my horses are a little difficult, but each horse has the carefulness, the scope, and the speed.”

Coyle began the WEF circuit riding Cita for the first time and won the $75,000 Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC Grand Prix in week one. The pair then spent the rest of the winter getting to know each other and developing their partnership.

“Since the first grand prix here, I changed my ride a little bit on Cita,” Coyle said of the 11-year-old Holsteiner mare (Casall x Pik Ramiro). “I suppose I was over-riding her. I was always asking her to be better and better, and that kind of got in the way of her being better. I just tried to make the ride a little more relaxed, and I found out that she has more jump than I ever believed she had.

“This is probably the biggest grand prix she has had a very good result in,” he continued. “Maybe I underestimated her a little bit in the beginning. I always knew she was going to be a great 1.50m horse, but I think she is going to be more now. I think the future will be bright for her. I am very happy. I am disappointed that I did not beat Samuel, but still that is a great result.”

Commenting on the jump-off, Coyle added, “Tonight I was riding for second place. I was not going to be crazy. For one, it is her first time at that level. Sam’s quick even in the first round, so I knew I would really have to be fast to beat him. If I beat him, I beat him. If I didn’t, I didn’t. I was still really happy.”

Engle also watched Parot’s speedy jump-off and got off to a fast start with her mount Royce, but had an unfortunate rail at fence one with the 13-year-old Oldenburg stallion (Café au Lait x Grandilot).

“Watching Sam go, I got a little excited,” Engle detailed. “I went right after him in the jump-off. I figured I was going to take a shot at the last grand prix of the season. I went really forward to the first jump. I just wanted to land kind of going, and I think I got too geared up after watching him because he was very fast.”

With the help of U.S. Olympic dressage rider Lisa Wilcox, Engle has improved Royce’s rideability and flatwork. Wilcox rides Royce and has helped the talented stallion become “really comfortable with himself,” said Engle.

“Royce has always had all the jump in the world,” Engle added. “He kind of did everything backward. He went in the big classes pretty much un-broke as a six-year-old. I got him when he was seven, and he was already doing the big classes. Then he had to learn how to do the flatwork.

“He has really come around,” Engle noted. “I have been able to drop down bits. I never thought I could flat him in a snaffle, and now he flats in snaffle. I am just thrilled with his consistency this year.”

In addition to the grand prix, several other awards were presented Saturday evening for the final week of competition at WEF. Karen Polle was presented with the Simba Run Perpetual Trophy as the owner of the open jumper who has earned the most prize money in classes held at 1.45m or more during the 2017 WEF. Fine Lady 5’s groom, Bo Vaanholt, was presented with the Oliver O’Toole Perpetual Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the groom of the horse who has earned the most money in the grand prix jumper classes. Martha W. Jolicoeur of Douglas Elliman presented the Martha Wachtel Jolicoeur Overall Circuit Leading Lady Rider Award to Laura Chapot in memory of Dale Lawler.

Also competing in the International Arena on Saturday, Katherine Strauss and Capacity won the $15,000 SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, presented by Engel & Völkers. Claudia Villamil and Quite Close VD Smis were victorious in the $1,500 Sleepy P Ranch High Junior Jumper speed class, and Kamille Marcussen and Bull Run’s Holy Smokes topped the $1,500 Equiline Medium Amateur-Owner Jumper speed class.

Emma Wujek and Puppet Top Engel & Völkers Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under

Emma Wujek of Grosse Point Farms, MI and Puppet, an entry owned by John & Stephanie Ingram, LLC, were named champions of the Engel & Völkers Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division on Friday. The pair won two over fences classes with high scores of 88 and 89, placed second under saddle and in the stake round, and finished fourth in the handy trip.

Emma Wujek and Puppet

“He is such a good horse, and he jumps amazing!” said Wujek. “Every week he has come out and jumped so nicely. He has such a good personality and is a just a good horse. He actually acts like a dog; he will just stand there and lick you. My favorite thing about him is his trot and jump. He is just so smooth.”

Wujek and the striking chestnut gelding have been partnered together for a year and have found much success during the winter circuit, earning the championship ribbon of the division during weeks five and ten at WEF.

Speaking of her rounds, Wujek continued, “I focus on being slow, rhythmical, and nice. When I meet the jump really well, he just jumps perfectly. I really just float around on him. I love riding him!”

Mimi Gochman of Palm Beach, FL captured the reserve title, continuing her recent success aboard Scott Stewart’s Caldwell. Gochman guided the 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding to win the under saddle, place second in the handy and an over fences round, and place third in the stake and another over fences trip. The duo earned the championship in the division during week 11.

Commenting on her recent success with Caldwell, Gochman said, “I have been really consistent with him, which is unusual for me. I used to not do so well on him, but I think since I have gotten bigger and stronger, he has noticed me more and listened a lot better. He jumped great and was perfect this week. I’m really happy!”

Also on Friday, hunter competitors completed the first round of the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on the grass derby field at Equestrian Village. Maggie Jayne of Elgin, IL and Like I Said, owned by Pony Lane Farm, topped the first round with an impressive combined score of 186. Going into the second round, Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL is sitting in second place, just behind Jayne. Colvin rode Onyx RCF, owned by Rivercross Farm, to an overall score of 184. Amy Momrow of Wellington, FL and Melissa Wight’s Aeroplane finished the first round in third place with a combined score of 181.5. The top 25 combinations will return for a second handy round on Sunday.

The 12th and final week of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival concludes on Sunday with the $50,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Final and the $50,000 Suncast® 1.50m National Grand Prix in the International Arena. The second round of the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby will take place at 1 p.m. on the Derby Field at Equestrian Village (AGDF show grounds). For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Coyle and Kocher Top Developing Jumper Classics at the Winter Equestrian Festival

Daniel Coyle and Farona. Photos © Sportfot.

Jennifer Bliss and Taylor St. Jacques Claim Wins in $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Wellington, FL – March 31, 2017 – The young horses of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) got their opportunity to compete on the main stage on Friday, as the Five-Year-Old, Six-Year-Old and Seven-Year-Old Developing Jumper Classics were featured in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.

Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Farona won the $20,000 Spy Coast Farm Seven-Year-Old Developing Jumper Classic, Andrew Kocher (USA) and G Star were victorious in the $15,000 Spy Coast Farm Six-Year-Old Developing Jumper Classic. Coyle also rode Khaleesi to top honors in the $10,000 Gut Einhaus Five-Year-Old Developing Jumper Classic.

Olaf Petersen, Jr. (GER) set the courses for the Developing Jumper Classics. In the $20,000 Spy Coast Farm Seven-Year-Old Developing Jumper Classic, Petersen saw 58 entries and 19 clear rounds to jump-off. Nine entries also jumped clear over the short course. It was Daniel Coyle’s time of 38.46 seconds that took the win riding Farona for Ariel and Susan Grange. Mario Deslauriers (USA) and Lisa Deslauriers’ Cooper Royal finished a very close second in 38.47 seconds. Ramiro Quintana (ARG) and Auer Sport Horses’ Ceitasi placed third in 38.98 seconds.

“Farona is a star!” Coyle said of the winning Dutch Warmblood mare (by Baltic VDL) bred by NHG Broeders. “We bought her at the [WEF Sport Horse] VDL Auction here last year, and ever since the day we bought her, she has been amazing. She went to Spruce Meadows last summer and won I don’t even know how many classes. She won the six-year-olds at Angelstone, then came down here and did a few 1.40m classes. She won a couple of seven-year-old classes here this winter. She has done so much.

“We were aiming her to win this class,” Coyle continued. “She is that type. You can really go to win. She has a lot of blood. She can be a little frustrating sometimes because she has so much blood, but she jumps so great you have to forget about it. I am so happy that [owner] Sue [Grange] found her. Sue is wonderful at finding young horses.”

Speaking of his jump-off, Coyle stated, “She is naturally very fast. Mario was very close to beating me, but thankfully he did not. If you ride her right, she is not going to knock a jump down. She is very special. I think she will turn out to be one of the best horses we have. She is one of those horses, whenever you are just hoping it all goes right, she is the one that you can always count on.”

Kocher Wins Six-Year-Old Classic

The $15,000 Spy Coast Farm Six-Year-Old Developing Jumper Classic saw a win for Andrew Kocher (USA) riding his own G Star. Fifty-two entries contested the Six-Year-Old Classic, with 14 clear rounds, and four double clear over Petersen’s short course. Kocher and G Star clocked the winning time of 39.10 seconds.

Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Artisan Farm’s Vienna placed second in 39.97 seconds. Lauren Tisbo (USA) guided Tequestrian Farms’ Graffiti Boy to third place in 41.51 seconds, and Gustavo Prato (ARG) jumped Nelson Pessoa’s Carioca ZE to fourth place in 43.13 seconds.

G Star is a Dutch Warmblood mare (Carambole x Karshmire van Schuttershof) bred by I. Huijbregts. Kocher co-owns the mare with Willem Greve, who purchased her as a yearling and brought her along.

“I bought my part of her around Christmas,” Kocher stated. “I was looking through tapes, and I liked the way she looked. She is really good. We have only shown her maybe three times. This was awesome. It was a really fun class, and it is nice to jump for a little prize money with the young ones. I was really happy with her.”

Young Irish rider Jordan Coyle showed G Star early in the circuit before Kocher took over the ride just this week. With Kocher, she jumped clear in all three classes this week.

“She can have a little attitude, but she is easy to ride, and easy to manage.” Kocher detailed. “She is fast. She goes like a Thoroughbred; she is very light. She was great in the jump-off. I had a lucky day, so I was happy.”

Coyle Tops Five-Year-Olds

Daniel Coyle also guided Ariel and Susan Grange’s Khaleesi to victory in the $10,000 Gut Einhaus Five-Year-Old Developing Jumper Classic earlier in the day. The Dutch Warmblood mare (Gaillard de la Pomme x Sir Corland) was bred by W.A.M. Tilbeke and purchased as a four-year-old by Brady Hayes.

Eighteen entries showed in the class and five qualified for the jump-off. Coyle and Khaleesi jumped the faster of two double clear rounds. Their time of 41.78 seconds took top prize. Yannick Patron (FRA) rode Valhalla Equestrian Centre’s Inshalla V.A. to second place in 42.69 seconds. William Hickey (USA) and Pony Lane Farm’s Karlton placed third with four faults in the jump-off in 44.21 seconds.

“Brady Hayes works with us at Lothlorien, and he had this horse that he wanted to sell,” Coyle detailed. “She was really nice, a good jumper, so Sue decided to buy her. The mare jumps brilliant. She is only five, so she is still a little green, but she felt really good today.”

Coyle continued, “We have prepared her for this class, and she jumped phenomenal today. That is the first time I have actually asked her to jump a clear round and be a bit competitive. I am sure Sue is happy and so am I. Thanks to Brady for finding her for us.”

Khaleesi showed at the start of the circuit with Keri Sutherland before Grange made the purchase and Coyle took over the reins.

“I showed her seven or eight times and she has just gotten better and better,” Coyle stated. “She will get a bit of a break now and show this summer in Toronto.”

Breeder and Rider Awards

Several special awards were also presented on Friday to recognize the riders and breeders of the circuit’s top young horses. Brendan Williams (riding Hercules) was presented the award for Best American Rider 25 and Under in the five-year-old division based on cumulative clear rounds in each section of WEF 1-12, excluding the classic. Theodore Boris (riding Flip de Hus Z) earned the award in the six-year-old division. Sarah Hubbard riding Farrero was the winner in the seven-year-olds. The under 25 rider awards were sponsored by DiAnn Langer.

The Best Rider 26 & Over was also awarded in each division, sponsored by Spy Coast Farm and Lisa Lourie. In the five-year-old division, Yannick Patron earned the award riding Inshalla V.A.

The six-year-old division awarded Vasco Flores, the rider of Manhattan. The best rider award in the seven-year-old category went to Armando Hassey, rider of Lomax.

Special U.S. Breeders Awards were also presented in the Six and Seven-Year-Old divisions, sponsored by Spy Coast Farm, based on individual horse money won from WEF 1-12, excluding the classic. Gotham Enterprizes’ Manhattan earned the six-year-old award, home bred by owner Georgina Bloomberg, and sired by her winning mount Metropolitan (x Lancer III). The gelding showed throughout the winter with Puerto Rico’s Vasco Flores.

The seven-year-old U.S. Breeder Award was presented to Spy Coast Farm and Lisa Lourie for Kimmel SCF, a Belgian Warmblood stallion ridden by Shane Sweetnam and sired by his famous former mount Amaretto d’Arco (x Lester).

Also competing in the International Arena on Friday, the Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series hosted a 1.40m speed class, with a win for Rogelio Pellerano (DOM) riding Temporelle de Fritot.

Jennifer Bliss and Taylor St. Jacques Claim Wins in $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby

Jennifer Bliss, riding Sugarman, and Taylor St. Jacques, riding Di Samorano, impressed on the derby field at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s (PBIEC) Equestrian Village to win their respective sections of the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby on Saturday.

Ken Krome of Westminster, MD set the courses for the USHJA National Hunter Derby, which was awarded in two sections, a junior/amateur section and an open section. Competition consisted of a first round and handy trip where the top 12 riders from each section returned to determine the final placings.

Jennifer Bliss and Sugarman

Bliss, of Wellington, FL, and Sugarman, owned by Harris Hill Farm, LLC, posted the top scores in both rounds of the open section with a 91 in the first round combining with a 93 in the second round for a total of 184. Maria Rasmussen of Oak Creek, WI finished in second riding Subject to Change, owned by Corporate Way, LLC, after scores of 86 and 92 for a combined total of 178. Rachel Kennedy of Brookeville, MD rounded out the top three ribbons riding Dubai for owner Casey Millis after scores of 88.5 and 88 combined for a total of 176.5.

Sugarman, a ten-year-old gelding, joined Bliss’s string four years ago before embarking on successful Pre-Green and First Year campaigns. In 2015, the pair competed in their first-ever international derby competition together at WEF.

“He was tenth in his very first international derby, so we had high hopes for him,” said Bliss. “Unfortunately, he was injured at the end of that season and we had to step back and give him a lot of time. We tried to go slow and do it right because we love him and believe in him. Hopefully, now we are on the right track and we can get him back to the international derbies.”

The USHJA National Hunter Derby during WEF 12 marks Sugarman’s third horse show back in the competition ring, as well as the horse’s fourth derby class ever.

“This class has been our goal for the circuit because he is typically great in this kind of venue,” said Bliss. “I absolutely love riding him because he has the most laid-back attitude, is absolutely fearless to the jumps, and so scopey. He is a blast to ride in these venues with a little more atmosphere.”

Speaking further about riding on the derby field at PBIEC, Bliss noted, “It is such a treat at the end of WEF to have a change of scenery, and you can really gallop and show off your horse’s style. We always look forward to showing out here at the end of the season.”

In the junior/amateur ranks, 17-year-old St. Jacques of Glen Allen, VA piloted her own Di Samorano to the first-place ribbon on scores of 88 and 83 for a combined total of 171. Samantha Schaefer of Westminster, MD earned the second-place ribbon riding her own Stallone on scores of 85 and 83.5 for a combined score of 168.5. Rounding out the top three, Hannah Doherty of Westwood, MA piloted her own Vondel DH Z to the yellow ribbon with scores of 83 and 84 combining for a 167 total.

Di Samorano, an eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Samorano, also serves as a top equitation mount for St. Jacques and was previously owned by Heritage Farm, where St. Jacques trains with Patricia Griffith and Andre Dignelli.

“Andre imported him to sell as a young equitation horse,” said St. Jacques. “He was a very good boy, so they put me on him and it was a great match. He has been absolutely perfect ever since.”

St. Jacques, who is well-known for catch riding in the hunter, jumper, and equitation rings, was pleased to win a derby on her own horse, noting, “It is a special feeling. I love winning on my own horses because I also do a lot of the work myself, so it is really rewarding. I love being out on the big field, and I think it is really fun to compete against the professionals”

“I have really been focusing on the equitation with Di Samorano this season, so I thought it would be fun to do a little derby with him during the last week,” concluded St. Jacques.

Competition continues on Saturday at PBIEC featuring the $216,000 The Wanderer’s Club Grand Prix CSI 4* during Saturday Night Lights, round one of the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on the Derby Field at the Equestrian Village (AGDF show grounds), and champion presentations in the Junior Hunter divisions. For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

NBC Sports Network to Broadcast $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* on Saturday, April 1

Photo copyright Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – April 1, 2017 – Equestrian Sport Productions is pleased to announce that the five-star event from the eleventh week of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network on Saturday, April 1, at 4:30 p.m. ET. Watch live or set your DVR – don’t miss this grand prix action!

The $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5*, which was held on March 25, features the world’s best show jumpers in one of the most anticipated events of the season at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

The broadcast is a great opportunity for fans from all over the country to watch the best equestrian sport in the United States and for sports fans of all types to become familiar with equestrian athletes from the U.S. and abroad. Use the NBC Sports Network Channel Finder to find NBC Sports Network in your area, and tune in!

Please visit www.pbiec.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Darragh Kenny and Billy Onslow Win $86k Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 12

Darragh Kenny and Billy Onslow. Photos © Sportfot.

Parot Wins Douglas Elliman 1.45m; Jimmy Torano and Pure Imagination Triumph in Marshall & Sterling Insurance Performance Hunter 3’3″

Wellington, FL – March 30, 2017 – Ireland’s Darragh Kenny triumphed in the $86,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 12 on Thursday, March 30, riding brand new mount Billy Onslow at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL.

Olaf Petersen, Jr. (GER) set the course for 70 entries in Thursday’s Challenge Cup and yielded 21 clear rounds. With two entries opting out of the jump-off, 19 continued on, and nine were able to clear the short course without fault. Second to go in the jump-off, Darragh Kenny went full speed with Billy Onslow to put the pressure on the remaining competitors. His time of 33.33 seconds held up for the win.

Margie Engle (USA) and Gladewinds Farm’s Royce finished second in 34.22 seconds. Nicole Walker (CAN) and Falco van Spieveld placed third in 36.23 seconds.

“He is such a cool horse,” Kenny said of the 11-year-old Anglo European gelding (Billy Congo x Iroko) that he purchased from Great Britain’s William Funnell. I just got him three weeks ago when I was in Europe. He did a 1.40m class yesterday, and then this today. Obviously, I do not really know him so well, but he tries so hard and he is super easy to ride.”

Remarking on his jump-off, Kenny stated, “I know he is really brave, really careful, and really scopey, so I just went as fast as I could go. There were 17 people after me, so I knew that if I left the door open at all I would have no chance. He has a massive stride. I did eight strides to the second to last fence and I did eight strides to the last, which nobody else did. I also did an inside turn to the double, which in hindsight probably was not the smartest thing.

“I did the first line, and I knew he had a big stride, but I did not realize just how big,” Kenny detailed. “I did the seven strides really slow and I thought I must have miscounted and done eight, so then I panicked and I thought I had to do something really special to try to win. He was just amazing. He was brilliant. He should not have jumped the double from where I turned back at all. He is so brave and careful. You turn back and you don’t even have to worry. You know he is going to do his best to leave the jumps up.”

Parot Notches Another WEF Win

Beginning competition in the International Arena at PBIEC on Thursday, Chile’s Samuel Parot jumped to victory in the $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m speed class riding his 13-year-old Selle Francais gelding Quick du Pottier (Hurlevent De Breka x Cuba).

Fifty-two entries started over Olaf Petersen, Jr.’s first-round course and 15 cleared the track without fault. Parot and Quick du Pottier went fifth in the order, setting an uncatchable time of 59.14 seconds for the win.

Lisa Goldman (USA) and Barbara Disko’s Sovereign finished second in 62.60 seconds. Conor Swail (IRL) crossed the timers in 62.82 seconds to place third riding Vanessa Mannix’s Rubens LS La Silla. Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Everlong LLC’s Diamond D took fourth place in 63.64 seconds.

Samuel Parot and Quick du Pottier

Speaking of his winning round, Parot stated, “Yesterday I went really fast and I had one down, so today I did not want to go as fast because the course was very careful. I went in the first five, and I thought I went fast, but not that fast. I thought somebody would catch me, but the course was very careful and it caught people.

“This horse is very fast,” Parot continued. “I thought I would maybe be in the top three with this time, but I was lucky that I ended up winning it.”

Parot has had great success throughout the 2017 circuit, winning week four’s $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m riding Dazzle White, topping the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup in week six with Atlantis, winning week seven’s $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic aboard Quick du Pottier, and also taking week eleven’s $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m riding Couscous van Orti.

Remarking on his winter, Parot smiled, “It has been a really fantastic season. I think this is the best circuit I have had here. I had a really good summer and then the horses came in to the winter really good. They have stayed really sound and they are all in great shape. This horse is done for the circuit. He was really good all winter and it is nice for him to go out with a win. He and the others will all have a nice vacation until we go to Tryon in May.”

Also competing in the International Arena on Thursday, the Spy Coast Farm Six-Year-Old Developing Jumpers completed their Power and Speed class with a win for Andres Soto (COL) and Julia Tedesco’s X-Lady.

Jimmy Torano and Pure Imagination Triumph in Marshall & Sterling Insurance Performance Hunter 3’3″

Jimmy Torano of Wellington, FL and Pure Imagination, owned by Ponies & Palms Show Stables, LLC, topped a competitive field of 37 horse and rider combinations in the Marshall & Sterling Insurance Performance Hunter 3’3″ division on Thursday. The pair only showed in two classes, but after winning an over fences round and placing third in the stake, they earned the championship ribbon.

Torano, who had never ridden the coming nine-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Ars Vivendi before, showed him as a favor to friend Joey Currais, trainer of Hunters Landing.

“We just got Pure Imagination to do the Junior Hunters with one of my clients, Isha Swani,” explained Currais. “Honestly, I have had him for four days. I wanted to put Jimmy on him to get a feel of the horse because the horse is going to do the 3’6″ this weekend. I’m beyond words, the trips were beautiful and having somebody of that caliber like Jimmy Torano, it was just a beautiful picture.”

While Currais has only had Pure Imagination in his barn for a short time, he speaks highly of the gifted gelding.

“This is a horse I picked for my client because of his personality, he is kind and forgiving, he has a great record, and a beautiful and quality jump,” continued Currais. “Working with a talented animal like Pure Imagination is a pure privilege.”

Elizabeth Boyd of Camden, SC and Hide Away, an entry owned by Looking Back Farm, captured the reserve honors, only two points overall behind Torano. Boyd and Hide Away won the handy trip and placed fourth in the stake round.

Competition continues on Friday featuring the $10,000 Gut Einhaus Five-Year-Old Developing Jumper Classic, the $15,000 Spy Coast Farm Six-Year-Old Developing Jumper Classic, and the $20,000 Spy Coast Farm Seven-Year-Old Developing Jumper Classic in the International Arena. The $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby will determine a winner in the Derby Field at the Equestrian Village (AGDF show grounds). For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Paris Sellon and Canasta Z Capture $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m CSI 4* at WEF

Paris Sellon and Canasta Z. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 29, 2017 – USA’s Paris Sellon and Canasta Z kicked off the final week of competition at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) on Wednesday, March 29 with a win in the $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m CSI 4* at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.

Olaf Petersen, Jr. (GER) is the course designer in the International Arena at PBIEC for week 12 competition. Petersen set the speed track for 55 starters in Wednesday’s 1.45m and saw 19 clear rounds. Sellon and her 13-year-old Zangersheide mare (Canabis Z x Caretano Z) laid down the winning time of 56.65 seconds early in the order. Try as they might, some of the fastest riders of the circuit could not outrun her.

Conor Swail (IRL) and Finca Horses’ Flower finished a close second in 56.84 seconds. Daniel Coyle and Susan Grange’s Tienna placed third in 56.92 seconds, and Laura Chapot (USA) and her own and Mary Chapot’s Thornhill Kate stopped the clock in 58.32 seconds to place fourth.

“I surprised myself, honestly!” Sellon said of her victory. “After I went, I did not really look at the order. I just wanted to let it be, so I was really pleased. Sometimes I do not push the gas pedal 100%. Today, everything just worked out great and I am glad I got a good result.”

Describing her round, Sellon stated, “When I walked the course, I knew that I had a pretty good shot at it, just because it was a really good course for my horse because there were a lot of turns. She is really quick, and she turns on a dime. I think every rollback she did really well. She is also really quick in the air and across the ground, so I think that is what split the time between the Irish boys and me. She is just so quick off the ground and quick to turn.”

Sellon’s Willow Grace Farm purchased Canasta Z one year ago from Vincent Voorn in Europe. The mare had previously been showing with Sweden’s Elina Petersson, jumping up to the 1.50m level and some four-star grand prixs.

“It has taken a little bit of time to get used to her just because she is so hot and a little bit of a different type than what I am used to,” Sellon noted. “She is super competitive. She is so careful, and every time she goes in the ring she gives 100%. I just have to more stay out of her way than anything. She is just a really great horse.”

After WEF, Sellon’s horses fly back to Europe with trainer Lauren Hough, where Sellon will kick off her European tour in Hamburg, Germany.

Also competing in the International Arena on Wednesday, Mario Deslauriers (USA) and Lisa Deslauriers’ Cooper Royal won the Spy Coast Farm Seven-Year-Old Developing Jumper speed class. Molly Ashe (USA) and Louisburg Farm’s Picobello Choppin PC topped the $6,000 Illustrated Properties 1.40m CSI 4* speed class. Sarah Scheiring (USA), aboard Thomas Welsh’s Newtown Jumping Jack, concluded the day with a win in the $6,000 Illustrated Properties 1.40m Power and Speed.

Week 12 continues on Thursday featuring the $86,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 12 in the International Arena. For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Hunter Derby Opportunities in Final Week of 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival

Photo ©Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 26, 2017 – During week 12 of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), hunter exhibitors have the opportunity to show on the picturesque grass derby field at Equestrian Village (AGDF show grounds).

The twelfth week of WEF features CSI 4* and USEF Premier “AA” competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on March 29 – April 2, 2017. Feature hunter events include the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby and the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby.

Attention Exhibitors: The USHJA International Hunter Derby has a 24-hour check-in at Equestrian Village (AGDF show grounds) on Friday, March 31 between 12 noon – 1pm in front of the Dressage office. After check in, all horses must remain on the Equestrian Village show grounds until their Derby completion.

Schedule of Hunter Derbies:

  • Friday, March 31, 8:30 a.m.: $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby
  • Saturday, April 1, 12 p.m.: $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Round 1
  • Sunday, April 2, 1 p.m.: $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Round 2

Exhibitor Information:

Thursday, March 30, 3-5 p.m. – Equestrian Village – Derby Field
Derby horses – Open Flatting WITH DERBY BACK NUMBER – WALK/TROT ONLY
*Weather permitting*

Friday, March 31, 7:15-8:25 a.m. – Equestrian Village- Derby Field
National Derby hand walking

Saturday, April 1 – Equestrian Village- Derby Field
International Hunter Derby Jog – 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Riders’ Meeting – 10:45 a.m.
Course Walk – 11-11:30 a.m., Hand Walk 11:30-11:50 a.m.

Exhibitors are encouraged to sign up for these derby opportunities in the horse show office.

Spectators are welcome at Equestrian Village (13500 South Shore Blvd.) to watch these special classes!

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

Sergio Alvarez Moya Riding Charmeur Triumphs in Thrilling Rolex Grand Prix at WEF

25 March 2017, Wellington, USA – Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya riding Charmeur took title place on the podium in the Rolex Grand Prix, the highlight of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).

After a sun-drenched day and spectacular sunset, the bright lights of the arena were illuminated, ready to welcome 40 of the world’s best horse and rider combinations, from 17 nations, to contend for one of the world’s toughest 5* Grand Prix. The passionate crowd was treated to a typically demanding course set by the world-famous course designer, Guilherme Jorge. The technicality of the course proved too much for many of the elite riders. From the first 20 combinations to go, there was only one clear round to count for, and in total, only five riders proceeded through to the jump-off.

Although Rolex Testimonee Kent Farrington rode to victory earlier in the day, fortune was not on his side in the Rolex Grand Prix. A tense crowd hushed to near silence ready to cheer on the home favourite, until the very last rail was gently rolled from its bracket by a stray hind foot.

Rolex’s newest Testimonee Jeroen Dubbeldam also suffered an unlucky four faults, halting his chances of reaching the jump-off. However, his quick time placed him in an eventual ninth place. Despite a valiant effort from Rolex’s longest serving equestrian Testimonee, Rodrigo Pessoa, he was also unable to progress through to the jump-off.

INTERNATIONAL JUMP-OFF

Karen Polle from Japan was the first rider to enter the arena for the jump-off and set an impressive time of 39.54 seconds, although unfortunately knocked a pole, incurring four faults. Spain’s Sergio Alvarez Moya aboard Charmeur was next to go and recorded an incredibly fast time of 37.76 with no faults, putting pressure on the remaining three American riders left to go. USA’S Beezie Madden and Laura Kraut were unable to challenge Alvarez Moya, leaving it up to McLain Ward, a home favourite and current world number four. Even after a daring round, Ward’s time could not beat the triumphant Spanish rider, who claimed the Grand Prix by just eight hundredths of a second.

Speaking after his win, Alvarez Moya commented, “I’m delighted with how my horse jumped; it’s the Grand Prix everyone wants to win. The Rolex Grand Prix is the final and biggest of the circuit. I couldn’t have finished the Winter Equestrian Festival in a better way.”

MEDIA CONTACTS:

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Virginie Chevailler
virginie.chevailler@rolex.com
+41 (0)22 302 2619

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Beat Mändli and Simba Win $50,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix CSI 2* at WEF

Beat Mändli and Simba. Photos © Sportfot.

Clara Propp and Trinity Beitler Ride Quicksilver Butterfly to Visse Wedell, Realtor Small Pony Hunter Championship

Wellington, FL – March 26, 2017 – Switzerland’s Beat Mändli emerged victorious riding Grant Road Partners’ Simba in the $50,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix CSI 2* to conclude competition for week eleven of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

Guilherme Jorge (BRA) set his final course of week 11 for 45 starters in the two-star grand prix. Twenty-three qualified for the jump-off, and six completed double clear rounds. It was Mändli and the 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding Simba (Toulon x Argentinus) that took the win in 43.66 seconds.

Canada’s Jordan MacPherson jumped to second place with JEM Stables’ Aanwinst in 44.77 seconds. Fellow Canadian Beth Underhill rode Sandy Lupton’s Count Me In to third place in 45.26 seconds.

Prior to his purchase by the Dinan family in 2015, Simba was jumping successfully in England, and has since continued his career under Mändli’s guidance.

“I am just very happy to have him to ride, and he has been going better and better every time he goes in the ring,” Mändli detailed. “He is fun. He was good in Vilamoura last year. Then he had a little bit of a rest, and now we have just been playing around with him and preparing for the tour in Europe. That was maybe the third time that I have gone fast with him in a jump-off, and it is the first time that it worked out, so I am very happy.”

Speaking further of Simba, Mändli stated, “I hope he is going to be a five-star grand prix horse. He has all the quality and the ability to do it. He just sometimes wants to do it too well and gets a little bit strong. I just have to work on keeping his energy in control; all the rest is perfect. He is a careful, scopey horse who wants to do the job. It will be interesting to see where he goes.”

Mändli, the 2007 FEI World Cup Jumping Final winner, rides under the Dinan family’s ownership and teaches young rider Katie Dinan full-time. For Mändli, as well as his young horses and student, the addition of the CSI 2* division this year has been a great enhancement to the show.

“I think it is a very good addition, especially to a professional who is training someone,” Mändli noted. “Now I can do my two or three horses in the two-star and then focus completely on my student when she goes in the five-star. For younger horses, of course, not everyone is ready to go in the five-star classes, so I think it is a really good thing.”

Second place finisher Jordan MacPherson has had her mount Aanwinst, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Odermus R x Jackson) for five years now, and enjoyed the opportunity to compete in the two-star division for more experience with her mount.

“I would say that we have a really good partnership,” MacPherson stated. “When I got her, she was seven, so we were able to grow and move up through the ranks together. It has definitely been great for me to learn how to bring a young horse along up to the two-star level. I think over the last couple of years she has really proven herself as a great horse, and I am just really happy that I get to ride her and that I get to compete with her.”

Speaking of her round, MacPherson detailed, “I went 16th in the jump-off, so at that point there was only one clean. My plan was to go quick enough, but to leave the jumps up, knowing that there had only been one clean before me.

“I think that the addition of the two stars has been a great learning experience and a great way to get in the ring with great competitors and great horses, and be able to compete against the best at the two-star level,” MacPherson added.

Coming in third, Underhill was riding the ten-year-old Hanoverian gelding Count Me In (Count Grannus x Sherlock Holmes), a horse that she has competed for three years.

“He started doing some national grand prixs in Canada and the U.S. last year,” Underhill described. “This is his first year jumping in the International Ring here at WEF, so that has been really exciting and great exposure for him. I could not have been more proud of him today. There were a lot of clears, but it felt like we were in great company.”

Remarking on the class, Underhill stated, “I thought the course was perfect. It was demanding, but fair. I think all of the horses came out of this week jumping more confidently; certainly mine did. It was a really wonderful experience for my horse having this division. It is a great opportunity for young horses like mine to develop and learn the skills that they need to without the pressure of the 1.60m height. It feels special when there is a five-star at the same time. You have the opportunity to be part of that, but still bring the young horses along the way that you would like to.”

Also competing in the International Arena on Sunday, the $10,000 Martha Jolicoeur, Douglas Elliman Low Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic was pinned in a California Split with a win for Caroline Donnally and Reve du Razzy in Section A, and victory for Hannah Patten and Love in Section B.

Clara Propp and Trinity Beitler Ride Quicksilver Butterfly to Visse Wedell, Realtor Small Pony Hunter Championship

After having her flight canceled on Saturday, Clara Propp of New York, NY flew to Wellington on Sunday morning in time to ride Quicksilver Butterfly and win the championship title in the Visse Wedell, Realtor Small Pony Hunters. Propp piloted Quicksilver Butterfly, an entry owned by Aquitaine Equine, to a sixth place finish in the handy trip.

Trinity Beitler of Coconut Creek, FL stepped in to show the 11-year-old Welsh Pony mare on Saturday and won two over fences classes, in addition to placing third under saddle.

Clara Propp and Quicksilver Butterfly

“It feels really good to win champion today,” said Propp. “My sister used to ride Quicksilver Butterfly. I started riding her at WEF this circuit. She’s a really sassy pony. My favorite thing about her is that she has her own motor, and I love her jump. I am happy my friend Trinity rode her when my flight was canceled.”

Remarking on why she enjoys showing at WEF, Propp continued, “I like coming down to WEF because it is warm, and I get to see my friend Alexa [Lignelli]. She was reserve champion today, and we used to go to school together.”

Alexa Elle Lignelli of New York, NY captured the reserve tricolor ribbon. Lignelli guided her own iParty to win the under saddle, place second in two over fences classes, as well as a fourth place finish in another over fences round.

Speaking of her 2007 mare, Lignelli said, “She is a dreamy mover and is so much fun to ride. She just glides across the ground and over the jumps. Whenever we do the handy, we call her ‘High Heels’ because if you do a tight turn and don’t balance her she gets really unbalanced. She can be sassy but is also very kind.”

The Winter Equestrian Festival continues in its final week of competition on March 29 – April 2, 2017. For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Sergio Alvarez Moya and Charmeur Win $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* at WEF

Sergio Alvarez Moya and Charmeur. Photos © Sportfot.

Kent Farrington and Dublin Top $130,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Final; McLain Ward Takes 1.50m Series Overall

Wellington, FL – March 25, 2017 – Olympian Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) was the big winner in the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* riding Charmeur on Saturday, March 25, at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL. Alvarez Moya beat out two-time Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward (USA) aboard veteran partner Rothchild, and young up-and-comer Karen Polle of Japan riding With Wings.

Earlier in the night, Kent Farrington (USA) took the win in the $130,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Final riding Dublin, and McLain Ward (USA) won the 2017 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Series overall.

Guilherme Jorge (BRA) set the course for the highlight event of the WEF circuit featuring 40 of the season’s top competitors from 17 different countries. Five entries conquered the first round course without fault to jump-off, and only two were clear in the tiebreaker.

Polle and With Wings were first to jump the short course in 39.54 seconds, with one rail down, and ultimately finished third. Alvarez Moya and Charmeur followed, setting the challenge with a clear round in 37.76 seconds. Beezie Madden (USA) and Abigail Wexner’s Coach had one rail in 40.20 seconds to place fifth. Laura Kraut (USA) and St. Bride’s Farm’s Confu also dropped one rail in 39.81 seconds to take the fourth place prize. Last to go, Ward and Sagamore Farm’s Rothchild raced through the course, taking a different inside turn that no one else tried, but still crossed the timers in second place with a time of 38.30 seconds.

“I am super happy. My horse jumped amazing,” Alvarez Moya said of his ten-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Numero Uno x Gelha’s VDL Emilion). “I just went as fast as I could. I saw Karen go, and then I knew I had to start fast from jump one, and keep going to the end. My plan was to go one more stride to the combination, but I had a good eight strides, and I just trusted my horse. Then to the next oxer I had a good gap as well, so I could go and keep on pushing. I actually saw one stride less to the next vertical, but I thought that was maybe too much. I don’t think I left much room for the others, and it worked out well.”

Alvarez Moya had a fantastic WEF circuit, placing third in week three’s $130,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 3* and second in week four’s $216,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI 4* with G&C Unicstar de l’Aumone, third in week seven’s $380,000 Suncast® Grand Prix CSI 5* aboard Arrayan, and again third in week nine’s $380,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix CSI 5* with Charmeur before taking the biggest prize in week eleven.

Remarking on his success, Alvarez Moya stated, “For me, this is one of the best shows in the world. Most of the best and most competitive riders in the world are here. I think that to have so many weeks here, and to be so consistent, is a great opportunity to bring a horse up like this. I have had Charmeur since he was six years old, and I just feel very happy and very proud that we got to win a five-star grand prix here. I have a feeling that this is the grand prix that every rider in the circuit wants to win, and I was just lucky that I won this one, and not the others.

“The horse does not have so much experience at this level,” Alvarez Moya continued. “He just got better and better here at this show. I think it is a great place to bring horses up, and obviously to jump such a grand prix they have to be really ready. I think from here on, we can go anywhere in the world.”

Saturday night concluded Alvarez Moya’s time in Wellington for the winter circuit. The Olympian, European Championships silver medalist, and reigning Spanish champion is now headed to compete in next week’s FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final with top mount Arrayan before continuing his season in Europe.

For Ward and longtime mount Rothchild, the pair gave it their best on Saturday night, but settled for second place. Detailing his round, Ward stated, “I have to watch (Rothchild) a little bit on the slice to the verticals, so the first two jumps were a bit of a challenge for me. I went in and I looked at the cut inside the gazebo, and I decided not to do it. Then when I turned back on the oxer, I kind of saw the line, and I knew I was too slow one to two to have a chance, so I figured at that point it was worth the risk. I thought maybe at that point, the turn did so much that I did not have to go as fast to the last fence. I took a little bit off, but Sergio did not leave much room.

“I’m thrilled with the horse,” Ward said of the 16-year-old Belgian Sport Horse gelding (Artos x Elegant de l’Ile). “This is his eighth year jumping grand prixs in Palm Beach. He is just a remarkable animal. I am blessed to have had him, and I am really excited to be able to keep doing it with him.”

Polle and her 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Larino x L. Ronald) With Wings also finished out an excellent 2017 WEF circuit with their top three finish. The pair earned back to back victories in week nine’s $130,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup and $380,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix CSI 5*, presented by The Bainbridge Companies, leading up to Saturday night.

“It is definitely a great feeling,” Polle noted. “I am really happy that Wings and I are so consistent at this level now, and that we are in these jump-offs. I thought the course tonight was really, really tricky. It was definitely the trickiest grand prix that I have jumped this circuit. It was very big. I had to work hard, but I thought it was very nice to ride.”

Equestrian Sport Productions CEO Mark Bellissimo wrapped up a fantastic evening of show jumping with his remarks and congratulated the top riders.

“I think there is consistently great sport at WEF,” Bellissimo stated. “The crowd has become a lot more engaged, and you can see the people really following the sport. I think there is top sport here, and we are very excited about it.

“I want to thank Rolex,” Bellissimo continued. “This festival went into a different transition when Rolex came on board. We started four five-star events and have some of the best riders in the world competing. I am hopeful that next year will be even more exciting and an even better series of outcomes.”

Margie Engle (USA) earned the Leading Lady Rider Award for week 11, presented by Martha Jolicoeur of Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

Farrington Tops Suncast® 1.50m Final; Ward Takes Suncast® Series Overall

2016 U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington and his mount Dublin were the winners of the $130,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Final on Saturday night at the Winter Equestrian Festival. After the final competition of the 2017 series, two-time Olympic team gold and one-time team silver medalist McLain Ward (USA) secured his lead in the standings and took home the championship title overall.

The 1.50m final held its first round on Saturday afternoon, with forty-nine entries starting over Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) first-round course, and 13 advancing to the evening jump-off. Only four riders cleared both rounds without fault.

Portugal’s Luciana Diniz was first to clear the short course in 44.26 seconds aboard her own and Arnaldo Diniz’s Lennox to end in third place. Ali Wolff cleared the track next in 48.93 seconds riding Quirie 2 to a fourth place finish. Canada’s Tiffany Foster upped the pace in 43.05 seconds with Artisan Farms’ Brighton to place second. Last to go, Farrington took the win in 41.90 seconds with his own and Tanma Corp.’s Dublin.

Kent Farrington and Dublin

“I am really excited. I thought the horse went great today; I thought both of my horses did,” Farrington stated following his win, as well as an eighth place finish aboard Sherkan d’Amaury. “I have been bringing them along this winter really slowly. I started them both in the 1.35m and built them up this whole winter. To finish off with them both going clear in the 1.50m final was a great accomplishment for them regardless of their results. The win was a bonus.”

Farrington purchased Dublin, a ten-year-old German Sport Horse (Cobra x Calido), at the start of the winter. The gelding previously showed with Carly Anthony (USA) under the ownership of Artisan Farms.

“He is extremely careful,” Farrington detailed. “He is actually quite difficult to ride. He is so careful that he borderlines on too careful almost, where he goes too high. I think this horse really needs to bond with a rider and have a lot of confidence. I actually carry a lot of speed with him, even in the first round, to give him confidence so that he does not go too high.

“Whether or not he will allow you to really have total control over him, I do not know,” Farrington continued, “but if we can find a good compromise in the middle like today, then I think he has a big future. Time still has to show us, but we are off to a great start, and we will see where it takes us from here.”

Remarking on his jump-off, Farrington added, “I trust that horse’s quality, so I know that I can really go at high speed to the jumps and trust that he is going to miss the rails. I thought he did an incredible roll back to the vertical by the in-gate. I do not think I even touched the reins there; he just flew back on that jump. That is probably where he won it.”

Saturday’s competition brought the overall Suncast® 1.50m Series standings down to the wire, but USA’s McLain Ward held onto his lead coming into the night’s event and earned the championship title for 2017. Ward qualified for the jump-off with two mounts, Tina la Boheme and HH Carlos Z, finishing sixth and seventh in the final class to secure his lead overall.

For his win, Ward was presented a two-year lease on a beautiful new Land Rover Discovery Sport HSE. Ward remarked, “It feels great to win the series. It would have been nice to win the final, but the horses jumped well all winter. I had some nice young ones that really stepped up well. I am really proud of how Tina La Boheme has continued to be a great competitor, and it is nice to have Carlos back. He is still maybe a touch rusty, but close.

“I think it is a great series, a very competitive series,” Ward continued. “These classes are hard. I think it gives an older horse a chance to get going in the season, and it gives a younger horse a class to step up into where hopefully they are not over-faced by the height. I was happy with both of my horses tonight, and we had a nice year.”

Also competing in the International Arena on Saturday, David Oberkircher and Southfield Farm’s Castelino van de Helle won the $15,000 SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, presented by Engel & Völkers. Giavanna Rinaldi topped the $10,000 SJHOF High Junior Jumper Classic, presented by Sleepy P Ranch, aboard Nuvolari Holdings’ Commissario.

Gochman Sisters Prevail in Engel & Völkers Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under

Mimi Gochman captured the championship honors in the Engel & Völkers Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division, while her younger sister, Sophie Gochman, earned the reserve title. Both girls show out of Palm Beach, FL. Mimi Gochman piloted Scott Stewart’s Caldwell to the win in the handy and in one over fences trip, to second place finishes under saddle and in the stake round, as well as a sixth place ribbon over fences.

Mimi Gochman and the 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding have come a long way over their two years partnered together.

“The first year I rode him, I had some complications getting his leads and stuff,” she detailed. “Now, I have him in a good stride, and he is a very good boy. He is very lazy, and it just took me a while to get things right on him. He tries so hard and is so sweet around the barn. I am really proud of our trips this week and happy that we finally got it right.”

Commenting on the success she has achieved with her sister at WEF, Mimi Gochman said, “It is really nice to do so well down here with my sister. We switch on and off all the time, sometimes she is champion, and today it was my turn. It is nice we share the victory.”

Sophie Gochman guided Garfield, an entry owned by Gochman Sport Horses, LLC, to two second place finishes over fences, a third place ribbon under saddle, and a third place finish in the stake round.

“Garfield is 15, so he really knows what he is doing,” Sophie Gochman said of the chestnut Holsteiner gelding by Coriano. “I can trust him with any distance. He is so sweet and cute, but he can also be a bit of a shark at home and when jogging. I love him a lot! It feels really good to be reserve and have my sister be champion because WEF is a really competitive show, and there are so many good riders here.”

The eleventh week of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival concludes on Sunday with the $50,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix CSI 2* in the International Arena. The Visse Wedell, Realtor Small Pony Hunters will determine championship and reserve honors in Ring 11. For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.