Alejandro Karolyi and Vichy Are Fastest to Win Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge

Christel Weller and Kallaway Secure Tricolor in Horseware Ireland Adult Amateur 3’3 Hunters in One Day

Alejandro Karolyi and Vichy. © Sportfot

Wellington, FL – January 27, 2012 – The Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge had a class full of competitors going against the clock, but the fastest by almost six seconds was Alejandro Karolyi (VEN) on Vichy, owned by Torrey Pines Stable.

Week three of the FTI WEF runs Wednesday, January 25, through Sunday, January 29, and is sponsored by Horseware Ireland. The highlight jumper classes in week three are the $55,000 Nespresso Battle of the Sexes on Saturday, January 28, as well as the $50,000 Horseware Ireland CSI 2* Grand Prix on Sunday, January 29.

Forty-five entries showed in today’s $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge over a course set by Olaf Petersen Sr. of Germany. Karolyi and Vichy went midway through the class and set a time of 63.926 seconds, which no one would come close to with a clear round. The next fastest pair was Caribe and Steve Schaefer, who posted a time of 69.044 seconds. Third place went to Lauren Hough on Clip Z, who was clear in 69.623 seconds.

Alejandro Karolyi said that Vichy, a 10-year-old KWPN mare by Hors La Loi II x Indoctro, “is a really, really great speed horse. She is careful and fast, (with a) big stride. I have had her for almost a year. She is Belgian bred.”

Karolyi and Vichy started at the FTI WEF last year in small classes and he has been bringing her through the ranks. They won this summer at Spruce Meadows. “She had a really good summer in Calgary and in Europe and this is what she is really good at – 1.40m, 1.45m fast classes,” he said.

Of the Petersen-designed course, Karolyi described, “The course was good. It was a little bit faster than I thought it would be. The course itself was super designed for a speed class. There were a lot of lines where you could take out strides and some really good rollbacks. Vichy is really good at that. She was just fast all over. I did make up a lot of time from three to four and then everywhere else I just got tight and stayed on the same rhythm.”

Karolyi has been working for Eric Lamaze at Torrey Pines for four years. “Eric helps me with Vichy, and I owe him a big thank you for letting me ride her. He is super experienced and he is a great trainer and a great friend,” he said.

Karolyi has a goal of competing in the $75,000 FEI Nation’s Cup presented by G&C Farm during week eight. “She can go a little bit more,” he said of Vichy. “Hopefully we will have a good season here and then I think we are planning to go back to Europe all together with her and do some shows there again. Our new base is Brussels in the summer.”

Adult Hunters Shine at the FTI WEF

Christel Weller and Kallaway. © Sportfot

Christel Weller of Keswick, Ontario, Canada, cruised to the top of the Horseware Ireland Adult Amateur 3’3″ Hunter division atop her mount, Kallaway. After entering only three of the division’s five classes, Weller and Kallaway brought home the championship tricolor with a first and second over fences and a first under saddle for a total of 26 points. Elizabeth Frankel and Utopia received the reserve tricolor with a first and third over fences and a fifth under saddle for a total of 15 points.

Kallaway, an eight-year-old Warmblood mare by Popeye K, was purchased by Weller this past July. After bonding quickly, the pair went on to have a successful summer show season that culminated in qualifying for Canada’s Royal Winter Fair in November. “I did the adults over the summer,” Weller explained. “You have to be in the top twelve to go to the Royal and even with a late start to the summer season, we ended up qualifying in eighth place. To be honest, I haven’t jumped a course since.”

This season marks both Weller and Kallaway’s first year showing at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival with today being Weller’s first time in the show ring. A scheduling conflict with work prevented Weller from showing in her preferred division, the FarmVet Amateur Owner 3’3 Hunters, which run on Friday and Saturday this week. Alternatively, the pair entered the Horseware Ireland Adult Amateur 3’3 division that ran on Thursday and Friday in order to acquire additional miles in the ring.

Following her win, Weller commented, “My trips today went really well considering I didn’t even show yesterday and still ended up champion. Kallaway was showing with my trainer Erynn Ballard yesterday but I really wanted to show before I had to go back to Canada, so we entered today. It’s crazy because I really just wanted a chance to get in the show ring to build my confidence. Obviously, it worked out better than I had expected!”

Weller recently began training with Erynn Ballard in early December. “My experience with Erynn has been amazing,” Weller said. “She really gives me the confidence I need to perform well in the show ring. Kallaway is a great horse and I know she’ll be on her game, so it’s all about getting my confidence up at this point.”

In Keswick, Weller works for her family’s business, Weller Tree Services, and is extremely grateful for the support of her parents and husband. Working for her family provides Weller with the flexibility she needs to commute to Wellington every other weekend for competition. For Kallaway, the rest of the winter will bring several more chances to bring home a championship cooler in the FarmVet Amateur Owner Hunter 3’3″ division beginning week five.

The 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival will continue in the International Arena tomorrow with the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic at 1 p.m. and the $55,000 Nespresso Battle of the Sexes at 7 p.m. In the Rost Arena, the Bainbridge Amateur-Owner Hunter 18-35 division will present championship honors for week three. For full results please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival
The 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 11 through April 1. The FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are “AA” rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $6 million in prize money will be awarded.

About FTI Consulting
FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 3,800 employees located in 23 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.4 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2010. More information can be found at www.fticonsulting.com.

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

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