FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival: Week Three Wrap-up and Week Four Upcoming Events

Wellington, FL – January 30, 2012 – The FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival finished its third week of competition with success for hunter, jumpers, and equitation riders. The third week of the FTI WEF was sponsored by Horseware Ireland. The fourth week, sponsored by Adequan, is on February 1-5. The 2012 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of competition that conclude on April 1, 2012, and they will be awarding more than $6 million in prize money through the circuit.

Upcoming Events for Week Four – Don’t Miss These Exciting and Fun Activities!

The Lunch & Learn Series, presented by World Development Group, will continue this week on Thursday, February 2, at The Wellington Club. Admission is free and lunch is provided. No prior equestrian knowledge is required to attend the events. This week’s class, “Degenerative Joint Disease in the Equine Athlete,” features speaker Dr. Victoria Maxwell and is sponsored by Adequan. Every attendee at the Lunch & Learn Series will be entered to win a grand prize.

The Global Dressage Festival opens its doors for the first time this week to host the inaugural CDI and national level event on February 2-5. The show will feature top dressage riders competing for $50,000 in prize money at the brand new facility.

The Pony Island Family Center will open this week by Ring 11. It will be open for families to enjoy on Wednesday through Sunday, 8 a.m. To 5 p.m. The Pony Island Family Center has pool tables, Wii and Xbox, movies, TVs, cards, board games and more. Have some downtime? Hang out at the Pony Island Family Center and enjoy your time at PBIEC.

The 2nd Annual Vinceremos “Buck Off” mechanical bull riding contest will take place on Thursday, February 2, at 6 p.m. at a location to be announced. The event benefits the Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, is hosted by Mark and Katherine Bellissimo, and is sponsored by Palm Beach Equine Clinic and the Floridian Community Bank. Admission is free, practice rides are $10, and there is a $100 fee per team of four riders. The winners of each event will challenge the 2011 champions on February 10 at the Vinceremos Dinner and Aunction.

The Der Dau Dream Boot Party 2012, a launch party for their new Dream Boot, will be on Friday, February 3, at 4 p.m. at Der Dau’s booth in Vendor Row. There will be refreshments, hors d’oeuvres, and a hookah bar. Guest DJ Gabrielle will be spinning house and club music.

The Bank of America Family Festival will kick off festivities on Saturday, February 4 at 6 p.m. inside the spectator entrance. Families are invited to come and watch the $80,000 Adequan Grand Prix and spend time having fun with a bounce house, petting zoo, pony rides, face painters, balloon artist, street performers, and more. The Synchronicity Police Tribute Band will be playing live music too, so bring your dancing shoes!

The $80,000 Adequan Grand Prix, CSI 2* will be held on Saturday, February 4 at 7 p.m. Come out and support your favorite show jumper, get dinner at Tito’s Tacos or the Tiki Hut, and cheer on the riders!

A charity golf cart wash will be held on Sunday from 12-2 p.m. at the Spectator Entrance. Proceeds will benefit the Binks Forest Elementary School, which is a part of the Equestrian Sport Productions public school initiative. Support the school and get your golf cart sparkling!

On Super Bowl Sunday, the big question is – Giants or Patriots? Show your team pride and support your favorite team! Wear your jersey or hat – we expect to see NFL teams from around the country supported by our nationwide exhibitors and spectators!

Week Three Wrap-Up: Katie Dinan and Nougat Du Vallet Capture $50,000 Horseware Ireland CSI2* Grand Prix

Eighteen-year-old Katie Dinan (USA) and Grant Road Partner’s Nougat Du Vallet led the victory gallop in the $50,000 Horseware Ireland CSI 2* Grand Prix. Thirty-seven entries showed in the grand prix over a course set by Olaf Petersen, Sr. of Germany. Fifteen were able to clear the first round course to advance to the jump-off, and seven finished the class double clear. The lead changed hands several times throughout the jump-off as riders chased the clock, but it was Katie Dinan and Nougat Du Vallet, second to last in the order, who captured the win. The pair blazed through the course in 37.36 seconds for their first major grand prix victory.

“It was just exciting for me to be in the jump-off,” Dinan beamed after her win. “This is the first grand prix that I have done with Nougat. He has been fantastic the last two weeks of WEF, so we all decided that it would be a great week to move up with the grand prix on Sunday afternoon. I was thrilled with how he went in the first round. In the jump-off we decided it was a great place to try to go fast and see what happened and it could not have gone better. He helped me out a lot.”

It was a great day for the American women as they took the top three places in the class. The second place round belonged to Christine McCrea (USA) and Candy Tribble’s Avenir, who completed the track in 37.54 seconds. Lauren Hough (USA) and Robin Parsky’s Blue Angel followed with their time of 38.12 seconds. In addition to her third place prize, Hough was also named the Leading Lady Jumper Rider for the third week of competition, an award sponsored by Martha Jolicoeur of Illustrated Properties in memory of Dale Lawler.

Sponsor Horseware Ireland was thrilled with the class and representative Lorraine MacGuinness praised the riders on a great class. “It’s our first year sponsoring a big class here and we were absolutely delighted,” MacGuinness stated. “We think the course today was brilliant, as were the riders. It was a great competition out there. Obviously we were kind of hoping for an Irish victory, but these Americans proved too tough for us today! We’re more than happy to be beat. They put on a great show here, and we are delighted to be sponsors. We hope to come back next year and do the same. This is heaven for horse lovers.”

Following the U.S. ladies, Irish rider Cian O’Connor and Blue Lloyd 12, owned by O’Connor and Ashkirk Ltd., earned the fourth award with their time of 38.61 seconds. French rider Marie Hecart and Myself De Breve, owned by Haras De La Rogue, finished fifth in 38.81 seconds. Sixth place was awarded to USA’s Catherine Pasmore and Pasmore Stables’ Vandavid in 39.99 seconds, and the final clear round in the seventh position belonged to Dominican rider Hector Florentino and Ultimo, owned by Stransky’s Mission Farm, in 40.19 seconds. Nick Skelton and Beverly Widdowson’s Carlo 273 had the fastest four-fault round in the jump-off in 37.60 seconds to finish eighth.

Dinan was up against some tough competition in the class, but as one of the last to go in the jump-off, she knew she had to go for it, and her speed paid off. “(My trainer) McLain (Ward) said that we might as well try to go fast because we have to learn how to go fast eventually,” Dinan smiled. “He said I could really make up a lot of time from fence one to two, so he told me to just canter as fast as possible and I somehow pulled it off. It could have gone either way, but Nougat was fantastic. It could not have gone any better.”

Jumper Results: Wednesday through Sunday

In the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers on Wednesday, Debbie Stephens of Palmetto, FL, was victorious on Swagger, owned by Centennial Farm. The G&C Farm 1.45m class was a time first round format and had 26 entries. There were nine clear rounds, and the fastest of those was Stephens (USA) and Swagger, who posted a winning time of 70.049 seconds. Angel Karolyi (VEN) and Artifice L.S., owned by Hollow Creek Farm, were second in 72.670 seconds. Third place went to Bon Ami, ridden by Scott Brash for Liz MacTaggert. They had a time of 73.053 seconds.

For the second week in a row, Nick Skelton and Beverley Widdowson’s Carlo 273 led the victory gallop in the Thursday afternoon $32,000 WEF Challenge Cup Grand Prix. The WEF Challenge Cup saw 50 entries in the first round of competition showing over a course set by Olaf Petersen Sr. of Germany. Seventeen jumped clear to return for the short course, and Great Britain’s Nick Skelton and Carlo 273 had the fastest double clear time of 38.76 seconds to beat out the competition. Kent Farrington (USA) and RCG Farm’s Uceko came close as the next competitors in the ring with their time of 38.97 seconds, but had to settle for second place.

An earlier round from Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER) and Octavia Farm’s Cantano finished third in a time of 39.43 seconds. Quentin Judge (USA) and Double H Farm’s HH Carotino stopped the clock in 39.79 seconds to finish in fourth, and Jeffery Welles (USA) and Merlin, owned by Noel Love Gross, finished in 39.97 seconds to grab the fifth place position. Ian Millar (CAN) and Team Works’ Star Power went first in the jump-off and set the standard in 40.34 seconds, which eventually earned the sixth place prize. Charlie Jayne (USA) and Pony Lane Farm’s Chill RZ had the only other clear round over the short course and landed in seventh with their time of 41.13 seconds.

The Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge had a class full of competitors going against the clock on Friday, but the fastest by almost six seconds was Alejandro Karolyi (VEN) on Vichy, owned by Torrey Pines Stable. Forty-five entries showed in the $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.”

It was a packed house at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center on Saturday evening as the women earned their fourth consecutive victory in the $55,000 Nespresso Battle of the Sexes at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival. The ladies swept the three phase competition with 29 points over the men’s score of 17 to win. The women’s team was captained by Katie Prudent, and included riders Tatiana Dzavik, Margie Engle, Brianne Goutal, Maggie Jayne, Reed Kessler, Candice King, Laura Kraut, Marilyn Little Meredith, Catherine Pasmore, and Jessica Springsteen.

Henri Prudent led the men’s team, which included riders Daniel Bluman, Steven Bluman, Charlie Jayne, Ben Meredith, Todd Minikus, Richie Moloney, Michael Murphy, Andres Rodriguez, Nick Skelton, and Shane Sweetnam.

Reed Kessler, who is just 17 years old, was the only rider to master Saturday’s Suncast 1..50m Championship Jumper Classic course. She and Pacha de Nantuel, nine-year-old Selle Francais gelding by Papillon Rouge, SF x Calypso D’Herbiers, were the sole clear round in a class of 30 entries. They posted a time of 75.609 seconds. Second place went to Yann Candele (CAN) on Ariana, owned by Susan Grange, who finished with one time fault in 78.427 seconds. Karen Cudmore (CAN) and Blair Cudmore’s Shea were the fastest four faulters in 70.530 seconds for third place.

Hunter Results: Thursday through Sunday

Jimmy Torano of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, scored the championship tricolor in the Pre-Green Hunter Level One Division atop eight-year-old warmblood, Bentley. The pair scored two firsts and a fifth over fences and totaled 21 points for the championship win. Bridgitte Laroux and Sugar Ray received the reserve tricolor with 11.5 points, placing second, third, fifth and seventh over fences and finishing sixth under saddle. Bentley, owned by Kathryn Haefner of Stellar Equestrian in Hamburg, NY, triumphed over 24 competitors in the Pre-Green Level One division this week. Rider Jimmy Torano collaborated with trainer Stewart Moran to help bring the bay gelding to a win.

Additional show champions for this week’s hunter divisions include Kelley Farmer and her mount Not Tonight who topped the The Sanctuary First Year Green Working Hunter division and Christopher Payne atop Big Time who won this week’s WEF Open Hunter 3’3″ division.

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.

Heather Hooker and her mount Castlekeep out-performed stiff competition in this week’s Bainbridge Amateur-Owner Hunter 18-35 division. The pair scored two seconds and two thirds over fences and finished up first in the under saddle to bring home the championship tricolor with a total of 30 points. A close reserve championship went to Alex Paradysz and Late Entry who scored a first, second and third over fences and a third in the hack for a total of 24 points. After two days of showing over fences, Hooker and Paradyysz were tied with 20 points each going into the under saddle. Castlekeep’s blue ribbon victory in the hack was the deciding factor that carried the pair to the top.

Lili Hymowitz of New York, NY, concluded her third week of showing at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival with a clean sweep of the Gotham Small Pony Hunter division atop her mounts Bit of Love and Love Me Tender. Hymowitz and Bit of Love brought home the championship tricolor with a first over fences and a second in the under saddle for a total of 16 points. Her second mount, Love Me Tender, was close behind, scoring 13 total points and finishing fourth and fifth over fences after winning the under saddle. Today’s division victories were made even sweeter by falling on Hymowitz’s thirteenth birthday. The victorious small pony, Bit of Love, is a six-year-old Welsh Pony Cross owned by Scott Stewart.

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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