Hardin Towell and Cadence. Photo © Sportfot.
Wellington, FL – January 18, 2017 – The 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) began its second week of competition, sponsored by Marshall & Sterling Insurance, on Wednesday, January 18, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. Kicking off the week’s competition in the International Arena, Hardin Towell (USA) rode Evergate Stable’s Cadence to victory in the $8,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m speed class.
Ana Catalina Harris Cruz (MEX) is the course designer in the International Arena for WEF 2. Cruz began the week with 25 entries in the 1.45m class and seven clear rounds. Towell and Cadence clocked the winning time of 55.11 seconds. Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) and Gochman Sport Horses’ Sibell BH finished second in 55.48 seconds, and Conor Swail (IRL) aboard Blue Hill Farm’s Quibelle placed third in 57.83 seconds.
Towell rode Cadence in the morning’s speed class to prepare the horse for his owner, Jennifer Gates, to show later in the week. The 16-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding (Cardento x Irco Marco 662) will compete with Gates in the Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series this winter, which begins with its first event on Sunday.
“Jen had not shown for a little bit because she was studying abroad, so Cadence had some time off, and then we just brought him back,” Towell explained. “I showed him last week and he feels great. He likes being down here. He is happy here, and he knows the routine. He feels the best he has ever felt, so hopefully she will have a good season on him.”
Speaking about his winning round on Wednesday, Towell stated, “It was a nice first day track. The Under 25 on Sunday is a speed class, so I wanted to go a little bit so he would be ready for Jen. It was nice because he was really smooth. He has such a big stride and he turns so well that I actually felt like I had a nice, efficient round, but did not have to go too fast.”
Towell has a busy circuit ahead, with many horses to show for Gates, as well as a full schedule training his star pupil.
Also competing in the International Arena on Wednesday, the $6,000 Illustrated Properties 1.40 FEI speed class was held in a California Split with 107 entries. Ramiro Quintana (ARG) was the winner in Section A riding Michael Smith and Randall Hogan’s Glasgow de Muze, while Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and The ISB Group’s Beezie took top honors in Section B.
A second $6,000 Illustrated Properties 1.40m speed class concluded the day with 88 entries and a win for Daniel Coyle (IRL) aboard Susan Grange’s Simba de la Roque.
The 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival continues its second week of competition on Thursday featuring the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 in the International Arena. For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.