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2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival Opens Competition

Nick Skelton and Unique won the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers on the opening day of the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Photos © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, www.sportfot.com.

Nick Skelton Returns to the Winners Circle in $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers

Wellington, FL – January 12, 2011 – The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) began its competition today with opening jumper classes in the International Arena. To start the year off right, Nick Skelton (GBR) was back in the saddle and in the winner’s circle with Unique, owned by Beverly Widdowson, in the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers.

The first week of the FTI WEF runs through Sunday, January 16. The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of competition that conclude on April 3, 2011, and they will be awarding almost $6 million in prize money through the circuit. The highlight jumper class in week one is the $30,000 Speed Derby on Sunday at 2 p.m.

This week’s course designer in the International Arena is Anthony D’Ambrosio of Red Hook, NY. He set a welcoming course for the 12 entries in the Time First Round class. The early leader was Pablo Barrios (VEN) who was clear on G&C Sinatra. They set a time of 69.682 seconds that would hold up for fourth place. Barrios placed third on his second mount, G&C Flash, who went in 67.614 seconds. Enrique Gonzales (MEX) improved on that time in 66.744 seconds with his horse Katina, and they finished second.

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