Jos Verlooy and Luciano Van Het Geinsteinde. © Sportfot.
Wellington, FL – March 3, 2022 – The eighth week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), sponsored by Premier Equestrian, wasted no time delving straight into international competition on Thursday. Riders from across the globe will attend throughout the week in preparation for the $150,000 Nations Cup CSI04* on Saturday night, followed by the $216,000 JTWG, Inc. Grand Prix CSIO4* on Sunday. The morning kicked off with a win for Belgium’s Jos Verlooy in the $37,000 Adequan WEF Challenge Cup Round VIII CSIO4*.
A large field of 71 horse-and-rider combinations representing 24 nations during the nations cup-centered week made their bid to win the single round speed class. Nick Granat (USA) and Steve Stephens (USA) created a challenging task for the entries and only 13 managed to produce fault-free efforts. Carlos Hank Guerriero of Mexico led the charge for the majority of the class with H5 Sunshine but slipped from the lead when Verlooy shaved off two whole seconds from his time and finished in 71.28 seconds with Luciano Van Het Geinsteinde.
Guerriero’s efforts with the H5 Sport Horses LLC’s 14-year-old BWP gelding (Diamant De Semilly x Hardi) couldn’t quite hold the lead, but were solid enough to earn the pair the second place finish with the time of 73.03 seconds. Jessica Mendoza (GBR) and her own I-Cap CL Z rounded out the top three placings with their time of 74.91 seconds. She and the 10-year-old Zangersheide gelding (I’m Special De Muze x Air Jordan) have already had a top week having placed second in the $5,000 Premier Equestrian Welcome CSIO4* on Wednesday evening.
The afternoon brought forth wins for the up-and-coming generation with the running of the $10,000 Hermès Under 25 Welcome and the $1,000 Hermès Under 25 1.40m class. It was victory for the Irish in the $10,000 Hermès Under 25 Welcome as Max Wachman bested a 66-horse field with Coolmore Show Jumping’s 13-year-old OS gelding Quintini (Quintender 2 x Cassini II). Out of the 13 pairs in the final class of the day, Summer Hill (USA) and her own solid partner La Belle SCF put forth the best effort in the $1,000 Hermès Under 25 1.40m class. She and the 11-year-old BWP mare (Diktator Van De Boslandhoeve x Baldini) crossed the timers in 63.04 seconds to secure the top honors.
Tyler Petrie and Galileo Shine Bright in ESP Open Hunter 3’3” Division
Pairings in the ESP Open Hunter 3’3” division made their way to Ring 12 on Thursday to finish out their performances and designate a champion. Recent college graduate Tyler Petrie piloted Ann E. Rice Ervin’s Galileo under the guidance of Ron Danta and Danny Robertshaw to add a third and sixth place to their previous days’ results of two firsts and a sixth.
The young pro only acquired the ride on the 11-year-old mount in June after she graduated USC and began working for Robertshaw and Danta’s Beaver River Farm.
Reserve champion was also earned by Petrie with Ervin’s other mount, Alright. For only their second competition as a team, the duo had great results worthy of a first, second, and third.
For more information and results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.