Jeffery Welles Wins Again to Kick Off Wellington Turf Tour Finale Week

RELEASE: March 20, 2014
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Phelps Media Group, Inc. International

Jeffery Welles and Bilion (Phelps Media Group, Inc.)
Jeffery Welles and Bilion (Phelps Media Group, Inc.)
Wellington, Fla.
- The final week of the Wellington Turf Tour kicked off today at Deeridge Farms. It was a heated competition, with some of the nation's top riders, both professional and amateur, going neck to neck for the top awards in the 1.30m-1.35m Jumper classes and the YJC Finals. Jeffery Welles and Bilion once again rode to the top of the leader board in the first 1.30m-1.35m Jumpers, proving exactly why he sits at the pinnacle of the Wellington Turf Tour Leading Rider standings. Sarah Segal also put in a fantastic effort to win the second class of the day with Zelda, securing the victory by 1/10th of a second over Linda Sheridan and Invitational.

It was a battle against the clock today, with over 50 horse and rider combinations racing for the win in the final 1.30m-1.35m Jumper classes at the Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour. Leslie Howard was the first rider to take on the track, riding two mounts to double clear efforts. Although her times were solid, Paul Halpern and Super G were on fire as they set the time to beat at 32.932 seconds.

Christoph Schroeder rose to the challenge blazing through the course in a quick and tidy 32.241 seconds aboard Una Bella, returning with Diamant Du Revel to duplicate his effort in 32.696 seconds. Although Marie Hecart and Premier Platiere attempted to catch his time, their speed was not quite on point as they rode to a more conservative time of 33.891 seconds.

Jeffery Welles returned to the turf today with the liver chestnut that proved he can do it all-Bilion. The gelding has consistently risen to the top of the ranks each week, only continuing to improve with the 11-week series and dominate the competition with Welles in the saddle.

They picked up a strong gallop from the opening oxer, and continued to navigate the track efficiently. Although Bilion slightly backed off to obstacle 12, the pair rose to the challenge, making up time with an inside turn that shaved the second to a vertical. Their rollback to the final oxer sealed their fate as the victors, stopping the clock in 31.504 seconds.

"Last week he was really fresh after a week off, and he was bucking and playing and not really paying attention, so I had a hard time getting him to focus. Last week when we came around the left turn, I tried to move up to a distance, and he and I were not on the same page," Welles recollected. "Fortunately, he came back today and it seemed like last week didn't bother him in a negative way. I wasn't going to do the inside turn today, but then I thought that after last week I really wanted to focus on his education. He has a huge stride, and is careful, but he needs to learn how to turn. He felt confident today, so I went ahead and made the inside turn."

Welles continued, "The first couple of weeks that I brought him I was only doing the Wednesday classes, and then I began to gradually move him up to the bigger class on Friday. I must say, he really started to understand himself better, and although he stayed careful, he didn't over-jump as much. He learned how to be careful without overdoing it. It is all about getting the horse comfortable at the next level, and then moving them up gradually with quality horses like that."

The second class of the day saw Sarah Segal ride to the first and third place finishes with Zelda and Tilghman, respectively. It was only a fraction of a second that separated Segal from Linda Sheridan's time of 30.943 seconds aboard Invitational. Sheridan also rode Vantina HPF to the fifth place finish, only narrowly missing fourth place when Brittni Raflowitz and Elios tripped the timers in 31.839 seconds.

Schroeder secured the fifth place finish with Diamant De Revel in 34.008 seconds, while Mario Deslauriers and Scout de la Cense rounded out the top six in 37.264 seconds. Mikala Chesler and Stanley Stone finished with the seventh place for their effort of 39.974 seconds set early in the day.

"The set up is not only perfect-It is quiet, a nice atmosphere, nice courses, nice footing, and a good warm up," Schroeder explained. "It is definitely beneficial for young horses. It was really nice to show at Deeridge, and I think it is wonderful that owners and families have opened their gates to allow others to show on their property. I think that it really gives a special atmosphere."

Schroeder continued, "Unfortunately we started doing it a little late. We should have started competing in this series a little bit earlier, but I am so glad that we finally did it. I want to bring two or three horses to the finale on Saturday. Sometimes the change of scenario and atmosphere helps to make the horses happier, and it can give you an advantage."

Today concluded the YJC Qualifying Classes, offering three times the amount of earnings in each division. In the $1,500 7/8 Year Old YJC Qualifying Class, Mario Deslauriers and Peyton rode to the top. Candice King and Diamond of Picobello Z took second place, while Lucy Deslauriers and Hamlet finished in third place.

It was a six-way tie in the 5/6 Year Old YJC Qualifying Class, with six horses each posting a clean effort. Candice King and Dimitri, Paul Halpern and Lucy, King and Astakkato, Emily Dougherty and Vivaldi, Josh Dolan and Cora, and Carly Campbell-Cooper with Pandora split the earnings.

Segal currently sits in the second place position for the Wellington Turf Tour Leading Rider Bonus. She is a mere $8,000 behind Welles, and this Saturday's 1.40m Invitational Grand Prix Finale will tell all as the competitors enter into a heated battle of the best. The winner of the $24,950 Finale event will walk away with $8,000, also possibly claiming the coveted Leading Rider Bonus.

The Leading Rider of the 2014 Wellington Turf Tour will receive a one-year membership to the International Polo Club Palm Beach, valued at $35,000. Each winner of the $15,000 1.40m Grand Prix for Week 8 -11 of the Wellington Turf Tour will receive an exclusive Ridge at Wellington saddle pad, and the victor of the $24,950 Grand Prix Finale will take home a PoloGear™ Branding Package including the saddle pad, a hat, one-of-a-kind polo shirt and a championship 2014 The Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour jacket to commemorate the series.

Red Course - Results - Class 201, 1.35M
ORD    #    Horse Name    Rider Name    JF1    TF1    AF1    Time 1    JF2    TF2    AF2    Time 2  
1    383    Bilion     Welles, Jeffery     0    0    0    65.428    0    0    0    31.504       
2    216    Una Bella     Schroeder, Christoph     0    0    0    66.236    0    0    0    32.241       
3    214    Diamant De Revel     Schroeder, Christoph     0    0    0    62.407    0    0    0    32.696       
4    66    SUPER G     PAUL HALPERN          0    0    64.921    0    0    0    32.932       
5    209    Premier Platiere     Marie Hecart     0    0    0    65.602    0    0    0    33.891       
6    213    Southern Comfort     Schroeder, Christoph     0    0    0    61.635    0    0    0    35.529       
7    834    Moondoggie     Howard, Leslie     0    0    0    60.578    0    0    0    36.105       
8    211    Air Johnsen     Hecart, Marie     0    0    0    64.532    0    0    0    36.613       
9    226    Wintu     Leslie B. Howard     0    0    0    65.132    0    0    0    36.752
10    215    Catungee     Schroeder, Christoph     0    0    0    63.958    0    0    0    37.018       
11    210    Quatuor De B'Neville     Marie Hecart     0    0    0    68.412    0    0    0    38.427       
12    241    CUPID SHUFFLE     CHARLIE JAYNE     0    0    0    63.351    0    0    0    39.262

Green Course - Results - Class 202, 1.35M
ORD    #    Horse Name    Rider Name    JF1    TF1    AF1    Time 1    JF2    TF2    AF2    Time 2     
1    239    ZELDA     SARAH SEGAL     0    0    0    56.517    0    0    0    30.822       
2    367    Invitational     Sheridan, Linda     0    0    0    57.691         0    0    30.943       
3    238    TILGHMAN     SARAH SEGAL     0    0    0    67.852    0    0    0    31.528       
4    345    ELIOS     BRITTNI RAFLOWITZ     0    0    0    65.235    0    0    0    31.839       
5    86    Vantina HPF     Linda A. Sheridan     0    0    0    59.325    0    0    0    32.206       
6    214    Diamant De Revel     Schroeder, Christoph     0    0    0    60.200    0    0    0    34.008       
7    234    SCOUT DE LA CENSE     MARIO DESLAURIERS     0    0    0    65.150    0    0    0    37.264       
8    227    Stanley Stone     Mikiala Chesler     0    0    0    61.025    0    0    0    39.974       
9    308    Lansdowne     Darrin Dlin     0    0    0    63.753    0    0    0    41.465       
10    228    LUCIFER V     JACK HARDIN TOWELL     0    0    0    64.448    0    0    0    43.015       
11    237    T CAVALIER     MELLISA JACOBS     0    0    0    67.729    0    0    0    43.589       
12    226    Wintu     Leslie B. Howard     0    0    0    68.426    0    0    0    47.619