Marilyn Little-Meredith and Comtesse du Lys Win WEF Challenge XI
RELEASE: March 26, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Ken Braddick
Marilyn Little-Meredith captured her first ever grand prix at a Winter Equestrian Festival on Thursday, March 19, aboard Comtesse Du Lys in the finale round of the $30,000 Braman Motor Cars WEF Challenge Cup Series. Little-Meredith of Frederick, MD, and the mare Comtesse Du Lys, owned by Raylyn Farms, Inc., and Beverly Sheehy, were just nine points short of dislodging Great Britain's Peter Charles and Murka's Pall Mall from the top of the WEF Challenge standings.
Charles' finish in 17th place Thursday was enough to hold on to his lead and win a two-year lease on a Braman Motorcars BMW 323i convertible based on points won in 11 weeks of the WEF Challenge Cup at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival.
Ten combinations from 35 starters in the WEF class at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center went clear to make it to the jump-off on the course designed by Guilherme Jorge of Brazil.
Little-Meredith and Comtesse du Lys posted a time of 40.15 seconds, 2/10th of a second faster than second-place finisher McLain Ward of Brewster, NY, and Rothchild. Ward and Rothchild, owned by Ward, passed the timers in 40.35 seconds. Lauren Hough of Wellington, FL, and Quick Study, owned by Laura Mateo, were third with a time of 41.04 seconds.
Marilyn and the 10-year-old Oldenburg mare, the only horse she has to ride, have been "kept out of the first and second spots all circuit, knocking on the door, but today finally burst through it," Little-Meredith said.
Their consistency has kept them high in the rankings.
"OK, Tesse. Let 'er rip," she told her mare at the start of the jump-off. Her plan was to be "conservative and careful for the first three jumps, and then after that cut her loose.
"On the way to the last fence I was just thinking, 'Bring it home clean,'" she said, and that's what happened.
Ward was happy with Rothchild's performance. "He's a young horse, eight years old, and has only had one fence down all circuit 1.50 and over," Ward said. "I wanted to win it. I wanted to put the pressure on. The more I ran him the higher he jumped. I lost time at the CN vertical. He jumped high and a little to the right."
"It's been a good season," he said. "I'm lucky to have a lot of good horses and continue on to the World Cup."