2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival Opens Competition
RELEASE: January 14, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Equestrian Sport Productions
Photo by Randi Muster (Pablo Barrios and La Gran)
The 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) began their competition on Wednesday, January 14, with opening jumper classes in the International Arena. The first week of the FTI WEF is sponsored by G&C Farm and runs through Sunday, January 17. The 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of competition that conclude on April 4, 2010, and almost $6 million in prize money will be awarded through the circuit.
This week's course designer is Olaf Petersen of Germany, and he set a welcoming course for the $6,000 Spy Coast 1.40m Speed class. Thirty-four entries went to post, and the fastest of the day was Pablo Barrios of Venezuala on La Gran, owned by Pablo Barrios and Andres Olivares. They had no faults in a time of 61.369 seconds. Barrios also finished second on Quick Star 11, owned by Gustavo Mirabal of G&C Farm of Wellington, FL. Quick Star 11 and Barrios were also clear and had a time of 64.105 seconds. Third place went to Jeffrey Welles on Abigail Wexner's Tango. They were clear in 67.725 seconds.
Barrios and La Gran were able to get the win and be fast through the course thanks to their partnership, Barrios said. He added, "He's the horse that I have the best relationship with. He's a grand prix horse, but he's just so fast. I'm saving him for the big weeks here, and he'll start (grand prix classes in) the fifth week. I decided to just do this class this week."
Quick Star 11 is a new mount for Barrios, and this is only the second time they have shown together. Barrios described Quick Star 11 as "very careful," and a "grand prix horse, but also with a lot of speed." He mentioned, "I'm going quick with this one, and the horse is going very well for me. It'll be a good connection."
Barrios was very pleased to win on the opening day of the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. "It feels very good to win on the first day. I was waiting for the opening day, and I'm very happy," he said. "I have a new sponsor, and this is the best way to start."
Barrios is sponsored by G&C Farm, owned by Gustavo and Carolina Mirabal, which is the title sponsor for week one of the circuit. "Gustavo and I started riding together when we were very young and have been friends for a long time," Barrios said. "I started riding a horse for him in Venezuela two years ago. He decided to move here and built a beautiful facility and started buying horses. I think it's a great relationship."
With the help of G&C Farm, Barrios wants to continue the success he had in 2009. "I have more horses this year, and we have a great plan. I have five horses that can jump the big classes, and I don't have to use them too much. My resolution for this year is to be in the top 30 in the world rankings," he said.
The first class of the day was the $8,000 1.45m Jumpers Time First Round sponsored by Sentient Flight Group, and Olympic Gold medalist Leslie Howard brought home the fastest clear round for the win on her horse Lennox Lewis 2. Howard and Lennox Lewis 2 went tenth in the order and laid down a clean trip in a speedy time of 63.242 seconds, easily taking the lead from Chris Cawley and Cabanza, owned by Olivia Jack, who were clear in 74.737 seconds. Third place went to the other clear round, put in by Laura Kraut on Beverly Widdowson's Tortola, who crossed the timers in 77.761 seconds.
Wrapping up the first day's classes in the International Arena, it was Ian Millar on Ariel and Susan Grange's Dryden winning in the $6,000 Suncast 1.40m Time First Jump-off class. They were double clear and finished the jump-off in 36.727 seconds. Second place went to Robert Kraut on Graf Lando, owned by Meghan Kraut, who were also double clear but in a slower time of 37.522 seconds. Raylyn Farms LLC's Talent and Benjamin Meredith were third with a double-clear round in 38.782 seconds.
The first week of the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival continues, and grand prix riders will compete on Thursday in the $30,000 WEF Challenge Round 1 at 1 p.m. in the International Arena. The highlight class of the week is the $25,000 G&C Farm Speed Derby at 1 p.m. on Sunday.
The 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 13 through April 4. WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are "AA" rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $5.5 million in prize money will be awarded.
WEF is proud to be supported by their title sponsor, FTI Consulting, Inc. FTI Consulting, Inc., exists to help companies and their stakeholders protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex economic, legal, and regulatory environment. FTI is the trusted advisor entrenched in many of the game-changing events that make headlines, move markets and create business history. For more information, please visit www.fticonsulting.com
WEF will offer many exciting events this year, including the $500,000 FTI Finale Grand Prix, the USEF WEG Show Jumping Trials, the $150,000 World Dressage Masters, CDI-*****, the AHJF/WCHR Hunter Spectacular, the $150,000 Spy Coast Grand Prix, the $100,000 FTI Rider Challenge, the $75,000 CN Nations Cup, the $50,000 CN Palm Beach Derby, the $50,000 Chronicle of the Horse
/USHJA International Hunter Derby, the $25,000 G&C Farm Young Rider Grand Prix, the Nespresso Battle of the Sexes, the Third Annual George Morris Excellence in Equitation Exhibition, and the Palm Beach Charity Pro/Am Exhibition.
During the 12 weeks of WEF, "Saturday Night Lights" headlines the entertainment each Saturday night where spectators not only enjoy the Grand Prix class, but a street carnival, live music, and numerous dining options with box seats, sports bars, and the famed Tiki Hut for front-row fun.
The competition areas include the 360' x 280' all-weather International Arena, the Bertalan DeNemethy Arena, Mogavero Ring, and E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Field, each with their own schooling ring, in addition to several other competition rings. The competition and warm-up rings have all-weather footing. Amenities include VIP seating in the International Club, refreshment and food vendors, and shopping areas. Please visit www.equestriansport.com
or call (561) 793-5867 for more information.