2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival Week Three Wrap-Up
RELEASE: February 4, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Jennifer Wood
Photo by Sport Fot/Thierry Billet (Louis Jacobs on Kachina in the 1.45m.)
The 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) had a successful third week of competition on January 27-31. The week featured the $75,000 Nespresso Grand Prix, CSI** and the $55,000 Nespresso Battle of the Sexes, along with a full schedule of hunter, jumper, and equitation classes. The week three title sponsor was Nespresso.
In order to provide the best coffee to riders at the FTI WEF, Nespresso is the official coffee at the International Club and the White Horse Tavern. Visitors and competitors can enjoy the new Oasis Café, serving Nespresso as well. Nestlé Nespresso S.A., the worldwide pioneer and market leader in highest-quality premium portioned coffee, introduces consumers to the world's finest Grand Cru coffees to be enjoyed in the comfort of their own homes and savored outside the home, in locations such as gourmet restaurants, upscale hotels, luxury outlets and offices. The Nespresso offer focuses on its unique Trilogy, the unmatched combination of exceptional coffee, smart and stylish coffee machines and personalized customer service. Together, these three elements deliver moments of pure indulgence—the Nespresso Ultimate Coffee Experience.
Nespresso was the title sponsor of Saturday night's $55,000 Nespresso Battle of the Sexes and the $75,000 Nespresso Grand Prix, CSI**, both of which were very successful events. The $55,000 Nespresso Battle of the Sexes drew a crowd of 5,200 spectators. The women won the $55,000 Nespresso Battle of the Sexes for the second year in a row.
Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, FL, and Pavarotti proved to be the best in the $75,000 Nespresso Grand Prix held on Sunday. Minikus and the handy chestnut Pavarotti sped through a jump-off course to beat Nick Skelton of Great Britain, and Carlo 273, owned by Beverly Widdowson, and Lauren Hough on Highlife Farm's Prezioso S.
With only two competitors left in the jump-off and Skelton in the lead, Todd Minikus and Pavarotti set out to master the course and posted a blazing time of 34.68 seconds to lead the pack. Sarah Segal was the last of the competitors to challenge the leading time, but with four faults and a time of 38.17 seconds, Minikus was able to prevail and capture first place.
Minikus, who was the last of the top three competitors to dominate the short course, proved to be the best of the day. Minikus spoke of his strategy for the jump-off, "I don't really plan for the jump-off because it is easier for me to feel what is happening than to force something to happen." This strategy proved to be most beneficial in the jump-off considering Minikus was able to leave one stride out of the first line and make a super neat turn coming home to the last line that shaved seconds off the time.
Minikus was very pleased with Pavarotti, a 13-year-old Dutch gelding by Lancelot, out of Renville, after this first week of showing. Minikus has been injured for more than five months with a torn adductor tendon in his leg."Two weeks ago I started riding again. Pavarotti has had some time off, but it's more that I've been off than my horse has been off," Minikus explained. "He felt quite good." Jumper Highlights
McLain Ward and Miss Liberty 7, owned by Overlook Farm, Inc., took the top prize on Wednesday in the $8,000 Sentient Jet 1.45m Jumpers. They were the fastest in the speed round over second-place finishers Pablo Barrios and G&C Quick Star and Maggie Jayne with Pony Lane Farm's Esquilino Bay.
The reigning Olympic Individual Gold medalist, Eric Lamaze of Canada, was in top form on Thursday when he qualified all three of his mounts for the jump-off. He took home the top prize in the $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round Three on Ultra Boy, owned by Ashland Stables, over a field of 18 in the jump-off. He said of Ultra Boy, "He has a quality of Hickstead and a winning mind of a horse like that. He just has to do as much as a horse like that! He has a character of his own; he doesn't really like to work. I have a good rapport with him, and I feel competitive with him."
Earlier on Thursday, Louis Jacobs of East Aurora, NY, rode Deeridge Farm's Kachina to the win in the $8,000 Sentient Jet 1.45m Time First Jump-Off class. They won over a field of 40 other entries with a double-clear performance and jump-off time of 32.122 seconds. Jeffrey Welles, riding Abigail Wexner's Zycarla Z, were second in 32.161 seconds. Angela Covert-Lawrence scored another top-three finish in the division on Utan, owned by Eastwood Group. They were double clear in 32.321 seconds.
Richard Spooner of Agua Dulce, CA, was victorious on Friday in the $6,000 Spy Coast 1.40 Speed Challenge on Quirino 3 owned by Oscany, Inc. Tarzan and David Arcand of Canada entered the ring and posted a time of 64.267 seconds, which held up for third place. The eventual winner of the class, Quirino 3 piloted by Spooner, produced a blazing time, stopping the clock at 62.311 seconds. The pair was able to maintain the lead for the rest of the class even when Laura Chapot entered the ring on her second mount, Chili Pepper, who produced a time of 63.408 seconds for second place.
On Saturday, Louis Jacobs won the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Classic. Jacobs and Kachina, owned by Deeridge Farms, were the fastest double-clear competitors out of 10 in the jump-off. They finished in 41.335 seconds for the win over Leslie Howard and Raimond W, who stopped the clock in 42.193 seconds. Beth Underhill and Iron Horse Farm's Cantero Z were third in 44.579 seconds.
More than 5,000 fans arrived for the signature Saturday Night Lights entertainment. The majestic Budweiser Clydesdales paraded in the arena with their loyal Dalmation leader, Harley, in an exhibition before the class. Fire blowers, chained escape artists, and knife-juggling tight-rope walkers from the famed Key West Sunset Carnival wowed the fans.
In the final phase, Georgina Bloomberg soared clearly over all jumps in the Six Bar competition, securing the win for the ladies. Well-manicured hands raised in the air to clap for the fairer, and in the equestrian world, finer sex in the International Arena that night. Bloomberg said that she and her horse Fiedi 3 had experience in this type of class. I did the six bar last year here with him, and it was my first class ever with him. I didn't trust him, and I leaned forward at a jump. Ever since then, I've been thinking about getting back here in this class."
She said of her team's win, "It's always fun when you win, but it's a fun class either way! Having this many people show up was amazing, and the atmosphere was great. They did a really good job putting on the class."
For a second year in a row, the pretty in pink team proved the gals had the guts and the glory. The winning team led by captain Katie Prudent included Georgina Bloomberg, Debbie Stephens, Margie Engle, Beezie Madden, Laura Chapot, Lauren Hough, Casey Hodges, Cara Raether, Marilyn Meredith and Nicole Simpson. The men's team led by captain Henri Prudent included Pablo Barrios, Shane Sweetnam, Ali Nilforushan, Nick Dello Joio, Jorge Zamudio, Ramiro Quintana, Michael Morrissey, Charlie Jayne, Benjamin Meredith, and Will Simpson.
In the presentation for the $75,000 Nespresso Grand Prix, Michael Morrissey was honored with the Highlife Farms Grand Prix Conformation Jumper Award.Hunter Highlights
In a tight race for the championship in the Conformation Hunter division, Ken Berkley and Premiere, owned by Gina Day, emerged victorious by garnering 28 points over two days of competition to clinch the championship award. Just behind Berkley with 27 points was Morgan Thomas and First Partners LP's mount Savant for the reserve championship.
Section A of the SmartPak Equine Low Adult Amateur 2'6" Hunters finished competing on Friday. The division, which took place in the Rost Arena, was very well attended, and consisted of 22 horse-and-rider combinations. The championship in the division this week was awarded to Mary Tyree and Peppercorn, owned by First Partners, Inc. The reserve championship went to Little Black Dress, owned and ridden by Joy Harrington-Graue.
Riding is a family affair for Tyree, whose daughters commute from Chicago to Florida on the weekends to compete as well. "I'm here to have fun, and my goals are more for my kids," she said with a smile. Tyree also wanted to give a big thanks to Equestrian Sports Productions for the new footing in the hunter arenas. "I love the footing. Hats off to management for doing this. It's absolutely terrific, and it makes all the difference in the world," Tyree beamed.
The Large Junior Hunters 15 & Under were the first of four junior hunter divisions to be awarded championships on Saturday, and 12-year-old Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL, added yet another championship to her list of accolades when she received the Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under Championship aboard Scott Stewart's Krystall for the second week in a row.
Colvin and Krystall placed third and first over fences and were second and fourth. They were first in the under saddle for a grand total of 32 points. Lillie Keenan and Stewart Moran's Madison placed fourth, second, and first over fences, as well as fourth in the under saddle to earn the reserve championship.
Krista Weisman and Be Cool were awarded the championship ribbon in the Adult Amateur 18-35 Hunters, sponsored by GGT Footing. Weisman and her mount, owned by Krista and Alexa Weisman, placed first and fifth over fences on Saturday, and second over fences on Sunday. The reserve championship went to Contina, owned and ridden by Danielle Devincentis.
Other hunter champions on Sunday included Lillie Keenan and Lanes End's Capetown in the Small Junior Hunters 15 & Under, as well as Stacey Arani and Marigot Bay Farm's Bolero, who claimed the championship in the Amateur-Owner Hunters 36 & Over.
For full results, please visit www.shownet.biz