2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival Week Four Wrap-Up
RELEASE: February 11, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Jennifer Wood
The 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) continued a strong circuit of competition in its fourth week on February 3-7. The week featured the $75,000 Adequan Grand Prix, CSI** and the €100,000 Exquis World Dressage Masters Palm Beach, along with a full schedule of hunter, jumper, and equitation classes. The week four title sponsor was Adequan.
Along with their week four title sponsorship, Adequan® was the title sponsor of the $75,000 Adequan® Grand Prix, CSI** on Sunday, February 7, and is the overall circuit sponsor of the Young Jumper divisions for Five Year Olds, Six Year Olds, and Seven/Eight Year Olds.
After three major second-place finishes in the first three weeks of the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, Nick Skelton of Great Britain and Carlo 273, owned by Beverly Widdowson, stepped up into the winner's circle in the $75,000 Adequan Grand Prix, CSI**. They caught the win over Pablo Barrios of Venezuala and G&C Quick Star 11, owned by Gustavo and Carolina Mirabal, and Beezie Madden on Abigail Wexner's Danny Boy.
Pablo Barrios and G&C Quick Star 11 were second to go in the jump-off, and they were able to go through with a clear round in 40 seconds flat. Barrios and G&C Quick Star 11, a 10-year-old Dutch mare, won the fourth round of the WEF Challenge Cup on Thursday afternoon.
Skelton and Carlo 273, a nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding, took their shot at the win. Skelton made two neat rollbacks in the course, and when it came time to turn for home, Skelton pushed the grey into a very fast gallop to the final oxer. They stopped the timers in 39.72 seconds for the win.
"I knew I couldn't hang about. I watched Pablo on the screen outside. I did what I could do. Maybe I was a little bit faster to the last jump. I let it rip to the last, really," he said with a grin.
Carlo 273 has only had one rail in four weeks of competition, and he has been amazingly consistent. In week one, he was second in the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Classic, and in weeks two and three, he was second in the major grand prix.Jumper Highlights
Laura Kraut and Tortola, owned by Beverly Widdowson, took over the top spot in the $8,000 Sentient Jet 1.45m Jumpers on Wednesday. They were the fastest in the speed round over second-place finishers Pablo Barrios aboard G&C Napoleon and Peter Charles on Murkas Nevada VI.
Pablo Barrios of Venezuala aboard G&C Quick Star 11 owned by Gustavo and Carolina Mirabal produced a blazing time to win the $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round Four on Thursday. Louis Jacobs and Kachina were just behind in second place, while Richard Spooner on Quirino 3 took third place.
Barrios is very appreciative of Gustavo and Carolina Mirabal, who own G&C Quick Star 11 and a string of very nice horses that Barrios competes. He stated, "I have some very nice horses and a great opportunity to ride for G&C Farm." He continued, "With good horses, you can start to ride better, and right now I am learning and understanding how to win."
Richard Spooner aboard Ninno owned by HRH. Lama Al Saud and Richard Spooner produced a faultless round in a time of 60.824 seconds to capture the win in the $6,000 Spy Coast 1.40 Speed Challenge on Friday. Spooner was able to maintain the top position on Ninno even though he went early in the class. Spooner was very impressed with the young horse and said, "I am very proud of him because that was the first time he has been in the International ring and in a 1.40 class."
Leslie Howard up on Jeans Glove Varnel owned by Leslie Howard was victorious in Saturday's $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Classic. Cedric and Laura Kraut were the only other double-clear round in the class for second place, while Kent Farrington on Uceko finished third. As the first competitor to produce a flawless score and set the pace, Leslie Howard and her horse Jeans Glove Varnel ended up the winners. The pair stopped the timers at 41.604 seconds. They displayed an impeccable round that couldn't be beaten because of Howard's very fast pace and extremely tight turns.Hunter Highlights
Besting a field of 25 First Year Green Hunter entries this week was Elizabeth Towell Boyd of Camden, SC, and Caroline Willard's mount, Renowned. Boyd and Renowned placed first over fences on Wednesday, as well as sixth and first over fences on Thursday to garner the championship tricolor. The reserve championship was awarded to That's Classic, owned by Samantha Leder, and ridden by Vinissa Blann.
The winner of championship in the Pine Hollow Adult Amateur Hunter 3'3" was Sheila Motley, guiding Evie Jaeckle's Remark. Remark and Motley were second and first over fences on Thursday, and combined with the pair's first, fourth, and sixth place ribbons on Friday, the duo totaled 28.5 points for the championship. Kathy Mailloux and Margaret Taylor's Classic Control garnered the reserve championship.
John Ingram and Hush, owned by John and Stephanie Ingram, were awarded the Amateur-Owner Hunter 36 & Over Championship on Saturday in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring. The pair were consistently in the top ribbons this week, earning a first and sixth over fences on Friday, as well as a second and seventh over fences on Saturday, and a win in the under saddle. The reserve championship was awarded to Jane Gaston and her mount Lumiere.
Ingram, of Nashville, TN, bought Hush with hopes that his daughter, Martha, will take over the ride in the next couple years when she moves up to the junior hunter ranks. Martha, 13, is currently showing in the Pony Hunter divisions, and will have both Hush and Ingram's other mount, Tiziano, waiting in the wings for her when she is ready to begin the junior hunters.
Also victorious on Saturday was Caitlin Ziegler riding Artisan Farm's Safari in the Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under. The pair won both classes over fences on Friday, as well as placing second and fourth over fences on Saturday, and third in the hack to secure the championship. The reserve championship was awarded to Abigail McArdle, riding Amelia McArdle's MVP.
Fifteen-year-old Ziegler hails from Milwaukee, WI, but will reside in Wellington for the remainder of the 12-week FTI WEF. Ziegler has owned the nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding for two years, and noted that "he's really nice to ride, and especially in the last few months he's really grown up a lot."
Twelve-year-old Victoria Colvin had a successful end to her weekend, piloting Vanity Fair to the championship and For The Laughter to the reserve championship in the Large Pony Hunters. Both ponies are owned by Dr. Betsee Parker.
Between her two mounts, Colvin won every large Pony Hunter class last weekend. The beautiful bay gelding, Vanity Fair, is nine-years-old, and won both classes over fences on Saturday, was second in the under saddle, as well as second and first over fences on Sunday to claim the championship over his seven-year-old barn mate, For The Laughter. For the Laughter placed third and second over fences on Saturday, won the under saddle, and won the first over fences class on Sunday.
The Loxahatchee, FL, resident commented on what it is like to ride Vanity Fair, or "Coco" as he is known in the barn. "He's really easy. He has a really good canter because he's really comfortable." The pair has consistently dominated the Large Pony hunters throughout the circuit.
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.Exquis World Dressage Masters Highlights
The 2010 Exquis World Dressage Masters was an incredible show of world-class dressage, and fans of equestrian sport in Wellington were treated to three amazing classes of artistry. Starting out the competition was the Grand Prix class, where home country favorites Steffen Peters and Ravel stunned the crowd with a 76.851% score for the win. Fellow Californian Leslie Morse and her little stallion Tip Top 962 were strong in the Grand Prix Special and took home the top prize. In the final nighttime class, it was the "Queen of the Freestyle" who thrilled the crowds. Anky van Grunsven and Salinero scored an 84.450% to reign victorious. Crowds nearing 8,000 spectators over the two days came out to watch the Exquis World Dressage Masters, and they did not leave disappointed.
In the €10,000 (US$14,000) Nürnberger Versicherungsgruppe Grand Prix, Peters and Ravel showed why they were the strongest dressage duo in the world. Coming off of their wins at the Rolex FEI World Cup Finals and Dressage at Aachen wins last year, Peters and the 12-year-old gelding Ravel put in one of their best performances ever.
"The ride today was one of his best ones," he said. "It felt really good. He felt extremely supple. A little bit more energetic than at Aachen. It's a really good start to the season."
Bringing together three of the world's top dressage riders, the Exquis World Dressage Masters saw them compete head-to-head in the Grand Prix, and they battled for the top three spots. While Ravel was unbeatable, second place went to Anky van Grunsven of Holland on Salinero with a score of 74.638%, and Germany's Isabell Werth and Satchmo took third with 72.553%. This was Werth's first time in Wellington and only her third time back in competition since she had her son Frederik.
In the Moorland Stable's €30,000 (US$41,000) Grand Prix Special, Morse and Tip Top won with a score of 65.708%, with Belinda Trussell and Anton of Canada second on 65.167%. Morse said afterwards, "We worked on showing the highlights of Tip Top and what he can really do. He has a lot of elasticity along with power." Trussel noted, " The opportunity is an honor, (and) the venue is fantastic. This, to me, is like a WEG or Olympics."
On Saturday evening, the energy was palpable, and many were excited to see freestyle routines that they may have only seen before on YouTube. The riders and horses did not disappoint. Peters and Ravel gave a solid test and added extra difficulty with one-handed two-tempi changes. They were rewarded with a score of 81.700% for second place. Werth and Satchmo did foot-perfect changes from two tempis straight into one tempis, which helped her receive a score of 78.950% for third place.
Van Grunsven and Salinero were beautiful, and with no big mistakes, their score of 84.450% gave them the win in the Exquis €60,000 (US$82,000) Musical Freestyle. "Tonight everything just worked out how it should be," she said. "I was really, really pleased with him. I am very proud."
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