2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival Week Six Wrap-Up
RELEASE: February 25, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Jennifer Wood
The 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) had a fantastic sixth week of competition on February 17-21. The week featured the AHJF Hunter Classic Spectacular of Palm Beach and the $50,000 CN Palm Beach Jumping Derby along with a full schedule of hunter, jumper, and equitation classes. The week six title sponsor was Bainbridge.
Charles Jacobs of Boston, MA, captured the top prize in the $50,000 CN Palm Beach Jumping Derby on Quidditch II, owned by Deeridge Farm of Wellington, FL. They sped to the win over Shane Sweetnam of Ireland on Spy Coast Farm, LLC's Little Emir and Brianne Goutal on Nice de Prissey, owned by Cloverleaf Farm.
The beautiful derby field course was at The Stadium, part of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The course was built and designed by Richard Jeffrey of England. It had 20 numbered obstacles and 25 jumping efforts over the rolling track, and it proved to be a tough, but exciting, challenge for the show jumpers. There were 41 entries in the class, and it was run in a faults converted format.
Jacobs and Quidditch II, a 10-year-old Oldenburg mare, sped around the course to take the lead from Clementine Goutal on Wintina Deux. They made a fantastic rollback from fences five to six, and the little chestnut mare stayed careful and quick throughout. They finished with a clear round in a time of 138.17 seconds.
Jacobs described, "I sliced right at (fence) five. I had really good confidence that she would jump that, so I hit it at an angle. I pointed her at it and she jumped straight up in the air, and we twirled right back around over the ditch (oxer). That was quick. She's a little horse; she can get around like that. She's very nimble and quick."
No one would be able to catch Jacobs' time without adding faults to finish down the standings. Sweetnam and Little Emir had an early rail at fence 3a, the first of a double of liverpools that came down 16 times during the day. But after that rail, Sweetnam and Little Emir turned on the gas and sped to finish in a time of 139.15 with the four faults added to their time.
Going second to last, Goutal and Nice de Prissey, a nine-year-old Selle Francais gelding, had a very quick course going. The handy bay stayed careful and just had a rail at jump 17a. Their time at the end of 139.89 seconds would put them into third.
Jacobs was very happy with his win and counted it among his top finishes. "This is right up there. I had a great win last summer in Lake Placid," he recalled. "I don't show much. Coming down here is like home for us, so it's really big to have a nice class here."
By leaving strides out in two lines and keeping a fast rhythm, Sweetnam was able to stay at the top of the list. "I knew for me to be able to win the class, I had to really go for it. The horse was really jumping today, so the more I went, the higher he jumped. I was very happy with him," he said.
Sweetnam said of the course, " It was a very good class. It was tough. I think it rode tougher this year than last year. Richard has been building superb. I was out of breath when I was finished!"
Goutal also praised the class and venue, "I think the horse show staff has done an amazing job with this field. The jumps look incredible and the footing is really, really good. It's a great change of scenery. It falls perfectly in the middle. You start to get a little burnt out from the WEF scene and then you come here and it's like a great breath of fresh air!" Jumper Highlights
Pablo Barrios of Venezuela was able to score two wins on Wednesday in the Adequan Young Jumper Championship (YJC) classes in two age divisions. When up on Simply The Best, owned by Joaquina Barrios, he was victorious in today's $1,000 Adequan YJC 5 Year Old Time First Round. Asta Torokvei of Toronto, ON, Canada, and Chabadue, owned by Westhaven Farm, led the way in the $1,500 Adequan YJC Six-Year-Old Time First Round class, while Barrios rode G&C Continus Grannus owned by Gustavo and Carolina Mirabal to the victory in the $1,500 Adequan YJC Seven-/Eight-Year-Old Time First Round class.
The unstoppable Barrios and Gustavo and Carolina Mirabal's G&C Blanchee Z bested a field of 38 entries on Thursday in the $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round Six. Taking home the red ribbon for second place was Carlos Lopez riding his own Penny Lane. Kent Farrington claimed both the third and fourth places with RCG Farm's United, and Up Chiqui, owned by William Dobbs, Alex Boone, and Farrington.
G&C Blanchee Z is a new ride for Barrios, who showed the mare for the first time during the first week of the FTI WEF this year. Gustavo and Carolina Mirabal bought the nine-year-old mare in September 2009, but Barrios was not able to ride her much because he was competing in Calgary at the time. Prior to this win, the pair won a 1.45m class during the first few weeks of the FTI WEF.
"It's a good feeling because when you get to the ring you know you can win. This is my best winter ever, and I don't know if it will ever happen again. At the moment I feel like I'm riding at the top of my career. I have a solid group of horses, and things are happening the right way. I'm getting sharper in the jump-off because I'm practicing and making it to more jump-offs than ever in my life," Barrios commented on his remarkable winning streak.
Laura Chapot of Neshanic Station, NJ, aboard Valentia, owned by Mary Chapot, produced a flawless round on Friday in a time of 62.593 seconds to capture the win in the $6,000 Spy Coast 1.40m Speed Challenge. Fifteen-year-old Ben Asselin of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, came in second place on his mount Magic Man, owned by Attache Stables.
There were four clear rounds and the first competitor to set the pace was Asselin on mount Magic Man. The pair were the first to enter the ring and were in the lead for more than half the class after producing a flawless round in a time of 63.609 seconds.
The lead did not change hands until much later in the class when Chapot entered the ring on her mount Valentia. The pair claimed the top spot when they raced through the course with a very fast time of 62.593 seconds. Chapot went straight to the top of the class after winning both the 1.30m and 1.35m classes earlier in the morning.
Laura Kraut up on Tortola. owned by Beverly Widdowson. was victorious in Saturday's $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Classic. The second-place honors went to Peter Charles of Great Britain on his mount Murka's Pom D'Ami, owned by Olga White. Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil and HH Rebozo, owned by Double H Farm, took third place.
The first to enter the ring for the short course was Kraut on Tortola. The jump-off consisted of eight obstacles and the time allowed was 50 seconds. Kraut was navigating the course without faults, but made a very tight turn to a very careful skinny vertical, which provided for a disappointing four faults. The pair still whisked through the timers in a very fast time of 42.390 seconds.
Charles entered the ring after Kraut on his horse Murka's Pom D'Ami. The pair just needed to produce a fault-free round to win the class. Unfortunately, Charles underestimated the time allowed and acquired five time faults after stopping the timers at 54.378 seconds. This would put the pair into the second-place position.
Both Kraut and Charles were very pleased with their horse's performance in the class. Kraut spoke of Tortola, "The horse is an eight-year-old and this is his third 1.50m class." She continued, "I think the horse is absolutely sensational and my plan is to show him next season in the Sunday Grand Prix classes." Hunter Highlights
Hunters were on the center stage in the sixth week of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, the Bainbridge AHJF/WCHR Hunter Spectacular. The professional hunter divisions competed in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring and the International Arena over the past two days to find their champions.
In the Regular Working Hunters, Liza Towell Boyd of Camden, SC, won the championship on Brunello, a 12-year-old gelding owned by Caroline Clark Morrison. The pair was second over fences in the second class on Wednesday and finished with two blue ribbons over fences on Thursday to capture the top prize over Castle Rock and Louise Serio, who rode for Bryan Baldwin.
Boyd and Brunello won in a Regular Working division with 24 entries. "It's so good for the industry to see that many Working horses; it's great competition," she commented. Designing in the International Arena for the hunters this week was Bobby Murphy of Lexington, KY. Boyd noted, "It was fun and different. I thought the horses jumped brilliant over it. It seemed like all of the horses adapted to it well. You could really gallop up and the fences would back them off. It rode great."
Kelley Farmer had a great day of competition when she brought home multiple tricolor ribbons. Her first championship came in the Regular Conformation Hunters with Second City, owned by Jane Gaston. They won the model class, were fifth in the under saddle, won the stake, and finished with another second and two firsts over fences. The reserve champion was Declaration, owned by Fashion Farm and ridden by Glen Senk. Farmer and Red Sky at Night, owned by CH Farm, LLC, were champions in the Green Conformation Hunters, with Stewart and Declaration picking up another reserve championship.
The First Year Green Hunters were split into two sections this week, and the champion of the first section was Blessed, ridden and owned by Scott Stewart of Flemington, NJ. They placed second, second, and third on Wednesday. The reserve championship went to Showman, ridden by Sandy Ferrell and owned by Alexa and Krista Weisman.
In the second section, Becky Gochman's Vibe and Peter Pletcher of Flower Mound, TX, took home the championship. They won a class on Wednesday as well as the under saddle and finished second and fourth over fences on Thursday. The reserve champion was Madison, ridden by Patricia Griffith for Chansonette Farm, LLC.
In the Second Year Green Hunters, Kid Rock and Serio continued their dominance by picking up another championship ribbon. They were first and third on Wednesday and third under saddle. On Thursday, they finished first and second over fences. The reserve championship went to Travino, ridden by Samantha Schaefer for Heritage Farm.
In the Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunters, Laura Sexton rode her horse Zoom to the championship honors. Sexton enjoyed riding in the International Arena on Thursday, and noted, "This is my favorite week of the year. I always love going in that field and galloping around. It's so much fun, especially on a horse that you can just gallop and that backs off the jumps."
Sexton bought Zoom about a year and half ago from Jennifer Waxman, and must commute from New York on weekends to compete in the Amateur-Owners. Sexton is originally from Greenwich, CT, but is currently attending the Bank Street College of Education in New York City. The reserve champion ribbon in the Amateur-Owner Hunters 18-35 was awarded to Sarah Ward and her mount, Isaac.
Jane Gaston of The Plains, VA, continued her winning streak this week in the Amateur-Owner Hunters 36 & Over. This time Gaston took home the championship ribbon with her horse, Lumiere. Gaston has owned the nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding for five years. The duo had stellar performances in the International Arena on Thursday, earning a score of 90 in one of the rounds. The Amateur-Owner Hunter 36 & Over Reserve Championship was awarded to John Ingram and John and Stephanie Ingram's Hush.
"He's a great horse that you can do whatever you want with. I keep him at home and take him cross-country. He goes wherever you want him to go," Gaston commented.
The Large Junior Hunter 16-17 had so many entries this week that the division was split into two sections. Emerging victorious in the first section, and claiming the overall high point award for the division was 16-year-old Taylor Ann Adams and Mr. and Mrs. Ernest M. Oare's Rosalynn.
Katie Dinan and Katherine Dinan, LLC's Allejandro were the champions of the B section of the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 division. The 16-year-old New York native has owned Allejandro for a little over three years. "He's a lot of fun. He loves Florida, and WEF (shows) are always his best," Dinan acknowledged. "He's a little on the slower side, so I really need to make sure I get my pace before I start, and keep him straight," she said of her 11-year-old gelding.
The championship tricolor in the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 was awarded to Kelsey Thatcher aboard Stone Hill Farm's Sublime. The reserve championship was claimed by Samantha Schaefer and Seventh Heaven, owned by Lora and Michael Schultz.
The Large Junior 15 & Under Hunter division was split into two sections, and the Section A championship went to Madison, ridden by 13-year-old Lillie Keenan of New York, NY, for Chansonette Farm, LLC. The duo, who just started together two weeks ago, won both over fences and the under saddle on Friday, and they finished third and fourth on Saturday.
Keenan's family purchased the eight-year-old mare from Stewart Moran two weeks ago. "She was a jumper in Europe, and he imported her," Keenan explained. "She's been a hunter for four weeks. I tried her and she was so sweet. She used to be a broodmare and has had a few babies. She really does feel like she's a mother. You can feel that she wants to take care of you."
In Section B, the championship was awarded to Peridot, ridden by 15-year-old Schaefer Raposa of Clinton, NY, for owner Stephen Martines. Raposa was trained by Lynn Jayne for Peridot, but she also works with her parents, Kara and David Raposa. Raposa and Peridot finished second in all three classes on Friday and were first and second over fences on Saturday.
Raposa rode Peridot for the first time two weeks ago, and they were champions then as well. "My mom actually showed him last year in the Second Year Green Hunters," she revealed. "It's funny to have mother/daughter showing him. When I first found out I was going to show him in the juniors, I went to her for a few tips. My mom helps me at home and sometimes at shows. It was nice having her there, knowing the horse so well too. My dad was here cheering me on. It's nice having the support team."
In the Small Junior 15 & Under Hunters, Victoria Colvin continued her dominance in the division by winning the championship on World Time, owned by Scott Stewart. They placed first, first, and second over fences. The reserve championship went to Cape Town, ridden by Lillie Keenan and owned by Lanes End.
As one of the most highly recognized companies in the luxury rental apartment development, management, and sales industry, Bainbridge is all about building community. As a sponsor of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, building the equestrian community is not just about literally developing fine residential complexes such as the Polo Lakes Apartments or Estates at Wellington Green, but creating a sense of community in the sport with their support of the show and specifically as the title sponsor of AHJF/WCHR Hunter Spectacular Week. Chairman and CEO Richard Schechter is an active participant in the horse show community through his sponsorship and his own Bainbridge Farm. For more information, please visit www.bainbridgecompanies.com
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