2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival Week Eight Wrap-Up
RELEASE: March 11, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Jennifer Wood and Adrienne Marciano
The 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) was full of top competition during week eight, held March 3-7, 2010. The week featured the USEF Selection Trials for the U.S. Show Jumping Team for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games #3, #4, and #5, presented by Fidelity Investments, and the $75,000 FEI Nations Cup, presented by CN, along with a full schedule of hunter, jumper, and equitation classes. The week eight title sponsor was CN.
The $150,000 CN U.S. Open Grand Prix, CSIO**** was Sunday's highlight event and Laura Kraut with Cedric, owned by Happy Hill Farm, were victorious. Second place went to Beezie Madden and Danny Boy, owned by Abigail Wexner, while Nicole Shahinian-Simpson was third with Tristan, owned by Ilan Ferder and Tal Milstein. Nearly 3,000 spectators turned out to watch the grand prix, which also incorporated the USEF WEG Trial #5.
For the USEF WEG Selection Trials, the final leader was Shahinian-Simpson on Tristan, who finished with just nine faults over the five trials. In second place for the trials were Richard Spooner and Show Jumping Syndicate's Cristallo, who had 14 total faults. Mario Deslauriers and Urico, owned by Jane Clark, sat in third with 16 total faults, tied with Beezie Madden and Danny Boy.
The first to return in the jump-off was Shahinian-Simpson on Tristan. They put in another clear round and finished with a time of 51.24 seconds that placed them third.
For Shahinian-Simpson, coming out on top of the trials was a great experience for her and her horse. She said, "I had no idea I'd come out the best. I never think that. I had a lot of confidence that he's very, very scopey and brave, so I knew as far as scope tests and tracks, I was comfortable and he could jump. I couldn't be happier with him."
Madden and Danny Boy were next in, and Madden put the pedal down as she approached the 1.62m solid "fish tank" wall. Her fantastic turns helped her finish in 48.19 seconds with no faults for the lead, but they would eventually finish second.
Madden and Danny Boy finished second in the grand prix, but they also finished tied for third in the overall trials standings. Madden said of her horse, "I was a little disappointed in the first two trials at night; he was a little tense here. He was good on the field, and Friday he had a solid round, even a little fresh. Today he was excellent."
Kraut and Cedric were next to last, and Kraut was going for speed in the second round. Kraut let the little grey gelding open his stride up, and they made good turns throughout. They came home clear and just beat the winning time in 48.04 seconds for the lead. "I hadn't watched any of them go. I knew they were fast, and I was going to have to go as quick as I could. It was lucky," she said.
The last to go was Mac Cone of Canada on Ole, owned by Sara Houston and Larry Evoy. They had eight faults in 49.07 seconds for fourth place.
It was a great win for Kraut and Cedric, who were given a "bye" onto the long list for the U.S. show jumping team for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in October. This is only the second grand prix that the pair have won, since their focus over the years has mainly been on championships and competing in Nations Cups for the United States.
"I'm thrilled. I can't say anything more," Kraut beamed. "My horse has been so good for the last three weeks, because normally I'm jumping either in trials or Nations Cups or something. It was fun to get to run flat out and try to win something. I'm positive it's the fastest I've ever gone. I've never let him go like that. I almost lost control of him after the double. He was freaking out, like, what is she doing up there?"
Although they had four faults in today's grand prix, Spooner and Cristallo finished out the USEF WEG Trials and finished solidly in second place.
McLain Ward explained of his grand prix finish, "Sapphire felt quite good. In hindsight, I was little ambitious in my plan. She probably was not fit enough and ready enough to go in the course. Next week will be better, and by the $500,000 grand prix, she'll be coming into form. Saying that, she jumped a nice solid round."
Lauren Hough and Quick Study, another bye recipient, also had eight faults in the grand prix, but she did not think the bye gave her a disadvantage. She said, "I'm not thrilled with an eight fault ride, but I have a lot of confidence with the horse. I know the program that he needs to be in going forward, and we'll be ready to produce when the time counts."
Ward remarked, "(Guilherme Jorge's) courses were brilliant. We always praise riders and horses and owners, and sometimes the course designers go a little bit unnoticed. Michael Stone and his team as well, the effort to go down on the field (for the third trial) was huge. That was a huge factor in these trials and very important. On all fronts of the organization, it was a wonderful job."
Madden added, "I'd like to thank Equestrian Sport Productions. There are a lot of logistics involved with trying to embed it into the CSIO and the regular horse show and it's a big undertaking, so thank you."
Michael Stone, President of Equestrian Sport Productions, stated, "We were very pleased to have the trials. It's fantastic show jumping at a fantastic level and to have all the top riders in the U.S. here at our facility was wonderful. It's a big undertaking to put it on, but it was an amazing experience for everyone." Jumper Highlights
Wednesday's schedule at the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival featured show jumping at two facilities of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The USEF Selection Trial #3 was held at the Stadium, while the CSIO competition opened up on the main show grounds in the International Arena. In Trial 3, Ward of Brewster, NY, and Rothchild, owned by Sagamore Farms, came home with the win over Rich Fellers of Wilsonville, OR, and Flexible, owned by Harry and Molly Chapman. Third went to Madden of Cazenovia, NY, and Abigail Wexner's Danny Boy.
Georgina Bloomberg aboard Radio City owned by Gotham Enterprizes produced a flawless round on Wednesday in a time of 66.310 seconds to capture the win in the $5,000 Welcome Stake CSIO. Second-place honors went to Alexander Hufenstuhl of Germany on his mount Lacapo 4 owned by Sabina Illbruck. The third-place award was given to Jonathan Millar of Canada on Piccobello Du Val De Geer, owned by Millar Brooke Farm & Irish Oaks Farm.
Jaime Azcarraga of Mexico aboard his own Presley Boy produced a blazing time to win the $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round Eight, CSIO. Second-place honors went to Nick Skelton of Great Britain on his mount Carlo 273, owned by Beverly Widdowson. The third-place award went to Keean White of Canada on Celena Z, owned by Angelstone Farms and The Ashland Group.
Jaime Azacarraga has ridden Presley Boy for eight years. He said, "He always tries his best." This is Azacarraga's first year at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, and he says it is "one of the best shows I have ever been to."
The full week of show jumping competition continued on Friday with the $75,000 FEI Nations Cup, presented by CN, as the highlight event in front of a sold-out crowd of more than 8,300 spectators. Team Canada came home with the win thanks to their riders: Mac Cone, Yann Candele, Beth Underhill, and Eric Lamaze. In second place was Mexico, and third place went to Ireland.
Anthony D'Ambrosio of Red Hook, NY, was the course designer for the $75,000 FEI Nations Cup, presented by CN. There were 11 teams that started in the first round in this order: Brazil, Argentina, the U.S.A., Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, Canada, and New Zealand.
Seven teams chose to return for the second round, and they came back in reverse order. Argentina chose to withdraw and not show in the second round. For the second round, each team had three riders return, and all of their scores counted towards their total score.
Canada's Chef d'Equipe, Terrance Millar, pointed out, "I think the format that is used here with three riders in the second round and no drop score is a fantastic format for Nations Cups in terms of spectator appeal and excitement. I think it really gives a punch to it. Everybody can understand it, and you know exactly where you stand. Personally, I wish they would adopt that format for all Nations Cups. I think it's much more modern and what the sport needs."
The Canadians were fantastic in both rounds of competition. Cone and Ole went in the first round with just four faults and were the drop score as the other three combinations—Yann Candele and Pitareusa, Beth Underhill and Top Gun, and Eric Lamaze and Ronaldo—were all clear.
They returned as the final team to go in the second round. Candele and Pitareusa repeated their fault-free performance, while Underhill and Top Gun added just four faults. Lamaze and Ronaldo wrapped up victory when they completed the course with just one time fault. The Canadian team finished on a score of just five faults total.
The Mexican team, led by Chef d'Equipe Norman Dello Joio of the United States, had a very solid showing tonight. They were led by three great performances from Antonio Chedraui and Don Porfirio (5, 0 faults), Nicolas Pizarro and Crossing Jordan (4,0), and anchored by Jaime Azcarraga on Celcius (0,4). Patricio Pasqual and Adriano M also contributed to the team. The Mexican team finished with a 13-fault total score.
"There's a lot of momentum in Mexico. Everybody seems to be trying to pull together," said Dello Joio. "We're looking forward to the next two or three years and keep pulling ourselves up higher. We have a lot of depth in riders and horses and a lot of team spirit at the moment."
Team Ireland Equestrian were very pleased with their third-place performance, especially considering that Richard Moloney was riding in just his second Nations Cup and it was the inaugural Nations Cup performance for Darragh Kenny. Moloney and Brooke van de Zuuthoeve had five faults in the first round. Team veteran Kevin Babington had nine faults and eight faults with Souvenir, while Darragh Kenny and Obelix finished on four faults for each round. Shane Sweetnam and Rolette also had four faults in both rounds. The Irish finished with 29 faults for third place.
The United States finished in fourth place with 31 points. Kent Farrington and United posted a clear round in the first round, while Ashlee Bond and Apache had just one time fault in the first round.
In addition to great competition, an exciting announcement was made for the future of the Nations Cup week. Equestrian Sport Productions CEO Mark Bellissimo said, "We're very pleased with the outcome this evening. I'd like to thank CN for their continued sponsorship. As you know, they've been a great and loyal sponsor for 10 years. They've helped us both as a facility and as an organization take our sport to the next level."
He continued, "We have an announcement to make this evening. We'd like to thank CN for all of their support. G&C Farm will be taking over the sponsorship for the Nations Cup week next year and will become a major sponsor for this week as well as the derby week. We're going to be making some major adjustments to the FEI qualification classes that we'll have next year. We'll have four FEI qualifying point classes next year with the help of G&C Farm. We wanted to thank CN for their support and welcome G&C Farm and Gustavo Mirabal."
Gustavo Mirabal, owner of G&C Farm with his wife Carolina, is a proud supporter of Venezuela, and is now a resident of Wellington, FL. They were the weekly title sponsor during week one of the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival this year.
Mirabal said, "We are very excited to be here in Wellington and be part of the show. The Nations Cup week is very important for us. We're very happy to be part of the family, and we're very happy with the show. We can do a lot of things together. Thank you."
Guilherme Jorge of Brazil designed the course for the USEF WEG Trial 4 on Friday afternoon. There were 27 entries in the class, and four were clear. If riders had two mounts in the class, they had to declare which horse would count towards winning prize money in the class results. The first clear was Minikus on Pavarotti, who finished in 80.89 seconds. Shahinian-Simpson and Kilkenny Rindo were clear next in 81.20 seconds. Mario Deslauriers and Urico were clear as well, but they did not count their round towards the class results. Spooner and Cristallo went last in the class and came home clear in 81.27 seconds.
Competition at the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival continued on Saturday with two classes for the open jumpers in the International Arena. The first win in the $10,000 G&C Farm Speed Stake CSIO went to Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil on Palouchin De Ligny, owned by Pessoa Stables. They recorded their tenth win of the circuit today over Beth Underhill of Canada on Cantero Z, owned by Iron Horse Farm, and Laura Kraut with Tortola, owned by Beverly Widdowson. In the $25,000 ESP Jumper Stake, it was Rodrigo's wife, Alexa Pessoa, and Madison who were victorious over McLain Ward on Goldika 559, owned by Ward and Blue Chip Bloodstock, and Pablo Barrios with G&C Sinatra, owned by Gustavo and Carolina Mirabal.
Earlier on Sunday in the International Arena, riders competed in the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Classic. Yann Candele and Susan Grange's Game Ready came home with the win with a double clear round and jump-off time of 38.509 seconds. They just caught Alexa Pessoa and Madison, Saturday's stake winners, who finished in 39.956 seconds. Pessoa beat her husband, Rodrigo Pessoa, who rode Legacy Stables, LLC's Champ 163 to third place with a double clear and jump-off time of 40.851 seconds.Hunter Highlights
Young hunters were showcased this past week at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. All divisions of the Pre-Green Hunters are generously sponsored by Equisport Agency, Inc., and Erynn Ballard rode Victoria Daniel's Sincere to the championship in the Pre-Green 3'3" Hunter division. The reserve championship was awarded to Molly Sewell and Raise the Bar, owned by Lisa Hunt.
Ballard has had the ride on Sincere, an eight-year-old Swedish Warmblood, since September, when owner Victoria Daniel purchased him. Although Ballard has ridden Sincere since the fall, she did not show him until they arrived in Wellington for the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, where the duo has experienced much success. "He's a dream horse. He's the sweetest horse in the world, has a great expression, and really loves his job. It's nice to ride a horse like that," Ballard commented.
Ballard and Sincere dominated the Pre-Green 3'3" Hunters this week, placing first, first, and second over fences, as well as winning the under saddle. Ballard described her mount and said, "He's eight years old, which makes it nice. It's not like riding a five-year-old. He's game to be competitive."
Amateur-Owner Hunter action continued on a beautiful Friday morning at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, home of the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Lee Kellogg Sadrian rode her own Sterling to the top honors in the Amateur-Owner 3'3" Hunters.
Lee Kellogg Sadrian commutes from New York City and trains with Rolf and Jennifer Bauersachs of Spring Hill Farm. Kellogg and her partner, Sterling, dominated their division this weekend, winning the first two classes on Thursday and winning the first class of the day on Friday. She was very proud of her eleven-year-old Oldenburg gelding. The Reserve Champion of the division went to Leah Schwendeman on her mount, Gisele.
In Friday's equitation competition, there were multiple winners, including: Abigail McArdle and Jessica Springsteen in sections of the USEF Platinum Performance Show Jumping Talent Search; Charlotte Jacobs, who scored a 92 to win the WIHS Equitation Classic jumper phase; and Meredith Darst in the USEF Pony Medal.
The Amateur-Owner 36 & Over Hunter Division wrapped up on Saturday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, home of the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Jane Gaston rode her own Lumiere to the championship.
Jane Gaston comes all the way from The Plains, VA, to compete her mount, Lumiere, at the FTI WEF. She keeps the horse at home, but trains with Larry Glefke of Lane Change Farm.
Gaston found the nine-year-old Oldenburg gelding in Maryland at Bob Crandall's Farm. The pair has been together for five years and Gaston describes her horse as "Just an all-around good guy." The Reserve Champion of the division went to Don Graves on his mount Cologne, who won after a hack-off for a three-way tie.
Equitation winners were named at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Thirty-eight riders vied for the blue ribbon in both A and B sections of the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship class, sponsored by Laura Hanson Virginia.
Paulena Johnson rode Paulexi LLC's Prosecco 24 to the win in Section A of the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship class this morning. The 17-year-old Virginia native thought that the course in Ring 6 was very inviting, and noted, "The course was really nice. It was really flowing, with a lot of lines, and not a lot of turning. It was really nice for (Prosecco 24) because it was more like a hunter course, and he has a really nice stride. The lines were a little bit forward, and that's what he's best at."
The blue ribbon in Section B of the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship class was awarded to Kelley Levine and Zafir, owned by Montoga Inc. Levine was especially impressed with Zafir today because this was only the third equitation class that he has ever done. "He's still really green. My trainer, Geoff Teall, got him about a year ago and we didn't really know what we were going to do with him. He was maybe going to be a derby horse, and now he's doing the equitation," Levine explained.
CN is North America's railroad with a commitment to speed and precision, and they are proud to support the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Along with their weekly title sponsorships, they are the presenting sponsor of the $75,000 FEI Nations Cup and the title sponsor of the $150,000 CN U.S. Open Grand Prix, CSIO 4* during week eight. In week nine, they are the presenting sponsor of the $200,000 FEI World Cup Grand Prix, CSI 3*. They were also the title sponsor of the $50,000 CN Palm Beach Jumping Derby, which was held at The Stadium during week six. For more information on CN, please visit www.cn.ca.
For full results, please visit www.shownet.biz or www.equestriansport.com