2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival Week Ten Wrap-Up
RELEASE: March 24, 2010
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Jennifer Wood
Photo by SusanJStickle.com (Canada's Belinda Trussell and Anton won the opening class in the WEF Dressage Classic, the FEI Grand Prix CDI***. )
The 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) featured four disciplines in its tenth week of competition on March 17-21. The week featured the $75,000 Equine Couture/TuffRider Grand Prix CSI** and the WEF Dressage Classic, CDI***, along with a full schedule of hunter, jumper, and equitation classes. The week ten title sponsor was Equine Couture/TuffRider.
Beezie Madden and her new partner, Coral Reef Via Volo, owned by Coral Reef Ranch, captured their first win together in the $75,000 Equine Couture/TuffRider Grand Prix, CSI**. They were the only double-clear round to win over Ashlee Bond and Cadett 7, owned by Little Valley Farm, and Sassicaia II, ridden by Katie Monahan Prudent of France for Plain Bay Farm.
Alan Wade of Ireland was the course designer for the class, which took place on the grass field at The Stadium of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. There were 41 entries in the class, and only four found the way to a clear round.
The women represented well, as all four entries were female. The first to go in the jump-off was Bond on Cadett 7. They were very quick to start, but just barely knocked a block off of the wall jump for four faults. They finished in 44.47 seconds for second place.
Schuyler Riley and Navalo de Poheton, owned by Wolfstone Stables, were next in. They faulted at two jumps and crossed the timers in 47.48 seconds for fourth place. Katie Monahan Prudent and Sassicaia II were also fast, but they faulted at the same wall jump as the previous two riders. Their four faults in 47.85 seconds left them in third place.
Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo were last to go. Madden took it slow to go for the all important clear round for the win. She garnered her first win on her new mount.
Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Clinton x Heartbreaker), are still getting to know each other, having only shown together three times before they entered the USEF WEG Selection Trials during weeks seven and eight.
Their partnership looks strong in their first victory. "I'm really happy. It's a new horse. It was nice to see her sail around today and be happy," Madden said. "This week I did three low classes and got to know her a little bit. She went right into here and was great. It proved I was ready for a test with her and it was a great confidence builder."
Via Volo used to show in the grand prix classes with Alison Robitaille, and was purchased by new owners, Gwendolyn Meyer and Coral Reef Ranch. "Alison Robitaille asked my advice, and I've helped her a little with the horse before we tried her. She was great when we tried the horse. She was great about it and I have to thank her for me getting the chance to have a horse like this," Madden said.
Madden noted that Via Volo's strengths are "her scope and her jumping ability." She continued, "She's a mighty little horse. She's probably under 16 hands, but she has a huge stride and huge scope. I think all of her life, her rideability has been getting better and better, and then switching riders probably set it back just a little. Now we're getting to know each other and the rideability is coming back. Hopefully it'll just continue to improve still." Jumper Highlights
Richard Spooner up on his mount Lady Like, owned by C&S Partnership, captured the victory in Wednesday's $8,000 Sentient Jet 1.45m timed first round. Second-place honors were awarded to Lauren Hough and Prezioso S, owned by Highlife Farms. Laura Kraut and Tortola, owned by Beverly Widdowson, rounded out the third spot.
Following his win on Wednesday, Richard Spooner returned to the winner's circle on Thursday. Spooner aboard Ace, owned by S&B LLC Corporation, produced a blazing time to win the $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round Ten. Second-place honors went to Hough on her horse Prezioso S, owned by Highlife Farms. Third-place award went to Alexander Hufenstuhl of Germany on Lacapo 4, owned by Sabina Illbruck.
While Spooner has been a fixture in the winner's circle for many of the classes at WEF this year, this is his first Grand Prix win this circuit. He spoke of the jump-off, "I got quite lucky to the second jump (the blue Liverpool), and I didn't really see the one I wanted so I hit his mouth a bit." He went on to say, "He came back more than I expected and the horse had to turn himself inside-out to jump it clean. As luck would have it, this facilitated a much faster turn over to the combination." This is where Spooner felt he made up the most time that scored him the win in the class.
Medium Junior and Amateur-Owner Jumper competition took the spotlight in the Mogavero Arena on Friday at the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Starting out the day, Christina Kelly piloted Pelle Wedenmark's Alderbaran II to the win in the Reist Industries Medium Junior Jumpers. Tori Corts and Tao Te King, owned by Falkirk Farm, earned the blue ribbon in the Medium Amateur-Owner Jumpers. Just behind Corts for second place were Taylor Harris and her mount, Candilla. Harris and Candilla were about a half of a second off the pace, and finished in a time of 29.242 seconds. Rounding out the top three finishers were Elizabeth Bates and Gianina 9, who finished the speed phase in a prompt time of 30.588 seconds.
The Masters Jumpers showed their skills on Saturday morning when they kicked off competition in the Mogavero Arena. The Masters division, kindly sponsored by the Palm Beach Post
, offered a speed round for its competitors. Riders jumped a single round in which the fastest clear time would eventually win the class. Sally Slater and her mount Loose Lucy were deemed the winners in the Masters class after racing around the course in a very speedy time of 57.974 seconds.
Slater and Loose Lucy galloped around the Pierre Jolicoeur course, making all of the difficult inside turns, and finishing about a second and a half faster than the second-place finisher, Olivia Fry Weeks, with Alexa Pessoa's Ronan. The third-place finisher was Laurel Chad, and Coimbra 5, owned by Stone Ridge.
Laura Kraut up on Olmifon D'As owned by Happy Hill Farm were victorious in Sunday's $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Classic. The second-place honors went to Ian Millar of Canada on his horse Dryden, owned by Ariel and Susan Grange. The third-place victory was awarded to Marley Goodman on Blue Sky Van De Olmenhoeve, owned by Marley Goodman and Turtle Lane Farm.
Kraut said of her jump-off plan that gained her the victory, "My plan was to leave out strides everywhere because he has such a big stride, but I was worried about the turn from 2 to 3. I got lucky and the distance was just dead on." She continued, "Olmifon is such a genuine tryer. He looks to try and help me. He was looking for all of the fences and it was one of those jump-offs that everything just came up perfectly."Hunter Highlights
Louise Serio added yet another tricolor to her list for the season, this time in the Equisport Agency Pre-Green Hunter Three- and Four-Year-Olds with Paisley Park. The Equisport Agency Pre-Green Hunter divisions give the up-and-coming horses of the hunter world an opportunity to show their talents and build towards the working hunter divisions.
Paisley Park, owned by Westerly Farm, won both over fences classes on Wednesday, as well as the under saddle on Thursday. He also placed second over fences to earn 36 points for the championship.
Serio is delighted with Paisley Park's progress this year, and noted, "We bought him last summer and did him a little bit. Then we came down here and he's been quite consistent. We haven't shown him too much, but he's been very consistent and getting better and better now towards the end of circuit."
Pony hunter competition concluded on Sunday at the South Grounds of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Madelyn Keck was victorious for the second time this circuit in the Large Green Pony Hunters aboard Just My Style, owned by Tim Hooker. The reserve championship was awarded to Allison Toffolon and Christina Lin's Mapleside Dolcetto.
Just My Style or 'Cody,' as he is known in the barn, was imported to the United States by owner Tim Hooker about three years ago. "I bought him with a German partner as a three year old," Hooker explained. Just My Style competed in the schooling ponies last summer, and Hooker decided to have him compete in the green ponies this circuit.
Keck, of Suffolk, NJ, celebrated her 12th birthday during the show, so being champion was a "great birthday present," said Hooker. Keck has been catch riding Just My Style throughout the circuit, and normally trains with Brian Walker. Hooker was very complimentary of Keck and Walker's efforts, and noted, "Madelyn has done an absolutely fabulous job. Brian Walker has been training her and the pony, and they both have done a wonderful job."WEF Dressage Classic CDI*** Highlights
Dressage made its return to the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival with the opening class in the WEF Dressage Classic, the FEI Grand Prix CDI***. Canada's Belinda Trussell and Anton, owned by Robyn Eames, won the class with a score of 70.638%. Todd Flettrich and Otto, owned by Cherry Knoll Farm, were second with a 68.723%, while Lars Petersen of Denmark and Beemer, owned by Global Dressage Sales, LLC, were third with 68.383%.
Trussell was very happy with her result in the Grand Prix thanks to their personal best score; they improved on the 68.6% from their last competition. "He's getting better and better," Trussell said of Anton. "This is my highest ever grand prix score. To reach that 70% is great."
The next evening, Trussell and Anton were victorious once again in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI***. Canada's Belinda Trussell and Anton, owned by Robyn Eames, who took their second victory of the show with a score of 73.900% in their very first freestyle together. Todd Flettrich (USA) and Otto, owned by Cherry Knoll Farm, were second with a solid score of 73.000%, while Jacqueline Brooks of Canada and Balmoral, owned by Mary and Eric Brooks and John and Anne Welch, were third with a score of 71.550%.
Flettrich, of Coatesville, PA, was the highest-placed American rider in both the Grand Prix and the Freestyle when he placed second with Otto, a 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding by Rambo out of Rampal.
Those in horse sport know that teamwork is a major part of any victory. Flettrich expressed, "I would not be half the rider without Cherry Knoll Farm and Margaret Duprey, Otto, and Oded Shimoni. It's the whole team."
Trussell, who is from Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, rode Anton for the first time under the lights and in their first freestyle. Trussell and Anton, a 10-year-old Saxony gelding by Antaeus out of Melit, performed to a freestyle choreographed by Tamara Williamson to the music of "Riverdance." She commented, "It's fun and I like it. It's really upbeat, and I want to get the crowd involved in the kur, so that it's exciting and you can't wait for the next movement. I hope that that's what it portrayed. It is really fun to ride to the music."
The WEF Dressage Classic concluded with the FEI Grand Prix Special, CDI***. Denmark's Lars Petersen, who resides in Wellington, FL, won the class on Beemer, owned by Global Dressage Sales, LLC, with a score of 70.750%. Shawna Harding and her own Come On III were second thanks to their score of 69.625%, while Mikala Munter Gundersen of Denmark and Leonberg, owned by Horses Unlimited, Inc., and Gundersen, were third with 69.417%.
Petersen and Beemer, a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Laudatio out of Aldatus, have been paired for almost two years, but this is only their sixth Grand Prix-level competition together. They added the win to Thursday's third-place finish in the Grand Prix.
Petersen has worked with Beemer, who he described as a "very big horse and a big, big mover." The win was a milestone in their partnership. "It meant a lot to win," Petersen expressed, "because it has been difficult and because he's so big, it's been a little struggle. Now it's coming together, and the judges like him. It's a pretty big deal for me (to win here)."
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