The 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL, a circuit with hunter, jumper, and equitation competition, continues through April 1, 2018, and offers more than $9 million in prize money.
WEF concludes with its twelfth week of competition on March 28-April 1, sponsored by Rolex. The highlight event is the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* in the WEF International Arena on Saturday, March 31, at 7:45 p.m. Additional featured classes are the $15,000 International Hunter Derby Hunt & Go and $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby starting at 9:30 a.m. on the grass derby field at Equestrian Village (13500 South Shore Blvd.) on Friday, March 30. WEF wraps up with the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Round Two on the grass derby field at 1 p.m., and the $50,000 Wanderers Club Grand Prix CSI 2* and $50,000 CP 1.50m National Grand Prix in the WEF International Arena, on Sunday, April 1.
WEF 11 Jumper Wrap-Up
Daniel Bluman believes he is riding “one of the fastest horses in the world” and he proved that he could just be right by chalking up the fastest time of the 117 starters in the $6,000 FEI Bainbridge 1.40m class on the opening day of week 11 on Wednesday.
Riding Sam Wight’s Esmee, a nine-year-old Berlin x Voltaire mare who is new to his team, Bluman flew around course designer Olaf Petersen Jr.’s track clear to break the beam in 63.45 seconds — nearly 1.5 seconds faster than any of the chasing pack.
Due to the number of starters, the class was subject to a California split, meaning that despite Leslie Howard (USA) and Donna Speciale only clocking the second fastest time, she too was the recipient of a blue sash and ribbon.
Of the 93 starters in the $70,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 11, held on the grass derby field at Equestrian Village on Thursday, it was Great Britain’s Emily Moffitt on Tipsy Du Terral who emerged triumphant during week 11.
Both the remaining riders on the WEF Challenge Cup podium were American: Winn Alden threw down a valiant challenge on the 10-year-old Charlie, but found herself half a second off the pace. Olympian McLain Ward had to settle for third on Double H Farm’s HH Callas, coming within 0.2 seconds of Alden.
The $20,000 Spy Coast Farm Developing Jumper 7 Year Old Classic featured some of the top young jumpers in the nation. Out of an opening field of 23 entries, six were clear to advance to the jump-off over a course designed by Steve Stephens of Palmetto, FL, who was a co-course designer at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
The fastest of three double clear rounds was Gerlos, ridden by Andrew Ramsay (USA) for Shalanno Farms LLC. They finished in a time of 39.267 seconds for the win. James Chawke (IRL) and Stonepine Stables’ Grasshopper (KWPN gelding by Phin Phin out of Believe In Me, bred by A. Vos Ekkelkamp) were second in 40.691 seconds. Third place went to Chic Chic (Westphalian stallion by Comme Il Faut out of Contendra by Contendro I, bred by Norbert Borgmann), ridden by Stephen Moore (IRL) for Vlock Show Stables LLC in 42.351 seconds.
In the $15,000 Spy Coast Farm Developing Jumper 6 Year Old Classic, it was a familiar face in the winner’s circle. Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Khaleesi, owned by Ariel Grange & Lothlorien, took the win and repeated a victory after winning the 5 Year Old classic in 2017.
Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Calina (Danish Warmblood mare by Ci Ci Senjor ASK out of Camelicius by Cornet Obolensky, bred by Lauritzen), owned by One Oak Equestrian, were second in 35.757 seconds. Third place went to Jimmy Torano (USA) riding Elizabeth Eaton’s Cowboy (German Sport Horse gelding by Cardento out of Urnike by Heartbreaker, bred by Redfield Farm), and they finished in 37.658 seconds.
The winner of the $10,000 Gut Einhaus Developing Jumper 5 Year Old Classic was Coppertone, ridden by Lexy Reed (USA) for Littlewood LLC and Ginny Burton. The Hanoverian gelding by Viscount out of Alisa by Acord II (bred by Gunter Wellmann) was the only double clear in the class and recorded a jump-off time of 40.518 seconds.
Five other combinations made it through to the jump-off, and second place went to Emmy Tromp (USA) riding Yolanda Knowlton’s Ibaltic BH (KWPN gelding by Baltic VDL out of Vavanta v/d Renvillehoeve by Burggraaf, bred by F. Buma). They had one time fault in 50.022 seconds. Adam Cramer (USA) and Equi-Sport LLC’s Iris E.S. (KWPN mare by Val de Loir-Imoo out of Bellissima ES by R. Johnson, bred by Equi-Sport LLC) were third with four faults in 45.977 seconds.
Only two riders managed to skim under the 40-second mark in the jump-off for the $35,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Jumper class, with Ireland’s Richie Moloney bettering his 38 rivals on Rocksy Music, Equinimity LLC’s 10-year-old gelding by ARS Vivendi.
Fifty-six entries contested Saturday night’s $132,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.50m Classic Final. In the class format, 25 percent of entries advanced to the second round, regardless of faults, and carried their first round faults through. Fourteen entries competed over the fast track designed by Olaf Petersen Jr. of Germany, and it was Lucas Porter (USA) who ended up clear in 47.90 seconds for the win on Diamonte Darco, a 13-year-old GBSH mare by Unbelievable Darco owned by Sleepy P Ranch LLC.
Second place with a double clear round were Amber Harte (USA) and Austria 2, owned by Take The High Road LLC, who recorded a time of 49.30 seconds.
It was another top finish for Harte, who only started riding in FEI international classes at this time last year. Harte was proud of her 1.40m FEI win at the 2017 WEF, and her recent success includes 17 top ten FEI ranking class finishes since March 2017 with Austria 2 and Cafino.
Kelli Cruciotti (USA) and Chamonix H, owned by Serenity Farm, were third after going double clear in 49.85 seconds.
At 17 years old, Chamonix H is a not only a veteran show jumper, but a survivor of two major colic surgeries. After Cruciotti and her team made the decision to retire her last year, they found that the mare’s attitude was still that of competitor.
Week 11 of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded on Sunday, March 25, with competition for up-and-coming stars of show jumping. In the $50,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix Final, 19-year-old Ransome Rombauer of St. Helena, CA, sped to the win riding her own Emorkus RE. The series winner was 24-year-old Lacey Gilbertson riding Baloppi.
There were 30 entries in the $50,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix Final, and 11 found the ticket to a clear round and advanced to the jump-off. The fastest in the jump-off by nearly three-and-a-half seconds (43.73 seconds) was Rombauer and Emorkus RE, a nine-year-old KWPN gelding by Quasimodo van de Molendreef x Haarlem.
Second-place finisher Coco Fath of Fairfield, CT, was especially pleased with her performance in the final after falling off in the semi-final. She and Huckleberry, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Hillside Farm LLC, finished double clear in 47.06 seconds.
Third place in the final went to Daisy Farish of Versailles, KY, riding Great White, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Cumano x Julio Mariner. They were clear in 49.86 seconds.
Leading from the very beginning of the series with a win in the first grand prix in week two was overall winner Lacey Gilbertson, 24, on Seabrook LLC’s Baloppi. The pair also won the semi-final in week 8. While they had four faults in the final jump-off, their consistency throughout all of the events easily landed them the series victory.
Week 11 Jumper Classic winners:
$15,000 SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumpers, presented by U.S. Trust/Bank of America Merrill Lynch – Karrie Rufer and Georgie d’Auvray EC
$10,000 SJHOF High Junior Jumpers, presented by Sleepy P Ranch – Mimi Gochman and Bluf BH
$10,000 Equitan Medium Junior Jumpers – Mimi Gochman and Avoloma BH
$10,000 Equiline Medium Amateur-Owner Jumpers – Kelsey Thatcher and Everything
$10,000 Martha Jolicoeur, Douglas Elliman Real Estate Low Amateur-Owner Jumpers – Maria Costa and Elian 5
$10,000 Maria Mendelsohn, Douglas Elliman Real Estate Low Junior Jumpers – Sophie Gochman and Catch Me Z
$10,000 Rose Hill Farm Adult Jumpers 18-35 – Lindsey Tomeu and Gold Lux
$10,000 Equis Boutique Adult Jumpers 36 and Over – Rachel Boggus and Shalamar
$10,000 Horseware Ireland Don Little Masters – Becky Gochman and Connie BH
Week 11 Jumper Champions:
Equestrian Sotheby’s Children’s Jumper 14 & Under – Kelly McInerney and Dinletto RK
Children’s Jumper 15-17 – Madelyn Ruskin and Abazu BSM
Griffis Residential Modified Children’s Jumpers – Valentina Arenas and Temprist
FarmVet Adult Modified Jumpers – Joseph Comunale and Hector van Terwest
Karina Brez Jewelry Low Adult Jumper 18-35 – Katie Curran and Role Model
Pegasus Builders Low Adult Jumper 36 & Over – Layla Law-Gisiko and Renomee de la Roque
Carolina Arena Equipment Low Children’s Jumper – Marielle Babington and Finnegan, Sarah Steadman and Aubade VA
ProElite Low Child/Adult Training Jumper – Jackson Carinda and Darwin
WEF 11 Hunter and Equitation Wrap-Up
Thursday’s Platinum Performance USEF Show Jumping Talent Search was held in two rounds, with twenty-six riders competing in round one. The top 12 returned for a test on the flat, and Katlyn Lovingfoss of Canyon Country, CA, prevailed aboard her mount of eleven weeks, Caracas 89, owned by Elvenstar Farm.
Liliane Kaissar captured second place aboard Boukati B, an entry of G&W Equine Partners LLC, and Zapfier, owned by Missy Clark & North Run, took third with Tanner Korotkin in the irons. However, Lovingfoss aced her performance in both rounds and came out of the flat test with the blue in hand.
A cool breeze accompanied riders into the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter for Saturday’s Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division, which ultimately awarded the championship tricolor to Maggie Hill and her mount, Cassanto, an entry of Stella Styslinger. The pair secured the win with a first in the under saddle and a first, second, third, and sixth over fences, for a total of 30.5 points. Reserve honors went to Sam Walker and Monday Balous, owned by Redfield Farm, who were close behind by half a point after taking home a first, first, second and third over fences.
The last day of week eleven at the Winter Equestrian Festival celebrated a championship win for Aly Muir and her entry, Paparazzi, in the Palm Beach International Academy Children’s Hunter Horse Older division. Muir, of Allison Park, PA, piloted the 17-year-old Hanoverian gelding to a first, second, and eighth over fences with a third-place finish on the flat.
Noa Diener secured reserve honors aboard Linden, an entry of Derby Lane, LLC. The pair finished sixth in the under saddle in addition to a first and second over fences.