For Immediate Release
Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Wellington, FL – January 13, 2018 – On the opening “Saturday Night Lights” and in the 10th annual Battle of the Sexes, presented by Wellington Regional Medical Center, the men’s team was victorious for the first time in the history of the class. The event is one of the most popular events at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.
Hunter, jumper, and equitation competition at WEF continues through April 1, 2018, and offers more than $9 million in prize money. The remaining highlight event of WEF week 1, sponsored by Wellington Regional Medical Center, is the $75,000 Rosenbaum PLLC Grand Prix, the first grand prix of the season, on Sunday, January 14, at 2 p.m.
Teams of ten men and ten women battled it out for this year’s Battle of the Sexes title, with team captains Charlie Jayne and Nicole Bellissimo at the helm. Bellissimo led Heather Caristo-Williams, Amanda Derbyshire, Maggie Jayne, Caelinn Leahy, Abigail McArdle, Chelsea Sundius, Annabella Sanchez, Sydney Shulman, and Alexandra Welles on her team.
Jayne’s team included David Blake, Andrew Bourns, Jordan Coyle, Alex Granato, William Hickey, Darragh Kenny, Luis Larrazabal, Spencer Smith, and Michael Tokaruk.
The contest was held in three phases, consisting of a faults converted speed round, a relay race, and a match race. The men and women were pitted against each other in each phase over courses set by Eric Hasbrouck (USA).
In round one, it was a tie with both teams scoring five points. Ireland’s Jordan Coyle (below) had the fastest time of 49.21 seconds.
In round two’s relay races, the girls picked up an additional 10 points, while the men earned five, bringing the totals to 10 for the men and 15 for the women. The fastest relay team consisted of Amanda Derbyshire, Sydney Shulman, and Maggie Jayne.
With five points separating them, the men and women headed into the third and final round for match races, where the men took a decisive 18 points to the women’s nine. The final tally of 28 to 24 gave the men their first win in the 10-year history of the class.
It came down to the second to last match race and it was Spencer Smith of Wellington, FL, who secured the win for the men’s team by beating his team captain’s sister, Maggie Jayne. With a four-point difference after Smith’s win, they did not need to ride the final match race.
“There have been a lot of years where it comes down to the last rider or the second to last rider, and Spencer really pulled it off for us today,” said Charlie Jayne. “Spencer went in, and he out-turned my sister at the end. Everybody in the match races did a fantastic job. Spencer really sealed the deal for us.”
Riding in the Battle of the Sexes for the first time, Smith said the event was “super fun.” He continued, “It gives you the team feel and the team mentality. You have the pressure of other riders that are counting on you.”
Coming down the final line of jumps to seal the victory, Smith (below, left) said he was thinking, “Kick and pray!”
This was Charlie Jayne’s fifth time on the men’s team and the victory was sweet.
“It feels good!” exclaimed Jayne. “It was a team effort. Everybody involved did a great job. It was a great victory.”
In its 10th year, the Battle of the Sexes remains a popular event on the WEF calendar.
Jayne explained, “I think it’s nice because it’s very easy for the general public to understand. The kids come out and they have a great time rooting for the boys or the girls. It’s something that’s instilled in us from a young age, soccer teams, whatever. I think it’s great for the sport.”
“It feels awesome,” Smith said of the win. “We had a great team, great guys, and a lot of fun.”
Minikus Goes for Gumption in Hollow Creek Farm 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic
Out of 20 entries in the 1.50m Classic, five went clear over a course designed by Eric Hasbrouck (USA), and three of those were double clear. Taking the win in a time of 36.676 seconds was Todd Minikus (USA) on Carlo, a 2006 Holsteiner gelding by Casall x Landlord owned by North Face Farm.
“You have to add a little gumption to him,” described Minikus. “Usually a horse that you push is always faster than a horse that you have to pull. You have to push him the whole way, so that’s good.”
Despite being the first week of circuit, Minikus said that the class “looked big.” However, he stated, “The fact of the matter is, I think this is some of the hardest jumping in the world really. We start right off here. You’ve got to have quality horses. They’ve got to be on the top of their game, and you’ve got to be on the top of your game no matter what class it is here. That’s just life in South Florida.”
Tina Allen Claims Blue Ribbon Aboard Two Mounts in Osphos® Amateur Owner 3’3” 36 & Over
Saturday’s third class of the day came to a close with Tina Allen, from New Canaan, CT, taking first place honors in both Osphos® Amateur Owner 3’3” 36 & Over jumping classes. Allen claimed the first blue aboard her 7-year-old Westphalian mount, Sinatra (below), and rode Galaxy, her 12-year-old partner of six years, to victory in the second round over fences.
“I’m thrilled about it,” said Allen. “I made a mistake on each horse in both classes, but I am very happy to come out on top.”
Having recently purchased Sinatra here in Wellington, FL, Allen praised her new grey gelding on his performance.
“This is my third show on him in the 3’3”,” said Allen. “I am ecstatic with him. He is so fun to ride and has a huge stride. He gives you confidence when you go in the ring even though he is so young.”
The rider added that this is Sinatra’s first year competing in the Green Conformation Hunters with her trainer, Brooke Baldwin-De Grazia.
Allen spoke of her other mount, Galaxy (below), with equal fervor as she detailed their six-year bond.
“He is my long-time partner and go-to horse,” said Allen. “I started with him in the adults and he was with me when I moved up to the 3’3” [height].”
The Connecticut native has competed at the Winter Equestrian Festival for years and is enjoying being back at WEF 2018 as a competitor.
“You get great competition here, and I love the weather,” said Allen. “I enjoy showing against all my friends and it’s a nice place for the horses to be for an extended amount of time.”
Final Results: $25,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic
1 CARLO: 2006 Holsteiner gelding by Casall x Landlord
TODD MINIKUS (USA), North Face Farm: 0/0/36.676
2 AMINKA: 2005 KWPN mare by Ephebe For Ever x Heartbreaker
MICHAEL DESIDERIO (USA), David Desiderio & Tranquility Farms: 0/0/37.351
3 IT’S REAL LOVE DV SMIS Z: 2008 Zangersheide mare by C Indoctro x Liberato I
EMILY MOFFITT (GBR), Poden Farms: 0/0/38.312
4 SERPICO: 2008 Irish Sport Horse gelding by ARS Vivendi x Aldatus Z
ANDREW WELLES (USA), Itasca Group LLC: 0/4/37.258
5 BRAVOURE: 2006 KWPN gelding by Tolano Van’t Riethof x Goodwill
BLYTHE KAROLYI (USA), Amalaya Investments: 0/4/38.151
6 1019QUIDAM MB: 2005 Oldenburg gelding by Quidam’s Rubin x Argentinus
ADRIENNE STERNLICHT (USA), Starlight Farms LLC: 1/78.483
7 DIABOLO LA QUADRA: 2009 Holsteiner
ALONSO VALDEZ PRADO (PER), Alonso Valdez Prado: 3/80.632
8 ARDENTE PRINTANIERE: 2006 SBS mare by Joyeux Ardent x Ramiro
SYDNEY SHULMAN (USA), Jill Shulman: 4/73.074
9 CALAFORNIA: 2007 KWPN gelding by Ultimo x Lux
LAURA CHAPOT (USA), Laura & Mary Chapot: 4/73.999
10 LIROY 30: 2009 Brandenburg gelding by Levistano x King Kolibri
TAYLOR LAND (USA), Pinetree Farms Inc.: 4/74.170
11 TAKE ME 2: 2006 Oldenburger Springpferd gelding by Nintender x Carthago
SCHUYLER RILEY (USA), Wolfstone Stables & Sales Inc.: 4/77.429
12 QUINTENDER LS: 2009 La Silla gelding by Quidam de Revel x Contender
CARLOS MYRRHA (BRA), El Milagro: 5/78.109
Photo Credit: Photos © Sportfot, Official Photographer of the Winter Equestrian Festival. These photos may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.