For Immediate Release
Lindsay Brock for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Wellington, FL – March 12, 2020 – Abigail McArdle (USA) won the $37,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 10 riding Victorio 5 on Thursday, March 12, at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.
WEF continues at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) through March 29, 2020, with 12 consecutive weeks of world-class competition and $13 million dollars on offer. The tenth week of competition, sponsored by Horseware Ireland, runs through March 15 and is recognized by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) as a CSI3*. Remaining highlights of the week include the $137,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI3* on Saturday afternoon, and the $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic on Sunday.
Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) set courses for 82 horses with 18 jumping clear over the opening track. After eight riders elected not to return, the stage was set for a 10-horse jump-off. With only fractions of a second to spare, McArdle stole the win with a blistering jump-off time of 41.40 seconds.
“For sure this is the best season I’ve ever had in my life – and maybe will ever have,” said McArdle of her consistency throughout the WEF season. “I’m just so happy, and I’m so lucky to be riding such a nice horse.”
McArdle has been competing Victorio 5, a 14-year-old Hanoverian stallion (Uccello x Graf Top), since the end of 2018 with their success culminating this year. “Obviously, it doesn’t happen right away,” she said. “He’s always been a good horse. He’s always jumped clean rounds, but getting to the point where I feel like I can walk in and win a big track like this has taken time. I’d say it’s taken that long just to mesh with him. Now we’re thinking the same, and it’s a good feeling.”
Of the track, McArdle noted, “It was very technical, but I thought it was a great course for him as soon as I walked in. Basically, everything rode to plan in the first round. In the jump-off, I actually wouldn’t say I even went totally all out. I just wanted to be the neatest I could. I wanted to be clear but not too crazy, and obviously that paid off.”
McArdle will now focus Victorio 5 on the $137,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI3*.
The runner-up position ended in a tie between Alonso Valdez Prado (PER) riding his own Acuero and Beezie Madden (USA) aboard Abigail Wexner’s Garant. They both stopped the clock at 41.90 seconds. Canada’s Tiffany Foster took fourth on Northern Light in 41.96 seconds for owner Artisan Farms LLC, while Lauren Tisbo (USA) capped the top five riding Casco 11, owned by Tequestrian Farms LLC, in 43.09 seconds.
Also earning wins in the International Arena on Thursday, Samantha Schaefer (USA) topped the $8,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m riding Zaza Z, owned by McLain Ward, and Victoria Colvin (USA) claimed the Spy Coast Farm Six-Year-Old Young Jumper riding her own Emilion Manciais.
Final Results: $37,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 10 CSI3*
1 VICTORIO 5: 2006 Hanoverian stallion by Uccello x Graf Top
ABIGAIL MCARDLE (USA), Victorio Equine Group LLC: 0/0/41.40
2 ACUERO: 2010 Hanoverian gelding by Acorado x Citoka
ALONSO VALDEZ PRADO (PER), Alonso Valdez Prado: 0/0/41.90
2 GARANT: 2011 KWPN gelding by Warrant x C’est La Vie
ELIZABETH MADDEN (USA), Abigail Wexner: 0/0/41.90
4 NORTHERN LIGHT: 2011 SWB mare by Plot Blue x Contender
TIFFANY FOSTER (USA), Artisan Farms LLC and Tiffany Foster: 0/0/41.96
5 CASCO 11: 2009 Holsteiner gelding by Caspar x Colman
LAUREN TISBO (USA), Tequestrian Farms LLC: 0/0/43.09
6 CLOCKWISE OF GREENHILL Z: 2007 Zangersheide stallion by Clearway x Caretino
UMA O’NEILL (NZL), Uma O’Neill: 0/0/44.32
7 CAYANI SN: 2010 SWB gelding by Cayado 3 x Voltaire
BLISS HEERS (USA), Bridgeside Farms LLC: 0/4/44.24
8 QUIRIE 2: 2007 Bayerischer stallion by Quadrigus M x Quidam’s Rubin
ALI WOLFF (USA), Ali & John Wolff: 0/8/41.46
9 ARISO: 2011 SWB stallion by Casall x Contender:
JORDAN COYLE (IRL), Elan Farm: 0/8/42.43
10 SHANGRI-LA: KWPN mare by Cardento 933 x Goodwill
ALISE OKEN (USA), Hi Hopes Farm LLC: 0/8/44.10
Hunter Kay and Lucca Earn Take2 Thoroughbred Hunter Championship
The Take2 Thoroughbred Hunter division came to a close on Thursday with Hunter Kay riding Lucca to the top honors in Ring 11. Kay and the 16-year-old Thoroughbred gelding by Fit To Fight earned two firsts, a second, and a third-place ribbon.
Kay and Lucca, owned by Pauline Lampshire, have a longtime partnership of six years. The pair first began showing together in the Adult Hunter divisions when Kay was still an amateur. Now that Kay is a professional, the duo dominates the Take2 Thoroughbred Hunter division and won the finals last year at the Kentucky Horse Park.
“It’s so nice that they still have this division to help promote and support the thoroughbreds,” Kay said of the Thoroughbred Hunter division.
Winning two over fences class and earning 34 points, Kay and Lucca were able to make a good impression on the judge. Kay, of Charlotte, NC, was pleased with how reliable and consistent Lucca was throughout both days of competition.
“He went really smooth yesterday; I try to just stay out of his way and keep him happy,” Kay described. “I would say it can be a good thing and a bad thing but he always likes to tell me how he feels. I always know when he’s happy.”
The pair already has the Take2 Thoroughbred Hunter Finals on their mind again and they are hoping to continue to earn points towards that competition. In addition, Kay would like to begin showing Lucca in some National Hunter Derbies during the upcoming spring and summer seasons.
The reserve champion title of the division went to Katie Haley aboard Isabel Kurek’s Talk To Me. Haley, of Colts Neck, NJ, and Talk To Me received a first, three seconds, and a third place.
For full results, visit www.PBIEC.com.
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.