For Immediate Release
Kate Pettersen, Kimberlyn Beaudoin, and Sabrina Brashares for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Wellington, FL – February 21, 2021 – Opening the final day of week six at the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), it was Bertram Allen (IRL) and Castlefield Vegas, owned by Martin Egan, taking the top spot in the 137,000 IDA Development Grand Prix CSI3* held on the grass Derby Field at Equestrian Village, on Sunday, February 21.
WEF 7 brings CSI5* competition, along with a concurrent CSI2*, back to the International Arena at PBIEC on February 24-28 sponsored by Lugano Diamonds with weekly highlights including: the $37,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m CSI5* on Wednesday, Thursday’s $73,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 7, the $37,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.45m Classic CSI5* and $37,000 Griffis Residential 1.45m Qualifier CSI2* on Friday, the $401,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI5* as part of “Saturday Night Lights,” and the $73,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI5* and $50,000 Griffis Residential Grand Prix CSI2* on Sunday.
Hunters will be featured on the grass Derby Field at Equestrian Village on Friday, February 26, in the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby, with the professional section presented by Restylane and a junior/amateur section. Spectators can watch feature classes live and on demand for free using the livestream.
In the first round of Sunday’s grand prix, the final line on course featured a triple combination [vertical, oxer, vertical] followed by five strides down to the IDA Developments oxer, the final jump on course. This combination of jumps proved to be one of the most difficult sections of the track designed by Catsy Cruz (MEX). A starting field of 45 combinations challenged the course, with 18 qualifying to return for the jump-off.
Fresh off their victory in the Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup on Friday, Allen and the 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Cassino x Lux Z did it again, putting forth a blistering double-clear effort to stop the clock in 37.10 seconds.
Watch the winning jump-off ride, brought to you by Premier Equestrian!
“I knew I just had to give it everything I had,” said the 26-year-old rider. “I didn’t watch Nayel’s round, but I was talking to a few people and they said it was very fast and my guy is naturally fast, so my plan was to just be as fast as I could be without doing anything crazy. It all came up great. Friday was the biggest class he’s [Castlefield Vegas] jumped so far, and he won that, so I was delighted. Today I was interested to see how he would go along with that. He jumped great, and I had a good feeling.”
Less than three-tenths of a second off the leader, Egypt’s Nayel Nassar rode Igor Van De Wittemoere owned by Evergate Stables, LLC, to a second-place finish. Nassar and the 13-year-old gelding by Cooper VD Heffinck x Orlando 96, also posted a double-clear round in 37.39 seconds. The pair has been together for about a year now so their success on Sunday comes as a very exciting step in the right direction.
“It has been a bit of a process trying to get him going the way I would like him to,” said the 30-year-old rider. “He has a ton of energy and so much blood, and sometimes he tends to rush the jumps a bit. We’ve been messing around with bridles and doing a lot of flatwork just to try to get him to switch a few gears, and I was so pleased with him today. He jumped the first round spectacularly and came back to jump the jump-off even better. I thought we had it won, but this guy [Bertram] is pretty darn fast. We are so happy with the result and just very pleased with how he’s coming along.”
Rounding out the top three it was Paul O’Shea (IRL) and Skara Glen’s Chancelloress, owned by Skara Glen Stables, leaving all the jumps in their cups in a time of 38.35 seconds. O’Shea and the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare by Chacco Blue x Balou du Rouet had a successful week overall, after also finishing third in Friday’s qualifier.
“I thought it was a great course,” said O’Shea, who is ranked 40th in the world. “I was very happy with my mare. She was good the other day too, so I think we went as quick as we could. I’m very happy with her, and at least another Irishman won! Bertram’s horse is co-owned by a very good friend of mine, so it’s great to see them going so well.”
Allen, who sits 46th in the world rankings, echoed the praise of other international competitors of the quality of the turf, after racking up three wins to date with Castlefield Vegas on the grass Derby Field during the 2021 WEF.
“Everyone is delighted to be able to jump on the grass,” he said with a smile. “There is so much space and everyone loves jumping out here, so it’s nice.”
Click here to watch the Press Conference!
Final Results: $137,000 IDA Development Grand Prix CSI3*
1. CASTLEFIELD VEGAS: 2010 ISH gelding by Cassino x Lux Z
BERTRAM ALLEN (IRL), Martin Egan: 0/0/37.10
2. IGOR VAN DE WITTEMOERE: 2008 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Cooper VD Heffinck x Orlando 96
NAYEL NASSAR (EGY), Evergate Stables, LLC: 0/0/37.39
3. SKARA GLEN’S CHANCELLORESS: 2009 KWPN mare by Chacco Blue x Balou du Rouet
PAUL O’SHEA (IRL), Skara Glen Stables: 0/0/38.35
4. LEGACY: 2010 Zangersheide mare by Chippendale Z x Bon Ami
DANIEL COYLE (IRL), Ariel Grange: 0/0/38.45
5. URHELIA LUTTERBACH: 2008 Selle Français mare by Helios De La Cour Ii x Emilion
DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), Kerry McCahill: 0/0/38.70
6. CHIC HIN D HYRENCOURT: 2008 SBS gelding by Taran de la Pomme x Elanville
BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Abigail Wexner: 0/0/40.33
7. FREAKY LIEFHEBBER: 2010 Dutch Warmblood by Darco x Litho x
JACQUELINE STEFFENS (CAN) Jacqueline Steffens: 0/0/40.72
8. QU ALFONS SANTO ANTONIO: 2007 ESH gelding by Aromats x False Pass
YURI MANSUR (BRA), Yuri Mansur: 0/0/41.51
9. SKYHORSE: 2007 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Calvaro x Quidam de Revel
LILLIE KEENAN (USA), Chansonette Farm LLC: 0/0/42.70
10. H5 JUST THE MUSIC: 2009 BWP gelding by Tornedo FCS x Quidam de Revel
CARLOS HANK GUERREIRO (MEX), H5 Stables: 0/0/43.06
11. GK COCO CHANEL: 2008 Holsteiner gelding by Clarimo x Lerano 2
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Vanessa Mannix: 0/4/38.32
12. JEFF TEN HALVEN: 2009 BWP gelding by Toulon x Cassis Z
MICHAEL DUFFY (IRL), HMF Equestrian: 0/4/39.39
Walker Welcomes a Win in $25,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix
It was Sam Walker (CAN) and Marbill Hill Farm’s Coralissa who jumped to the top of the leaderboard after 63 horse-and-rider combinations took to the Derby Field in the $25,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon, with nine pairs returning to the jump-off round set by designer Catsy Cruz (MEX).
Walker and the 2010 Holsteiner mare by Com Air were one of two combinations to put in two fault-free rounds, finishing the short course in 43.89 seconds. “This past year with the pandemic, I pretty much took a full year off from competition,” said Walker. “To come back out here and do so well today, to feel her still in her prime, it really means a lot to me.”
Walker stuck to his plan from start to finish and was thrilled with the pay-off. “My first round went according to plan,” he explained. “Every line I had walked in in the course walk and observed when watching the rest of the class, I stuck to the plan all the way around. My horse was really good today and jumped fantastically. The first round set us up very nicely for the jump-off. Going into the jump-off, my horse is super-fast but has a shorter step, and I took that into account. I stuck to my plan and just went for it.”
Walker and the mare have a lengthy partnership, and their resume includes the 2019 team gold and individual silver medals at the Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championships. “I’ve had this mare since she was seven years old,” he said. “We’ve had a really great, successful partnership thus far. She has had multiple FEI wins so far. She’s a special horse, and I’m thrilled with the day’s outcome.”
Walker concluded with thoughts about the U25 Series and his hopes for its future. “It’s fantastic having a series like this for the U25 riders to compete in,” noted the 18-year-old rider. “It’s a crucial step in bringing junior riders up the ranks and also a great opportunity for riders who maybe didn’t get the chance to jump in the juniors or go to young riders. It’s a great alternative for that. As far as the competitiveness, it’s an extremely competitive division, and I think that we will only see numbers grow in the years to come because it’s also a lot of fun.”
Second place in the $25,000 Hermès U25 Grand Prix went to Violet Lindemann Barnett (USA) and Lindemann Barnett Sporthorses’ 2010 Selle Français mare by Allegreto, Alanine de Vains, who made it through the jump-off timers in 46.85 seconds. Third place went to Ashley Vogel (USA) and her own Bellissimo Z, a 2009 Zangersheide mare by Bamako de Muze, who ended on four faults and in 42.58 seconds.
Final Results: $25,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix
1. CORALISSA: 2010 Holsteiner mare by Com Air x O-Coralissa
SAM WALKER (CAN), Marbill Hill Farm: 0/0/43.89
2. ALANINE DE VAINS: 2010 Sel Francais mare by Allegreto x Mutine de Vains
VIOLET LINDEMANN BARNETT (USA), Lindemann Barnett Sporthorses:0/0/46.85
3. BELLISSIMO Z: 2009 Zangersheide mare by Bamako de Muze x C’est Elle Z
ASHLEY VOGEL (USA), Ashley Vogel: 0/4/42.58
4. CELINA BH: 2010 Holsteiner mare by Canstakko x K-Carrera
MIMI GOCHMAN (USA), Gochman Sporthorses, LLC: 0/4/42.68
5. EMORKUS RE: 2009 KWPN gelding by Quasimodo VD Molendreey x Worka R
RANSOME ROMBAUER (USA), Ransome Rombauer: 0/4/43.53
6. BOHEME DE LA ROQUE: 2011 Sel Francais mare by Kannan x Medine D’Amaury
GRACE DEBNEY (GBR), Temple Equestrian, LLC: 0/8/41.05
7. VALMONT DE VIZY: 2009 Sel Francais gelding by Zandor x Lliona de Vizy
KELLY ARANI (USA), Marigot Bay Farm, LLC: 0/8/46.46
8. DELIA B: 2008 KWPN mare by Cantos x Omelia H
DOMINIC GIBBS (USA), Mountain King Ranch, LLC: 0/8/56.12
9. FANTAST VAN HET VINCKENHOF: 2010 KWPN gelding by Cicero Z Van Paemel x Temilione
KRISTEN BERIAN (USA), Coral C Stables, LLC: 0/4/46.38
10. J’ADORE FLAMENCO: 2012 Sel Francais gelding by Je T’aime Flamenco x Conafino Z
MARIA BRUGAL (DOM), Maria Brugal: 1/80.28
11. FAIR PLAY: 2012 Westphalian mare by For Pleasure x Concetta
DELANEY FLYNN (USA), Maarten Huygens: 1/81.60
12. ELEGANCE DE PESSEL: 2009 KWPN mare by Diarado x Oludine S
SKYLER FIELDS (USA), Skyler Fields: 1/82.48
WEF 6 Wraps Up with Victory for Paul O’Shea in $25,000 CP National Grand Prix
Competition concluded on the Derby Field at PBIEC on Sunday, February 21, after Ireland’s Paul O’Shea claimed victory in the $25,000 CP National Grand Prix aboard Eye Candy Jumpers’ Squirt Gun.
With 35 riders testing the first track, the jump-off only welcomed back two combinations to navigate the day’s final course. O’Shea and the 2011 Oldenburg gelding by Diarado ended the afternoon as the only pair to go double clear in a time of 39.526 seconds. “The time was tight in the first round,” explained O’Shea, “and the faster you go, the more likely you are to make a mistake which is why there weren’t so many clear today. Squirt Gun is very experienced and he’s a naturally quick horse, the same as Juan’s mare, so that was their natural advantage, but it was certainly a tough, competitive track.”
He continued, “When we got to the jump-off, the plan was to go a little quick, to the point where if we did have a small mistake, we could still catch up to Juan without taking too much of a risk. I was lucky that I got to watch Juan go first, and my plan was to take the inside turn and be able to catch up.”
O’Shea also noted the gelding’s cheeky character and his fondness for the grass field, on which he won a grand prix over the summer as well. He said, “Squirt Gun is a real character. As I was going into the ring he actually decided he didn’t really want to go in, and he ran over all of the farrier’s equipment. He really has a mind of his own. Overall, he’s a pleasure to ride, so powerful and brave, and wants to do the right thing. We won a grand prix here on the field in the summer, and so he has proven that he really enjoys the field, too.”
Second place in the $25,000 CP National Grand Prix went to Juan Manuel Gallego (COL) and Havana de la Lande, a 2007 Belgian Warmblood mare by Nabab de Reve owned by Elise Uribe, who crossed through timers in 38.484 seconds, but with four faults. Third place was awarded to the USA’s Alex Matz riding Flash, a 2010 KWPN gelding by Numero Uno owned by 5 Star Partners, who ended their day in the first round with four faults in 82.777 seconds.
Final Results: $25,000 CP National Grand Prix
1. SQUIRT GUN: 2011 Oldenburg gelding by Diarado x Sarastra Star
PAUL O’SHEA (IRL), Eye Candy Jumpers: 0/0/39.526
2. HAVANA DE LA LANDE: 2007 Belgian Warmblood mare by Nabab de Reve x Di Luvva de la Lande
JUAN MANUEL GALLEGO (COL), Elisa Uribe: 0/4/38.484
3. FLASH: 2010 KWPN gelding by Numero Uno x Adri-Sinal
ALEX MATZ (USA), 5 Star Partners: 4/82.777
4. GELVERA: 2011 KWPN mare by Quality Time x Wunderful Vera
NICHOLAS DELLO JOIO (USA), Hi Hopes Farm, LLC: 4/84.728
5. COLLIN: 2007 KWPN Gelding by Colandro x Oberlina
LUIZ FRANCISCO DE AZEVEDO (BRA), Santa Cecilia Stables: 5/86.378
6. COCO CHANEL M: 2012 Rheinlander mare by Cristallo II x Pepper Ann
RYAN GENN (USA), James Lovett: 5/86.523
7. CANCUN: 2012 Oldenburg gelding by Chacco Blue x Granitura
PEDRO ANDRES GIL (COL), Pedro Andres Gil: 5/90.477
8. BLIXTEN: 2008 Warmblood gelding by Mezcaleno x Juliet
GIGI MOYNIHAN (USA), Christy Johnson: 6/87.467
9. CHUCK 27: 2007 Hanoverian gelding by Cassus x Ravenna
HILARY MCNERNEY (USA), Hilary McNerney: 6/87.637
10. CAT NINJA: 2008 KWPN mare by Zirocco Blue x Wyrusa H
JACQUELINE STEFFENS (CAN), Eye Candy Jumpers: 6/87.788
11. FOREVER BLUE: 2010 KWPN mare by Unknown x Unknown
SIMON ARANGO ARANGO (COL), Simon Arango Arango: 7/88.552
12. DIARADO’S FLYING DUTCHMAN: 2010 Oldenburg gelding by Diarado x Elfenland
LAURA CHAPOT (USA), Laura and Mary Chapot: 9/ 86.241
Junior and Amateur Hunter Classics Conclude WCHR Week
The final day of World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) week at the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival invited top amateur and junior hunter riders into the International Arena at PBIEC. Meghan Knapic and Better In Blue claimed the top prize in the $5,000 Peggy Cone Memorial WCHR Adult Hunter Classic to end their week on a high note. Both Rylynn Conway aboard Perseus YC and Caroline Tinsley on Kingsland Bay took home blue ribbons in the $5,000 WCHR Junior Hunter 3’3” Classic.
Sixty-four horse-and-rider combinations took to the track in the morning’s $5,000 Peggy Cone Memorial WCHR Adult Hunter Classic. Ultimately, young amateur Meghan Knapic piloted Better in Blue to the top position with an overall score of 174 points.
Knapic, of Smithtown, NY, teamed up with the 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding for the first time on Friday morning, and the pair had a successful weekend in the Adult Amateur Hunter Younger division before securing the win in the classic. Despite being an unfamiliar pair, she and the First Blue LLC- owned entry held the lead in both the first round and the handy phase with scores of 86 and 88 points.
“The past several days have been the first experience I have had riding this horse,” she explained. “I wasn’t even supposed to come down this weekend, but one of our meets at school was cancelled, so I called my trainer [Jenna Weinfurt] and just asked if she had something I could lease for the weekend. It was all very last minute, and I was hoping just to have some good rounds but definitely did not expect this!”
Knapic attributes some of her success with a new mount to the fact that she is currently part of the Auburn University equestrian team where she is often tasked with riding unfamiliar horses.
“When I have shows with our team, I am almost always on a horse I haven’t previously ridden and only get to have four practice jumps to figure it out,” she said. “Because of that I feel like I am pretty comfortable with riding many different types of horses, and I just treated this weekend the same way I would a show with my team.”
Knapic was not the only one in a new setting as she added that Better in Blue has never previously shown in the United States.
“This was the first time he has ever seen any of these rings or even shown on U.S. soil because he was only imported a couple months ago,” she detailed. “He is a total professional, and he is so nice that I think anyone could get on and go win with him.”
Jeanine Cash of Winthrop, MA, earned the second place title with Savannah Sugar’s Boccaccio on a total score of 168.75 points, while California resident Samantha Sommers picked up third with Iwasaki & Reilly’s Seaside.
The final hunter class to go in the International Arena WCHR week was the $5,000 WCHR Junior Hunter 3’3” Classic which was held in a California split format and awarded two winners. Sixty-seven competitive junior riders competed over the first track and the top 24 were called back for a second round. In the end, Rylynn Conway piloted Perseus YC to the Section A championship and Caroline Tinsley and Kingsland Bay took top honors in Section B.
Conway, of Fair Haven, NJ, continued her winning streak this week when she rode Mountain King Ranch LLC’s Perseus YC to a first round score of 83 followed by a second round high score of 87, for an overall score of 170.
“I thought my first round was really good, and he felt perfect throughout the whole course,” explained Conway. “He really kept a consistent pace the whole way around. My plan for the second round was to get a forward canter right away, and all the jumps came up really well.”
Conway and the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Paparazzo are no strangers to the winner’s circle and were also champion in the Junior Hunter 3’3” 15 and Under division on Friday.
“I feel amazing, especially because this is my first time at WEF,” said Conway. “My horse was great, and I’m excited for the rest of the season with him.”
Tinsley, of Sudbury, MA, and Mary Le Blanc’s Kingsland Bay were crowned Section B winners with a first round score of 82 and a second round score of 86, for an overall score of 168. Although Tinsley and the 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding are a new partnership, they are off to a very successful start.
“I only showed him once before this week,” commented Tinsley. “His owner, Mary, was really generous to let me ride him, and he was great all week and super consistent. He jumped so well today and held it together despite the rain and time of day.
“Since the second round was so much later and it started to rain, I just wanted to keep it smooth and keep him relaxed,” continued Tinsley. “Although he carried me a little bit more the second round, I thought it was still nice. I was able to stay consistent, keep the jumps slow, and get him to jump nice in the air.”
Second place honors in Section A went to Mia Chimenti, of Far Hills, NJ, aboard Chase Hollow Equestrian Parners, LLC’s Balito with an overall score of 167.5. Third place for Section A was awarded to Erica Felder, of Durham, NC, and West Hill’s Resonate after they earned a total score of 158.5. Barrington Hills, IL, resident Elianna Kirson guided Ashland Farm’s Candor to a second place finish in Section B with a total score of 160. Section B third place was Riley Hogan, of Warrenton, VA, and Asta Torokvei’s Hendrik with an overall score of 157.5.
Several other hunter classics offering prize money took place on Sunday, including the $2,500 NAL Florida Children’s Hunter 14 and Under Classic and the $2,500 NAL Florida Children’s Hunter 15-17. Pony riders were also offered classic rounds with the $2,500 Florida Large Pony Hunter Classic, the $2,500 Florida Medium Pony Hunter Classic, the $2,500 Florida Small Pony Hunter Classic, the $2,500 Florida Large Children’s Pony Hunter Classic, and the $2,500 Florida Small/Medium Children’s Pony Hunter Classic.
Those winners include:
Round 1 Score, Round 2 Score, Overall Score
$2,500 NAL Florida Children’s Hunter 14 and Under Classic
Emilio, Ava Berman
86.5, 84.5, 171
$2,500 NAL Florida Children’s Hunter 15-17
Cayento Z, Grace Rahaim
85, 83, 168
$2,500 Florida Large Pony Hunter Classic
Eastside, Lauren Gee
82, 82, 164
$2,500 Florida Medium Pony Hunter Classic
On Your Mark, Olivia Sweetnam
85, 88, 173
$2,500 Florida Small Pony Hunter Classic
Armani, Olivia Sweetnam
88, 84.5, 172.5
$2,500 Florida Large Children’s Pony Hunter Classic
Prestige, Ava Barnes
87, 86, 173
$2,500 Florida Small/Medium Children’s Pony Hunter Classic
Wildwynn Sinatra, Terri Gunderman
85.5, 82, 167.5