Wellington, FL - March 30, 2012 - The FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival hosted the Adequan Young Jumper Finals today in the International Arena for three age groups. The $20,000 Adequan 8-Year-Old Young Jumper Final victory went to Ronan McGuigan (IRL) and Capall Zidane. Andres Rodriguez (VEN) and Aberdeen took the top spot in the $20,000 Adequan 7-Year-Old Young Jumper Final. Riding Lionshare Farm's Wayfarer, Peter Leone (USA) won the $15,000 Adequan 6-Year-Old Young Jumper Final. In the Rost Arena, Arriana Boardman of New York City won the Horseware Ireland Adult Amateur 3'3" Hunter championship with Red Carpet.
Sponsored by FTI Consulting, Inc., the final week of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival will feature the highlight grand prix of the season, the $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix, CSI 5*, on Saturday, March 31. The USHJA International Hunter Derby will host the top 25 on the grass field at The Stadium on Sunday, April 1.
The $20,000 Adequan 8-Year-Old Young Jumper Classic Final hosted 43 entries and was the final class of the day. There were eight clear rounds over the Alan Wade-designed course, and they had the opportunity to choose to return immediately for their jump-off or at the end of the class.
The class winner, McGuigan, chose to return at the end of the class for his jump-off round. He was following the time set by Emily Williams and Bugs Bunny V Overis Z of 41.202 seconds. McGuigan and Capall Zidane, an eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Concorde x Baloubet du Rouet, put down a scorching pace and stopped the timers in 38.604 seconds for the win. Third place went to David McPherson (GBR) and Egrando Van't Heike, owned by Hampton Farms LLC, who finished in 41.282 seconds.
"I was just hoping I could just be a little tighter here or there," McGuigan said of his jump-off ride. "I got to see Emily go right before I went in. He has a little more blood." McGuigan thought the course was "big enough, not over-big," and that the last two lines on course were very technical. "It took a bit of jumping," he conceded.
The bit of jumping looked easy for Capall Zidane, who has been competing in the Spy Coast Farm 1.40m division this circuit and finished second in a 1.45m class last week. "The last three or four weeks he's been getting ribbons consistently in every class he's been in. I was pretty confident going in today. I didn't do him in the 8 Year Old classes actually, just in the 1.40m. This week he did the 8 Year Old class and he was clear on Wednesday, but we didn't go fast. We were saving it for today," McGuigan explained.
McGuigan, who is based at Hermitage Farm in Gladstone, NJ, purchased Capall Zidane, who he owns in partnership with Stuart Adam, as a five-year-old off of a DVD from the Hendrix auction in Europe. "I actually bought him off the DVD; I never tried him. I liked him. He seemed very careful. I believed in him and he's proved his point, so he has," McGuigan said.
The pair finished second in last year's 7-Year-Old Final and placed at the Young Jumper Final at the Hampton Classic Horse Show last summer. Today's win was the cap to a great circuit and showcased just what Capall Zidane is capable of. McGuigan expressed, "It means a lot because I've been trying since the horse was six. I knew he was careful, I knew he was fast. The other two years previous to this, I put a little too much pressure on myself going into that class. This year I didn't care because we had such a good circuit this year. I wasn't too worried how he competed today. He's gone beyond all of our expectations this year, so I've been happy with him."
McGuigan feels that the Young Jumper Finals at the FTI WEF are a great addition for horse making their way up to the grand prix ranks. "It's very good prize money. You'd love to see one or two more between here and the Hamptons," he said. "It's a great prestige class for the young horses and something to work for. I think these classes are excellent."
Aberdeen and Andres Rodriguez Lead Wire to Wire in 7-Year-Old Final
Venezuela's Andres Rodriguez and the seven-year-old KWPN stallion Aberdeen led the way from start to finish in Friday's $20,000 Adequan 7-Year-Old Young Jumper Classic. Fifty horses showed in the class in the International Arena and 16 went clear to jump-off, with eight double clear rounds.
After a successful season in the division, including several class wins, Rodriguez and Aberdeen were a dominate force in today's final. They were the first to show, cleared the first round course and immediately jumped off following their round, blazing the trail with an uncatchable time of 36.476 seconds. Fifteen jump-off rounds followed, but the pair proved unbeatable.
The last to go was the closest, just two-tenths of a second shy of the leading time. That time of 36.608 seconds belonged to Laura Kraut and Stone Hill Farm's Wotsamillion, placing the pair in second. Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run's Joyous placed third with a time of 37.331 seconds, and Ian Millar and Millar Brooke Farm's Alazan stopped the clock in 37.663 seconds to finish fourth. Class winner Aberdeen is by the stallion Heartbreaker out of Odessa, an Indorado mare. Rodriguez purchased Aberdeen last year and has high hopes for the stallion to become his next grand prix star.
Commenting on his immediate lead in today's class, Rodriguez noted, "I knew I had an advantage that I went first in the class. A lot of people did not see my jump-off. I just realized when I went out that it was probably going to be to my advantage because I was pretty fast. I know the horse; he has won a lot of classes. He is probably one of the horses that has won more in the seven-year-olds. I know him pretty well, so I knew my round was pretty fast."
"When I saw Ian Millar's round, I thought he probably had me and when he was two seconds off, then I thought to myself 'Probably I am good,'" Rodriguez reflected. "Laura (Kraut) got pretty close and her round was really good; the tracks she made were perfect. Probably she didn't look as fast, but I knew she could probably be faster than me and then at the end it was just divided there on the last seconds."
Rodriguez will take Aberdeen to Kentucky once the FTI WEF circuit concludes, and the stallion will remain there for the summer while the rider takes his older horses to Calgary. Rodriguez is very happy with the horse's development this winter and hopes to keep him progressing throughout the year to hopefully begin at the grand prix level next summer.
He explained, "Aberdeen has been very consistent. He has won three or four of the qualifier classes. He has been great in every other ring. I am really proud for him. It is really my hope for the next year to have another good international horse. This year he will not do the grand prix, I will just take it slowly with him, but by mid-summer next year I think he will start doing some 2* grand prix in Europe as an eight-year-old if everything goes really well. He is very clever; he has a lot of experience for his age, so I think that the time will go by and as long as we can keep him sound, he will be very good."
Six-Year-Old Wayfarer is 'The Future' for Peter Leone
Friday morning began with a win for Peter Leone and Lionshare Farm's Wayfarer in the $15,000 Adequan 6-Year-Old Young Jumper Classic. Wayfarer, a 2006 gelding by Languster, was born and raised at Leone's Lionshare Farm in Greenwich, CT. The dam, Angel (by Lancer II), was a top junior horse for Leone's daughter Callie.
In today's 6-year-old classic, held as the final for the division for the FTI WEF circuit, 46 entries qualified to show. Eleven were able to clear the first round course without fault, and four jumped double clear through the short course, each round faster than the last.
Ashlee Bond and Little Valley Farms' I Bella were the first pair to clear both rounds and finished in fourth with a time of 44.934 seconds. Candice King and Esperanza, Inc.'s Nina VDL also jumped double clear and placed third in 41.932 seconds. Jeffery Welles and Sharon Gunthel/Triton Ventures' Bilion were next to jump off without fault, and their time of 40.044 second finished second. Peter Leone and Wayfarer were last to go, and cleared the course in the fastest time of 39.704 seconds for the win.
Wayfarer started showing as a five-year-old and was third in the Five-Year-Old Young Jumper Finals at the Hampton Classic last summer. Second place finisher Bilion was the winner of those finals, and also won the five-year-old finals at the FTI WEF last winter. Bilion was in the lead when Leone and Wayfarer entered the ring to jump off today, and Leone was proud to put his horse's strengths to the test.
"It was a very exciting opportunity to compete because last year's five-year-old winner, Bilion with Jeffery Welles, was leading when I went in the ring, last to go," Leone explained. "It is a very fast horse, Jeffery is a very fast rider, and I am on a big, scopey power jumper, so I needed to tap into my horse's ability to have a big stride. I needed to tap into his big stride and the relationship I have with him to really make tight turns and leave strides out, so I went out there to take advantage of my horse's strengths. Everything worked out, and I am very excited that I was able to beat the very fast horse, Bilion."
"I was thrilled. I got a little anxious in the first round about three-quarters of the way through and got a little ahead of him, didn't trust his scope, but then I settled down and finished the clear," Leone continued. "The jump-off went exactly as I had hoped. Because he was born on the farm, because he has been my project, we know each other's nuances and unspoken signals, so I am able to turn and jump. His stride is absolutely huge. I don't want to compare him inappropriately, but this horse in a lot of ways, reminds me of my Olympic horse Legato when he was five and six years old. I bought Legato as a four-year-old and developed him and brought him along, so thanks to Legato I have at least a bit of a road map as to how to bring this lovely young horse along."
In the barn, Wayfarer's nickname is 'The Future', because he is Leone's greatest prospect for a future grand prix mount. As Leone puts it, "Wayfarer was born big and handsome. From day one he showed character, range, scope and intelligence and he is just a genuinely lovely talent. His nickname, his little name plaque in our barn at home says 'The Future', because if I do have a future in the sport, it is going to be because of that horse. If I am back in the big sport it is going to be because that horse doesn't get hurt and by the time he is eight or nine years old he should be in a position to help our country be a better show jumping force to be reckoned with internationally."
Prior to today's win, Wayfarer placed first, second and fourth in the qualifiers leading up to the six-year-old final. He also showed in a few 1.30m classes this winter, but Leone is taking his time with the gelding.
"He is so talented and so good in the brain that I did some 1.30m classes with him down here and he was magnificent," he stated. "The bigger the jumps and the harder the course, the more you can see what this horse has to offer. My biggest challenge, because I'm old and not young, is to not rush him. I absolutely will not ask him to do more than 1.30m this year. I will try to find the best possible competition venues so he gets experience jumping on grass, and jumping in a stadium-like environment like here. I don't think I am going to introduce him to indoors yet. My goal is to keep him healthy, keep him fit, keep him confident, and expose him to good arenas."
Arriana Boardman And Red Carpet Save Their Best For Last
Arriana Boardman of New York, NY, topped this week's Horseware Ireland Adult Amateur 3'3" division atop her mount, Red Carpet. The pair scored a first, second and fifth over fences and finished fifth under saddle to capture the championship tricolor with 18 division points. A close reserve was awarded to Utopia, a twelve-year-old Hanoverian by Ginsberg. Utopia finished first, fifth, and fourth over fences and third under saddle to collect 17 points for the reserve tricolor with Elizabeth Frankel in the irons.
Red Carpet is a twelve-year-old Oldenburg by Quattro B. The chestnut gelding is owned by Beatrice Mack of Palm Beach, FL, and leased by Boardman for the 2012 FTI WEF season.
Following today's victory, Boardman commented on Red Carpet's performance in the show ring. "Yesterday, I was not flowing as much out of the turns," Boardman explained. "I was a bit too conservative and adding here and there. I tried to interfere too much and the outcome wasn't as successful. But today, I didn't go to my hand and I let him flow out of the turns. I really basically stayed out of his way today and let him do his thing."
Having just met Red Carpet in January, Boardman commented, "I trusted him fully right away. He would jump through fire. He is such a gentleman and so consistent. He's been phenomenal in any setting, any ring. I rode him in the International Arena for the Peggy Cone (Adult Hunter) Classic and he was wonderful out there, second out of a field of sixty."
Boardman, a rider since childhood, had an unconventional introduction to the sport. "I was born in London, but first started riding in Spain when the gypsies used to bring horses down from the hills to earn some extra 'pesetas,'" Boardman explained. "I was aged probably three or four at the time. It was a big open field in Marbella and I would go for pony rides on the gypsy horses. But then, I moved to Connecticut and started riding on a more serious level starting at age seven."
Currently, Boardman rides out of Hunter's Moon Farm in East Norwich, NY. The adult rider feels blessed to be part of a facility located on a 600 acre preserve. "One of my passions while I'm there is trail riding," Boardman said. "Hunter's Moon is a wonderful place with great care, fantastic footing, wonderful training and the added bonus of access to the preserve for trail (riding)."
In coming weeks, Boardman plans to head back to New York where she is a board member for the ASPCA and a mother to a three-year-old daughter, Olympia. Back up north, Boardman looks forward to spending time with her horses, Gatsby and Baby, and hopes to show a few times over the summer. As for Red Carpet, Boardman is confident that the talented hunter will "come together with a loving and lucky new owner" in the near future.
The twelfth week of the FTI WEF continues tomorrow with the highlight class of the circuit, the $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix, CSI 5* in the International Arena. Festivities begin at 7 p.m. with the first horse at 8 p.m. In the hunter rings, the FarmVet Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter 3'3" division will have its championship presentation. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.
Final Results: $20,000 Adequan 8-Year-Old Young Jumper Classic
1 CAPALL ZIDANE, RONAN MC GUIGAN, RONAN MCGUIGAN: 0/0/38.604
2 BUGS BUNNY V OVERIS Z, EMILY WILLIAMS, EMILY WILLIAMS: 0/0/41.202
3 EGRANDO VAN`T HEIKE, DAVID MCPHERSON, HAMPTON FARMS LLC: 0/0/41.282
4 MARANON LS, LAURA KRAUT, EQUINVEST: 0/4/35.456
5 MARTHA LOUISE, CONOR SWAIL, CHINOOK VALLEY INC.: 0/4/36.943
6 IMPRIMIS, DONALD CHESKA, WINDSWEPT FARM: 0/4/37.436
7 COVER GIRL 27, ALISON ROBITAILLE, M/M BERTRAM FIRESTONE: 0/4/39.899
8 QUIDAM 13, AMY MILLAR, DK-USA SPORTHORSE: 0/8/39.070
9 NOUVELLE, LAURA KRAUT, EVITA GROUP: 4/75.137
10 CORAL REEF CARMEL Z, VINTON KARRASCH, CORAL REEF RANCH: 4/75.257
11 ROYAL REFLECTION, SARAH SEGAL, KATHLEEN KAMINE: 4/75.824
12 QAIRDAM DE BELHEME, ROBERTO TERAN, ASHLYN TREVELYAN: 4/75.825
Final Results: $20,000 Adequan 7-Year-Old Young Jumper Classic
1. ABERDEEN, ANDRES RODRIGUEZ, ANDRES RODRIGUEZ: 0/0/36.476
2. WOTSAMILLION, LAURA KRAUT, STONE HILL FARM: 0/0/36.608
3. BULL RUN'S JOYOUS, KRISTEN VANDERVEEN, BULL RUN JUMPER TWO LLC: 0/0/37.331
4. ALAZAN, IAN MILLAR, MILLAR BROOKE FARM: 0/0/37.663
5. MY PLEASURE, PETER LEONE, MY PLEAURE LLC: 0/0/38.310
6. ITTY BITTY, KELLY SOLEAU, KELLY SOLEAU: 0/0/39.513
7. YIDAM, CARLOS QUINONES, MICHELLE NAVARRO-GRAU: 0/0/43.316
8. COULEUR LADY, DAVID MCPHERSON, GLADEWINDS FARM, INC: 0/0/43.344
9. QUASIBOY, LAURA KRAUT, THE FREEDOM GROUP: 0/4/37.830
10. VANNETY B, MAC CONE, SILVER BAY HOLDINGS: 0/4/38.791
11. CAPICE B S, DENISE MONOPOLI, LONG CREEK PROPERTIES, LLC: 0/4/39.890
12. SKARA GLEN'S FOR FREEDOM, PAUL O'SHEA, SKARA GLEN STABLES: 0/4/42.543
Final Results: $15,000 Adequan 6-Year-Old Young Jumper Classic
1. WAYFARER, PETER LEONE, LIONSHARE FARM: 0/0/39.704
2. BILION, JEFFERY WELLES, SHARON GUNTHEL/TRITON VENTURES: 0/0/40.044
3. NINA VDL, CANDICE KING, ESPERANZA, INC: 0/0/41.932
4. I BELLA, ASHLEE BOND, LITTLE VALLEY FARMS: 0/0/44.934
5. RIVIERE ROUGE, ALEJANDRO KAROLYI, STEVEN COHEN: 0/4/39.715
6. LAVENDER ZF, NICOLE SHAHINIAN-SIMPSON, ZIEDLER FARM CANADA: 0/4/43.323
7. GENTLEY, FILIP DE WANDEL, FILIP DE WANDEL: 0/4/45.108
8. CORNISHMAN, TIFFANY CORNACCHIO-MORRISSEY, SCNC INVESTMENTS, INC: 0/4/47.448
9. S&L TECHNICOLOR, DARRAGH KERINS, S&L FARM: 0/8/41.800
10. WIN FOR LIFE 111 Z, LAUREN HOUGH, CANDY TRIBBLE & WINDSOR SHOW STABLES: 0/8/42.459
11. HOT CHOCOLATE, SARAH SEGAL, HORATIO ST VENTURES, LLC: 0/8/42.669
12. FOOLISH PLEASURE, ERYNN BALLARD, KARL BEYER: 4/75.432
Photo Credit: Ronan McGuigan and Capall Zidan; Andres Rodriguez and Aberdeen; Peter Leone and Wayfarer; Arriana Boardman and Red Carpet. Photos © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, www.us.sportfot.com.