Wellington, FL- The $15,000 Adequan® Young Jumper Six-Year-Old Final was held in the International Ring Friday morning at the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival with a win for Adolpho Franco aboard Beth Franco's Mia. Anthony D'Ambrosio (USA) set the course for 45 entries, and yielded 24 to advance to the jump-off.
The jump-off was held with an a/b option for riders to either jump the short course immediately following their round or wait until the end. Franco jumped at the end of the class and returned for his jump-off last to go with Mia, clocking the winning time of 33.98 seconds.
The pair finished well ahead of second place finishers Ronan McGuigan and Blythe Masters' Maximus, who jumped off immediately after their earlier round in a time of 36.26 seconds.
David Beisel and Harlow Investment Enterprises' For Sunday also jumped off at the end with a time of 37.14 seconds to finish third. James Wingrave and his own Casio-Royale also took the b option and finished their jump-off round in 37.80 seconds to place fourth.
Class winner, Mia, is a six-year-old Holsteiner mare by Quick Star x Contender, owned and home bred by Franco and his wife, Beth Goodwin Franco. Speaking of his winning mount, Franco stated, "Since she was four years old she has just been nice, wanting to go, and wanting to do the right thing. She just took care of me. I do not know if she is going to jump big classes like 1.60m or 1.50m, but whatever she does, she will do very well.
"My wife rides her more than I do, but she is nine months pregnant, so I took the ride," Franco noted. "Whatever she does, and for whoever it is, she is going to give her best every single time. Even at home when she is flatting, she is a happy horse. She is always lovely. She is just a great horse." Franco explained that week six of WEF was the first time that he got a good feel for how competitive Mia could be.
"In week six in the Mogavero Ring, that was the first time that I actually went for it in the jump-off with her, and she loved it," he stated.
"When I came in here (in the International Ring), I knew that I could go for everything and that she would give me everything. She is a small horse, but she has very long legs. If you keep her contained, she has a nice sized stride, but when you open her up, her stride is huge. I knew I could count on that. From jumps one to two, everybody else did eight or nine strides, and I did eight short. To the oxer by the in-gate, it looked like she knew where she was going, but she came flying and then when I did the turn I think she saw something outside the ring and she jumped it way inside. I really have no idea how she cleared it, but then she ran for the last two, and finished great."
Franco also explained that Mia is very calm at home, but she knows when it is show time and gets her energy up. "With these performance horses, you have ones that just know when it is time to go," he said.
"You flat her in the morning at the show and she flats nice and holds herself up, but when you start warming up, she knows. She is pretty smart, and she knows where she is going. She kind of finds her own distances, and you have to respect that."
Franco's wife is due to have the baby next week, and when she comes back to riding, she will take over the ride on Mia again. Franco is originally from Brazil, but came to the U.S. in 2009 to work for Paulo Santana. He has known Santana since he was six years old and trained with Santana his whole life. Now that Franco is married, he and his wife are based in Wellington and have their own business. They plan to stay in Wellington for a couple of months with the new baby and then head to Tryon, NC, and Lexington, KY, to show for the summer.
The $10,000 Gut Einhaus Young Jumper Five-Year-Old Final was held Friday morning, awarding prize money for clear rounds overall from the promising young horses of show jumping sport.
Thirteen entries jumped clear rounds to be rewarded for their efforts. Concluding the day in the International Ring on Friday, Alonso Valdez Prado and Chichester 3 won the $2,500 MAYBACH - ICONS OF LUXURY High Amateur-Owner Jumper power and speed.
WEF 12 continues on Saturday featuring the $130,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Final Jump-off, presented by SOVARO®, at 6:30 p.m. in the International Ring, followed by the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5*. The first round of the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby will also be held on Saturday in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring. The top 25 competitors will then continue on to the second round on the derby field at The Stadium at PBIEC on Sunday at 1 p.m.
For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.
Final Results: $15,000 Adequan® Young Jumper Six-Year-Old Final
1 4745 MIA ADOLPHO FRANCO BETH FRANCO: 0/0/33.982
2 1895 MAXIMUS RONAN MCGUIGAN BLYTHE MASTERS: 0/0/36.261
3 7091 FOR SUNDAY DAVID BEISEL HARLOW INVESTMENT ENTERPRISES: 0/0/37.148
4 5902 CASIO-ROYALE JAMES WINGRAVE JAMES WINGRAVE: 0/0/37.804
5 1092 FOR SIDE VDL SHAINE BROOKS MONTY KELLY: 0/0/38.158
6 6094 CORALISSA ROBERTO TERAN JR. ARK PARTNERS LLC: 0/0/38.389
7 5584 AHENA D'OUILLY FREDERIC CHATEAU FREDERIC CHATEAU: 0/0/39.165
8 7542 KENSAI VAN DE VOORTBOSSEN MORGAN KENNEDY MAARTEN HUYGENS: 0/0/39.751
9 585 BILLY ALABAMA GEORGE WHITAKER NEIL JONES EQUESTRIAN INC: 0/0/39.752
10 5149 KBS RONNIN KEVIN BABINGTON EMILY HILL: 0/0/41.004
11 6539 LORD CALADOR TODD MINIKUS MELISSA BILODEAU: 0/4/35.977
12 7719 FARONA DANIEL COYLE ARIEL AND SUSAN GRANGE: 0/4/36.973