Wellington, FL - March 21, 2010 - Beezie Madden and her new partner Coral Reef Via Volo, owned by Coral Reef Ranch, captured their first win together in the $75,000 Equine Couture/TuffRider Grand Prix, CSI 2*, in the tenth week of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. They were the only double clear round to win over Ashlee Bond (USA) and Cadett 7, owned by Little Valley Farm, and Sassicaia II, ridden by Katie Monahan Prudent (FRA) for Plain Bay Farm.
The tenth week of the FTI WEF is sponsored by Equine Couture/TuffRider and concludes with today's competition. The 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of competition that conclude on April 4, 2010, and they will be awarding almost $6 million in prize money through the circuit.
Alan Wade of Ireland was the course designer for today's class, which took place on the grass field at The Stadium of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. There were 41 entries in the class, and only four found the way to a clear round.
The women represented well, as all four entries were female. The first to go in the jump-off was Bond on Cadett 7. They were very quick to start, but just barely knocked a block off of the wall jump for four faults. They finished in 44.47 seconds for second place.
Schuyler Riley (USA) and Navalo de Poheton, owned by Wolfstone Stables, were next in. They faulted at two jumps and crossed the timers in 47.48 seconds for fourth place.
Katie Monahan Prudent and Sassicaia II were also fast, but they faulted at the same wall jump as the previous two riders. Their four faults in 47.85 seconds left them in third place.
Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo were last to go. Madden took it slow to go for the all important clear round for the win. She garnered her first win on her new mount.
Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare by Clinton xx Heartbreaker, are still getting to know each other, having only shown together three times before they entered the USEF WEG Selection Trials during weeks seven and eight.
Their partnership looks strong in their first victory. "I'm really happy. It's a new horse. It was nice to see her sail around today and be happy," Madden said. "This week I did three low classes and got to know her a little bit. She went right into here and was great. It proved I was ready for a test with her and it was a great confidence builder."
Via Volo used to show in the grand prix classes with Alison Robitaille, and was purchased by Madden's new owners, Gwendolyn Meyer and Coral Reef Ranch. "Alison Robitaille asked my advice, and I've helped her a little with the horse before we tried her. She was great when we tried the horse. She was great about it and I have to thank her for me getting the chance to have a horse like this," Madden said.
Madden noted that Via Volo's strengths are "her scope and her jumping ability." She continued, "She's a mighty little horse. She's probably under 16 hands, but she has a huge stride and huge scope. I think all of her life, her rideability has been getting better and better, and then switching riders probably set it back just a little. Now we're getting to know each other and the rideability is coming back. Hopefully it'll just continue to improve still."
Laura Kraut Flies Through the Timers To Capture The Victory On Olmifon D'as in $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Classic
Laura Kraut (USA) up on Olmifon D'As owned by Happy Hill Farm were victorious in today's $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Classic. The second place honors went to Ian Millar (CAN) on his horse Dryden, owned by Ariel and Susan Grange. The third place victory was awarded to Marley Goodman (USA) on Blue Sky Van De Olmenhoeve, owned by Marley Goodman & Turtle Lane Farm.
The course in the International Arena featured 12 numbered obstacles in the first round. The very technical course included many related distances, a triple bar oxer to an in-and-out, and a tricky triple combination. The time allowed in the first round was 73 seconds. A field of 36 competitors came out to compete on this very beautiful Sunday, but only five horse and rider pairs successfully navigated the technical first round course and advanced to the short course.
The jump-off consisted of seven obstacles and the time allowed was 47 seconds. There were inside turn options and opportunities to leave out strides in both the first and last lines. The first of the competitors to return to the short course was the eventual winner of the class. Laura Kraut on her horse Olmifon D'As produced a faultless round in 34.579 seconds, which was six seconds faster than the second place winner. Kraut and her mount easily navigated the short course, displaying inside turns and leaving out strides in both lines.
The second pair to return for the jump-off was Marley Goodman aboard her horse Blue Sky Van De Olmenhoeve, owned by Marley Goodman & Turtle Lane Farm. The duo sped through the timers in 37.498 seconds, but had an unlucky four faults at a careful vertical in the middle of the course. This round would be good enough to assume the third place position.
The next of the challengers was Jeffery Welles (USA) on his horse Tango, owned by Abigail Wexner. The pair passed through the timers in 37.728 seconds after having four faults at the in and out. This round would take fourth place honors.
With Kraut still in the lead, Angel Karolyi (VEN) entered the ring on his horse Ultimo, owned by Stransky's Mission Farm. Karolyi produced a very fast time of 36.08 seconds, but unfortunately the very last rail came down. This would end up in the fifth place position after today's honors were received.
The last of the competitors to challenge Kraut's time was Ian Millar aboard Dryden, owned by Ariel and Susan Grange. Millar respectively settled for the second place position after producing a flawless round in a time of 40.343 seconds.
Kraut was thrilled with her eight-year-old gelding today. "This is his first time jumping bigger courses," she explained. "He went to Europe last year and got a lot of experience as a seven-year-old at all the top shows, but he was jumping the lower level tracks."
Kraut spoke of her first round, "The course was very technical and that is what I have been struggling with because he is such a big horse and a big mover so it is hard to get him contained. Getting him to add strides where he needs to has been the goal of the circuit and today he put it all together."
Kraut said of her jump-off plan that gained her the victory, "My plan was to leave out strides everywhere because he has such a big stride, but I was worried about the turn from 2 to 3. I got lucky and the distance was just dead on." She continued, "Olmifon is such a genuine tryer. He looks to try and help me. He was looking for all of the fences and it was one of those jump-offs that everything just came up perfectly."
The eleventh week of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival will continue on March 24-28, and will feature the highlight event of the circuit, the $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix, CSI 5* on Saturday, March 27.
Final Results: $75,000 Equine Couture/TuffRider Grand Prix, CSI 2*
1. CORAL REEF VIA VOLO, BEEZIE MADDEN, CORAL REEF RANCH: 0/0/52.49
2. CADETT 7, ASHLEE BOND, LITTLE VALLEY FARM: 0/4/44.47
3. SASSICAIA II, KATHERINE MONAHAN PRUDENT, PLAIN BAY FARM: 0/4/47.85
4. NAVALO DE POHETON, SCHUYLER RILEY, WOLFSTONE STABLES: 0/8/47.48
5. KILKENNY RINDO, NICOLE SHAHINIAN-SIMPSON, KILKENNY CREST: 4/83.03
6. NICE DE PRISSEY, BRIANNE GOUTAL, CLOVERLEAF FARM: 4/84.01
7. MURKA'S RUBERT R, PETER CHARLES, OLGA WHITE: 4/84.93
8. LENNOX LEWIS 2, LESLIE HOWARD, LESLIE HOWARD: 4/85.20
9. G&C BLANCHEE Z, PABLO BARRIOS, GUSTAVO & CAROLINA MIRABAL: 4/85.81
10. OLE, MAC CONE, SARA HOUSTOUN & LARRY EVOY: 4/86.27
11. LANOO, ALI WOLFF, BLACKLICK BEND FARM: 4/86.56
12. HH REBOZO, RODRIGO PESSOA, DOUBLE H FARM: 8/82.34
Final Results: $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Classic
1. OMNIFON D'AS, LAURA KRAUT (USA), HAPPY HILL FARM: 0/0/34.579
2. DRYDEN, IAN MILLAR (CAN), ARIEL AND SUSAN GRANGE: 0/040.343
3. BLUE SKY VAN DE OLMENHOEVE (USA), MARLEY GOODMAN, MARLEY GOODMAN & TURTLE LANE FARM: 0/4/37.498
4. TANGO, JEFFERY WELLES (USA), ABIGAIL WEXNER: 0/4/37.728
5. ULTIMO, ANGEL KAROLYI (VEN), STRANSKY'S MISSION FARM, 0/4/38.068
6. ROMULADO, HOLGER HETZEL (GER), HOLGER HETZEL, 1/73.688
7. MIEL D'AMAURY, MCLAIN WARD (USA), GABBY SLOME: 4/66.292
8. LANDOS II, HENRI KOVACS (HUN), PLAIN BAY FARM: 4/67.895
9. KIMBER, JOE FARGIS (USA), HIDDEN TRAIL FARM: 4/68.957
10. CASAR (DE), BRIANNE GOUTAL (USA), CLOVERLEAF FARM: 4/70.240
11. G & C NAPOLEAN, PABLO BARRIOS (VEN), GUSTAVO & CAROLINA MIRABAL: 4/70.310
12. THE REAL DEAL, RACHEL CLINE (USA), RACHEL CLINE: 4/70.405
The 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 13 through April 4. WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are "AA" rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $5.5 million in prize money will be awarded.
Photo Credit: Beezie Madden and her new partner Coral Reef Via Volo, owned by Coral Reef Ranch, captured their first win together in the $75,000 Equine Couture/TuffRider Grand Prix, CSI 2* Photos by Randi Muster.