Wellington, FL - Ecuador's Diego Vivero and Bijoux concluded week six of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) with a win in the $50,000 National Grand Prix held on Sunday, February 19, on the derby field at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.
The 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival continues with its seventh week of competition, featuring CSI 5*/2* competition sponsored by Suncast®, on February 22-26, 2017. The $380,000 Suncast® Grand Prix CSI 5* is the highlight event on Saturday night, February 25. The 12-week WEF circuit continues through April 2, 2017, awarding over $9 million in prize money.
Week six course designer Richard Jeffery (GBR) set the track for Sunday's $50,000 National Grand Prix and had a four-horse jump-off. The winning time of 34.44 seconds belonged to Diego Vivero and Javier Estrada's Bijoux, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Cartani x Athletico).
Taylor Land (USA) finished second riding Jay Land's For Edition with a time of 36.56 seconds. Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (USA) cleared the short course in 36.62 seconds to place third riding Silver Raven Farms' Akuna Mattata. Leslie Howard and Annie Phillips' Street Legal were fast in 35.20 seconds, but incurred eight faults to finish fourth.
"I am very happy. I have had this mare for only ten months," Vivero stated after his win. "She is very fast and very brave. We are a team now, and I think she going to do much more. "She is fast, and I am very competitive," Vivero detailed. "I just went fast and I trusted her today, and she was great."
The pair earned two CSI 2* grand prix victories in Mexico last year, along with other national grand prix titles. In 2016, they also finished third in the $25,000 Nutrena Spring I Grand Prix competing post-WEF at PBIEC.
"I have been coming to Wellington for three years," Vivero noted. "I am very happy to win because it is very competitive here and there are the most experienced and best riders in the world. It is very difficult, and it is good to win any class, but I am very proud to win here."
The Winter Equestrian Festival continues in its seventh week on February 22-26, 2017. For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.
Final Results: $50,000 National Grand Prix
1. BIJOUX: 2006 KWPN mare by Cartani x Athletico DIEGO VIVERO (ECU), Javier Estrada: 0/0/34.446
2. FOR EDITION: 2000 Hanoverian stallion by Forsyth FRH x Leggiero TAYLOR LAND (USA), Jay Land: 0/0/36.569
3. AKUNA MATTATA: 2008 Holsteiner mare by Quinar x Landwind II NICOLE SHAHINIAN-SIMPSON (USA), Silver Raven Farms: 0/0/36.622
4. STREET LEGAL: 2005 Hanoverian gelding by Escudo II x Graf Sponeck LESLIE HOWARD (USA), Annie Phillips: 0/8/35.209
5. CALVIN KLEIN: 2004 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Cardento x Feliciano JONATHON MILLAR (CAN), Millar Brooke Farm Ltd: 4/86.306
6. CYLANA: 2002 Belgian Warmblood mare by Skippy II x Darco CLOE HYMOWITZ (USA), Rose Hill Farm: 4/86.630
7. CHERI DE PAPIGNIES: 2008 Belgian Sport Horse gelding by Copin van de Broy x Darco PETER LUTZ (USA), QBS Equestrian LLC: 4/88.610
8. JULE VAN DEN TINNENPOT: 2009 Belgian Warmblood mare by Calvaro x Major de la Cour BEN MAHER (GBR), Poden Farms: 8/86.598
9. BINGO: 2006 KWPN gelding by For Hero x Kannan RONAN MCGUIGAN (IRL), Marker's Mark LLC: 16/84.519
10. SHOW SHOW: 2002 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Darco x Royal Feu WILLIAM HICKEY (IRL), Alex Jayne: 17/92.994