Wellington, FL - February 4, 2011 - The fourth week of competition at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival continued on Friday with a victory for Donald Cheska and Ericka Baran's Ad Fundum in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge.
The fourth week of the FTI WEF, sponsored by Adequan, continues through Sunday, February 6. The highlight jumper classes this week are the $55,000 Nespresso Battle of the Sexes on Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday's $75,000 Adequan CSI 2* Grand Prix at 2 p.m. The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of competition through April 3, 2011, and will be awarding more than $6 million in prize money through the circuit.
Forty-four entries showed over the course set by Great Britain's Richard Jeffery and seven were able to jump clear. Cheska and Ad Fundum's time of 70.834 seconds took the lead with just a few left to go and held on for the win.
Cheska and Ad Fundum just edged out Cypriano, owned by Equinvest and ridden by Julie Welles, who finished in 71.907 seconds. Jonathan McCrea and Candy Tribble & Windsor Show Stables' Victor VDL were also fast and clear with a time of 75.473 seconds to earn the third place honors. Ben Maher and Quainton Quirifino Z stopped the clock in 76.581 seconds to finish in fourth.
Cheska bought Ad Fundum, an 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Clinton, as a five-year-old and sold him to amateur rider Ericka Baran two years ago. Baran shows Ad Fundum in the High Amateur-Owner Jumpers and Cheska now only shows him occasionally.
"This is a very competitive, fast horse," Cheska stated. "He does the High Amateurs with his owner and I was really just schooling the horse a little bit, but he likes to win so I had to give him a chance. I was busy in every other ring and I came up about eight or nine horses out and learned the course. I know him really well so I can climb on him a little late and a little unorganized and know how he is going to go, so that helps."
Cheska did not have the opportunity to watch many rounds before his, so he just concentrated on his horse. "I know the horse is fast and I just have to be careful that I do not get too deep to the jumps with him because they come down so easily," he explained. "Coming across the one oxer and to the wall and a few other jumps I didn't want to place him underneath the jump too much; that was my main focus. He is naturally very quick in the turns, so I have to let him go fast, but give him room to make a good jump."
The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival will continue tomorrow with the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Classic at 2 p.m. and the $55,000 Nespresso Battle of the Sexes at 7 p.m.
Final Results: $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge
- 1 AD FUNDUM DONALD CHESKA ERICKA BARAN: 0/70.834
- 2 CYPRIANO JULIE WELLES EQUINVEST: 0/71.907
- 3 VICTOR VDL JONATHAN MCCREA CANDY TRIBBLE & WINDSOR SHOW STABLES: 0/75.473
- 4 QUAINTON QUIRIFINO Z BEN MAHER QUAINTON STUD: 0/76.581
- 5 CAESAR SHANE SWEETNAM SWEET OAK FARM: 0/77.011
- 6 AMOROSO KATHERINE DINAN GRANT ROAD PARTNERS: 0/77.152
- 7 GALOP DE BEAUMONT CASSANDRA HERMAN CASSANDRA HERMAN: 0/78.126
- 8 METROPOLITAN VICTOR AMAYA GOTHAM ENTERPRIZES: 1/84.186
- 9 ARIANA YANN CANDELE SUSAN GRANGE: 2/85.322
- 10 APOLLO VAN EVENDAEL DARRAGH KERINS MAURICE BEATSON: 3/86.980
- 11 FLIGHT REED KESSLER REED KESSLER: 4/72.633
- 12 SKARA GLEN'S DAVOS CANDICE KING SKARA GLAN STABLES: 4/79.411
Photo Credit: Donald Cheska and Ad Fundum won the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge during week 4 at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, www.sportfot.com.