Eduardo Menezes Masters the $35,000 Las Vegas FEI Welcome Speed Classic, presented by Park Place Foundation

Eduardo Menezes and Quintol

Eduardo Menezes and Quintol (Photo: McCool)

Las Vegas, NV - German Course designer Olaf Petersen, Jr. set a track that required precision and speed from both horse and rider in order to earn a top spot in the $35,000 Las Vegas FEI Welcome Speed Classic, presented by Park Place Foundation. Serving as a qualifier for Saturday's $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Las Vegas, presented by Interactive Mortgage, riders had their eye on a chance to compete for valuable World Cup™ points by securing a top thirty position on their declared World Cup™ mount. Brazilian Eduardo Menezes answered all the questions clean and fast and earned first place aboard his own Quintol.

Among the fifty-seven starters, twelve pairs representing Brazil, Germany, the United States and France successfully answered Petersen's questions and had fault-free rounds. The course included options for distances between bending lines as well as snug inside tracks. Among the nearly 20 four-fault scores, the jumps that fell most often were fence 8, a gray liverpool vertical set off a short turn across the middle of the arena, and fence 10, the light-in-the-cups red plank jump.

First to impress and fifth to go was American Richard Spooner, who piloted the Belgian gelding Chivas Z (owned by Little Valley Farms) quickly and clean around the course in a time of 67.43, ultimately finishing in fourth place. The twenty-eighth duo in the ring, Menezes and the Oldenburg gelding Quintol, rode a short track from start to finish in an unbeatable time of 62.01. Two more Oldenburg geldings rounded out the top three places - German rider Christian Heineking on AJE Cluny stopped the clock in 64.39, and American Will Simpson, aboard Monarch International's The Dude, in 65.20.

Eduardo Menezes with Park Place Foundation President Hillary Ridland, and members of  Park Place Foundation's Board of Directors Mary Frances Looke and Melissa Brandes

Eduardo Menezes with Park Place Foundation President Hillary Ridland, and members of  Park Place Foundation's Board of Directors Mary Frances Looke and Melissa Brandes (Photo: McCool)

Menezes experienced the magic of a ride where each step went according to plan. "Fortunately, I didn't go blazing fast, but I did the strides I planned in every line and I got the green light in every turn. Quintol has a big step. It worked well for me."

Now the top horse in the Brazilian's string, the ten-year-old Quintol (Contender x Cento) caught Menezes' eye as a seven-year-old. "I looked at my partner on the day I bought him and said, 'This horse is going to take me to Rio.'"

With a ninth place individual finish in the Pan American Games, a Nations Cup win at the Spruce Meadows Masters, plus tonight's win, the pair has proven they are contenders in an international field.

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