Wellington, FL - February 8, 2012 - The FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival began its fifth week of competition today. Quentin Judge of Ridgefield, CT, rode HH Sandor, owned by Double H Farm, to victory in the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers.
Attention: Tomorrow's $32,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 5 will start at 11:30 a.m. in the International Arena and will be split into two classes.
Week five of the FTI WEF, sponsored by Spy Coast Farm, will run February 8-12. The highlight class of the week is Saturday night's $125,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix, presented by Spy Coast Farm. The 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of competition that conclude on April 1, 2012, and they will be awarding more than $6 million in prize money through the circuit.
Guilherme Jorge of Brazil is this week's International Arena course designer. His track tested 53 entries in the class, and 16 of those found the path to a clear round. The fastest was Judge and HH Sandor, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Slibovitz x Dux, who stopped the clock in 57.808 seconds. Second place went to Spy Coast Farm's Rolette and Shane Sweetnam, who finished in 59.758 seconds, while Scott Smith and Vadeline, owned by the Studd Family, finished third with a time of 60.594 seconds.
"He felt really good. He has a lot of blood and always goes with a lot of speed. He went around really easy and it was not difficult for him to go fast!" Judge said. "It didn't feel crazy fast, which is good. Normally if it feels that fast for me, I'm going too fast. It just felt nice and everything was in a rhythm. The jumps came up well."
While HH Sandor has been at Double H Farm for two years, he was ridden by Rodrigo Pessoa last year. HH Sandor came from Germany, where he was competing with an amateur rider in two and three star grand prix classes. Pessoa and HH Sandor won a Suncast 1.50m Classic at last year's FTI WEF, and then Judge got the ride this past summer.
Judge described HH Sandor as "really simple." He continued, "He has a lot of blood, but you really just have to keep him straight and stay out of his way. He's really careful; he wants to be good and he tries to win. He's the sweetest horse that we have. He's sweet every day, really quiet at home, and he likes to work and stay fit. You just bring him to the show and go. He's not very complicated."
This is the second 1.45m class that Judge and HH Sandor have won this circuit. "I think I'll stay here," Judge said of the division. "He's so competitive at this height that I think I'll keep him in this division and try to win as much as we can here."
Winning two weeks in a row in the International Arena against large fields of top show jumpers is a great feat for any rider. For Judge, it means a lot. He expressed, "I'm always trying to do as well as I can. I have a really great team of people helping me and supporting me, with the Harrisons, Norman Dello Joio who trains me, and Rodrigo, all of these people. It's really good to show some results and have some success for them. I try to keep going consistently and do well."
In the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m speed class of 85 entries, speedster HH Palouchin garnered the win by two seconds with Rodrigo Pessoa. Nick Dello Joio and Viper P, owned by Greer Hindle, were second, while Shane Sweetnam and O'Splendido, owned by Spy Coast Farm, were third.
The $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class saw 78 entries, and Reed Kessler and Onisha jumped to the top after they put in a second round time of 39.067 seconds. Finishing in 39.255 seconds, Kaitlin Campbell and Rocky W came away with second place. Third place went to Nicholas Dello Joio and Wembley Farms Inc.'s Geledimar, who had a jump-off time of 39.422 seconds.
The FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival will continue tomorrow with a full schedule of hunter and jumper competition. The highlight class in the International Arena is the $32,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 5 at 11:30 a.m., while the hunter highlight is the Smartpak Low Hunter 2'6" division.
Final Results: $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers Time First Round
1 HH SANDOR QUENTIN JUDGE DOUBLE H FARM: 0/57.808
2 ROLETTE SHANE SWEETNAM SPY COAST FARM: 0/59.758
3 VADELINE SCOTT SMITH STUDD FAMILY: 0/60.594
4 WANG CHUNG M2S ERIC LAMAZE MORNINGSIDE STUD: 0/60.720
5 QUOINTREAU UN PRINCE LAURA CHAPOT LAURA CHAPOT & MCLAIN WARD: 0/60.831
6 WOODSTOCK O LAURA KRAUT JOAN KALMAN: 0/61.234
7 OMELLI TIM GREDLEY MRS. R GREDLEY: 0/61.502
8 UNITED III ALONSO VALDEZ PRADO ALONSO VALDEZ PRADO: 0/63.286
9 RADIO CITY VICTOR AMAYA GOTHAM ENTERPRIZES: 0/63.806
10 RAMINA KEVIN BABINGTON ALEXANDRA BARTLETT: 0/64.576
11 QUICK LATINUS MIRANDA SCOTT MIRANDA SCOTT: 0/65.599
12 URSULA XII TINA FLETCHER LADY HARRIS: 0/67.760
Photo Credit: Quentin Judge (USA) and HH Sandor won the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers at the 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival. Quentin Judge in his winning presentation with ringmaster Cliff Haines and Elizabeth Rae and Luis Miguel Martinez of G&C Farm. Photo © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, www.sportfot.com.