Jaime Azcarraga Speeds to Round Eight Victory in $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup

Wellington, FL - Jaime Azcarraga (MEX) aboard his own Presley Boy produced a blazing time to win the $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round Eight, CSIO. Second place honors went to Nick Skelton (GBR) on his mount Carlo 273, owned by Beverly Widdowson. The third place award went to Keean White (CAN) on Celena Z, owned by Angelstone Farms & The Ashland Group.

The eighth week of the FTI WEF is sponsored by CN and runs through Sunday, March 7, 2010. 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.

Anthony D'Ambrosio of Red Hook, NY designed the course in the International Arena with 13 numbered obstacles in the first round, which included a careful vertical to a water jump, a double of verticals, and a two stride as one of the last elements of the course. The time allowed in the first round was 86 seconds. A total of 36 competitors came out to compete from 16 different countries, but only eight managed to pass the first round test and went on to the short course.

The jump-off consisted of 8 obstacles with opportunities to leave out strides and make tight turns. The time allowed was 50 seconds, and the first competitor to come back for the short course and set the pace was Nick Skelton up on Carlo 273. The pair raced through the timers in 38.89 seconds after producing a flawless round. This would hold up for the second place position in today's WEF Challenge Cup.

The next competitor to enter the ring and produce a fault-free round was Keean White with the mare Celena Z. The pair made a valiant effort after stopping the clock at 39.700 seconds. The faultless round would be good enough to assume the third place position.

Skelton and his horse Carlo 273 managed to keep the leading time for nearly half of the jump-off. Kent Farrington on United, owned by RCG Farm, had a time of 40.010 seconds and four faults, which would finish in fourth place.

It wasn't until Jaime Azcarraga entered the ring on his horse Presley Boy that the lead changed hands. After a faultless score, the duo jumped straight to the head of the class in a time of 37.420 seconds. Azcarrago and Presley Boy would maintain the lead for the rest of the class and receive the top honors today.

The last two riders to navigate the track were Alexander Hufenstuhl (GER) and Charlie Jayne (USA). Alexander Hufenstuhl rode his horse Lacapo 4, owned by Sabina Illbruck, to the fifth place position after passing through the timers in 40.210 seconds and a four fault score. Charlie Jayne and his horse Thomas Edison, owned by Ira Schulman & Alex Jayne, finished up in the sixth place position.

Jaime Azacarraga has ridden Presley Boy for eight years. He said, "He always tries his best." This is Azacarraga's first year at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival and he says it is "one of the best shows I have ever been to."

Azacarraga spoke of the course saying, "It was really nice and there was some tough competition today." He continued, "I believe I made up the most time between the first two jumps in the jump-off, and I was really lucky to go at the end." Expect to see Azacarraga and his horse Presley Boy in the $150,000 CN U.S. Open Grand Prix, CSIO 4* this week. Azacarraga also hopes to qualify his mount for the $500,000 FTI Consulting Grand Prix, CSI 5* during week 11 at the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival.

Exciting competition continues tomorrow with the USEF WEG Trials in the $30,000 1.60m CSIO Trial #4 on Friday, March 5, at 2 p.m. in the International Arena, while the FEI Nations Cup, presented by CN, follows that evening at 7 p.m. The fifth trial will run in conjunction with the $150,000 CN U.S. Open Grand Prix, CSIO 4*, on Sunday, March 7, at 1 p.m. All three classes are available for live viewing at: www.universalsports.com/equestrian.

For full results and more information, please visit www.shownet.biz or www.equestriansport.com.

Final Results: $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round Eight CSIO

  • 1. PRESLEY BOY: 1997 KWPN stallion by Concorde xx Damiro JAIME AZCARRAGA (MEX), JAIME AZCARRAGA: 0/0/37.420
  • 2. CARLO 273: 2001 Holsteiner gelding by Contender xx Cascavelle NICK SKELTON (GBR), BEVERLY WIDDOWSON: 0/0/38.890
  • 3. CELENA Z: 2000 Zangersheide mare by Cumano xx Major Reza KEEAN WHITE (CAN), ANGELSTONE FARMS & THE ASHLAND GROUP: 0/039.700
  • 4. UNITED: 2001 Dutch gelding by Cavalier xx Concorde KENT FARRINGTON (USA), RCG FARM: 0/4/40.010
  • 5. LACAPO 4: 1999 Oldenburg gelding by Landor S xx Argentinus ALEXANDER HUFENSTUHL (GER), SABINA ILLBRUCK: 0/4/40.210
  • 6. THOMAS EDISON: 1999 Thoroughbred gelding by Handsome Character xx Lawmaker CHARLIE JAYNE (USA), IRA SCHULMAN & ALEX JAYNE: 0/8/38.910
  • 7. LIRVING DU VOLSIN: 1999 Selle Francais gelding by Ferger Mail xx Fur de la Cense KATE LEVY (USA), KATE LEVY LLC & CHRISTIAN WOSCHENKO: 0/8/39.420
  • 8. SASSICAIA II: 1996 KWPN mare by Kojak xx Borealus KATHERINE MONAHAN-PRUDENT (FRA), PLAIN BAY FARM: 0/12/39.490
  • 9. CONTINO 14: 1997 Holsteiner gelding by Contender xx Calypso I JONATHON MILLAR (CAN), MILLAR BROOKE FARM INC. 1/86.460
  • 10. TORTOLA: 2002 Belgian gelding LAURA KRAUT (USA), BEVERLY WIDDOWSON, 1/86.500
  • 11. G & C LAGRAN: 1999 Oldenburg gelding by Lancer II xx Grannus PABLO BARRIOS (VEN), PABLO BARRIOS & GUSTAVO & CAROLINA MIRABAL & G&C FARM, 4/79.270
  • 12. CORLETT: 1997 Sachen-Anhalten mare by Consul xx Longo XX HILLARY DOBBS (USA), THE DOBBS GROUP: 4/80.770

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: Jaime Azcarraga rode Presley Boy to the win in the $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round Eight CSIO at the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. © 2010 Randi Muster/Mustphoto, Inc., Official Sport Photographer of the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, www.mustphoto.com.