Wellington, FL - January 19, 2014 - Week two of the 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) concluded at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Sunday with a win for Jordan MacPherson (CAN) and Piccobello du val de Geer in the $34,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic. The Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series, Presented by The Dutta Corp. in Association with Guido Klatte, also kicked off with its first class of the circuit and a win for Victoria Colvin and Don Juan.
Sunday's competition concluded week two of the 2014 FTI WEF, sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty. Week three CSI 3* competition is sponsored by Fidelity Investments® and runs January 22-26. The FTI WEF, held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL, features 12 weeks of world-class competition through March 30, awarding $8 million in prize money.
Luc Musette of Belgium set a challenging track for Sunday's 1.50m class that yielded just three clear rounds out of 44 entries. In the jump-off, Jordan MacPherson and JEM Stables Inc.'s Piccolbello du val de Geer were first to go and the only pair to jump the short course without fault. They were the winners with a clear round 41.65 seconds.
Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) and David Gochman's Attack II went next and had one rail down for four faults in 41.97 seconds to finish third. Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Prof de la Roque had the time in 40.50 seconds, but also had a rail in the short course and finished on four faults to earn second place honors.
Following the class, Jordan MacPherson commented on the difficulty of the day's course, noting that it rode much differently than it walked. "There were quite a few options and as people started going, it made it clear the plan that you had to follow," MacPherson noted. "There were not as many options as you thought there would be. I thought it was technical, and it was a very good course that he set up. I know that I had a little bit of trouble, but it was a good course to ride a plan."
"Coming back for the jump-off I knew that there were only three, and going first I knew that I needed to have a clear round to put a little bit of pressure on the other two, which seemed to work out today," MacPherson added. "She was a very good mare. She was quick and careful."
Piccobello du val de Geer is a 15-year-old Belgian Sport Horse mare (Kannan x Skippy II) that MacPherson has had for almost four years. The pair won a 1.50m class at the PA National Horse Show this fall and finished fourth in the Canadian championships at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto as well. "She has just been unbelievable," MacPherson praised. "She has taught me so much and to be able to move up with a horse that you trust is really invaluable."
Final Results: $34,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic
1. PICCOBELLO DU VAL DE GEER: 1999 Belgian Sport Horse mare by Kannan x Skippy II JORDAN MACPHERSON (CAN), JEM Stables Inc: 0/0/41.65
2. PROF DE LA ROQUE: 2003 Selle Francais gelding by Kannan x Damiro B DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), Postage Stamp Farm LLC: 0/4/40.50
3. ATTACK II: 2000 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Grandeur x Bonheur AMANDA DERBYSHIRE (GBR), David Gochman: 0/4/41.97
4. DIKTATOR VAN DE BOSLANDHOEVE: 2003 Belgian Warmblood stallion by Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Capital SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm LLC: 4/73.62
5. BLUE SKY VAN DE OLMENHOEVE: 2001 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Mr. Blue x Latano JIMMY TORANO (USA), Turtle Lane Farm Inc: 4/74.44
6. BÖCKMANNS LAZIO: 2000 Westphalian stallion by Lancer II x Cor de la Bryere LAUREN HOUGH (USA), Karina Rotenberg: 4/74.82
7. AD AMIGO B: 2005 KWPN stallion by Tadmus x Hearbreaker ALVARO DE MIRANDA (BRA), Victory Equestrian Sport BV & Alvaro de Miranda: 4/75.42
8. HH DONNATELLA: 2003 Belgian Warmblood mare by Toulon x Mr. Blue QUENTIN JUDGE (USA), Double H Farm: 4/75.93
9. SANDOR DE LA POMME: 2002 SBS gelding by Vigo d'Arsouilles x Darco CATHERINE TYREE (USA), Mary & Joe Tyree: 4/76.39
10. NOPUS DU GUE JOUBERT: 2001 Selle Francais gelding by Oberon Du Moulin x Elf III HILARY SIMPSON (USA), Quiet Hill Farm: 4/76.67
11. QUATTRO QUEEN: 2004 Oldenburg mare by Quattro B x Landcapitol JUDY GAROFALO TORRES (USA), Juan Torres: 4/76.69
12. CARLA TM: 2003 Holsteiner mare by Colman SAMUEL PAROT (CHI), Samuel Parot: 4/77.30
Victoria Colvin and Don Juan Top $10,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series Speed Class, Presented by The Dutta Corp. in Association with Guido Klatte
The Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, hosted its first competition of the circuit on Sunday with a $10,000 speed class and a win for 16-year-old Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL, riding Brigid Colvin and Karen Long Dwight's 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, Don Juan (by Flamenco Desemilly x Lagano).
The morning's class saw 49 entries with 11 clear rounds. Wilton Porter and Sleepy P Ranch LLC's Radio City completed the first clear round of the day in 76.25 seconds, sixth in the order of go, and held onto the lead through most of the class until Colvin and Don Juan surpassed their time 40 rounds later. Colvin's winning time was well ahead in 71.12 seconds. Kalvin Dobbs and Treesdale Farms' Winde, who won this class last year, placed third in 77.23 seconds.
The series gives young riders under the age of 25 a valuable stepping stone from the junior and amateur ranks to the grand prix level. Colvin only jumped in one class in the series last year, but started off strong for this year's circuit.
"I think it is wonderful," Colvin said of the series. "It is great to have all of the young riders put together in a mini grand prix and it is sort of a big deal instead of just having the High Juniors and Amateurs. It is a bigger grand prix, but for all of the young riders."
Porter (19) and Dobbs (18) have each shown in the series for the last three years and value the experience that they have gained. "I think it pushes consistency because it is a cumulative score at the end of the series," Porter pointed out. "It makes you want to have a solid round each time rather than going crazy the first time and then maybe burning out by the end of it. I think that is really important for championships and stuff in the future."
"It is something nice to work towards," Dobbs added. "You have bigger courses; longer, harder courses than the normal High Juniors or High Amateurs. It is nice to have a goal set in mind because sometimes you are just going. It is nice to know what you have each week so that you can learn how to prepare your horse correctly and be consistent throughout the circuit."
For Colvin, it has been a road of ups and downs getting to Sunday's win with Don Juan. She has had the gelding for exactly one year, but had a challenging end to 2013 when the horse inexplicably broke his jaw during the Adequan/FEI North American Junior Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) in July.
"We don't really know how it happened, but he got very sensitive to his mouth and I had to ride him in a hackamore for a while," Colvin explained. "We just started using a bit now since Young Riders." Although it was a bad experience for Don Juan, Colvin explained that the change has probably helped their partnership.
"He is really strong, so not using a bit is not good, but I think it has helped me ride him better because I have not had him for so long, and when I changed to the hackamore he was a completely different horse," she stated. "He was like a totally different ride. He has been really good and then he has been really bad, but today was a really good day."
Commenting on her blazing fast round, she noted, "I was gonna start slow. I said I was just going to go slow and nice because he wasn't perfect yesterday, and then I jumped like three jumps and I just started running," she laughed. "He was good and he felt confident. He doesn't have the biggest stride, so we have to go really fast if we want to leave strides out, but he usually flies."
Wilton Porter set the pace early on in the class with Radio City and had to wait through all of the rounds. "I was hanging on to the lead for the majority of the class and I thought I was getting close, but then Tori went and just laid it down," Porter stated. "I think it ended up being a good enough time to where a lot of people were chasing it and had rails because of that, but I thought the course was great. It was a really good start to the Young Rider Series."
Porter started riding Radio City during FTI WEF last year and plans to compete her throughout the Artisan Farms Young Rider Series. "She has sort of been my specific Young Riders horse," he said. "I will do her in all of the Young Rider classes this circuit and then the Young Rider championships this summer. She is just a solid 1.45m, 1.50m horse."
After winning this class last year, Kalvin Dobbs was hoping for a repeat victory with Winde, but settled for third place this time. After a tough start to the circuit, Dobbs was determined to have a good round. "I had a bit of a rough start to the circuit because I fell off earlier and had to go home for physical therapy, and then I fell off again today in the schooling ring," Dobbs admitted. "I was fine, but then I was angry and I just wanted to get in the ring and do it. Laura Kraut is my trainer and she knows all about that, so she was pumping me up. I kind of went in there with high emotion and just went and did it."
"She is great," he said of Winde. "She doesn't care when something like that happens. She has been an awesome horse to work with, and we just continue to get better and better. She is hot and she can be hard to deal with at home because she does not like to be told what to do. It has been a patience game. I have learned to be very patient with all of my horses through her because you just have to take it slow and make sure she is coming out strong and healthy and doing the right things."
Following Sunday's start to the Artisan Farms Young Rider Series, the FTI WEF circuit will host a $10,000 Team Event on Friday, January 31 at The Stadium during week 4, a $25,000 Semi-Final on Friday, March 7, during week 9, and a $50,000 FEI Final on Sunday, March 23, on the derby field at the Stadium during week 11. Along with competition, there is a "Bridging the Gap" learning series for the competitors.
Artisan Farms is committed to the continued improvement and promotion of competitive show jumping. Based in Wellington, FL, and Vrasene, Belgium, Artisan Farms is home to rising amateur Andy Ziegler, young professional Caitlin Ziegler, 2008 Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze, and Olympian Tiffany Foster.
Final Results: $10,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series Speed Class, Presented by The Dutta Corp. in Association with Guido Klatte
1. DON JUAN VICTORIA COLVIN BRIGID COLVIN & KAREN LONG DWIGHT: 0/71.128
2. RADIO CITY WILTON PORTER SLEEPY P RANCH LLC: 0/76.253
3. WINDE KALVIN DOBBS TREESDALE FARMS: 0/77.235
4. ROSANA DU PARK CARLY ANTHONY ARTISAN FARMS LLC: 0/77.487
5. KACHINA CHARLOTTE JACOBS DEERIDGE FARMS: 0/77.872
6. KM WHAT EVER RV DANA SCOTT NOD HILL FARM: 0/78.457
7. CASEY MATTIAS TROMP BEYAERT FARM INC: 0/78.941
8. ATHINA Z SARAH HUBBARD SARAH HUBBARD: 0/79.809
Classic Contender and Mindy Coretz Conquer FarmVet Amateur-Owner 3'3" Hunters 18-35
The trip from Tulsa, OK, was well worth the effort for Mindy Coretz and her 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding Classic Contender. The pair were crowned division champions in the FarmVet Amateur-Owner 3'3" Hunter 18-35 division Sunday morning at the FTI WEF. Coretz and Classic Contender won two over fences classes, including the handy round, in addition to jumping to second and seventh place finishes. The reserve champion for the division was Columbus, owned and ridden by Kathryn Haefner. Haefner piloted Columbus to two blue ribbon finishes, one over fences and one in the under saddle class.
Coretz is a student at the University of Tulsa, where she majors in Business Management with a minor in Spanish. She commutes back and forth to the FTI WEF each week while juggling a full course load. "It can definitely be hard. It's really stressful to try to manage the time when [riding] takes so much time to begin with, and then you throw in things like flight delays and it can get tricky," Coretz acknowledged.
But Coretz can't imagine a life without riding, so she is more than willing to pull out all the stops to make school and her equestrian pursuits both work.
"I've had good luck with teachers being understanding," she related "I typically go directly to them at the beginning of the semester and explain that this is what I do with my time. [I'll tell them,] 'I'll work really hard in your class. I'll turn things in early. Tell me what you want me to do, I'll do whatever it takes.'"
Coretz trains with Libby Barrow at home in Oklahoma, but since Barrow doesn't make the trek to Wellington, she set Coretz up with Valerie Renihan for the season. "I've ridden with [Libby] since they day I turned seven years old," Coretz smiled. "She was so incredibly kind to set me up with Val. I just took my first lesson with her the day that I arrived in Florida, and she's been absolutely amazing. I don't have enough good things to say about her."
Coretz and Classic Contender, known as "Dan" around the barn, started their partnership last summer, and Coretz has enjoyed getting to know the lovable grey gelding. "Dan likes to pretend to be a little rough around the edges, but I think he is the sweetest, most cuddly horse in the entire world. It may be because he's never seen me without food for him, but you do what you've gotta do!" she laughed.
In the show ring, Classic Contender's athletic ability has been the biggest adjustment for Coretz, but his powerful jump doesn't come at the price of rideability. "He has the coolest feel to the jumps because he's such an athlete, and he just needs no help whatsoever. You just let him do his thing, and he fires up great. I've had a lot of fun with him," Coretz concluded.
The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival will host its third week of competition, sponsored by Fidelity Investments®, on Wednesday, January 22, through Sunday, January 26. The week will feature the $34,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m on Wednesday, the $34,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 3 on Thursday, the $34,000 G&C Farm 1.45m on Friday, the highlight $125,000 Fidelity Investments® Grand Prix CSI 3* on Saturday night, and the $34,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Sunday. For full results, go to www.showgroundslive.com.
Watch an interview with Victoria Colvin after her win!