Wellington, FL - March 7, 2012 - The ninth week of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival began with this morning's $32,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Classic, and Laura Kraut (USA) rode Stars and Stripes' Teirra to victory. Richard Spooner (USA) and Billy Bianca, owned by Molly Ohrstrom, were second, while Ben Maher (GBR) and Rowan, owned by Miss Louise Flower, were third.
Sponsored by the Bainbridge Companies, week nine will host the $200,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix, CSI 4*-W, presented by the Bainbridge Companies on Saturday, March 10, at 7 p.m. Other highlights include the $20,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Team Event on Thursday, March 8, at 7 p.m. and the $32,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Sunday, March 11, at 2 p.m.
Today's 1.45m class featured 49 horse and rider combinations from 13 different nations competing over a speed course set by Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela. Going at the end of the class, Kraut and Teirra brought the winning time down to 59.25 seconds with no faults. They were chasing the previous time of 60.75 seconds set by Spooner and Billy Bianca. Last in the class, Maher and Rowan were close in 62.71 seconds but finished in third place.
"I hadn't seen anybody go," Kraut recalled. "I had a few seven year olds that I had to ride. I rode Belmont in there slowly around. I know Teirra's quick. It was one of those classes where everything just came up right, and that doesn't happen very often. Every time I turned, the jump was right there and it was right on. She's got such a heart of gold. I could turn her to anything and she'll give it a try, and she's naturally quick. She's one of the nicest, kindest horses I've ever ridden in my life. She always goes in to try and do her best."
Kraut is aiming Teirra for Saturday night's World Cup grand prix. "She's been fantastic this whole circuit. She's hardly gone without a placing, whether it's grand prix or 1.50m or whatever. My plan was to try to win today, then really focus on Saturday night," she agreed.
Following this week, Kraut will rest Teirra and then prepare for the USEF Show Jumping Selection Trials in week 11.
Following the 1.45m class, there were two 1.40m classes in the International Arena sponsored by Spy Coast Farm. In the first speed format class, Conor Swail (IRL) and Winand, owned by Vanessa Mannix, were victorious over 80 other entries. They posted a clear round in 53.269 seconds. Laura Chapot (USA) and Bradberry were second in 53.447 seconds. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Kalle, owned by Siboney Ranch, finished third in 55.478 seconds.
The $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m class (Table II, Sec. 2b) saw riders returning for an immediate jump-off if they were clear over the first course. Samuel Parot (CHI) and Boudicca, owned by Vick Russell, went fifth in the order out of 64 entries and their time of 33.831 seconds in the jump-off phase was able to hold up throughout the entire class. Second place went to Laura Chapot again, this time on Quointreau un Prince, owned by Chapot and McLain Ward. They stopped the timers in 34.155 seconds. Paloubet and Wilton Porter (USA) were third in 34.276 seconds.
The ninth week of the 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival will continue tomorrow with a full schedule of hunter and jumper competition. In the International Arena, the $32,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 9 will be held immediately following the High Amateur-Owner Jumpers. The first round of the $20,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Team Event will run at 3 p.m., with the second round at 7 p.m. The Sanctuary Green Conformation Hunters will award championship honors.
For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.
Final Results: $32,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Classic
1 TEIRRA: 2000 KWPN mare by Tolano Van Het Riethof x Aldatus LAURA KRAUT (USA), Stars & Stripes: 0/59.25
2 BILLY BIANCA: 2001 Warmblood mare by Vechta x Iroko RICHARD SPOONER (USA), Molly Ohrstrom: 0/60.75
3 ROWAN: 2003 stallion BEN MAHER (GBR), Miss Louise Flower: 0/62.71
4 UP CHIQUI: 1997 BWP gelding by Quidam De Revel x Chin Chin KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Kent Farrington:63.03
5 OSCAR DU ROZEL: 2002 Selle Francais stallion by Dollar Du Murier x Narcos II JOHANNES EHNING (GER), Equestrian Sports GmbH & Co.KG: 0/64.17
6 G&C FLASH: 2002 Hanoverian gelding by Forrester x Grannus PABLO BARRIOS (VEN), Gustavo Mirabal: 0/64.20
7 GIOVANNI 151: 1999 Hanoverian stallion by Graf Grannus x Graf Remus DAVID WILL (GER), Paul Schockemohle: 0/64.27
8 CYKLON: 2001 Swedish Warmblood stallion by Cardento x Cortus SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm LLC: 0/64.43
9 UMBERTO: 2001 KWPN gelding by Celano x Roderik LAURA CHAPOT (USA), Mary Chapot: 0/64.68
10 WALK ABOUT: 2003 KWPN gelding by Guidam x Corisco JIMMY TORANO (USA), Jimmy & Danielle Torano: 0/64.94
11 S&L SLINGBACK: 2002 KWPN gelding by Hors La Loi x Ekstein DARRAGH KERINS (IRL), S&L Farms: 0/65.18
12 MERLIN: 2002 Royal Dutch Warmblood gelding by Hors La Loi II x Emilion JEFFERY WELLES (USA), Noel Love Gross: 0/65.37
Photo Credit: Laura Kraut and Teirra; Laura Kraut and Teirra with ringmaster Cliff Haines and Gustavo Mirabal of G&C Farm. Photos © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, www.us.sportfot.com.