Wellington, FL - November 30, 2011 - Leslie Howard and her longtime mount Lennox Lewis 2 took home the first big win of the week at Equestrian Sport Production's (ESP) 2011 Holiday and Horses competition. The show kicked off on Wednesday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL, highlighting the exciting $10,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Open Stake class in the International Arena. Wellington Equestrian Realty has been a great supporter of equestrian sport and will be an official sponsor of the upcoming FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival.
ESP's Holiday and Horses competition will continue through Sunday, December 4, with a full schedule of top hunter/jumper competition. Thursday will feature the $31,000 Holiday and Horses Opener, Friday will highlight the $31,000 G&C Farm 1.45m FEI class, the $50,000 Holiday and Horses CSI 2*-W Grand Prix will be held under the lights on Saturday night, and a $20,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby will conclude the competition on Sunday.
Today's stake class saw 42 entries compete over a 1.40m course designed by Anthony D'Ambrosio. Sixteen were able to clear the course without fault and those entries jumped off immediately following their rounds. The lead changed hands several times throughout the class, but it was the fastest clear round of Leslie Howard and Lennox Lewis 2, jumping 32nd in the order of go, that held on for the win. The pair stopped the clock in 33.452 seconds.
Leslie Howard has had a long and successful partnership with Lennox Lewis 2 and was happy with today's win as they move into the 2012 season. Lennox Lewis 2 is a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Laureatus. Howard purchased him as a six-year-old and has gotten to know her horse quite well over their nearly seven years together.
"We have had him forever," the rider joked. "We know each other inside and out. I know what days I get on and he is going to be good and I know what days he is going to be a rascal. We have had a nice, long partnership together."
Howard describes Lennox Lewis 2's style in the ring as "very economical," explaining, "There is not a lot of glitz to it, but he knows where his legs are and he gets the job done."
"He felt great today," she smiled. "He had his game face on and he was very generous; he was a good boy."
Finishing just behind Howard, Darragh Kerins rode Miranda Fischer's Hot Wheels into second place with a time of 33.821 seconds. Charlie Jayne and Pony Lane Farm's Chill R Z finished third in 35.994 seconds. Marie Hecart and Myself De Breve, owned by Haras De La Rogue, cleared the timers in 36.678 seconds for fourth place. Margie Engle and Pauly Du Breuil, owned by the Garbers, Engles and Lea Allen, finished fifth in 36.790 seconds.
Howard felt the class was a good beginning to the week, stating, "The course was great. It wasn't very big, which is nice for the first day. A lot of the horses are coming off a little vacation and so they all got back in a nice groove. My horse did a very light indoor circuit, just Harrisburg and Toronto, so he hasn't shown a lot in the last few months. I thought it was super."
Howard looks forward to the show season in Wellington as the 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival approaches. She will continue to show her veteran horses, such as Lennox Lewis 2, and hopes to have a good experience with her younger horses as well.
"We are just gearing him up for the season, trying to get him ready. I won't show him tomorrow, but I will show him on Friday. We are just easing into things," she said. "I have some nice young horses this year, so I am eager to see what they are made of. I also have my horse Utah, who I had here last year. He has started in the grand prix, so hopefully he will be ready to do some night classes this year."
The 2012 ESP Holiday and Horses competition will continue tomorrow with the $31,000 Holiday and Horses Opener at 2 p.m. in the International Arena. For more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com.
Final Results: $10,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Open Stake
1 LENNOX LEWIS 2, LESLIE HOWARD, LESLIE HOWARD: 0/0/33.452
2 HOT WHEELS, DARRAGH KERINS, MIRANDA FISCHER: 0/0/33.821
3 CHILL R Z, CHARLIE JAYNE, PONY LANE FARM: 0/0/35.994
4 MYSELF DE BREVE, MARIE HECART, HARAS DE LA ROGUE: 0/0/36.678
5 PAULY DU BREUIL, MARGIE ENGLE, GARBERS,ENGLES,LEA ALLEN: 0/0/36.790
6 URAYA, CHARLIE JAYNE, PONY LANE FARM: 0/0/37.072
7 DIKTATOR VAN DE BOSLANDHOEVE, SHANE SWEETNAM, SPY COAST FARM LLC: 0/0/37.494
8 ARTIFICE L.S., ANGEL KAROLYI, HOLLOW CREEK FARM HOLDINGS: 0/0/38.751
9 SUPER TROOPER DE NESS, KATHERINE DINAN, GRANT ROAD PARTNERS: 0/0/42.019
10 LEONTES, FILIP AMRAM, FILIP AMRAM: 0/1/47.717
11 WHY NOT, MEAGAN NUSZ, AMALAYA INVESTMENTS: 0/4/36.056
12 QUICK BLUE Z, SHARN WORDLEY, FILIP AMRAM: 0/4/39.490
Photo Credit: Leslie Howard and Lennox Lewis 2. Photos © ManciniPhotos.