Wellington, FL - Italy's Lorenzo de Luca and Stephex Stables' Egano van het Slogenhof jumped to victory in the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m Classic on Friday during week seven of the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival. WEF 7, sponsored by Suncast®, runs February 24-28, 2016. The week's remaining highlight classes include the $380,000 Suncast® Grand Prix CSI 5* on Saturday evening and the $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Sunday. The 12-week WEF circuit runs through April 3 offering more than $9 million in prize money.
Santiago Varela (ESP) set the speed track for 69 starters in Friday's 1.45m with 20 clear rounds. Lorenzo de Luca and Egano van het Slogenhof were the winners in a blistering time of 64.72 seconds. Laura Chapot (USA) took second and third place honors, finishing second aboard her own and Mary Chapot's Thornhill Kate in 65.12 seconds, and placing third with her own and McLain Ward's Quointreau un Prince in a time of 65.41 seconds. Richie Moloney (IRL) and Equinimity LLC's Alsvid clocked in fourth in 65.73 seconds. De Luca also took fifth place honors aboard Stephex Stables' and his own Limestone Grey with a time of 65.78 seconds.
De Luca went 26th in the order aboard his first mount, Limestone Grey, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Try-Time. His time with Limestone briefly held the lead, until Chapot and Quointreau un Prince came in 37th to take over. De Luca was not to be outdone, however, and returned three rounds later with Egano van het Slogenhof to reclaim his top spot. Chapot then jumped into second with Thornhill Kate, and Moloney jumped the fourth place time with Alsvid, pushing Limestone into fifth place overall.
Class winner Egano van het Slogenhof is a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Electro x Nagano. The horse showed successfully under Belgium's Gregory Wathelet until very recently when the horse flew to Florida and De Luca took over the ride.
"Last week he jumped a couple of classes and today was already good," De Luca stated. "He is a very competitive horse; so sweet, so fast, so I am really happy to have him here." De Luca has been riding for Stephex Stables since December 2014 and brought eight horses to compete for Stephex at this year's Winter Equestrian Festival.
Speaking about his two rounds aboard Limestone and Egano, De Luca noted, "I tried a little bit with Limestone and then Laura Chapot went straight away into the lead. I know she is always really fast, so I tried again with Egano. Even if I do not know him that well, I know that he is really fast and smooth, and he jumped everything good. I am pleased about Limestone too. He jumped really well today. I have a few horses that are in really good shape, so I am happy about that."
Speaking about the difference between the two mounts, De Luca detailed, "Limestone is a really light horse. He is really, really careful. I have known him a little bit longer than Egano, so he is really easy. He is really elastic. I will try to build him in the bigger classes over the next few weeks and try to jump him in some grand prixs."
"Egano for me is a new horse," the rider continued. "I tried today to win, but of course he has already jumped a lot of big classes with some other riders. He has all the potential to do something bigger. I stay here until the end, so they are all going to have the chance to jump in bigger classes."
Speaking of his winning round and where he caught Chapot's time, De Luca added, "I think I made up time a little bit everywhere. The time was so quick and so careful. The last line I was quite close on the vertical, and then I kept going for the five (strides), and everything worked really well. He is a really nice horse. His brain is like a computer. He is a genius."
WEF 7 continues on Saturday, featuring the $380,000 Suncast® Grand Prix CSI 5* in the International Ring in the evening. The THIS Children's Medal 14 & Under will be the highlight in Ring 8. For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.
Final Results: $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m Classic
1. EGANO VAN HET SLOGENHOF: 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Electro x Nagano LORENZO DE LUCA (ITA), Stephex Stables: 0/64.72
2. THORNHILL KATE: 2005 Irish Sport Horse mare by Courage II x Clover Hill LAURA CHAPOT (USA), Laura & Mary Chapot: 0/65.12
3. QUOINTREAU UN PRINCE: 2004 Selle Francais gelding by Diamant de Semilly x Rosire LAURA CHAPOT (USA), Laura Chapot & McLain Ward: 0/65.41
4. ALSVID: 2001 Hanoverian gelding by Escudo I x Azur RICHARD MOLONEY (IRL), Equinimity, LLC: 0/65.73
5. LIMESTONE GREY: 2006 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Try-Time LORENZO DE LUCA (ITA), Stephex Stables & Lorenzo de Luca: 0/65.78
6= CITIZENGUARD CADJANINE Z: 2002 Zangersheide mare by Canabis Z x Feinschnitt I Z RODRIGO PESSOA (BRA), Alain van Campenhoudt & Rodrigo Pessoa: 0/66.59
6= DAVENDY S: 2003 Belgian Warmblood mare by Kashmir van Schuttershof x Pachat II JESSICA SPRINGSTEEN (USA), Stone Hill Farm: 0/66.59
8. DILLINGER: 2007 Belgian Warmblood stallion by Contender x Capitol I CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Ariel and Susan Grange: 0/66.85
9. CYKLON 1083: 2001 Swedish Warmblood stallion by Cardento x Cortus SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm LLC: 0/67.08
10. CHIVAS Z: 1999 Zangersheide gelding by Cumano x Lord Gotthard RICHARD SPOONER (USA), Little Valley Farms: 0/69.54
11. CHELLO Z: 2000 Zangersheide gelding by Chellano Z x Alme Z JOSEPHINA NOR LANTZMAN (BRA), Josephina Nor Stables LLC: 0/69.96
12. PISTOYA: 2003 Selle Francais mare by Dollar du Murier SF x Cor de la Bryere NICHOLAS DELLO JOIO (USA), Turnabout Farm, Inc: 0/73.97