Wellington, FL - February 11, 2012 - Margie Engle (USA) and Indigo emerged victorious in the $125,000 FEI World Cup™ Qualifier Grand Prix presented by Spy Coast Farm under the lights in front of a crowd of 5,200 spectators at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center on Saturday night. Engle and Indigo, owned by Gladewinds, Griese, Garber, and Hidden Creek, were the fastest of two clear rounds in an eleven horse jump-off over Darragh Kerins (IRL) and Lisona, owned by Kevin Babington. Pablo Barrios (VEN) and G&C Quick Star 11, owned by Gustavo Mirabal, were third.
Week five of the FTI WEF, sponsored by Spy Coast Farm, will conclude Sunday. The 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of competition that conclude on April 1, 2012, and they will be awarding more than $6 million in prize money through the circuit.
Saturday's course in the International Arena was designed by Guilherme Jorge of Brazil. Jorge got 11 clear rounds out of the original 45 starters over his first round course and concluded the night with an exciting jump-off track that left Engle and Kerins in first and second. Engle and Indigo, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Indoctro, finished the course clear in 45.61 seconds. Kerins and Lisona went clean in 48.42 seconds.
Pablo Barrios (VEN) and G&C Quick Star 11 finished third with the fastest four-fault round. The pair had a rail early on in the course, but had the time in hand in 38.31 seconds. Kent Farrington (USA) and RCG Farm's Uceko finished fourth with an unfortunate rail at the last fence on course and a time of 38.91 seconds. Richard Spooner (USA) and Cristallo, owned by Show Jumping Syndications International, also had four faults in 39.20 seconds and finished fifth.
Margie Engle is currently leading the North American East Coast League World Cup Qualifying Rankings. She and Indigo have won many classes this season, including the $50,000 FEI World Cup Grand Prix during Equestrian Sport Production's Holiday and Horses competition in December. Indigo has had some time off since then and this was his first big class back.
Engle explained that she did a 1.40m class on Wednesday and the gelding felt nice and fresh. In tonight's class, she noted, "He jumped super the first round, almost a little too fresh. He was kind of kicking out over the top of the jumps, but he was really trying hard. I kind of lucked into it. As the jump-off went there were a lot of rails in different places. It was a pretty careful jump-off. I just kind of went medium. Where I went in the order was kind of lucky and I just tried to go clean."
Engle has had Indigo for almost two years now. She praised the horse's scope and attitude. "I just like that he's such an energetic horse and he loves what he's doing," she smiled. "He makes my job really easy because he's very enthusiastic. I don't have to do much; I just kind of steer him to the jumps and he takes you all the time. He's got a lot of blood and really enjoys jumping. He's very, very smart and a real trier. He's getting a lot of seasoning under his belt and he seems to be getting better and better."
Engle commented on tonight's course, noting, "I thought Gui did an excellent job. He had almost a perfect course. Only two clean in the jump-off. It was an appropriate course, big and difficult for a World Cup class. When I walked the jump-off, I thought it was going to be difficult and I didn't think there was going to be a ton clean. I was happy with how he jumped anyway. He was jumping so well. However he ended up, I was really pleased. He rode well and I was very happy with the night. I felt like he couldn't have been much better."
Second place finisher Darragh Kerins was also pleased with his horse's efforts over the course tonight. Kerins' mount, Lisona, is an 11-year-old Irish Sporthorse mare by OBOS Quality 004 x Porsch. Kerins started riding her two years ago in Wellington, but explained that she has been off for the last year and a half and started back just three weeks ago. Kerins owns the mare along with Kevin Babington and Maarten Huygens.
Commenting on the jump-off tonight, Karins acknowledged, "This class was coming a bit quick. Normally I wouldn't have jumped that fast, but the Nation's Cup is coming up in a couple weeks and I figured I had to get her going to warrant a place on the team. It worked out great; she's great. She doesn't have much mileage; this is probably the biggest class she's ever jumped."
"I was just delighted with the way she jumped the first round," Kerins said. "I saw the way the jump-off was happening and Margie went clean. I was happy to go in and jump another clean. I was just happy that I had a relaxed round and the mare jumped well."
Third place finisher Pablo Barrios and G&C Quick Star 11 went early in the order and took a chance going fast. "I had to go fast. I was fourth in the order and I always have the fast Margie behind me," Barrios laughed. "This is the first time I've seen her go slow. I really tried to go fast. She's very fast on her own. Unfortunately we had a rail down, but we had the time."
"She came in the same situation as Margie's horse, with a long rest," Barrios said of his mare. "I'm very happy that she jumped well and she is in good shape after a long rest. She feels better than ever. I agree it was an excellent course. We cannot forget that we came from 107 horses (on Thursday) and cut to this. What we saw today were the best of a lot of horses, and it was still an excellent result."
Tonight's class was sponsored by Spy Coast Farm, whose owners Robert and Lisa Lourie were present at the competition and were the title sponsors of the Spy Coast "Breeding" week. "Obviously we're very proud to be able to support a World Cup and to have such an elite group of riders in it," Lisa Lourie stated. "It's great fun to sponsor here at WEF. It's terrific to be able to meet all of the riders and see all of these fantastic horses go. As far as I'm concerned, it's great to be able to promote breeding in America and have the young horse show. Every one of these folks has young horses in their backyard and we're trying to get them out and start a new market here in Wellington at the Winter Equestrian Festival. It's a great opportunity and WEF has worked very closely with us to make it happen and we're going to continue with it."
Winners in the International Arena today include:
- $1,500 Reist Industries Medium Junior Jumpers - Psychee D'Amour and Lucas Porter for Sleepy P Ranch LLC
- $1,500 Surpass Medium Amateur-Owner Jumpers - Shen Yen and Michelle Navarro-Grau
- $15,000 SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic - Sandro and Katherine Dinan
- $10,000 Griffis Group High Junior Jumper Classic - Cordino and Elizabeth Patz
- Hunters Shine Through Rain and Wind
Elizabeth Faraci of Annapolis, MD, swept this week's FarmVet Amateur-Owner 18-35 3'3" Hunter division earning both the champion and reserve tricolor on her mounts Paramour and Antilles. Despite the rain and wind yesterday, Faraci and Paramour scored two firsts and a second over fences and finished first in the under saddle to top the division with 36 points. A close reserve went to Faraci's second mount, Antilles, who was first, second, and fourth over fences and finished second under saddle, earning 24 points.
The victorious equine, Paramour, is a six-year-old KWPN by Samba Hit. Affectionately known as Perry in the barn, the chestnut gelding was named 2011's FTI WEF circuit champion in the Adult Hunter 18-35 division. According to Faraci, Perry's youth does not translate into greenness in the show ring. "He is basically perfect," Faraci commente., "He's about the easiest horse in the barn and just does exactly what he's supposed to do. His only quirk is that he loves to chew leather, but every horse has to have some kind of fault, right?"
After a successful year in 2011, Faraci decided to move Paramour up to the 3'3" height and is pleased with his performance thus far. "I had my fingers crossed, but he's doing so well," Faraci said. "He's super sweet, definitely a lover boy."
Describing her strategy in managing this week's unpredictable weather, Faraci commented, "Well, I just crossed my fingers and hoped that they would go through the puddles okay. It was pouring rain while I was in the ring and they ended up being good mudders. They were just fine showing in it."
Faraci's second mount and reserve champion, Antilles, is a seven-year-old Hanoverian by All In One. Although the gelding has a few FTI WEF seasons under his girth, he has a tendency to be tentative in the show ring. "Where Perry was just born knowing how to do it, this horse is a little tougher," Faraci explained, "He has a little bit of a spook, but he's really coming along beautifully and moving up well this year. He was an absolute champ in the rain yesterday and I couldn't have been happier with him."
In the coming weeks, Faraci plans to continue showing both Paramour and Antilles in the FarmVet Amateur-Owner Hunter 3'3" division while also showing her additional mounts, Presque Isle and Chamonix in the Bainbridge Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunter division.
Additional hunter champions for FTI WEF week 5 include Kristen Lutz and her mount Huntington, who topped the Small Junior Hunter 16-17 division, and Holly Caristo and Saint Patrick who received the championship tricolor in the Low Adult Hunter 2'6" division; Caristo and Saint Patrick are currently circuit leaders in the Low Adult 2'6" Hunters with 225 points.
The FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival will conclude tomorrow with 12 rings of hunter, jumper, and equitation competition. In the International Ring, the Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic will be the feature, while the youngest riders go head to head in the Pine Hollow Short Stirrup Working Hunters.
Final Results: $125,000 Spy Coast Farm CSI 3*- World Cup™ Grand Prix
1. INDIGO: 2000 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Indoctro x Unknown MARGIE ENGLE (USA), Griese, Garber, Hidden Creek & Gladewinds: 0/0/45.61
2. LISONA: 2001 Irish Sporthorse mare OBOS Quality 004 x Porsch DARRAGH KERINS (IRL), Kevin Babington: 0/0/48.42
3. G&C QUICK STAR 11: 2000 KWPN mare by Quick Star x Grannus PABLO BARRIOS (VEN), Gustavo Mirabal: 0/4/38.31
4. UCEKO: 2001 KWPN gelding by Celano x Koriander KENT FARRINGTON (USA), R.C.G. Farm: 0/4/38.91
5. CRISTALLO: 1998 Holsteiner gelding by Caretino x Cicero RICHARD SPOONER (USA), Show Jumping Syndications International: 0/4/39.20
6. URICO: 2001 KWPN gelding by Zandor Z x Fedor MARIO DESLAURIERS (USA), Jane F. Clark: 0/4/40.47
7. HH LET'S FLY: 1999 Hanoverian gelding by Lordanos x Forrest RODRIGO PESSOA (BRA), Double H Farm: 0/4/41.84
8. DERLY CHIN DE MUZE: 2003 BWP mare by For Pleasure x Nebab de Reve ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Torrey Pines & Ashland Stables: 0/4/42.87
9. TACKERAY: 2000 KWPN stallion by Quick Star x Sandro BEN MAHER (GBR), Emma Phillips: 0/4/43.40
10. BELLA DONNA 66: 2003 Holsteiner mare by Baldini II x Calido I MEREDITH MICHAELS-BEERBAUM (GER), EOS Sport: 0/4/48.50
11. OSIRIS: 1996 KWPN gelding by Polydox x Lucky Boy GEMMA PATERNOSTER (GBR), Gemma Paternoster & Julia Harrison Lee: 0/15/60.13
12. TEIRRA: 2000 KWPN mare by Tolano Van Het Riethof x Aldatus LAURA KRAUT (USA), Stars & Stripes: 4/70.09
Photo Credit: Margie Engle and Indigo, Margie Engle and Indigo with ringmaster Cliff Haines, Lisa and Robert Lourie of Spy Coast Farm, Mark and Katherine Bellissimo, and owners Selma and Ken Garber; Elizabeth Faraci and Paramour won at the 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, www.sportfot.com.