Wellington, FL- The $130,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Final concluded on Saturday with a win for McLain Ward (USA) and HH Carlos Z. The competition had 62 entries over Anthony D'Ambrosio's (USA) first round course during the day, with 18 clear rounds to advance to the jump-off in the evening, presented by SOVARO®.
Out of 18 in the jump-off, only seven were able to clear the short course without fault. Ward and Double H Farm's HH Carlos Z won in the fastest time of 43.92 seconds. Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable's Rosana du Park finished second in 44.96 seconds.
Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) guided Citizenguard Cadjanine Z, owned by Pessoa and Alain van Campenhoudt, to third place honors in a time of 45.46 seconds. Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Stone Hill Farm's Tiger Lily placed fourth in 45.74 seconds. Pessoa also took fifth place honors aboard his own and Caroline Lloyd's Sans Soucis Z in 48.24 seconds.
USA's Beezie Madden and Abigail Wexner's Quister finished sixth in 49.43 seconds, and Germany's Meredith Michaels-Berrbaum jumped the final clear round in 50.59 seconds aboard Artemis Equestrian Farm's Apsara to take the seventh place prize.
HH Carlos Z has been an incredibly successful mount for Ward, even winning last year's $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5*, among many top accolades. Once again, the 14-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Chellano Z x Voltaire) did not disappoint with his victory in the 1.50m final. "For Double H Farm, and myself, he is an ATM machine," Ward stated. "He can do any class at this show, as everyone has seen. He has been in great form, so we are thrilled with him. He is a super careful horse. He fights and digs his way to win some very big classes."
Speaking of the track and the unique format of the class, Ward remarked, "I was very surprised by the first round. I thought the course walked very difficult. The lines were very tricky. He (D'Ambrosio) has a height limit in that class, so the verticals can go up to 1.55m, but it is tough. It is the end of the circuit, and you have a lot of horses in form.
With only 40 in the grand prix, people were trying to get some gas money to go home. It is a pretty competitive class always, and it is an interesting test. You have the afternoon round early in the day. It was very hot today, and I think that was a factor. Then the horses are put away and come back at night, and I think you saw some problems up the first line, and to me that was a lot to do with that."
Ward detailed the second round further, stating, "I lost my footing a little bit rolling back on the wall, but he was good to me. Then everything showed up so well that I decided to take the around option. I knew I was fast. I left a little room, but luckily the rest made mistakes."
Following the completion of the final class, Suncast® once again presented the leading rider of the 1.50m Series a fantastic prize. As the most consitent competitor in the 2016 series overall, Ireland's Shane Sweetnam received a pre-paid one-year lease on a beautiful new 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport, as well as a SOVARO® Cooler.
In 2016, the series offered a total purse of $699,000 with 10 FEI world ranking classes. Sweetnam won week four's $35,000 1.50m class aboard The Blue Buckle Group's Buckle Up and also had top ribbons with four other mounts throughout the series.
On winning the award, Sweetnam stated, "It is fantastic. It shows consistency over the whole circuit. It is not just one horse. Between my oldest horse and my youngest horse, they all played a part in it. "I had an eight-year-old named Main Road that was placed twice, and they were his first 1.50m classes,"
Sweetnam detailed. "Cyklon 1083, who is 15 years old, was placed in two of the $84,000 classes. It is great to see the range of my old guys coming through and then the younger guys coming up. Buckle Up is only ten years old, and he jumped an important clear today to finalize it, and he won one also."
In total, Sweetnam had five different horses competing in the series throughout the 12-week circuit. Along with Main Road, Buckle Up, and Cyklon 1083, he also had consistent finishes aboard his experienced mount Eregast van't Kiezelhof, as well as Cobolt, a ten-year-old gelding sired by Cyklon. Speaking of the special prize, a pre-paid one-year lease on a 2016 Land Rover Discovery Sport, Sweetnam acknowledged, "It is brilliant. It is a reward for all of your hard work as a rider, and it is a great thing to be getting. I am very happy."
Also competing in the International Ring on Saturday, Bretton Chad and Stone Ridge Farms' Cornishman won the $15,000 MAYBACH - ICONS OF LUXURY SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic.
The 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival concludes with the final round of the $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby on the derby field at The Stadium at PBIEC on Sunday. For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.
Final Results: $130,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Final
1. HH CARLOS Z: 2002 Zangersheide gelding by Chellano Z x Voltaire MCLAIN WARD (USA), Double H Farm: 0/0/43.92
2. ROSANA DU PARK: 2005 Selle Francais mare by Kannan ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Artisan Farms & Torrey Pines Stable: 0/0/44.96
3. CITIZENGUARD CADJANINE Z: 2002 Zangersheide mare by Canabis Z x Feinschnitt I Z RODRIGO PESSOA (BRA), Alain van Campenhoudt & Rodrigo Pessoa: 0/0/45.46
4. TIGER LILY: 2007 Oldenburg mare by Balou du Rouet x Domino JESSICA SPRINGSTEEN (USA), Stone Hill Farm: 0/0/45.74
5. SANS SOUCIS Z: 2003 Zangersheide gelding by Surrealist v/h Paradijs x Voltaire RODRIGO PESSOA (BRA), Rodrigo Pessoa & Caroline Lloyd: 0/0/48.24
6.QUISTER: 2004 Selle Francais gelding by Kannan x Eyken des Fontenis BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Abigail Wexner: 0/0/49.43
7. APSARA: 2006 Holsteiner mare by Ephebe For Ever x Calido I MEREDITH MICHAELS-BEERBAUM (GER), Artemis Equestrian Farm LLC: 0/0/50.59
8. DOUGIE DOUGLAS: 2005 Irish Sport Horse gelding by VDL Douglas x High Roller KATHERINE DINAN (USA), Grant Road Partners LLC: 0/4/44.72
9. ISHD DUAL STAR: 2002 Irish Sport Horse mare by Quick Star x Concorde LAURA CHAPOT (USA), Mary Chapot: 0/4/45.94
10. LIMESTONE GREY: 2006 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Try-Time LORENZO DE LUCA (ITA), Stephex Stables & Lorenzo de Luca: 0/4/46.03
11. QUOINTREAU UN PRINCE: 2004 Selle Francais gelding by Diamant de Semilly x Rosire LAURA CHAPOT (USA), Laura Chapot & McLain Ward: 0/4/47.03
12. COACH: 2008 Holsteiner gelding by Con Air x Corofino BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Abigail Wexner: 0/4/49.71