Wellington, FL - March 5, 2011 - The $35,000 Hermès Puissance was the highlight event on Saturday night, and it was an exciting show of power and scope. Pablo Barrios (VEN) was the winner after he cleared the 7'3" puissance wall with G&C Quivola, owned by Gustavo Mirabal.
The FTI WEF's eighth week of competition, sponsored by G&C Farm, concludes on Sunday, March 6. The Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Classic will be held on Sunday followed by the $150,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix, CSIO 4* at 1 p.m. The 2011 WEF will continue through April 3 and award more than $6 million in prize money.
The class started with seven entries, and all were clear in the first round. Seventh place went to Andre Thieme (GER) and Aragon Rouet, owned by Stal Hendrix when they faulted in the first jump-off with the wall at 6 feet (1.83 meters).
Three riders knocked the blocks off the top of the wall, which was set at 6'6" (1.95m), in the second jump-off. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Traffic Boy, owned by Spy Coast Farm LLC, Aaron Vale (USA) and KAP LLC's Charmer, and Benjamin Meredith (AUS) with Raylyn Farms Inc's Charme Z all tied for fourth place.
Barrios returned for a third jump-off along with fellow Venezuelan, Gustavo Arroyo, who rode G&C Tropigold for G&C Farm. The wall was raised to seven feet (2.15m), and Barrios went first with G&C Quivola. They cantered slowly down to the wall and the big chestnut powered off the ground to clear the jump. Arroyo and G&C Tropigold followed suit, and the class went a fourth and final jump-off.
Course designer Steve Stephens and his crew raised the puissance wall to an impressive 7'3" (2.21m). As Barrios cantered by, only his head was visible on the other side of the wall. Once again, they showed the crowd how a puissance is done when they cleared it. Arroyo and G&C Tropigold gave it a great effort and cleared with the front end, but the horse's hind end just caught the top of the wall. The blocks fell and they finished in second place.
Barrios is becoming known for his skill at riding in the puissance classes; last year he won three of them. He and G&C Sinatra were victorious in the puissance at the FTI WEF held at The Stadium, and they tied for the win at the Dublin Horse Show. Riding G&C Blanchee Z, Barrios won at the Washington International Horse Show.
Although Barrios would normally choose G&C Sinatra for the puissance, he felt that G&C Quivola would be able to perform well in this class.
"Sinatra has been doing so well in the grand prix that I didn't want to use him. I'm going to use him in the grand prix next week. Quivola is a very scopey horse that is going to be seven which is quite the young horse, but you can feel the scope when you ride him. He's Gustavo's horse, but Gustavo (Mirabal) hurt his knee and that is why I got the opportunity to ride him," Barrios explained. "He began to jump better and better every round. I didn't expect to win because I didn't know exactly how the horse would react to a big wall like that and at night. His worst jump was the first round. After that he just continued to improve."
Barrios feels that a special class like the puissance is a great addition to the horse show. "It's nice to win two years in a row. I love Puissance. You see that the crowd gets excited. It's a class for them. They should do it every year. If I have a horse that can do this type of class, I will always put them in. It's good for the crowd. It's good for the sport," he said.
Earlier in the evening, the PRO DerbyCross made its debut at the FTI WEF. PRO DerbyCross is a hybridized form of interactive entertainment and sporting competition designed to showcase some of the best equestrian talent in the United States and Canada. The competition featured five teams of five riders - three eventers, a show jumper, and a polo player - who compete individually over a course designed by Olympic gold medalist David O'Connor. The course asks horses and riders to be brave over cross-country fences and accurate over show jumps all while competing against the clock.
The FarmVet/Cavalor team brought home the win with very speedy rounds from their five riders. The team consisted of Captain Buck Davidson, Will Faudree, Bruce Davidson, show jumper Aaron Vale, and polo player Kris Kampsen.
Vale said, "It was a lot of fun. It's great to get out there and gallop around. It was nice to see all the groups come together and have a good time under the lights here."
Rodrigo Pessoa Wins $31,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Classic and $25,000 Equestrian Sport Productions' Jumper Stake
Starting today's featured classes in the International Arena, Brazil's Rodrigo Pessoa and HH Palouchin, owned by Double H Farm, jumped to victory in the $31,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Classic over a class of 31 entries. Pessoa and Palouchin had the fastest of four clear rounds in 62.66 seconds to finish in first place.
Rodrigo Pessoa Wins $31,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Classic and $25,000 Equestrian Sport Productions' Jumper Stake
Showing the first clear round right before Pessoa, Beezie Madden and Abigail Wexner's Mademoiselle finished in second place with their time of 63.24 seconds. Laura Kraut and Dona Evita, owned by Brutsaert Trading, stopped the clock in 70.66 seconds to earn third place, and Ashlee Bond and Little Valley Farm's Chivas Z finished in 73.80 seconds for fourth. Ben Maher and Oscar, owned by Lindsay Cook, had the fastest four-fault round in 63.24 seconds to earn fifth place honors.
Following his win, Pessoa stated, "It was a good course. I was early in the draw, but I think what made the difference is that I was right after Beezie and I saw her round live, so it was really fresh in my mind what I had to do to try to catch her."
Today's class was a CSIO as well as a class counting towards points for the FEI ROLEX Ranking List. Pessoa acknowledged, "It is great to have this kind of prize money and some ranking points as well in a class like this. This is a horse that usually does not get the chance to go in ranking classes, so that is a nice bonus for him. He has been quite successful here. He was a little unlucky in the beginning of the week. He had two weeks off and he was a little bit rusty, but I felt that he was coming around. I knew that if everything was good today he would be in the high ribbons, so it worked out well."
The $25,000 Equestrian Sport Productions' Jumper Stake was the next feature class in the afternoon. Seven horse and rider combinations cleared the first round course out of the 50 total entries. Pessoa continued his great day by qualifying two horses for the jump-off. He was the first to return for the short course aboard Double H Farms' HH Ashley and set the pace with a clear round in 38.522 seconds, which eventually placed the mare in fourth.
Ireland's Kevin Babington completed the next clear round aboard Mark Q and jumped even faster in 36.137 seconds to take over the lead and eventually finish second.
Pessoa returned with his second mount, HH Sandor, and put down another clear round, upping the pace again with his finishing time of 35.200 seconds to move into first place.
Georgina Bloomberg and Gotham Enterprizes' Louis K2 followed with a clear round in 37.652 seconds to take over third place. Tiffany Foster riding Victor, owned by Artisan Farms and Torry Pines LLC, and Yann Candele riding Azzaro Van't Hagenhof, owned by Susan Grange, each had four fault rounds to finish fifth and sixth respectively.
HH Sandor is a ten-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Slibovitz x Dux that Pessoa just recently started riding as a new purchase for Double H Farm. Quentin Judge began riding the horse at the beginning of the WEF circuit and now Pessoa has taken over the ride.
He explained, "This is only the second or third time that I have ridden him, but he is a very nice horse. He is really my type of horse - not very big, a lot of blood and very quick off the ground. He is a nice competition horse because he does not look at anything and he is very straight forward."
Talking about the jump-off, Pessoa stated, "This was the first time I did a jump-off with him. He did two 1.40m classes last week and a 1.45m this week. Each round he kept getting better and better, so I felt that if he went clear today he could do something good in the jump-off. The speed does not really matter for him; he is very careful and you can just let him go and he does the rest."
The eighth week of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival concludes tomorrow with the $150,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix, CSIO 4*, along with 11 other rings of the best hunter, jumper, and equitation competition in the country.
For full results please visit www.showgroundslive.com and for more information, visit www.equestriansport.com.
Final Results: $35,000 Hermes Puissance
1 G&C QUIVOLA PABLO BARRIOS VEN GUSTAVO MIRABAL
2 G&C TROPIGOLD GUSTAVO ARROYO VEN G&C FARM
3 PRIMO LEVEL PAUL O'SHEA IRL MICHAEL HAYDEN
4 CHARME Z BENJAMIN MEREDITH AUS RAYLYN FARMS INC
4 CHARMER AARON VALE USA KAP LLC
4 TRAFFIC BOY SHANE SWEETNAM IRL SPY COAST FARM LLC
7 ARAGON ROUET ANDRE THIEME GER STAL HENDRIX
Final Results: $31,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers
1 HH PALOUCHIN RODRIGO PESSOA BRA DOUBLE H FARM: 0/62.66
2 MADEMOISELLE BEEZIE MADDEN USA ABIGAIL WEXNER: 0/63.24
3 DONA EVITA LAURA KRAUT USA BRUTSAERT TRADING: 0/70.66
4 CHIVAS Z ASHLEE BOND USA LITTLE VALLEY FARM: 0/73.80
5 OSCAR BEN MAHER GBR LINDSAY COOK: 4/63.24
6 ROTHCHILD MCLAIN WARD USA SAGAMORE FARM: 4/63.52
7 CORIANA VAN KLAPSCHEUT ERIC LAMAZE CAN ARTISAN FARMS LLC: 4/64.47
8 VICOMTE D MARIO DESLAURIERS USA JANE CLARK: 4/64.49
9 G&C LAGRAN PABLO BARRIOS VEN PABLO BARRIOS & GUSTAVO MIRABAL: 4/65.40
10 TORONTO CANDICE KING USA AAA EQ. LLC: 4/69.49
11 CAETANO NICK SKELTON GBR MONARCH INTERNATIONAL: 4/69.72
12 CHESTERFIELD JONATHON MILLAR CAN DK-USA SPORTHORSE LLC: 4/70.96
Final Results: $25,000 ESP Jumper Stake
1 HH SANDOR RODRIGO PESSOA BRA DOUBLE H FARM: 0/0/35.200
2 MARK Q KEVIN BABINGTON IRL KEVIN BABINGTON: 0/0/36.137
3 LOUIS K2 GEORGINA BLOOMBERG USA DIETMAR GUGLER: 0/0/37.652
4 HH ASHLEY RODRIGO PESSOA BRA DOUBLE H FARM: 0/0/38.522
5 VICTOR TIFFANY FOSTER CAN ARTISAN FARMS & TORREY PINES LLC: 0/4/38.193
6 AZZARO VAN'T HAGENHOF YANN CANDELE CAN SUSAN GRANGE: 0/4/38.249
7 ESPLANADE 7 MCLAIN WARD USA LOUISBURG FARM: 0/12/37.613
8 INDIANA 127 PETER LUTZ USA DAVENPORT INC.: 3/77.441
9 QUAINTON QUIRIFINO BEN MAHER GBR QUAINTON STUD: 4/69.572
10 S.F. TIN TIN PETER WYLDE USA OLIVIA COX-FILL & STELLA FARM: 4/70.053
11 DANNY BOY BEEZIE MADDEN USA ABIGAIL WEXNER: 4/70.696
12 CANTINERO ENRIQUE GONZALEZ MEX ENRIQUE GONZALEZ: 4/71.047
Photo Credit: Pablo Barrios clears 7'3" to win the $35,000 Hermes Puissance; Seven feet, three inches is a long way up; Rodrigo Pessoa and HH Palouchin; Rodrigo Pessoa and HH Sandor. Photos © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, www.sportfot.com.