Wellington, FL - Pablo Barrios (VEN) aboard G&C Quick Star 11 owned by Gustavo and Carolina Mirabal produced a blazing time to win the $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round Four. Louis Jacobs (USA) and Kachina were just behind in second place, while Richard Spooner (USA) on Quirino 3 took third place.
The fourth week of the FTI WEF is sponsored by Adequan and runs through Sunday, February 7. The 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of competition that conclude on April 4, 2010, and they will be awarding almost $6 million in prize money through the circuit.
Michel Vaillancourt of Canada designed the course in the Denemethy Arena with 13 numbered obstacles in the first round, which included an open water jump to a careful vertical, and a triple combination nearing the end of the course. The time allowed in the first round was 78 seconds. A total of 32 competitors came out to compete from nine different countries, but only nine managed to produce a clean first round and advance to the short course.
The jump-off consisted of seven obstacles with inside turn options and opportunities to leave out strides. The time allowed was 42 seconds, and the first competitor to produce a faultless round and set the pace was Beezie Madden (USA) up on her mount Danny Boy, owned by Abigail Wexner. The pair displayed all the inside turn options and stopped the clock at 41.90 seconds.
The next competitor to enter the ring was Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) on his mount Let's Fly, owned by Double H Farm. The pair blazed around the course shaving a second off of Madden's time and stopped the clock at 40.37 seconds. Pessoa's lead prevailed until Louis Jacobs (USA) up on Deeridge Farm's Kachina entered the ring making very tidy turns and producing a flawless course in a time of 38.64 seconds.
Shortly after, Pablo Barrios entered on his ride G&C Quick Star owned by Gustavo and Carolina Mirabal. The duo dominated the course and quickly claimed the top spot with a time of 38.06 seconds. Richard Spooner and his mount Quirino 3 were the last of the competitors to show. The pair made a bold effort, but fell a little short of taking over the lead in a time of 38.79 seconds, and Barrios was able to triumph.
Barrios was very proud of his horse today, who was second in last week's WEF Challenge Cup. He attributes his success to the fact that he and his horse match perfectly together and said, "She likes the way I ride her, and I like the way she jumps for me."
Last week's WEF Challenge Cup had a very fast jump-off. Coming off of that class, Barrios knew he could produce the time to win today. He spoke of his jump-off strategy, "I saw a good amount of riders doing the eight (strides) in the first line, but I decided to do nine so that I could make a very fast turn."
Barrios is very appreciative of Gustavo and Carolina Mirabal who own G&C Quick Star 11 and a string of very nice horses that Barrios competes. He stated, "I have some very nice horses and a great opportunity to ride for G&C Farm." He continued, "With good horses, you can start to ride better, and right now I am learning and understanding how to win."
Today's Hunter Coverage
Droves of spectators infiltrated the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center this afternoon as the professional hunter divisions were awarded several championships.
Today's Hunter Coverage
Besting a field of 25 First Year Green Hunter entries this week was Elizabeth Towell Boyd of Camden, SC, and Caroline Willard's mount, Renowned. Boyd and Renowned placed first over fences yesterday, as well as sixth and first over fences today to garner the championship tricolor. The reserve championship was awarded to That's Classic, owned by Samantha Leder, and ridden by Vinissa Blann.
The seven-year-old chestnut gelding, by Roc USA and a thoroughbred mare, was bred by Nancy Whitehead, and took a lot of patience to get to the show ring because he was an orphan baby. "He was a little bit late maturing because of that. We didn't bring him to Florida as a six-year-old because he wasn't quite ready," Boyd acknowledged. Boyd is impressed by how much Renowned has improved, and noted, "He's a little bit nippy like an orphan, but he goes in the ring and he is all business."
Boyd is happy to be back showing at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. "We've been showing in smaller rings this winter, so it's nice to be able to gallop and go forward," she commented. Boyd is thrilled with the new improvements in the hunter rings. She acknowledged, "It's amazing to be on footing like this. They feel like they're jumping on clouds! They jump so crisp and high. It's a real treat."
Boyd looks forward to competing in the hunter derbies with Renowned because she thinks he will be a natural in those classes since he has been so brave in the handy hunter rounds so far. She went on to rave about her mount, "He is just the sweetest, kindest horse, and gives you a great feeling in the air. He's a real trier and has so much scope."
While Boyd is one of the most well-known hunter riders in the sport, she recently added a new job description to her repertoire- motherhood. Boyd gave birth to her daughter, Ellen, just three months ago, and could not wait to get back in the saddle after a six-month hiatus. "It is so exciting to get back in here. The first thing I did when I started back was trot around once, canter around once, and then I cantered right to a jump," Boyd laughed.
After the 12-week FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, Boyd will return to South Carolina to show in Aiken and the surrounding areas, and then will head to the Devon Horse Show in May.
Tomorrow's jumper action will continue with the Spy Coast 1.40 Speed Challenge in the International Arena, and the hunters continue on their championship course. The DeNemethy Ring will host the $25,000 1.50m Suncast Classic on Saturday. The $75,000 Adequan CSI 2* Grand Prix will be held on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the International Arena.
Final Results: $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round Four
- 1. G&C QUICK STAR, PABLO BARRIOS, GUSTAVO & CAROLINA MIRABAL: 0/0/38.060
- 2. KACHINA, LOUIS JACOBS, DEERIDGE FARM: 0/0/38.640
- 3. QUIRINO 3, RICHARD SPOONER, OSCANY INC: 0/0/38.790
- 4. LET'S FLY, RODRIGO PESSOA, DOUBLE H FARM: 0/0/40.370
- 5. DANNY BOY, BEEZIE MADDEN, ABIGAIL WEXNER: 0/0/41.900
- 6. ARAGON ROUET, ANDRE THIEME, STAL HENDRIX: 0/1/43.560
- 7. TOSCA 290, MARGIE ENGLE, HIDDEN CREEK FARM: 0/4/37.690
- 8. RONALDO, ERIC LAMAZE, ASHLAND STABLES: 0/4/39.500
- 9. STREET OF DIAMONDS, GEORGINA BLOOMBERG, GOTHAM ENTERPRIZES: 0/12/56.150
- 10. NAVALO DE POHETON, SCHUYLER RILEY, WOLFSTONE STABLES: 1/81.280
- 11. VIA VOLO, ALISON ROBITAILLE, M/M BERTRAM FIRESTONE: 1/81.780
- 12. STAKKADOR, LJUBOV KOCHETOVA, LJUBOV KOCHETOVA: 2/84.480
The 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 13 through April 4. WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are "AA" rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $5.5 million in prize money will be awarded.
Photo Credit: Pablo Barrios and Quick Star 11 won the $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round Four. Elizabeth Towell Boyd and Renowned Claim the Western Hay and Suncoast Bedding First Year Green Hunters. Photo © 2010 Randi Muster/Mustphoto, Inc., Official Sport Photographer of the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival.