Wellington, FL - El Salvador's Paulo Santana and Taloubet were the winners of the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 11 during CSI 5* competition on Thursday, March 23, at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.
The eleventh week of WEF features CSI 5*/2* competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on March 22-26, 2017. The feature "Saturday Night Lights" event is the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* on Saturday, March 25, at 7:30 p.m., preceded by the $130,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Final at 6:30 p.m.
On Sunday, March 26, is the $50,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix CSI 2*, while the George Morris Excellence in Equitation Championships will host the nation's best junior riders on Friday, March 24, at 4:30 p.m. in the Van Kampen Covered Arena at Equestrian Village at PBIEC.
Course designer Guilherme Jorge (BRA) saw 55 starters over his first round course for the WEF Challenge Cup and 16 clear rounds. Just ten of the16 clear entries chose to return for the jump-off, where Paulo Santana and his veteran mount Taloubet stopped the clock in 37.47 seconds.
Lucy Deslauriers (USA) guided Lisa Deslauriers' Hester to second place in 37.60 seconds. Jose Roberto Reynoso (BRA) placed third in 38.39 seconds riding Azrael W.
Santana and the 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Baloubet Du Rouet x Quidam De Revel) earned their first five-star win representing El Savador on Thursday after switching nationalities from Brazil four years ago.
"He feels better than ever," Santana said of the horse that he has ridden for ten years. "He felt very good in the first round, and I always know that if he leaves the ring trotting or walking, we will get a good jump-off.
"In the jump-off, when there are fewer jumps in front of him, he really chases the jumps," Santana continued. "The quieter I get, the rounder he goes, and I just need to show him where he is going and he catches every jump. It is way easier to run with him than keep him calm."
A last minute scratch from this week's five-star event gave Santana and Taloubet a late opportunity to jog and compete. The rider plans to jump in Saturday night's $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5*, and detailed Taloubet's fitness regime and preparation as a senior horse.
"He is the kind of horse that is not going to learn anything else," Santana noted. "We have a protocol for his final career and what he will jump. We just keep him sound and safe. When we come to the show, I do not jump him a lot in the warm-up.
"We keep him in a very high cardio and physical resistance workout," Santana added. "I actually try to do the same things with him as I do for my workouts. We really try to keep his stamina high. He is a hot horse, so he works himself just going to the wash rack. He is always tight. We just do what we can to push his edge to be a little bit further. He is a rock; he feels great."
Also competing in the International Arena on Thursday, Lucy Davis (USA) and Boucherom won the $8,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m CSI 2* speed class. The afternoon concluded with the $6,000 Illustrated Properties 1.40m Speed Challenge and a win for Darragh Kenny (IRL) riding Kerry Anne LLC's Important de Muze.
Competition continues on Friday featuring the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m CSI 5* speed class in the International Arena. The George Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship will determine a winner in the Van Kampen Covered Arena at the Equestrian Village (AGDF show grounds). For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.
Final Results: $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 11
1. TALOUBET: 2000 KWPN gelding by Baloubet Du Rouet x Quidam De Revel PAULO SANTANA (ESA), Paulo Santana: 0/0/37.47
2. HESTER: 2005 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Wandor van de Mispelaere x Palestro vd Begijnakker) LUCY DESLAURIERS (USA), Lisa Deslauriers: 0/0/37.60
3. AZRAEL W: 2005 KWPN stallion by Chin Chin x Voltaire JOSE ROBERTO RENYOSO (BRA), Jose Roberto Reynoso: 0/0/38.39
4. BULL RUN'S TESTIFY: 2004 Selle Francais gelding by Dollar du Murier x Oberon du Moulin KRISTEN VANDERVEEN (USA), Bull Run Jumpers Inc: 0/0/39.13
5. A S D FARFALA: 2003 Holsteiner mare by Hyo Dario x Furioso II PABLO BARRIOS (VEN), Pablo Barrios: 0/0/39.17
6. DIXSON: 2003 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Vigo d'Arsouilles x Olisco IAN MILLAR (CAN), Ariel and Susan Grange: 0/0/39.66
7. FERRO CHIN VH LINDENHOF: 2005 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Chin Chin x Nimmerdor RODRIGO PESSOA (BRA), Vanam Int'l Hamleoot & Rodrigo Pessoa: 0/0/41.91
8. BRINDIS BOGIBO: 2006 KWPN gelding by Grand Pilot I x Pacific LAUREN TISBO (USA), Tequestrian Farms LLC: 0/0/41.99
9. ROBIN DE PONTHUAL: 2005 Selle Francais gelding by Elf D'or x Calypso D'Herbiers*Ecolit PETER LUTZ (USA), M. Michael Meller: 0/4/40.37
10. COMIC: 2007 KWPN stallion by Verdi x Heartbreaker LUIZ FRANCISCO DE AZEVEDO (BRA), Luiz Francisco de Azevedo: 0/4/43.54