Wellington, FL - Last proved to be the best in today's $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Classic at the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Peter Charles (GBR) and Murka's Pom D'Ami, owned by Olga White, came home the fastest in a 12 horse jump-off to win over Jaime Azcarraga (MEX) on Celsius and Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) on Night Train, owned by Double H Farm.
Today's competition concluded the seventh week of the FTI WEF, which was sponsored by Fidelity Investments. 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.
The $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Classic saw 13 clear rounds out of 63 entries. Ashlee Bond and Apache chose not to return for the jump-off, so the top 12 came back to contest the shortened course. Pessoa and Night Train put down a quick, clear round in 40.033 seconds, but Azcarraga on his white stallion Celsius took the winning time down to 39.842 seconds.
As the last in the ring, Charles and Murka's Pom D'Ami, an 11-year-old SBS gelding by Bon Ami, took a quick pace to start, but it was their fantastic rollbacks that sealed their victory. Charles galloped down the final line to the last oxer and crossed the finish timers in 39.161 seconds for the win.
Charles also qualified for the jump-off on his other two horses in the class, Murka's Rubert R, who placed 11th, and Murka's Mr. Bacardi, who was double clear for seventh place. "I was delighted with Bacardi. He's very inexperienced at that level, so I gave him a very comfortable ride," he said.
This was a great victory for Charles and Murka's Pom D'Ami, who had a chance to win last week's $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup but had time faults to finish second. Charles admitted with a laugh, "I messed it up last week with him."
Murka's Pom D'Ami has only shown for two weeks at this circuit, and Charles feels that he is getting back into a rhythm.
"He's a really nice gelding. He's been slow starting here. This is just his second week of jumping," Charles noted. "I thought I knocked the cobwebs off him today. We didn't have to go mad to win that. He did some really neat turns, and I let him really come on at the last fence. We did all the work and got it in the bag before then with the turns we made."
Although he did not see Azcarraga go, Charles knew his plan. He said, "I thought I had to be slick in the corners to get him, which we were. To win any class here is good because it's very difficult to win here. "
Charles has ridden Murka's Pom D'Ami since he was a six-year-old, and they have had solid performances at such top competitions as the European Championships, the Meydan Nations Cup League, and the CN $1 Million International Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows, where they finished in the top 10.
Charles went on to say, "I'll move him up to the WEF on Thursday and the grand prix if we qualify on Sunday. He's my number one horse here."
Yesterday morning, Marley Goodman continued her dominance in the High Amateur-Owner Jumpers. She and Ronja, owned by Goodman and Turtle Lane Farm, won the $15,000 Cavalor Show Jumping Hall of Fame (SJHOF) High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, which also secured the division championship for them. Goodman has won the division championship for the past three weeks. During week 5, she won with U-2; in week six she was victorious with Athos.
The classic is part of the Cavalor Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series.
Over the past 20 years, Cavalor has built an international reputation as the world leader in equine nutrition for high performance horses. Today, Cavalor products are sold and used in 45 countries by champion riders like Jos Lansink, Eric Lamaze, Ian Millar, Anky Van Grunsven, Steffen Peters and Hillary Dobbs. Cavalor products include a complete line of feed, supplement and care products. All are the result of years of intense research and development, thorough testing, selection of the highest quality ingredients, strict manufacturing and quality control processes. For more information about Cavalor and its complete line of products, please visit the Cavalor website at www.cavalor.com.
The 2010 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series is also sponsored by the Lake Placid Horse Show Association, Practical Horseman, Langer Equestrian Group and Taylor Harris Insurance Services. For more information about the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, including the 2010 Cavalor Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series schedule, please visit the Show Jumping Hall of Fame website at www.showjumpinghalloffame.net.
Next week will be week eight of the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, sponsored by CN. It will have a full schedule of exciting show jumping events, including: the $40,000 1.60m USEF WEG Trial 3 on Wednesday, March 3, at 3 p.m. at The Stadium; the $30,000 1.60m CSIO USEF WEG Trial 4 on Friday, March 5, at 12 p.m. in the International Arena; the $75,000 FEI Nations Cup, presented by CN, at 7 p.m.; and the $150,000 CN U.S. Open Grand Prix, CSIO 4*/USEF WEG Trial 5 on Sunday, March 7, at 1 p.m.
Final Results: $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Classic
1. MURKA'S POM D'AMI, PETER CHARLES (GBR), OLGA WHITE: 0/0/39.161
2. CELSIUS, JAIME AZCARRAGA (MEX), JAIME AZCARRAGA: 0/0/39.842
3. NIGHT TRAIN, RODRIGO PESSOA (BRA), DOUBLE H FARM: 0/0/40.033
4. AZZARO, YANN CANDELE (CAN), SUSAN GRANGE: 0/0/40.284
5. RMW NEW DAY, KYLE KING (USA), ROCKY MOUNTAIN WARMBLOODS: 0/0/41.654
6. KIMBER, JOE FARGIS (USA), HIDDEN TRAIL FARM LLC: 0/0/42.684
7. MURKA'S MR. BACARDI, PETER CHARLES (GBR), OLGA WHITE: 0/0/45.496
8. KATINA 12, MICHAEL MURPHY (USA), MICHAEL MURPHY: 0/4/40.945
9. ONIRA, BRIANNE GOUTAL (USA), REMARKABLE FARMS LP: 0/4/42.402
10. ZEKE, JENNA THOMPSON (CAN), JENNA THOMPSON: 0/4/42.772
11. MURKA'S RUBERT R, PETER CHARLES (GBR), OLGA WHITE: 0/4/43.276
12. ALASKA, TODD MINIKUS (USA), CALLIE SEAMAN: 0/EL
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: Peter Charles and Murka's Pom D'Ami won the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Classic during week seven of the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. © 2010 Randi Muster/Mustphoto, Inc., www.mustphoto.com. Official Sport Photographer of the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, www.mustphoto.com.