Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) and HH Palouchin continued their reign at the top in Friday afternoon's $10,000 G&C Farm Speed Stake during CSIO week at the FTI WEF. This was the pair's second trip to the winner's circle this week after also winning the day session of the $5,000 Welcome Stake on Wednesday.
In the field of 28 international starters, Pessoa and Palouchin completed the fastest of six clear rounds in 63.76 seconds. Reed Kessler (USA) and Onisha finished second in 65.36 seconds. Nicholas Dello Joio (USA) and Geledimar placed third in 68.15 seconds. Darragh Kerins (IRL) and Hot Wheels stopped the clock in 68.53 seconds to finish fourth. Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Lipton De L'Othain, owned by Windward Farm, placed fifth in 69.08 seconds, and Paulo Santana (BRA) and Santana Stables' Athena jumped clear in 76.80 seconds to finish sixth.
HH Palouchin is a 1999 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Baloubet Du Rouet x Chin Chin, owned by Double H Farm. In addition their two victories this week, Palouchin and Pessoa also won week seven's $32,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Classic, week four's $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge, and week two's $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m speed class.
Today's speed stake win came easily as the pair geared up for tomorrow's $32,000 G&C Farm 1.45 Classic. Commenting on his ride, Pessoa stated, "It was a good course. Tomorrow's 1.45m is a good class for him, so I didn't want to go crazy today. The course suited him pretty well and I could just let him go, stay in the tracks and keep some for tomorrow."
It was a hot day in Wellington, and the heat played a factor for many horses. "He was really quiet today. For horses that are like him, I think this weather knocks them on the head a little bit," Pessoa stated. "They are just like us, they have the same reaction; they get a little bit heavy when it is like this. For him it takes a little bit of the edge off, which is really ideal. He went around really soft today; he was less hectic than usual, so that was good. Hopefully we can keep that composure because tomorrow is the one that we are aiming for really. We want to make it three out of three for him."
Although Palouchin is always eager and ready to go in the show ring, Pessoa said he is actually quite calm in the barn. "He is a different horse at home, he is really quiet," Pessoa described. "As soon as he steps on the show grounds he walks under the bridge to come in the ring and he changes, he lights up. He knows that this is his game place and just turns into a totally different horse. He definitely knows when it is all about business. It is good that he goes that way, that he doesn't get intimidated or scared or anything."
Also showing in the International Arena today, Laura Chapot and Zealous earned a victory in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge. Hardin Towell and Nolde triumphed in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class.
Friday Hunters Claim Victory
Friday Hunters Claim Victory
Mary Katherine Shaughnessy of Wellington, FL, surpassed a field of 22 competitors this week, claiming the championship tricolor in the Camping World Adult Hunter 51 & Older division on her mount, King Lear. The pair scored a first, second and two sixths over fences to top the division with 17 points. Reserve champion honors went to Quality Control, a nine-year-old Westphalian ridden by Margaret Taylor of Earlysville, VA. Taylor and Quality Control scored a first and fourth over fences and finished third in the under saddle to secure the reserve tricolor with 16 points.
The winning mount, King Lear, is a sixteen-year-old Trakehner known as Elvis in the barn. After being imported by Laura Lee Montross as a six-year-old, the white gelding began showing in the eventing field. "He was doing this kind of wild eventing in Kentucky," Shaughnessy explained. "Laura Lee had him for seven years and she's the one who introduced him to 'hunterdom'. She used to take him out on a lot of trails, which is one of the reasons he isn't spooky at all I think. He's such a delight now and I thank Laura Lee for all that she has done with him over the years."
Following today's win, Shaughnessy commented on King Lear's performance in the show ring. "He doesn't have any bad habits that we have to work on for the show," Shaughnessy commented. "He's so easy to prepare and he's just always good. The main thing we work on is softening his mouth in the turns. We don't show too much and he doesn't really jump at home, so we are careful to keep him fresh. When he's off, he'll just flat lightly and maybe trail ride."
Shaughnessy, a rider of twelve years, showed as an Adult Jumper for several years before transitioning into the hunter ring. "I just got a little tired of going fast," Shaughnessy admitted. "I also like the Thursday/Friday hunter schedule because my husband and I have a lot going on during the weekends here. When I show, I'm very serious. I wake up very early and come scope out the ring and look at things, so I don't take it lightly. Showing during the week allows me to go to the night classes and relax without having to worry about getting up the next day."
Describing her transition from Jumpers to Hunters, Shaughnessy commented, "I found that I was a little rough, my hands were high and I was more aggressive than I needed to be. I was just used to making a lot more moves. When I first started, I had this horse that wasn't right for me. Then I found Elvis and I did the 2'6" for the first year I had him and he was amazing. So, the main thing I work on now is smoothing things out and being accurate without making big moves."
During King Lear's weeks of rest, Shaughnessy feels privileged to be able to compete on her additional mounts, Whitecap and Thief of Hearts. Whitecap is a fifteen-year-old Traekhner by Lamarc, and Thief of Hearts is an eleven-year-old Warmblood by VDL Orame. According to Shaughnessy, Whitecap matches King Lear's attractiveness and noticeability, while Thief of Hearts "is very sweet, but not a classic beauty. He just kind of walks in the ring and looks around, whinnying."
In the coming weeks, Shaughnessy will continue to rotate all three mounts in order to show consistently while preserving the health of her horses. With four weeks left in the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, Shaughnessy will continue to pursue victory in the Adult Hunter ring.
CSIO week will continue at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center tomorrow with a jam packed schedule of competition. The International Arena will host the $32,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Classic and $25,000 Equine Couture/Tuff Rider Jumper Stake during the day session, followed by the VitaFlex Match Race and Hermès Puissance beginning at 7 p.m. in the evening. The hunters will present championship honors to the Elite Shavings Amateur Owner Over 35 division in the Grand Hunter Ring.
Final Results: $10,000 G&C Farm Speed Stake CSIO
1. HH PALOUCHIN: 1999 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Baloubet Du Rouet x Chin Chin RODRIGO PESSOA (BRA), Double H Farm: 0/63.76
2. ONISHA: 1999 Holsteiner mare by Caretino x Athlet Z REED KESSLER (USA), Reed Kessler: 0/65.36
3. GELEDIMAR: 2003 Zangersheide mare by Grosso Z x Lord Z NICHOLAS DELLO JOIO (USA), Nicholas Dello Joio: 0/68.15
4. HOT WHEELS: 1997 Silla Argentino gelding by Liliputiense DARRAGH KERINS (IRL), Darragh Kerins: 0/68.53
5. LIPTON DE L'OTHAIN: 1999 SFB gelding by Kashmir Van Schuttershof x Prince Du Logis DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), Windward Farm And Jessica Siuda: 0/69.08
6. ATHENA: 2003 Rhinelander mare by Aurelio x Alexis PAULO SANTANA (BRA), Santana Stables LLC: 0/76.80
7. UCEKO: 2001 KWPN gelding by Celano x Koriander KENT FARRINGTON (USA), R.C.G. Farm: 2 /90.73
8. VORNADO VAN DEN HOENDRIK: 1998 BWP gelding by Darco x Ramiro JESSICA SPRINGSTEEN (USA), Stone Hill Farm: 3/94.81
9. PAULY DU BREUIL: 2003 Selle Francais stallion by Pamphile x Unknown MARGIE ENGLE (USA),Lea Allen, Ken Garber and The Engles: 4/67.24
10. UNICA VAN DE ROSHOEVE: 1997 BWP mare by Quickfeuer Van Koekshof x GuildfordÆs Comm Decision ANGELA COVERT-LAWRENCE (CAN), Eastwood Group: 4/74.32
11. GAME READY: 2000 KWPN gelding by Andiamo x Polydox YANN CANDELE (CAN), Susan Grange: 4/74.50
12. WOODSTOCK O: 2003 KWPN gelding by Hors La Loi x Ferro LAURA KRAUT (USA), Joan Kalman/The Freedom Group: 4/74.58
Photo Credit:Photos © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, www.us.sportfot.com.