Wellington, FL -
Two classes highlighted competition today in the International Arena. The first was the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Classic, and it was Ireland's Shane Sweetnam on Zamiro 16, owned by Spy Coast Farm LLC, who brought home the win over Lauren Hough (USA) on Laura Mateo's Casadora and Ashlee Bond (USA) on Little Valley Farm's Chivas Z. In the $25,000 G&C Farm Grand Prix, David Arcand of Montreal, Quebec, Canada captured the win on Santo's Utopia. He was also third on Tarzan. Second place went to Clementine Goutal on Wintina Deus, owned by Senarmont Management.
The fifth week of the FTI WEF is sponsored by Spy Coast Farm and concluded with today's classes. 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.
Richard Jeffery of England designed the courses for today's classes. In the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Classic, there were 62 entries in the class, and 10 were clear through to the jump-off. Sweetnam went in the jump-off on another mount first. He and Little Emir, another Spy Coast Farm LLC entry, had four faults in 39.787 seconds to finish in ninth place.
Lauren Hough and Casadora set the winning pace early with a clear round in 39.192 seconds, and Bond on Chivas Z was right behind her in 39.742 seconds.
Sweetnam and Zamiro 16, a 10-year-old Sachsen-Anhalten gelding by Zenturio xx Landstreicher, galloped through the course and were able to leave out strides throughout. They finished over the final Suncast oxer clear and stopped the timers in 37.814 seconds.
"I went earlier with Little Emir in the jump-off and did the plan and was in 39 (seconds). Everyone seemed to be in 39," Sweetnam recalled. "Zamiro isn't the quickest to turn in the world, so I left out a stride in the first line and left out a stride from the skinny to the brown oxer. That's where maybe I made the time because everyone else was around the same time. He has a very big, open step, so I was able to get down the lines easy and comfortably. It wasn't like I was really crazy; it's just that he has a big step."
Sweetnam is very pleased with Zamiro 16, and he is looking forward to what he can do in the future. "I bought him the middle of last year, and he's been a great success since I've had him. Everywhere I've taken him, he's been really, really good. I'm really excited about him for the next level, but obviously because of his age he still needs experience to get to that point. He's a lovely horse," he described.
Of his win this week, where his owners Spy Coast Farm are the title sponsors, he said with a smile, "It's good to win! I was very happy with Rolette last night (in the World Cup grand prix). It would have been nice if I could have won that, and it was close. But even to win today is brilliant, especially with everyone from Spy Coast Farm here."
Today's $25,000 G&C Farm Young Riders Grand Prix was the inaugural event for the best up-and-coming riders in the world ages 16-21. There were 43 entries in the class, and seven produced a clear round. Arcand remarked, "It was a really good course. There were good horses and good riders. I think he made a good course; it was careful. It had the water, the triple bar, the skinny; it really had everything. There was the right amount clean too."
Reed Kessler and Mika were the first out of the gate in the jump-off. They had four faults in 36.977 seconds, which placed them fifth at the end of the class. Laura Teodori and Stedet's Leroy accumulated eight jumping and three time faults in 42.260 seconds to go into seventh place in the class.
Goutal and Wintina Deux were next in and were very quick from jumps three to four. They finished clear in 35.930 seconds to take the lead, but would eventually finish second.
Arcand was next in with Santo's Utopia, an 11-year-old KWPN gelding by Nevado SA xx Equador. With a smooth gallop and great footspeed, the pair went straight to the top of the leaderboard with a clear round in 35.534 seconds."It was probably in the one turn after the skinny (fence)," Arcand explained of where he made up time. "A lot of people did the same thing in the jump-off. I've got a naturally fast horse, so that helped me a lot."
Michael Murphy and Katina 12 were faster in 34.731 seconds, but eight faults relegated them to sixth place in the class. Ali Wolff and H&M Necoll were also very quick in 34.482 seconds, but a rail at jump 11a put them into fourth place.
Arcand was the last to return on his second horse Tarzan. They posted the fastest time of the class in 33.607 seconds, but they also pulled a rail at fence 11a for four faults and finished third.
This was a great win for the young Arcand, who is soon turning professional. He has only been showing at the FEI (international) grand prix level since last summer. "It was in Canada and was smaller than here. Here it's the real deal. My first time in a big grand prix was here in January," he said.
Arcand trains with Marie Hecart and felt that the move for his horse from the FEI grand prix level to today's class helped both him and his horse. He noted, "I wanted to give him a lower class to do. He responded well, and it was good for his confidence. I've been trying to do bigger stuff for awhile and had a couple down, so this is good for my confidence too."
Today's victory for Arcand was special for him since it was with a horse that he knows well. "I bought him when he was six years old, so I've owned him forever. I know him by heart," he smiled. "It's really nice to win. I'm really happy that I won here."
Next week will be the Bainbridge "AA" AHJF/WCHR Hunter Spectacular week at the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. There are several highlight events of the week, including the AHJF Hunter Spectacular of Palm Beach on Saturday, February 20, at 7 p.m. in the International Arena. The highlight jumper event will be the $50,000 CN Palm Beach Jumping Derby, which is the first event this season at The Stadium on South Shore Blvd. It will run on Sunday, February 21, at 3 p.m.
Final Results: $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Classic
1. ZAMIRO 16, SHANE SWEETNAM, SPY COAST FARM LLC: 0/0/37.814
2. CASADORA, LAUREN HOUGH, LAURA MATEO: 0/0/39.192
3. CHIVAS Z, ASHLEE BOND, LITTLE VALLEY FARM: 0/0/39.742
4. ROBIN VAN ROOSENDAEL, ERYNN BALLARD, LOOKING BACK FARM: 0/0/39.838
5. LIRVING DU VOLSIN, KATE LEVY, KATE LEVY LLC & CHRISTIAN WOSCHENKO: 0/0/40.086
6. TENESSEE, TIM HENDRIX, STAL HENDRIX: 0/4/39.257
7. NIELSON B, JEANNE HOBBS, JEANNE HOBBS: 0/4/39.685
8. SCARFACE, NORMAN DELLO JOIO, TONY WEIGHT: 0/4/39.768
9. LITTLE EMIR, SHANE SWEETNAM, SPY COAST FARM LLC: 0/4/39.787
10. DON PORFIRIO, ANTONIO CHEDRAUI, ANTONIO CHEDRAUI: 0/4/39.957
11. STARLIGHT, KATE LEVY, KATE LEVY LLC: 1/82.585
12. CANEZARO, ALEXA LOWE, WINDSOR FARM SALES: 3/84.044
Final Results: $25,000 G&C Young Rider Grand Prix
1. SANTO'S UTOPIA, DAVID ARCAND, DAVID ARCAND: 0/0/35.534
2. WINTINA DEUX, CLEMENTINE GOUTAL, SENARMONT MANAGEMENT: 0/0/35.930
3. TARZAN, DAVID ARCAND, DAVID ARCAND: 0/4/33.607
4. H & M NECOLL, ALI WOLFF, BLACKLICK BEND FARM: 0/4/34.482
5. MIKA, REED KESSLER, REED KESSLER: 0/4/36.977
6. KATINA 12, MICHAEL MURPHY, MICHAEL MURPHY: 0/8/34.731
7. STEDET'S LEROY, LAURA TEODORI, DK-USA SPORTHORSE LLC: 0/11/42.260
8. CORINA, OLIVIA JACK, OLIVIA JACK: 4/80.655
9. LANDDAME, ZACHARY LIBES, ZACHARY LIBES: 4/82.634
10. LA SUPRA, MEGAN FELLOWS, MEGAN FELLOWS: 4/83.797
11. ZABOOMERANG, MORGAN KENNEDY: 4/83.958
12. COULETTO K. JAMES, KATHERINE DINAN, KATIE DINAN LLC: 4/84.044
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 Credits: Shane Sweetnam and Zamiro 16 won the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Classic during week five at the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival.
Shane Sweetnam and Zamiro 16 with Lisa and Robert Lourie of Spy Coast Farm and Lauren Tisbo of Suncast (award photo)
David Arcand and Santo's Utopia were victorious in the $25,000 G&C Farm Young Riders Grand Prix.
Photos © 2010 Randi Muster/Mustphoto, Inc., Official Sport Photographer of the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival.