Weekend Highlights from the Winter Equestrian Festival

 Alexander Zetterman and Flecu. Photo © Sportfot, An Official Photographer of the Winter Equestrian Festival, us.sportfot.com.
Alexander Zetterman and Flecu. Photo © Sportfot, An Official Photographer of the Winter Equestrian Festival, us.sportfot.com.

The $34,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic was the second class of the day on Sunday with 22 entries jumping on the grass field at The Stadium at PBIEC. Five made it through to the jump-off, where Sweden's Alexander Zetterman and Flecu were the winners.

Samuel Parot (CHI) and Carla TM were first to jump-off and finished fourth with their time of 41.30 seconds. Chris Ewanouski (USA) and Rosiano Farm's Chicago 88 were next to return and jumped into third place with a time of 40.80 seconds. Katie Dinan (USA) followed with the second place time of 40.20 seconds aboard Grant Road Partners LLC's Bijou de Balou. Up next, Jessica Springsteen (USA) had a great time in 38.37 seconds with Stone Hill Farm's Lisona, but a rail at the last fence put the pair in fifth place. Zetterman and Flecu were last to go with the winning clear round in 37.78 seconds.

Zetterman won the same class last year with his mount Cafino, who he recently sold. This time it was Flecu's turn to take the round of honor, and the 11-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding (Hip Hop x Flamingo) jumped a fantastic round to carry his rider to victory.

"He is the horse that I have had for the longest amount of time; I have had him since he was six," Zetterman explained after the class. "He is a horse who kind of took a year or two longer to bring along, but I always felt that he has the ability to do great things in the big classes. It is a good age. He is 11 now. It is nice when you sell a good one that you are not completely gone."

Alexander Zetterman and Flecu in their winning presentation with ESP Sponsorship Manager Whitney Stahl.Photo © Sportfot, An Official Photographer of the Winter Equestrian Festival, us.sportfot.com.
Alexander Zetterman and Flecu in their winning presentation with ESP Sponsorship Manager Whitney Stahl.Photo © Sportfot, An Official Photographer of the Winter Equestrian Festival, us.sportfot.com.

Last season, Flecu carried Zetterman to a win in the $50,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series Final, which was also held on the grass field at The Stadium, and the horse has since stepped up to the next level.

"He was great last year here on the grass," Zetterman noted. "He has always had really good results on big grass fields like here and at Falsterbo at home. He really likes to cover ground, and once he starts getting momentum, he is very quick."

"His style is quite special," Zetterman detailed. "He is a very careful horse. He used to go up very high, and it took a while for him to learn how to go more across the jump. He has always had the scope, but he was always going up and now he is getting across. Careful-wise, he has always been super careful. I just really had to take my time with him in the small classes and never make him go too high. Now he is jumping more modest, and I am really happy with him. He is super consistent."


Final Results: $34,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic
1. FLECU: 2004 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Hip Hop x Flamingo
ALEXANDER ZETTERMAN (SWE), Alexander Zetterman: 0/0/37.78

2. BIJOU DE BALOU: 2006 Rheinlander mare by Balou du Rouet x Graf Grannus
KATIE DINAN (USA), Grant Road Partners LLC: 0/0/40.20

3. CHICAGO 88: 2003 Westphalian gelding by Cordobes I x Potsdam
CHRIS EWANOUSKI (USA), Rosiano Farm: 0/0/40.80

4. CARLA TM: 2003 Holsteiner mare by Colman
SAMUEL PAROT (CHI), Samuel Parot: 0/0/41.30

5. LISONA: 2001 Irish Sporthorse mare OBOS Quality 004 x Porsch
JESSICA SPRINGSTEEN (USA), Stone Hill Farm: 0/4/38.37

6. DEAUVILLE S: 2006 Holsteiner gelding by Diamant de Semilly x Lux
NICK SKELTON (GBR), Julius Peter Sinnack: 1/85.92

7. WILLIAM WALLACE: 2004 KWPN stallion by Unknown
SAMUEL PAROT JR. (CHI), Samuel Parot: 1/88.56

8. ADVENTURE E: 2005 KWPN gelding by Damiro x Calvados
COLIN SYQUIA (USA), Eurasia Inc: 2/89.27

9. CATACHI: 2005 Holsteiner gelding by Caretino x Calando I
HENRIK GUNDERSEN (DEN), Henrik Gundersen: 2/89.94

10. POLYTELLE: 2003 mare
LUIS PEDRO BIRABEN (ARG), Eduardo Braun: 4/83.63

11. VERSUS: 2005 Belgian Sport Horse gelding by Moujik de Sohan x Jasper
RAMIRO QUINTANA (ARG), Michael Smith: 4/83.90

12. ABUNOLA: 2005 KWPN mare by Numero Uno x Voltaire
LUIS PEDRO BIRABEN (ARG), Luis Pedro Biraben: 4/84.85

Eugenio Garza and Lucca Toni. Photo © Sportfot, An Official Photographer of the Winter Equestrian Festival, us.sportfot.com.
Eugenio Garza and Lucca Toni. Photo © Sportfot, An Official Photographer of the Winter Equestrian Festival, us.sportfot.com.

Eugenio Garza and Lucca Toni Win $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by EnTrust Capital
Sunday's events at The Stadium at PBIEC kicked off in the morning with the $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix speed event on the field. Sponsored by EnTrust Capital, the class was held in a faults converted format. Eugenio Garza (MEX) and El Milagro's Lucca Toni were the winners with a clear round in the fastest time of 89.47 seconds. Catherine Tyree (USA) and Mary Tyree's Free Style vh Polderhof finished second in 91.79 seconds. Mavis Spencer (USA) and Mike Collins' Cornetiero were last to go and jumped into third with a clear round in 92.67 seconds.

Garza's winning mount Lucca Toni is a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Lando x Caretano Z) that the rider has had for one year since last winter. "He is a really, really nice horse. He covers a lot of ground, so we chose him for this class because it is a very open field and we knew we would have the chance to gallop a lot," Garza detailed. "My trainer (Darragh Kenny) just said go in and have the same rhythm all the way through and just keep galloping. We were able to leave out strides where we could, and we made up some time in the short turns. The horse jumped amazing, I have to give it to him."

Second place finisher Catherine Tyree is also at the one-year mark of riding her horse, Free Style vh Polderhof, since purchasing the mare from Stephex Stables at the end of circuit last year.

"This is the first time that I have ever asked her to jump a serious 1.45m course, and she was great," Tyree said of her mount. "She is so quick across the ground, so naturally careful and incredibly brave, so I knew that she would be really game when I went in the ring. She was great at the bank. That is the first time that she has ever done it in her life, so I was really happy with her today."

Mavis Spencer finished third with Cornetiero and was thrilled with the great result after not riding for three years.

Eugenio Garza and Lucca Toni in their winning presentation with Artisan Farms' Carlene Ziegler. Photo © Sportfot, An Official Photographer of the Winter Equestrian Festival, us.sportfot.com.
Eugenio Garza and Lucca Toni in their winning presentation with Artisan Farms' Carlene Ziegler. Photo © Sportfot, An Official Photographer of the Winter Equestrian Festival, us.sportfot.com.

"This is probably only my fifth class with him. I took three years off from riding," Spencer noted. "I started working for Neil Jones in April, but I only started showing again in November. He is a really special horse. The feeling that he gives is unbelievable. He is so scopey and brave, which helps in a class like this. Especially after you haven't ridden for so long, it helps to know that they are always behind you. I have to say, I have a really good team behind me and people who help me, but he was on form today. It was nice to go in the ring and get a good result like that after not showing for so long."

"He has a bit of a special way of going and you sort of have to do it his way, so it took me a little while to figure him out," Spencer added. "That is why I had not shown him so much, but I think we are really starting to get each other now and hopefully I can start jumping some bigger classes with him soon."

The Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series, presented by the Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, will award a total of $170,000 in prize money throughout the circuit this year in seven events. It gives young riders a valuable stepping-stone from the junior and amateur ranks to the grand prix level. All three of Sunday's top riders praised the series and thanked the sponsors for their generous support.

"I could not thank the sponsors enough, the Ziegler family and everyone," Garza said after his win. "It is a really nice series to have. It kind of bridges a gap between the juniors and the pros, especially in Florida where the classes are very big. It is a very big step to have a series like this and to be able to compete with riders that are doing the same thing is one of the most important things that young riders like us can do. I think it is a great series, and I could not thank enough everyone who is behind it."

"I think it is a really good stepping stone when you don't necessarily have a horse that is ready to jump the really big classes and be competitive," Spencer acknowledged. "It is nice to have this because the courses are big enough, they are tough enough, and the competition is obviously still at a very high level, but if you have one that isn't really ready to go in and jump the bigger FEI classes, this is a really good place to start and be able to move up."

Tyree added, "I think it is great how we have opportunities to jump in different venues with different class types. We have the team event week four, the faults converted today on the field, and then week nine we get to jump under the lights. It gives us a lot of opportunities, not only to bridge the gap between the high amateur level and the national level grand prixs, but we also get to test the waters in different formats that we are not used to."

The next event in the series will be the $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Semi-Final presented by Kingsland Equestrian on Friday, March 6, during week nine. The $50,000 series final will be held week 11 on Sunday, March 22.

Final Results: $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix speed class, presented by EnTrust Capital
1. 2359 LUCCA TONI  EUGENIO GARZA (MEX)   EL MILAGRO: 89.47
2. 819 FREE STYLE VH POLDERHOF  CATHERINE TYREE (USA)   MARY TYREE: 91.79
3. 2047 CORNETIERO   MAVIS SPENCER (USA)  MIKE COLLINS: 92.67
4. 1021 ZERO  JESSICA SPRINGSTEEN (USA)  STONE HILL FARM: 92.97
5. 4229 HESTER  LUCY DESLAURIERS (USA)   LISA DESLAURIERS: 93.78
6. 4551 GOLDFINGER VD HENGSTENPOEL  SARAH BAGWORTH (CAN)  SARAH BAGWORTH: 94.10
7. 5282 AVON  ALEXANDER ZETTERMAN (SWE)  PVRY WQUESTRIAN AB: 94.22
8. 1368 G&C FLASH  TAYLOR ALEXANDER (USA)  ALEXANDER LLC: 96.03
9. 2855 WHY NOT  SOPHIE SIMPSON (USA)  SIMPSON SHOW JUMPING, INC: 96.24
10. 509 RIVER DANCE SEMILLY   LAURENZ BUHL (GER)   GOTHAM ENTERPRIZES LLC: 97.44
11. 2109 COOKIE MONSTER  RYAN GENN (USA)  WILHELM GENN: 98.49
12. 1371 S I E C LEDGEPOINT   GABRIELA MERSHAD (USA)   MERSHAD STABLES LLC: 98.65

Schaefer Raposa and Lucille. Photo © Sportfot, An Official Photographer of the Winter Equestrian Festival, us.sportfot.com.
Schaefer Raposa and Lucille. Photo © Sportfot, An Official Photographer of the Winter Equestrian Festival, us.sportfot.com.

Classics for Adult, Amateur Owner and Junior Hunters Highlight the Final Day of World Champion Hunter Rider Week in the International Arena
On the final day of WCHR week, 73 horse and rider combinations came to compete in the Peggy Cone Memorial WCHR Adult Hunter Classic, held in the International Arena. After the first round, the riders with the top 24 scores came back in reverse order for a second course. At the end of the two rounds, Schaefer Raposa of Clinton, NY, and Lucille were crowned the winner of section A. Finishing behind Raposa in section A was Brooke Banks riding Brodeur and Caitlin Boyle with her own Iceman rounded out the top three.

The section B winner of the Peggy Cone Memorial WCHR Adult Hunter Classic went to Megan McCann, from Washington, D.C., riding Laura Flanagan's horse, First Look. First Look remained consistent over both rounds earning scores of 84 and 84.5. Cynthia Sulzberger piloted Red Carpet to a second place finish in section B and Kimberly Maloomian and Urlala ended the day in third place.

Megan McCann and First Look. Photo © Sportfot, An Official Photographer of the Winter Equestrian Festival, us.sportfot.com.
Megan McCann and First Look. Photo © Sportfot, An Official Photographer of the Winter Equestrian Festival, us.sportfot.com.

McCann started showing First Look, an 11-year-old Warmblood gelding, two years ago after her sister stopped competing. Today was McCann's first time in the International Arena, but she knew First Look was ready for the new environment.  "I felt good. I knew when I went in for the first round that he felt really relaxed. We went in there, took a breath and he was great," McCann noted.
 
Currently, McCann is flying down to Florida on weekends as much as she can to compete in the Adult Hunters. McCann balances working full time in commercial real estate while riding at a competitive level. Despite a busy schedule, McCann hopes to return to WEF at least a few more times during the second half of the circuit.

In the $5,000 Amateur-Owner 3'3" Classic, Caroline Moran and her own Bacardi bested a field of 37 entries. A score of 89 in the first round advanced them to the top 12 where a 92 handily took the victory.

In a borrowed shadbelly - because she couldn't find her own this morning - Moran took all the luck she could get to redeem a rough ride earlier in the week in the International Arena. "My horse [Bacardi] has been amazing all week, but I did not ride the best out here on Friday," she said. "I wouldn't have done the class except that I wanted to end on a good note, and I definitely accomplished that."

Jumping to second behind Moran was Becky Gochman and David Gochman's Touchdown, while Missy Luczak-Smith and her own Askaro rounded out the top three.

Moran rides and trains with Havens Schatt and gave credit where credit was due after her class. "Without the prep of Havens and my groom Danielle, there would have been no way this was possible. Havens and I bought Bacardi as pre-green horse, and she brought him up the ranks slowly so he would have confidence," explained Moran. "I've been showing him at three or four horse shows a year, and I am actually still learning him."
 
Moran admits that she retired from riding about seven years ago, but that Bacardi is slowly creeping her back into the sport. "If you can have a horse like this, it always stays fun," she concluded.

The $5,000 Junior 3'3" Classic capped WCHR week in the International Arena and saw 25 entries. Hannah Fuller was consistent on scores of 85 and 86 in the irons of Susan Fuller's Alcado for the win. Sabrina Kalimian and Paige Mawson's Latino were second with Raegan Rast and KOR, LLC's Peter Pan finishing third.

A memorable trip for Fuller, her score of 86 marked the highest of her career. "I just wanted my second round to be as good as my first, so when I heard them say '86', I was really happy," she said. "He [Alcado] is always usually pretty calm and doesn't really look at much, so I wasn't surprised that he was as good as he was," she added.

The 2015 season marks Fuller's second year with Alcado and she says she loves him for his classic style and appreciated the chance to ride in the International Arena at WEF. "The ring is so big it gives me a chance to show off his nice canter," she said.  Fuller is 16 and currently a junior at Morristown-Beard school in New Jersey.

Additional Classic Winners Included:
Children's 14 & U Classic
  Sophie Gochman & David Gochman's World Time
Children's 15-17 Classic
  Samantha Karp & her own Zentina B
Large Pony Classic
  Emma Kurtz & Linda Evans' Dreamland
Medium Pony Classic
  Mimi Gochman & David Gochman's True Love
Small Pony Classic
  Mimi Gochman & Ponies & Palms Show Stables, LLC's Rico Suave
Children's Pony Large Classic
  Helen Sweeney & Nina Montross' Taschereau
Children's Pony Sm/Med Classic
  Juliette Propp & Erica Robinson's Saltwood Tuscany
 
The 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival will continue with its seventh week of competition, sponsored by Suncast®, on February 18-22, 2015, featuring CSI 5* jumper and "AA" hunter competition. The highlight event of week seven is the $372,000 Suncast® CSI 5* Grand Prix on Saturday, February 21. For full results and more information, please visit www.pbiec.com.




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