Loxahatchee, Florida – In Grand Prix competition, Paige Finnegan and Karola I won the FEI Open Grand Prix competition at the Welcome Back to White Fences II, held at the late Ingred Lin's White Fences Equestrian Centerwith a score of 67.234 percent. Coming in second was Simone Williams riding Wunder Ein to a score of 66.170. In the Grand Prix Adult Amateur competition, the blue ribbon went to Jean Klaucke and Otharr with a score of 68.298. In second was Jennifer Benoit riding Fruhlich to a score of 65.957. Christopher Hickey and Donarweiss GGF earned the high score of the day and took the win in FEI Intermediaire II competition with a score of 72.632.
Several winners broke the 70 percent mark on the first day of this weekend's competition. Christopher Schruefer and De Facto took blue in Second Level Test 1 with a score of 71.316 percent and in Second Level Test 2 with a score of 70.270. And Lauren Sammis scored a 71.579 with Zuni in First Level Test 4. Also breaking over 70 was Diane Glassman riding Copacabana 29 to a score of 71.00 percent in First Level Test 1.
The Welcome Back to White Fences series of shows was started by Lin in the early 1990s with the goal of offering riders competition without the stress. Fortunately for riders, Lin's son Adam has continued the series this year as an honor to his mother, who lost her long battle with cancer several months ago.
The series has long been one of the most popular during the Florida show season. In creating the series, it was Lin's goal to mix competition with a fun social gathering. In particular, she wanted to create a show series where riders new to competition wouldn't feel intimidated and where professional riders felt comfortable bringing out young horses for their first show. "It’s meant to be a place where people don’t feel intimidated and where there is a feeling of camaraderie. It’s the perfect venue to try out a new level or a new horse or a young horse," Lin once said of her show series.
It was the supportive environment of the show that Lin most enjoyed about her series. She once said that "what brings the most joy is that I will see a trainer come in with a whole barn and there will be a person riding her first test and the whole barn will cheer her on. And that is so good."