Wellington, FL -Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run's Faustino de Tili took the opening day win in the $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m speed class during week four of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) on Wednesday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.
The fourth week of WEF competition, sponsored by Ariat®, runs February 1-5, 2017. Week highlights include the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 4 on Thursday, the $25,000 Hollow Creek Farm U25 Grand Prix Team Event, sponsored by Equiline, on Friday, the $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic and the Great Charity Challenge, presented by Fidelity Investments®, on Saturday, and the $216,000 Ariat® Grand Prix CSI 4* on Sunday. At Equestrian Village at PBIEC (AGDF show grounds), the $100,000 Land Rover Wellington Eventing Showcase will take place on February 3-4. Live streaming of major events during the week can be seen HERE. The 12-week WEF circuit continues through April 2, 2017, awarding over $9 million in prize money.
Course designer Steve Stephens (USA) set the track for 37 entries to start week four in the International Arena, with 14 clear rounds. Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run's Faustino de Tili clocked the winning time of 53.51 seconds. Laura Chapot (USA) and her own and Mary Chapot's Thornhill Kate finished second with their time of 54.25 seconds. Kent Farrington (USA) and his own, Haity McNerney's, and Daniel Crown's Sherkan d'Amaury placed third in 55.12 seconds.
"I loved the course when I walked it," Vanderveen said of her round. "It had a really nice, smooth rhythm to it, with not too many related lines. My horse is really quick when he turns, and there were a lot of left turns, which he is extra fast at. I think he was able to make up a lot of time landing and turning quite quick to the next jump."
Vanderveen and Faustino de Tili finished a top 2016 season that included their first international five-star victory in the $380,000 Horseware Grand Prix CSI 5* in Tryon, NC. The 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion (Berlin x Darco) has started his winter lightly, but will build up to bigger classes later in the circuit.
"He was my top horse this summer," Vanderveen detailed. "Then when we got down here, he was peeking a little bit at the liverpools, and I felt like we were both taking this too seriously. I have a different horse that I am using as my main horse this week, so I backed him down to have fun and do some smaller speed classes.
"I think that he likes to go fast and he likes to have fun and win, so the speed class is great for him," Vanderveen added. "I am able to go in and not overthink the technicality of it, but let him go forward, be careful, run, and jump. It suits him quite well, and I think he enjoyed today."
Also competing in the International Arena on Wednesday, Andrew Kocher (USA) and Le Conte won the $6,000 Illustrated Properties FEI 1.40m speed class. The day concluded with the national $6,000 Illustrated Properties 1.40m speed class, and a win for Ilan Ferder (ISR) riding Sagamore Farms' Fantast.
The 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival continues on Thursday featuring the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 4. For full results and more information, please visit www.PBIEC.com.
Final Results: $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m
1. BULL RUN'S FAUSTINO DE TILI: 2005 Belgian Warmblood stallion by Berlin x Darco KRISTEN VANDERVEEN (USA), Bull Run Jumpers Five LLC: 0/53.51
2. THORNHILL KATE: 2005 Irish Sport Horse mare by Courage II x Clover Hill LAURA CHAPOT (USA), Laura & Mary Chapot: 0/54.25
3. SHERKAN D'AMAURY: 2006 Selle Francais gelding by Kannan x Quick Star KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Kent Farrington, Haity McNerney, and Daniel Crown: 0/55.12
4. BEEZIE: 2006 KWPN mare by Cardento x Canabis Z SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), The ISB Group LLC: 0/56.75
5. CON TOUCH S: 2006 Westphalian mare by Con Cento x Capitol I LAURA KRAUT (USA), Julius Peter Sinack: 0/56.96
6. CONSTANCE: 2007 KWPN mare by Indoctro x Animo JESSICA MENDOZA (GBR), Milena Pappas: 0/57.03
7. BIJOU DE BALOU: 2006 Rheinlander mare by Balou du Rouet x Graf Grannus KATIE DINAN (USA), Grant Road Partners LLC: 0/58.19
8. CARNA Z: 2005 Zangersheide mare by Crown Z x Grannus GUSTAVO PRATO (ARG), Equus Forte LLC: 0/58.27
9. ZANTOS II: 2004 KWPN stallion by Solitair x Mermus M ANDREW KOCHER (USA), MKO Equestrian LLC: 0/58.32
10. CORLEONE: 2007 KWPN gelding by Vincenzo x Heartbreaker CATHERINE TYREE (USA), Mary & Joe Tyree: 0/58.56
11. DINGEMAN: 2008 KWPN gelding by Nintender x Darnels SANTIAGO LAMBRE (MEX), Santiago Lambre: 0/58.82
12. BELIZE D'IVE Z: 2008 Zangersheide mare by Berlin x Quidam de Revel LORCAN GALLAGHER (IRL), Sweet Oak Farm: 0/61.05