Wellington, FL – December 16, 2013 – Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) hosted its Holiday Festival I competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL, this weekend on December 13-15, 2013. Just weeks away from the start of the 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), many international exhibitors have arrived early in Wellington to get their horses ready for the highly competitive circuit. The weekend featured a $10,000 Open Stake class as well as a $25,000 Holiday I Grand Prix with a roster of impressive horses and riders competing.
The $25,000 Holiday I Grand Prix concluded a fantastic competition on Sunday with an exciting win for Sweden’s Alexander Zetterman and his brand new mount, Cafino. Jumping a course set by Anna Catalina Harris Cruz, of Mexico, Zetterman and Cafino topped a ten-horse jump-off out of 37 original competitors. Just three entries were able to go double clear over the short course, and the pair’s time of 35.11 seconds earned top prize.
Samuel Parot (CHI) guided his horse William Wallace to second place honors in a time of 38.84 seconds. Ryan Genn (USA) and Wilhelm Genn’s Cookie Monster finished third with their clear jump-off round in 41.42 seconds. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Siboney Ranch LLC’s Mimosa had the fastest four-fault round in 39.32 seconds to place fourth.
Zetterman began riding Cafino, a 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding (Cardento 933 x Roderik 856), in September. The horse and rider are just getting to know each other, but Cafino has already had great success under young Swedish rider Karl-Jakob Ingvarsson, and Zetterman has high hopes for their partnership.
“He is a super easy horse,” Zetterman detailed. “He is a really motivated horse. I have never had a horse with that motivation. He wants to go clear so much, it is unbelievable. He has a big heart and a super intelligent brain. The confidence he has is something I have never felt in a horse. He is such a competitor.”
The duo went sixth in the order for Sunday’s jump-off, and Zetterman explained his plan going into the second round.
“I think there had only been one clear before me and my brother told me before I went in the ring that he was really fast and that I should probably even think about going around for second place, but then I was just jumping and I just kind of took the first stride I saw everywhere and it ended up being pretty good,” the rider explained.
Zetterman will stay in Wellington to compete at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival and hopes to progress with Cafino throughout the circuit.
“We will take it one day at a time,” he stated. “I think he has the quality to do some bigger grand prix, but we will see which level we are going to aim for. I am still getting to know him. We will start and progressively, as we get to know each other, work our way up.”
Zetterman and his brother, Daniel, will both show in Wellington this winter and Alexander explained that they decided to come to Florida early this year after spending the summer in Europe. They have enjoyed the competitive ESP horse shows throughout the fall circuit and appreciate the opportunities that being in Wellington provides.
“We came down here a bit earlier this year and we really like it here, so I think we will be planning to do these kind of circuits for the next few years,” Zetterman noted. “I think that there are so many opportunities in Wellington. It is very easy to work here, the fact that everything is in one place and everybody that’s from upper level show jumping is here. There is a very good market here and it is a lot easier than traveling around Europe all of the time on the road.”
“I think there are great opportunities to develop over here,” Zetterman said. “It is especially great when you have a new horse like this that you want to get to know. You can have the horse ready for the big stuff and there are a wide range of good shows to compete in. I find that it is a lot easier to work here than in Europe, especially with the weather as well.”
Final Results: $25,000 Holiday I Grand Prix
1. CAFINO ALEXANDER ZETTERMAN ALEXANDER ZETTERMAN: 0/0/35.115
2. WILLIAM WALLACE SAMUEL PAROT SAMUEL PAROT: 0/0/38.842
3. COOKIE MONSTER RYAN GENN WILHELM GENN: 0/0/41.427
4. MIMOSA SHANE SWEETNAM SIBONEY RANCH: 0/4/39.323
5. OSIRIS GEMMA PATERNOSTER GEMMA PATERNOSTER & JULIA HARRISON LEE: 0/4/40.989
6. CARLA TM SAMUEL PAROT SAMUEL PAROT: 0/8/36.797
7. UTAH LESLIE HOWARD THE UTAH GROUP: 0/8/36.996
8. BELUGA SHANE SWEETNAM SPY COAST FARM LLC: 0/8/38.106
9. ZIDANE ALI WOLFF JOHN C WOLFF: 0/8/39.656
10. ZARAGOSA CATHERINE PASMORE PASMORE STABLES LLC: 0/19/56.368
11. CASALL ALI WOLFF BLACKLICK BEND FARM: 1/84.860
12. O’SPLENDIDO LORCAN GALLAGHER SPY COAST FARM LLC: 4/77.760
ESP’s Holiday Festival I held classes throughout the weekend for all levels of horse and rider, kicking off with Friday’s $10,000 Open Jumper Stake class. A total of 29 entries competed with 13 clear rounds to advance to the jump-off. Twelve chose to return, and Ali Wolff and her mount Caya, owned by John C. Wolff, had the fastest of seven double clear rounds in a time of 37.84 seconds for the win.
Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm LLC’s Beluga placed second in 38.37 seconds. Ian Millar and Dixson, owned by Ariel and Susan Grange, had the third place time in 39.69 seconds, and Catherine Pasmore and Zaragosa, owned by Pasmore Stables LLC, finished fourth with their round in 39.75 seconds.
Saturday featured a $1,500 Tackeria NAL Child/Adult Jumper Classic with a win for Katie Jones and Sweet Oak Farm’s New Jersey. Stephanie Ann Cook and Lionsway Farm’s East Bound and Down placed second, and Hana Bieling guided Wonderland Farm LLC’s Rainbow Brite to third place honors.
Sunday’s $2,500 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, sponsored by Gold Coast Feed, saw a win for Victoria Colvin riding Chicolina. Kate Morrison and Four Roses DL Vie Z, owned by Craig Morrison, placed second. Sarah Hubbard and Athina Z were third.
Sarah Kerins topped the $2,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic riding Hot Wheels with Kate Morrison and Vaillant finishing second. Ali Tritschler and Norfield Stables’ Velinta Palo Blanco placed third.
The $2,500 M&S Child/Adult Jumper Classic was also held on Sunday with a win for Jacklynn Carey aboard Sher-Al Farm’s Lexa 22. Stephanie Ann Cook and East Bound and Down were once again second, and Monique Archer and Pin Up de Courcy placed third.
In the $1,500 Low Children’s Jumper Classic, Lindsay Levine and Waikiki, owned by Rivers Edge, were the winners. Dagny MacTaggart and Rancine Von HST Gravenhof placed second; Victoria Craig and Bellalina were third. The $1,500 Low Adult Jumper Classic saw a win for Nathan Rolfe and Alex Jayne’s Fly Away. Lea Allen finished second and third, placing second with Komedie de Montesec, and third aboard The Allen Farm’s Ginger 729.
Hunter and Equitation Highlights
A full schedule of hunter and equitation divisions were also held throughout the weekend. In the professional hunter divisions, the Conformation Hunter championship was a sweep for rider Kelley Farmer. Farmer guided Scripted to championship honors and earned the reserve championship with Connotation, both horses owned by Glefke and Kensel LLC. The Green Working Hunter championship went to Pen Name, owned by David Glefke and ridden by Adam Ottomanelli, with Kelley Farmer and Scripted in reserve. Darren Graziano and Paula Kennedy’s Monte Cristo topped the Performance Working Hunter 3’3″ and 3’6″ division, with Marigot Bay Farm LLC’s Wonderland and Stacey Arani in reserve.
The Adult Amateur Hunter champion for Holiday Festival I competition was Cassidy, owned by Sweet Oak Farm and ridden by Donald Gaves, with Choco Mousse, owned by Felecia Weiss and ridden by Laurie Stevens, in reserve. Becky Gochman guided David Gochman’s Whatever to the combined Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3″ and 3’6″ division championship with Stacey Arani and Wonderland in reserve.
The Pilates Rocks Low Adult Hunter champion was All-Star, owned and ridden by Lynn Blanchette, with Caiman and owner/rider Jenny Sutton in reserve. Sophie Gochman swept the Pine Hollow Stables’ Low Children’s Hunter championship with David Gochman’s World Time as champion and Without Question, owned by Ponies and Palms Stables LLC, in reserve. The UHealth Children’s Hunter championship was won by Vermeer, owned by Deirdre Radler and ridden by Hayley Iannotti, with a clean sweep of the division. Blitzen and Dagny MacTaggart finished in reserve.
The Small Pony Hunter championship went to GF Forget Me Not, owned by Mia Green and ridden by Alexandra Pielet. Sophie Gochman rode David Gochman’s Hi Lite to reserve honors. The Medium Pony Hunter champion was Highland’s Heaven Sent, owned by Peakewood Pharm Inc. and ridden by Taylor St. Jacques. Pegasus Show Stables Inc.’s Truly Noble and Sophie Gochman finished in reserve.
In the equitation classes, Victoria Colvin and Catherine Tyree’s Patrick won the Pessoa/USEF Hunter Seat Medal presented by Randolph College. The pair also won the ASPCA Maclay class. Colvin then guided North Star’s Stallone VDL to top honors in the WIHS Equitation Classic overall.
ESP’s Holiday Series will continue this week with it’s Holiday Festival III, featuring National ‘A’ rated hunter and 4* jumper competition on December 20-22. Highlights include a $10,000 Open Stake on Friday, December 20, and a $25,000 Holiday III Grand Prix on Sunday, December 22 at 2 p.m. For more information, please visitwww.equestriansport.com.
For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.
Photo Credit: Photos © ManciniPhotos, www.manciniphotos.com. These photos may only be used in relation to this press release and with full photo credit.