Wellington, FL – January 26, 2013 – Riders Darragh Kenny, Catherine Pasmore, and Meg O’Mara were the winning team of the fourth annual FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge presented by Fidelity Investments® (FTI GCC) on behalf of their charity JDRF (the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) on Saturday evening at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). Sponsored by Jessie Pasmore and Martha Jolicoeur and corporate sponsor Stone Hill Farm, the three riders made up the top team of the night over 33 other pro-am teams representing Palm Beach County charities.
A signature event of the twelve-week FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, this year’s FTI GCC will distribute approximately $1.5 million to the 34 lucky Palm Beach County charities that were chosen at random to be represented in the pro-am team relay competition. Each team was made up of junior and amateur riders competing side by side with top professionals.
A crowd of over 5,000 spectators came out to enjoy the family fun event as part of the “Saturday Night Lights” series. The JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) was the winning team of the night with riders Meg O’Mara, Catherine Pasmore, and Darragh Kenny. O’Mara did have one rail down, but the trio’s speedy trips made up for it and their time of 92.361 seconds won the top prize of $150,000 for their charity.
Coming in second was College for Kids – Take Stock in Children, sponsored by the Mirabal Family and G&C Farm as well as corporate sponsor Palm Beach Illustrated. The team consisted of three Venezuelan riders from G&C Farm, including youngest rider Maria Emilia Chapellin Mirabal, Carolina Chapellin Mirabal and professional Luis Fernando Larrazabal with a combined time of 93.248 seconds to earn $125,000.
As the professional representative for the JDRF team, Irish rider Darragh Kenny (who turns 25 on Thursday) was thrilled to be competing in the event for the first time. Kenny is known for his speed, and rode the same horse Vanotrouska, owned by Megan Bifano, that he showed in week one’s $55,000 Nespresso Battle of the Sexes.
Commenting on the night, Kenny smiled, “It was fantastic. It is a great atmosphere. I think it is a really good thing that they have here and it is for a great cause. I have never ridden for charity before but I think it is great to have the chance to do that. It is enjoyable for everybody and it is nice that we are giving back to something as well. I would for sure do this again in the future.”
Catherine Pasmore (20) was riding her veteran mount My Boy and was even more excited to ride for her randomly matched charity due to a personal connection to the JDRF. Pasmore’s uncle was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes and passed away at a young age. The connection gave Pasmore extra inspiration.
O’Mara showed Mavis Spencer’s Valencia in the class. She noted, “It was really fun. I would definitely do it every other year. This was my first type of team experience.”
“It means a tremendous amount to win,” Hazelwood added. “This is a lot of money for any non-profit organization, especially coming off of a recession. This is the most exciting thing that has happened to us in a number of years. We were really pleased to learn that our team sponsor, Jessie Pasmore, has a personal connection to type-1 diabetes and we were not even aware of that. The teams are just randomly assigned, so we think there was some serendipity; there is no such thing as coincidence. We thought that was amazing.”
The highlight of Saturday’s afternoon session in the International Arena at PBIEC was the $25,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic with 28 entries competing over a course set by Uliano Vezzani of Italy.
“The horse took me a little bit to get used to,” Wylde admitted. “I must say, I had some up and down rounds with him. He is so powerful that he actually threw me out of the saddle in the beginning when I started to jump him. I am used to riding horses sort of loose and soft and he has so much power going up, it is incredible. I am learning it obviously, because it is going well.”
Final Results: $25,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic
1. WANNAHAVE PETER WYLDE THE WANNAHAVE GROUP: 0/0/35.512
2. WATCH ME VD MANGELAAR DARRAGH KENNY SAMANTHA TUERK: 0/0/35.815
3. VALENTINODARRAGH KENNY MAVIS SPENCER: 0/0/36.673
4. TIC – TAC LESLIE HOWARD JANE CLARK: 0/0/37.020
5. DOLORES BEN MAHER MRS. WANG: 0/0/37.784
6. AD WELCOME DU PETIT VIVIER ATHINA ONASSIS DE MIRANDA ATHINA ONASSIS DE MIRANDA & VICTORY EQUESTRIAN: 0/0/41.268
7. ZINNIA ANDREW WELLES ANDREW WELLES: 0/4/38.251
8. NOUVELLE LAURA KRAUT EVITA GROUP: 0/4/40.329
9. CAPALL ZIDANE RONAN MCGUIGAN RONAN MCGUIGAN: 4/74.909
10. KING KOLIBRI LAUREN TISBO TEQUESTRIAN FARMS, LLC: 4/75.321
11. CARLOS V.H.P.Z. NICHOLAS DELLO JOIO EMILIE MARTINSEN: 4/75.992
12. COLGATE PABLO BARRIOS PABLO BARRIOS: 4/76.513
Way Cool and Victoria Colvin Continue Reign Over Antares Large Junior Hunters 15 and Under
Way Cool and Victoria Colvin were named champions of the Antarés Large Junior 15 and Under Hunter division during week three of competition for the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). Colvin and “Coolie,” an eleven-year-old Hanoverian gelding, were first in one over fences round during day one of competition for the division. On day two, the pair won another over fences class before placing third under saddle.
Way Cool has amassed substantial winnings over the last three years with Colvin as his dedicated partner. Dr. Betsy Parker, who owns the chestnut gelding, is the first to admit he can be a difficult ride.
“He has the most remarkable snap and correct jump, but he has a lot of opinions about things that happen around the ring. Tori has to ride him with a lot of what I call ‘friendly persuasion’ to get around,” Parker stated.
“I think people get a lot of entertainment value from Coolie going around. He used to have the nickname ‘Win or Spin.’ But when he does go, he’s so magnificent and he teaches everyone so much about how very tremendously athletic our hunters can be,” Parker continued.
Parker attributes Way Cool’s string of winning performances to Colvin’s loving and persuasive technique with the chestnut gelding. “He draws confidence from his confident rider, and he knows that she loves him,” Parker stated. “Tori is the person he loves the dearest in the world and he will do anything for her.”
Colvin and Way Cool started day two of the division off with a refusal before recollecting to win the stake round of over fences. “The second time in the ring I think he was used to everything. It’s his first week back [showing]. National [The Alltech National Horse Show in Kentucky] was his last show, so it’s been a while. I think he was pretty good for being off for so long,” Colvin stated.
Colvin, of Loxahatchee, FL, has been showing at the FTI WEF since childhood. She grew up riding Parker’s ponies and at the age of 15 is already a seven-season veteran of the FTI WEF. “It’s big and beautiful with great footing,” Colvin described. “And it’s very fun!”
Photo Credit: Photos © Sportfot, An Official Photographer of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, us.sportfot.com, and Anne Gittins Photography, An Official Photographer of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, www.annegittins.com. These photos may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.
About the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival
The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 9 through March 31. The FTI 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 $7 million in prize money will be awarded.
About FTI Consulting
About Fidelity Investments®
Fidelity Investments® is one of the world’s largest providers of financial services, with assets under administration of $3.9 trillion, including managed assets of $1.7 trillion, as of December 31, 2012. Founded in 1946, the firm is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing and many other financial products and services to more than 20 million individuals and institutions, as well as through 5,000 financial intermediary firms. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit www.fidelity.com.
Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.