Wellington, FL – January 18, 2013 – Week two of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) continued on Friday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) with a win for McLain Ward and Grant Road Partners’ Super Trooper de Ness in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class. Laura Chapot and Bradberry won the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m speed class and Laurie Stevens and Iceman took home their second championship of the circuit in the Camping World Adult Amateur Hunter 51 & Over division.
The second week of FTI WEF competition, sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty, will run January 16-20. Highlight events include the $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty CSI2* Grand Prix on Saturday evening and the $25,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Classic on Sunday afternoon. The 2013 FTI WEF circuit runs through March 31 featuring 12 weeks of world-class competition.
Luc Musette of Belgium is the course designer in the International Arena for week two. Eighty-one entries showed in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class with 27 qualifying for the second round. Seventeen entries jumped the short course without fault and the fastest of those jump-off rounds belonged to McLain Ward and Super Trooper de Ness with a time of 39.287 seconds.
Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm, LLC’s Beluga finished second in 40.551 seconds. Laura Kraut and Equinvest’s Maranon LS stopped the clock in 40.763 seconds to place third.
Class winner Super Trooper de Ness is an eleven-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion byVigo d’Arsouilles x Polydor. Grant Road Partners originally purchased the horse two years ago and he showed briefly with young rider Katie Dinan, but will now become a full-time mount for McLain Ward on the road to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Normandy, France. Super Trooper is sired by the 2010 World Champion, Vigod’Arsouilles, and Ward thinks that he has all of the potential to reach that level. Following the pair’s win on Friday, Ward detailed his plans.
“I am going to be riding him for the next two seasons,” he stated. “We bought him two years ago with great hopes and unfortunately he had a couple of health problems, but he is fully recovered now. The Dinans were kind enough to give me the opportunity to try and bring him up to the level that we believe that he is and aim him towards the World Equestrian Games next year, so we are trying to build the relationship.”
Prior to his purchase by the Dinan family, Super Trooper de Ness had begun to jump the big grand prix classes in England and competed on the Sunshine Tour in Spain with great success. Ward saw the stallion and recognized his ability immediately.
“He is an incredible horse,” the rider declared. “We believed that when we bought him two years ago and unfortunately he just hit a few bumps in the road early on. He is unbelievably talented. I think he may be the most careful horse I have ever ridden; he just needs to get back up to the top level. I think he is really confident right now and when he gets there, I think he is going to be a really tough horse to beat.”
The pair was certainly tough to beat in Friday’s class as they won over more than 80 competitors. Commenting on their rounds in the class, Ward noted, “He felt really good. We have been kind of experimenting with different spurs and different things with the bit, just trying to figure out what works the best and making mild changes. In the first round today it felt like we had it really together and he is so careful that in the jump-off he just makes it very easy to do the difficult turns and what not.”
Ward plans to jump Super Trooper again in the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Sunday and then hopes to gradually work him up towards the bigger classes throughout the circuit, building toward the ultimate goal of the WEG next year. He will have next week off to relax and then continue on during week four.
Also showing on Friday, the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge was held in the International Arena with a win for Laura Chapot and the ever-speedy Bradberry. Nicholas Dello Joio and Pamela Postal’s Triumph finished second with Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm, LLC’s Cyklon 1083 in third.
Final Results: $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Jump-Off
1. SUPER TROOPER DE NESS MCLAIN WARD GRANT ROAD PARTNERS LLC: 0/0/39.287
2. BELUGA SHANE SWEETNAM SPY COAST FARM LLC: 0/0/40.551
3. MARANON LS LAURA KRAUTEQUINVEST: 0/0/40.763
4. UMBERTO LAURA CHAPOT MARY CHAPOT: 0/0/40.812
5. PJOTTER VAN DE ZONNEHOEVE MCLAIN WARD LOUISBURG FARM: 0/0/41.122
6. KING KOLIBRI LAUREN TISBO TEQUESTRIAN FARMS LLC: 0/0/41.178
7. C’EST CI BON 4 LAUREN CROOKS GLENN YOUELL & CROOKS SHOW JUMPING: 0/0/42.666
8. ONIRA BRIANNE GOUTAL REMARKABLE FARMS LP: 0/0/42.687
9. ZIEDENTO RAMIRO QUINTANA ST. BRIDE’S FARM: 0/0/42.828
10. DOLORESBEN MAHER MRS. WANG: 0/0/42.890
11. VICOMTE D BEN MAHER JANE F. CLARK: 0/0/42.956
12. BROOKLYN BLUES ALEXANDRA PAILLOTCAROL SOLLAK: 0/0/43.011
Iceman and Laurie Stevens Take Home Camping World Adult Amateur Hunter 51 & Older Championship for Second Consecutive Week
Iceman and Laurie Stevens were triumphant for the second week in a row at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). The duo received championship honors in the Camping World Adult Amateur Hunter 51 & Older (Section A) division during week one before taking home the championship again in week two. Stevens, of Boca Raton, FL, and her eleven-year-old Westphalian gelding placed first and eighth over fences on day one, followed by second and first places over fences and second place under saddle on day two.
LDM Dramatik, owned and ridden by Lynn Berg, was reserve champion of the division. Berg and Dramatik finished in third and eighth places over fences day one and rode to fifth place over fences and eighth place under saddle on day two.
Stevens bought Iceman two years ago after his owner passed away from a brain tumor. “He had gotten [Iceman] as a four-year-old and he was his pride and joy. Some of his last words were, ‘Make sure my horse has a good home.’ And I feel like Bryan is always watching down on me, like an angel on my shoulder when I’m riding Iceman,” Stevens stated.
Iceman and Stevens’ close relationship began at the FTI WEF 2012. “Iceman’s just a good guy. He always goes in the ring, he’s got a smile on his face, (and) he’s just happy to do it,” Stevens stated. “I trust him. My trainer [Lainie Wimberly] goes up toNew York six months a year and I keep him here by myself. I don’t need someone always putting him together for me. He’s just this good old guy.”
Stevens felt confident going into the ring with her trusted companion, especially after winning a class day one and being named division champion the week prior. “When I walk in the ring on him, I just tell myself to relax. He’ll relax and pick up this pace and never change,” Stevens described.
Stevens, an eleven-year veteran of the FTI WEF, recently moved permanently toFlorida, allowing her more time with her family while still enabling her to compete at a high level. “When we moved down here, it made it a lot easier. Now, instead of leaving my kids and flying, I drop them off at morning care and I get to come and show,” Stevens explained.
The friendly yet competitive atmosphere at the FTI WEF is what keeps Stevens coming back year after year. “I love all the friends I’ve made here. I love competing with all of them. We’re all rooting for each other and it’s very good camaraderie. And, [the FTI WEF] is a high level competition that challenges me. The bar is set so high,” she related.
Week two of competition at the FTI WEF, sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty, continues on Saturday in the Rost Arena with the Antarés Large Junior 16-17 Hunters. In the evening, the $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty CSI2* Grand Prix will be featured. For full results, go to www.showgroundslive.com.
Photo Credit: Photos © Sportfot, An Official Photographer of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, us.sportfot.com and Anne Gittins Photography,www.annegittins.com. This photo 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 BeachInternational 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
FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations protect and enhance enterprise value in an increasingly complex legal, regulatory and economic environment. With more than 3,800 employees located in 24 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges in areas such as investigations, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory issues, reputation management, strategic communications and restructuring. The company generated $1.56 billion in revenues during fiscal year 2011. More information can be found atwww.fticonsulting.com.