Wellington, FL – January 19, 2013 – The youngest rider in Saturday night’s $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix was the winner as eighteen-year-old Reed Kessler and Ligist jumped to victory during the highlight event of week two at the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). With riders representing fourteen different countries competing in the class, the USA took the top seven placings and the young women were one, two and three. Kessler and Ligist topped Katie Dinan (19) and Nougat du Vallet and Brianne Goutal (24) aboard Nice de Prissey.
The second week of FTI WEF competition, sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty, will conclude with 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.
Click the link to watch an interview with Reed!
Kessler agreed, “I thought the course was outstanding. I love really natural-feeling courses and I thought the whole thing felt so natural and smooth. There were options for your horses and I thought it was fantastic. He actually reminded me that this was the second grand prix I have won that he designed. He designed the 2* in Paris that I won when I was 16 and I love his courses.”
Fifty-four entries started the class in round one and nine advanced to the jump-off with four jumping double clear.
Katie Dinan and Grant Road Partners’ Nougat du Vallet were the first pair to clear the short course and set the time to beat at 38.19 seconds in the jump-off, eventually finishing second. Ken Berkley and Ax-Cent, owned by Rivers Edge, also cleared the jump-off course and stopped the clock in 39.12 seconds to place fourth. Reed Kessler and Ligist were next to go and blazed through the course in 37.81 seconds to take the lead. Last on course, Brianne Goutal and Cloverleaf Farm’s Nice de Prissey cleared the short course in 38.53 seconds to secure fourth place honors.
Reed Kessler was thrilled with the effort of her horse Ligist in the evening’s class. Kessler and the 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding (Levantos II x Robin Z) recently jumped up to 2.10m in a six-bar class in Geneva and the rider feels that the class really “raised his sights.”
Final Results: $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix CSI 2*
2. NOUGAT DU VALLET: 2001 Selle Francais gelding by Scherif D’elle
4. AX CENT: 2003 KWPN gelding by Burggraaf
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Haity McNerney: 0/4/37.62
7. INDIGO: 2000 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Indoctro
8. HH LET’S FLY: 1999 Hanoverian gelding by Lordanos x Forrest
KAITLIN CAMPBELL (USA), Kaitlin Campbell: 4/70.20
Garfield and Alexandra Crown Surpass Competition in Antares Large Junior Hunters 16-17 Division
Garfield and Alexandra Crown jumped their way to championship honors in the
Antares Large Junior Hunters 16-17 division during week two of competition at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). Crown, of New York City, and her eleven-year-old Holsteiner gelding nearly swept the division after winning all four over fences classes. The pair placed fourth in a competitive under saddle class on day two of competition for the division.
The reserve champion title went to Southfields Farm’s Bishonen and David Oberkircher. The eleven-year-old Warmblood gelding, trained by David Raposa, placed second over fences during day one of competition. Bishonen and Oberkircher took home the blue in the under saddle class on day two after earning fifth and third place ribbons in the over fences rounds.
Crown and Garfield were also named Junior Owner/Rider Champion for earning the most points of any owner/rider combination in the division. Crown purchased Garfield in late 2011 after deciding to move up from the pony hunter divisions.
“[Trainer] Scott Stewart had shown him for a year before me, so he knew he would be a perfect first year hunter for me,” Crown stated.
Stewart was obviously on to something; Crown and Garfield competed up and down the east coast in 2012 before being named Large Junior Hunter 15 and Under Champion at the Pennsylvania National in Harrisburg, Pa. The pair had strong performances at the Hampton Classic, Capital Challenge, and Washington International horse shows as well.
Garfield has been Crown’s beloved partner ever since their first show together. “He has such a big stride that he can cover up a lot of the small mistakes I made when I first got him. He’s such a good fit for me,” Crown stated.
“He’s the most perfect horse in the world,” Crown continued. “He’s got such a big personality. He’ll do anything you want him to, he’s the best!”
Crown was also complimentary of course designer Philip J. Devita’s course in the Rost Arena. “I really liked the course [on day two]. The long approach to the oxer let you have a good pace and go forward. So did the long bending line. I could go forward and his big stride helped with that,” Crown stated.
Week two of competition at the FTI WEF, sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty, concludes Sunday. The Bainbridge Amateur-Owner Hunter 18-35 division will award championship honors in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Arena. The $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic will be held in the International Arena. 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, Anne Gittins Photography, www.annegittins.com, and Kenneth Kraus. 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
Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.