Wellington, FL – March 24, 2013 – Week eleven of the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), sponsored by Artisan Farms, concluded on Sunday, March 24, with a full day of jumper action on the derby field at The Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam and Solerina won the highlight $101,000 Pennfield Feeds CSI 4* Grand Prix in a five-horse jump-off over Marie Hecart (FRA) and Myself de Breve and Kirsten Coe (USA) and Baronez.
Victoria Colvin and Waminka were victorious in the $15,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix, while Chloe Reid took the series win. Olivia Fry Weeks and Woica won the $10,000 Horseware Don Little Masters Classic. RichardJeffery of Bournemouth, England, set the courses on the derby field for all three classes.
In the $101,000 Pennfield Feeds CSI 4* Grand Prix, 34 entries showed over Jeffery’s feature track with five clear rounds advancing to the jump-off. Two cleared the short course without fault, and Shane Sweetnam guided Sweet Oak and Spy Coast Farms’ Solerina to victory with the fastest clear round in 41.17 seconds.
Watch an interview with winning rider
Shane Sweetnam! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-H1ylBq6Uc
Marie Hecart and Normandie Connections’ Myself de Breve cleared the jump-off course in 42.45 seconds to place second. In third, Kirsten Coe and Ilan Ferder’s Baronez had one time fault in 45.58 seconds. Kent Farrington (USA) and Robin Parksy’s Blue Angel had one rail down in 42.45 seconds to earn the fourth place honors, and Reed Kessler (USA) and Mika placed fifth with four faults in 43.87 seconds.
Sweetnam’s winning mount, Solerina, is a 14-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare by Cruising x Diamond Lad that he owns in collaboration with his sponsor, Spy Coast Farm. Believe it or not, Sunday’s win was Sweetnam’s first win in an international FEI grand prix as well as his horse’s first time ever showing in a grand prix at any level. The stars aligned for the pair on the field this weekend as they earned an exciting victory.
“It is a great result, especially for myself,” Sweetnam admitted after the class. “It is my first WEF Sunday win and it is great for Spy Coast as well who own half of her with me. I am very, very happy. It was unexpected. She is a really competitive horse and her results have been great all circuit, but this is the first grand prix that I have done her in. She really surpassed herself; she gave everything she had. She is very fast, so I knew that if I could get in the jump-off that I would have a chance.”
Sweetnam has had Solerina since last summer and the pair has done very well together at the 1.45m and 1.50m level. “She has won a few classes; she has been second a lot. She has a very good strike rate,” Sweetnam noted. “She has been placed nearly 70%. She has been very, very good.”
“She has a bit of character, chestnut mare stuff,” Sweetnam said of Solerina. “If she is not fighting you, she is fighting with you, so I prefer if she’s fighting with me. Actually she was very relaxed here, so I was happy.”
The “chestnut mare stuff” may not be all that bad, as Sweetnam pointed out that three chestnut mares were first, second, and third in Sunday’s class. Second place finisher Myself de Breve is a feisty red headed mare as well, but has also proven herself many times in the arena with French rider Marie Hecart. Hecart got the 13-year-old mare as a two-year-old and has had some great results with her.
“She is very small, but she has all the scope,” Hecart declared. “When she was younger she was crazy, she was totally wild, but she really started to be good two or three years ago. She has really settled down and started working with me really well.”
“She always jumps really well on a big field like that,” Hecart said following the class. “She gets a lot of scope and she was great. I didn’t start the season really early; I started about five weeks ago. I didn’t want to do too much with her, so I wasn’t really ready for the first grand prix and this week she really started jumping like she does. She is 13, so she has all the experience and she doesn’t need to jump that much. I just try to do the big classes and the most important ones and she was really good.”
Third place finisher, Baronez, has had some great results showing on the grass field with rider Kirsten Coe, including a win in week seven’s $30,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup. She seems to like the different atmosphere.
“She really likes it out here,” Coe stated. “She is brave as a lion, so she really excels in this environment. I didn’t start showing that early in the season either; I didn’t start showing until week six, so it really feels like things are starting to come together now. She was double clear both times this week, so she has had a nice result.”
For Shane Sweetnam, there is no doubt that this year’s FTI WEF and Sunday’s class, especially, will be one to remember for a long time. Sweetnam praised the show after a fantastic day.
“WEF has done a great job this year,” he acknowledged. “Even last night they had such a great crowd and the standard of jumping has been fantastic every week. Personally, I have had a great circuit as well; I have been in the top three or four in the grand prix four times now, which I am very happy with. Every year I think WEF gets bigger and better and the standard is very high.”
Final Results: $101,000 Pennfield Feeds CSI 4* Grand Prix
1. SOLERINA: 1999 Irish Sport Horse mare by Cruising x Diamond Lad
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Sweet Oak & Spy Coast Farms: 0/0/41.17
2. MYSELF DE BREVE: 2000 SFA mare by Quidam de Revel x Grand Veneur
MARIE HECART (FRA), Normandie Connection: 0/0/42.45
3. BARONEZ: 2001 Warmblood mare by Heartbreaker x Unknown
KIRSTEN COE (USA), Ilan Ferder: 1/45.58
4. BLUE ANGEL: 2002 AES mare by Luidam x Ascendant
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Robin Parsky:0/4/42.45
5. MIKA: 2000 Selle Francais gelding by Nidor Platiere x Rubis Rouge
REED KESSLER (USA), Reed Kessler: 0/4/43.87
6. ROTHCHILD: 2001 Belgian Sport Horse gelding by Artos x Elegant De L’Ile
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Sagamore Farms: 4/84.66
7. OLYMPIC DE CHAMANT: 2002 Selle Francais gelding by Gentleman IV SF x Apache D’adriers
JOHNATHON CORRIGAN (IRL), Sagamore Farms: 4/85.25
8. ROMANTOVICH TAKE ONE: 2000 KWPN gelding by Numero Uno x Karandasj
CHRISTINE MCCREA (USA), Candy Tribble: 4/85.39
9. ROUNDTHORN MADIOS: 2002 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Condios x Clover Hill
LAUREN TISBO (USA), Tequestrian Farms, LLC: 4/85.66
10. AVENZIO 3: 1999 KWPN gelding by Animo x Erdball xx
TAIZO SUGITANI (JPN), Yvonne Young: 4/86.02
11. MARTHA LOUISE: 2004 Swedish Warmblood mare by Maloubet de Pleville 1039 x Wolfgang
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Chinook Valley, Inc: 4/87.00
12. CORTES ‘C’: 2002 BWP gelding by Randel Z x Darco
BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Abigail Wexner: 4/88.15
Victoria Colvin and Waminka Win $15,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix; Chloe Reid Takes Series Victory
Starting off Sunday’s competition on the derby field,15-year-old Victoria Colvin jumped to victory in the $15,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix presented by the Dutta Corporation in association with Guido Klatte. Thirty-one entries showed in the class with four clear rounds to advance to the jump-off. None of the competitors were able to clear the second round course without fault, and Colvin’s four-fault round was the best with a time of 43.21 seconds aboard Waminka, owned by Rivers Edge.
Dana Scott and Nod Hill Farm’s KM What Ever RV finished second with four faults in 43.65 seconds. Niclas Hofmann and Trelawny Farm LLC’s Babbe Van’t Roosakker placed third with four faults in 50.87 seconds. Fourth place honors went to Alexandra Thornton and Dunwalke Ltd.’s Blue Curacao with eight faults in 45.17 seconds.
Sunday’s class was only Colvin’s second time competing in the young rider events in Wellington and she was happy that it went so well. She has had previous experience showing on the grass field in the equitation, hunter and junior jumper divisions, but was excited to compete against some of her top peers in the series.
“It went pretty well,” Colvin smiled after the class. “It is so nice to be out on the field and she just went amazing.”
Waminka is one of Colvin’s top mounts and the pair has had a lot of success recently, including winning yesterday’s $10,000 Griffis Residential High Junior Jumper Classic. Riding on the grass field was a little different, but the pair handled it perfectly.
“With her, I feel like she doesn’t have to get as quiet, so that she just has a nice gallop,” Colvin explained of the different preparation. “We pretty much just walked her this morning and then she was just ready to go.”
“She is pretty straightforward,” the rider added. “You have to hold her mouth a little bit, but she goes to the jumps and you don’t really need much leg. She is one of my favorites except for my own, of course, but she is a lot of fun.”
Commenting on the jump-off, Colvin continued, “I was trying to just have a nice, clear round, but I think I just felt the wind and ran to that oxer. I was gonna go slow and clean, but it didn’t really work that way. I think the wind makes it more fun. It feels like you are on a beach galloping.”
Sunday’s class was the final event in the 2013 Artisan Farms Young Rider Series, presented by the Dutta Corporation in association with Guido Klatte, which also awarded the top prizes on Sunday for its overall standings. Sixteen-year-old Chloe Reid was named the top rider under 21 and will get a spot on the USEF European Young Rider Tour this summer as her prize, with transportation provided by the Dutta Corporation in association with Guido Klatte. Along with that, as the overall winner she takes home a Bruno delGrange saddle. Wilton Porter and Niclas Hofmann were second and third in the overall standings.
“I am really excited. This was definitely one of my goals for the year,” Reid said of the honor. “Every year we sit down with my trainer (Kim Prince) and my parents and they say ‘Chloe, what would you like to have as your accomplishment for this year?’ Last year it was to make the European Tour and this year I said that I would love to finish in the top for this class and I was able to make that achievement.”
Watch an interview with Chloe Reid! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVcSWdbJ8Ek
Reid went on the European tour last year and enjoyed her time competing abroad. “That was an amazing experience last year,” she stated. “I have never really ridden on a team before and it is a completely different atmosphere over there. It is a great learning experience and I learned so much more than if I just stayed here. I was really happy with everything over there.”
Reid is developing a great partnership with her horse, Damascus, and felt that this year’s young rider series was very helpful to their development.
“This series is great with all of the different kinds of rounds they give us,” Reid acknowledged. “We had a night class, we had a Nations Cup theme, we had on the grass today and just all of the different experiences for helping you succeed. I have had Damascus since last spring and she has really learned to become my horse and I have learned our strengths and weaknesses together. Every round I am just getting to know her more and try to exceed even more.”
A full schedule of competition was also held at the main show grounds at PBIEC on Sunday in the International Arena. In the $10,000 Charles Owen Low Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic, Daisy Johnson and Atlanta 447 jumped to victory. In the $10,000 Maria Mendelsohn Low Junior Jumpers, Eugenio Garza and Marbella were victorious.
Grand All Over and Emma Kurtz Excel in Visse Wedell Medium Pony Hunters
Grand All Over lived up to his name during week eleven of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). The fifteen-year-old Welsh Pony gelding owned by David Gochman was champion of the Visse Wedell Medium Pony Hunter divsion with Emma Kurtz. Kurtz, of Cleveland, OH, piloted Grand All Over to second place under saddle and finished first, third, and third over fences.
Reserve champion was Sassafras Creek, ridden by Daisy Farish and owned by Redfield Farm. Farish and Sassafras Creek were eighth under saddle and were first, second, sixth, and first over fences.
Owner-rider champion for the division was Roxbury and Yasmin Rizvi. Reserve owner-rider honors went to Francesca Dildabanian and her pony Laugh Out Loud.
Grand All Over, known as “Toby” in the barn, is one of twelve-year-old Kurtz’s many successful pony mounts, but she will admit to him being her favorite by far. While Kurtz says his irresistible cuteness is what puts him at the top of her list, trainer Amanda Lyerly knows their bond is more than just skin-deep. “They really trust each other,” Lyerly commented. “He’s really brave and she’s confident on him. They’re such a good match.”
Lyerly does admit Toby’s looks certainly don’t hurt him in the ring. “He has an amazing look through the bridle and he has a great neck. He always goes with his ears pricked and he pretty much always jumps well no matter how you get to the jump. He just has a lot of presence,” Lyerly described.
Toby has been so successful with Kurtz that the pair is currently in second place in the FTI WEF circuit standings despite a relatively light show schedule. “Emma won the pony classic World Champion Hunter Rider week. She was champion another week and reserve one week. He really hasn’t done a lot since he already has so many points. He gets to have an easy circuit,” Lyerly explained.
Kurtz and her winning partner will continue to show together through the FTI WEF’s final week, after which the duo look forward to showing at the Devon Horse Show in May. Following Devon, their show career together is a little more uncertain. Kurtz has had Toby on lease from the Gochman family until their girls grow into him.
“He belongs to the Gochmans, and their kids were actually a little bit too small for him when they got him, so they’ve let Emma ride him for a little bit until they’re ready for him. It’s very, very generous of them to give her that opportunity,” Lyerly acknowledged.
Kurtz and Toby’s championship finish concluded hunter competition for week eleven of the FTI WEF, sponsored by Artisan Farms. The final week of the FTI WEF, presented by title sponsor FTI Consulting, will run March 27-21, 2013, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.
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
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 at www.fticonsulting.com.
Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.