Wellington, FL – January 20, 2013 – The second week of competition at the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty, concluded on Sunday with a win for McLain Ward (USA) and Super Trooper de Ness in the $25,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic. Competing on a beautiful afternoon at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), the pair earned their second victory of the week, winning over Ben Maher (GBR) aboard Jane Clark’s Cella and Pablo Barrios (VEN) and ZL Group, Inc.’s Zara Leandra.
Week three of the FTI WEF runs Wednesday, January 23, through Sunday, January 27. The week will feature the FTI Consulting Great Charity Challenge (FTI GCC), presented by Fidelity Investments®, at 7 p.m. on Saturday evening. The event raises and distributes over one million dollars annually to 32 lucky Palm Beach County charities in a pro-am team competition.
Other highlights in the International Arena will include the $33,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 3 at 1 p.m. on Thursday afternoon and the $25,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic at 1 p.m. on Saturday. The grass derby field at The Stadium at PBIEC will host the $50,000 CSI 2* Grand Prix, weather permitting, at 2 p.m. on Sunday. The 2013 FTI WEF circuit continues through March 31 featuring 12 weeks of world-class competition.
Concluding week two, forty-one entries showed in the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Sunday jumping a course set by Luc Musette ofBelgium. Eight were clear to advance to the jump-off and five went double clear. McLain Ward and Grant Road Partners’ Super Trooper de Ness blazed through the short course in 41.853 seconds for the win.
Super Trooper is an eleven-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion by Vigo d’Arsouilles x Polydor. He is a horse that Ward is aiming toward the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy. The pair won a class earlier in the week in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class and a great partnership is forming.
Four other riders cleared the short course and finished in the top of the ribbons. Ben Maher and Cella completed the course in 42.390 seconds to place second. Pablo Barrios and Zara Leandra finished in 43.441 seconds for third place honors. Paige Johnson (USA) and Salamander Farm’s Chiron S were fourth in 43.893 seconds. Fifth place went to Christine McCrea aboard Candy Tribble’s Victor E with a time of 45.317 seconds.
Ward is excited about his new partnership with Super Trooper de Ness and looks forward to building their relationship this season. Speaking about the ride, he detailed, “He is very sensitive and very careful, so you have to be quite disciplined in the ride, but the trade off is that he leaves the jumps up. I think you just try to ride him as well as you can. He is just very competitive. I think he is a wonderful horse, so I am very excited about him.”
Ward also spoke about the course and how it suited his horse, as well as his confidence in his mount in the jump-off.
“It was big enough for a 1.50m class,” he remarked. “The triple was quite big. I think he is capable of answering any test, but it is a little bit of a progression because we are just kind of getting going.”
“From fence one to two I left out a stride,” Ward said of his winning time. “I knew how careful he was that he would handle that skinny really well and then I just tried to stay on it. We had a nice turn back on both verticals and it was nine strides in the last line for all the top ones that went fast, so it was kind of a set distance. You know when you are galloping the fence that he is going to do a lot to get out of the way, so that certainly gives you confidence in going fast.”
The Junior Jumpers also showed in the International Arena on Sunday competing in their classics for week two. In the $10,000 Griffis Group High Junior Jumper Classic, Lillie Keenan and Chansonette Farm, LLC’s Londinium were the winners. Dana Scott and Nod Hill Farm’s KM What Ever RV finished second and Chloe Reid and Damascus placed third.
The $10,000 Hollow Creek Farm Medium Junior Jumper Classic saw a win for Michael Hughes aboard Christina Fried’s Zammetje. Second place went to Eugenio Garza aboard El Milagro’s Zarenko. Madeline Thatcher and Pony Lane Farm’s Lancelot 266 finished third.
Finals Results: $25,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic
1. SUPER TROOPER DE NESS MCLAIN WARD GRANT ROAD PARTNERS, LLC: 0/0/41.853
2. CELLA BEN MAHER JANE CLARK: 0/0/42.390
3. ZARA LEANDRA PABLO BARRIOS ZL GROUP, INC: 0/0/43.441
4 . CHIRON S PAIGE JOHNSONSALAMANDER FARM: 0/0/43.893
5. VICTOR E CHRISTINE MCCREA CANDY TRIBBLE: 0/0/45.317
6. ROUNDTHORN MADIOS LAUREN TISBO TEQUESTRIAN FARMS, LLC: 0/4/46.028
7. ONISHA REED KESSLER REED KESSLER: 0/5/50.136
8. LILLI GEORGINA BLOOMBERG DIETMAR GUGLER & GOTHAM ENTERPRIZES: 0/8/47.451
9. E-MUSE YEK DARRAGH KERINS DARRAGH KERINS & MAARTEN HUYGENS: 1/80.809
10. ZHUM CWMCLAIN WARD ILAND FARDER & MISSY CLARK: 4/73.638
11. QUIET EASY 4 BEN MAHER MRS/ PHILLIPS: 4/75.606
12. UATA BRIANNE GOUTAL CLOVERLEAF FARM: 4/75.668
Sienna and Lexi Maounis Take Home Bainbridge Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunter Championship
Sienna and Lexi Maounis were champions of the Bainbridge Amateur-Owner 18-35 Hunter division at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). Maounis, ofGreenwich, CT, and her eleven-year-old Hanoverian mare won both over fences rounds during day one of competition. On day two, the pair, placed fourth and fifth over fences and third under saddle.
Reserve championship honors were awarded to another all-female pair, Kelsey Thatcher and Pony Lane Farm’s Starina B. The duo placed seventh and fourth over fences on day one of the division, followed by fifth and first place rounds on day two. Thatcher and Starina B placed third in the under saddle class.
Maounis has owned Sienna for the last three years and credited the mare with taking her show career to new heights.
“She has taken me from nowhere to everywhere, from the junior hunters and now the amateurs. This is my second show in the amateurs since I just aged out and she’s been amazing through everything. She’s always consistent and she’s just the best,” Maounis declared.
Maounis attributed their success to the mare’s even-keeled attitude and remarkable expertise. “She knows exactly what she’s doing. She could do it by herself really,” Maounis stated. “She’s always the same. Every single day she’s consistent and she’s always perfect.”
At 18, Maounis is already a FTI WEF veteran and eagerly awaits the return to Floridaeach season. “I don’t even know how many seasons it’s been! I did short stirrups here, probably when I was in fifth grade,” Maounis stated.
As with many riders, the beautiful weather and venue keeps Maounis coming back for more. “I live in Connecticut, so it’s a nice transition to come to the warmth! Showing inFlorida is amazing. The facilities are amazing and it’s just a really fun show,” Maounis stated.
Even with the perfect partner, Maounis didn’t get a big head after taking home blue ribbons the first day of competition for the division. “I was feeling confident, but I don’t like to take things for granted. I still wanted to do really well,” Maounis stated.
“The courses were really good,” Maounis continued, complimenting Philip Devita’s course design in the E.R. Mische Arena. “I thought they rode really well, and of course Sienna was amazing as usual!” Maounis stated.
Maounis and Sienna’s victory wrapped up week two of the FTI WEF, sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty. Week three will continue with a full schedule of “AA” hunter and 2* jumper competition running January 23-27. For the prize list and more information, please visit www.equestriansport.com. For full results, go towww.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 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.