Hello Beautiful People,
The sun has set on another WEF and the 2018 circuit is now in the books. Those who call Wellington home during the winter come from all over the world and gather in this magical place for the Winter Equestrian Festival. In my opinion, the hands on the Rolex sponsor clock seemed to be in fast forward this season. Now it’s on to the next chapter for us and our fellow equestrians. The logistics of moving on to the next destination can be a challenging puzzle. I just think about all that is involved in our small operation – getting ourselves, our horses, dogs, vehicles, employees, and all of the stuff etc to the next stop. It is a lot of moving parts. Next up on our agenda is heading North to Minnesota. First, I’ll start by saying that I do indeed love Minnesota. It’s a beautiful state, truly…just not right now. During the summer and fall it is glorious. I love my family and friends, but sorry to say, guys, I’m not looking forward to the return knowing that it’s still COLD and inclement outside! I’m hoping for the weather to make a quick turnaround. And when I say hoping I mean REALLY desperately hoping, like tomorrow, please.
The final week of competition in Wellington was beautiful, as it has been for nearly the entire circuit.
We had a very nice day, starting with an Easter egg hunt bright and early. We spent most of the day enjoying the horse show. Sara showed Davante and they were really lovely and received a couple of great ribbons.
Less than a second behind the winning time, Darragh Kenny was a close 2nd with a jump-off time of 35.263 aboard Babalou 41. 12 double clear rounds were produced in the end, although 5 that went clear in the first round opted not to come back and jump off, saving their horses for the Saturday night class.
Shane Sweetnam and Chaqui Z, owned by Spyglass Farms, came in 3rd in 35.712. Alex Granato was 4th on Carlchen W in 35.744. Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum was 5th in 36.481. Beezie Madden and Darry Lou were 6th in 36.627. Laura Kraut and Confu were 7th in 36.892. 8th place went to Santiago Lambre and Dingeman, 9th to Captain Brian Cournane and Dino, 10th to Guillaume Batillat and Rouge Pierrevelle, 11th to Lorcan Gallagher and Hunters Conlypso II, and rounding out the top 12, Tiffany Foster and Donjo.
For Friday highlights, we’ll head to the Stadium Derby Field. 22 competed in the $10K USHJA National Hunter Derby, 39 competed in the $15K International Hunter Derby Hunt & Go, and 36 came out for the $10K USHJA National Hunter Derby for Juniors and Amateurs.
Winning the $10K USHJA National, Jennifer Bliss, aboard Sugarman with a total score of 176. With a 174, Schuyler Riley was 2nd aboard Gold Glock WS. Laura Bowery was 3rd on Prince of Thieves with a 173. Audrey Robison was 4th on Caliber Z with a 167. Lisa Rex was 5th with 166.5 on Fabricio 23. Schuyler was 6th with a 165.5 on her second horse, Integrity. Katherine Newman finished 7th on Castle, and Lisa Richter was 8th.
Mindful ridden by Jennifer Bliss took the win in the $15K International Hunt & Go. They had a total score of 355. In 2nd with a 352.75 it was Kelley Farmer aboard Exceptional. Liza Boyd and S & L Just a Cobbler were 3rd with a 346. Another of Kelley’s came in 4th, Frosted with a 337.5. Hannah Isop and Red Ryder were 5th with a 337.5. Jennifer Hannan’s other ride, Olympic Fire, was 6th with a 334. Maria Rasmussen was 7th on Sidarta with a 327.75. Right behind with a 327.5 – Keri Kampsen and St. Tropez.
In the $10K USHJA National Jr/Am, Daisy Farish was the winner with a 181 aboard Cinemagic. Meredith Lipke was 2nd with a 167 on For Love. John Yozell was 3rd with a 166 on Aiden. With a 164, Stephanie Bulger and Mayfair were 4th. Alliah Kassem and C Beyond were 5th with a 163. Hillary Jean and With Gratitude were 6th with a 161. Lisa Baugh and Kings Road were 7th with a 156, and rounding out the top 8 Tracy Thomson and Houdini with a 156.
The Derby action continued into Saturday with the first round of the $50K USHJA International Hunter Derby. The top score of 189 was awarded to Hannah Isop and Red Ryder. Kelley Farmer was 2nd on Exceptional with a 188. Jennifer Hannan and Olympic Fire were 3rd receiving a 183. Kelley was also 4th aboard Shameless with a 182. Samantha Schaefer and In the Know were 5th with a 181. Liza Boyd was 6th on S & L Just a Cobbler with 180.75. Jennifer Hannan with another in the top 8, coming in 7th on Mindful with a 179. 8th was awarded to Sara Taylor and No Doubt with a 178.
The Saturday Night Lights Finale was a spectacular class. 40 participated in the 5* $500K Rolex Grand Prix. It was a big and technical track built by Guilherme Jorge. Surprisingly, we saw 3 clear early on in the class. Ben Asselin and Cool Feeling went 5th in the order, Luiz Francisco De Azevado and Comic went 7th in the order, and Enrique Gonzalez was 12th in the order and clear on Chacna. From there, things seemed to go south. Everything from 1 sad little time fault for Santiago Lambre to a few with 16 faults. Sadly, it was not a good night for the Beerbaums. One of Markus’s regular horses, Cool Hand Luke, took an issue with fence 7 and dislodged him into the standard. Seeing him walk out and his little girl running up and attaching to him as he left the ring was just about the sweetest saddest thing. With only 2 horses between Markus and Meredith’s place in the lineup, you have to wonder if his fall may have rattled her. She and Daisy just didn’t seem to be connected and she was unable to complete the course. Another typically successful pair, Eric Lamaze and Coco Bongo were eliminated as well for a 2nd refusal. Lillie Keenan had a beautiful round after Skyhorse stopped at the beginning of her course. It was unfortunate as the remainder of it was beautiful. It wasn’t until the final 3 riders that we saw fault-free rounds again. In an incredibly exciting finish to round 1, Conor Swail, Margie Engle, and McLain Ward all went clear.
Fence number 7 was a jump we hadn’t seen during the circuit. From 7 they went to a huge open water for number 8. This was a trouble spot for many. After 8 it was a quick turn to a big oxer. The other trouble spot was 13 a,b to 14. Many were just so close, but didn’t get to the final oxer correctly (14), which was quite big and wide, and had that one down.
The energy in the International Club was high and everyone was gasping, cheering, whistling, or whatever the appropriate thing was for the moment throughout the night. It was particularly exciting during Margie Engle’s ride on Royce. Margie is a crowd favorite and one you like to see at the top. Given that, it being the finale, and the fact that it was her Birthday was a recipe for major fan enthusiasm! And it ultimately resulted in a big win for Margie! She won with a jump-off time of 39.356. $165K for the win on her 60th Birthday. Rock on Margie! Luiz and Comic were 2nd and double clear in 42.52 winning $100K. Conor Swail ended up 3rd with 4 faults in 40.179 – the time to make 2nd, but the unfortunate rail set him back. This earned him $75K. Enrique and Chacna were 4th ($50K), Ben Asselin and Cool Feeling 5th($30K), and McLain Ward 6th ($22.5K) with 12 faults in the jump off. Santiago took 7th ($15K) with the 1 time fault from the first round. Dani Goldstein and Lizziemary were the fastest 4 faulters from round 1 to take 8th ($12.5K). Daniel Bluman and Ladriano Z were 9th ($10K) and rounding out the top 10, Beezie Madden on Derry Lou ($10K). WEF Challenge Cup winner, Lucy Deslauriers, end up 13th having had 4 faults in the first round.
And then it was Sunday!!! And no shortage of action on Easter! There were not 1, but 2 Grand Prix’s that took place on Sunday. First, the 2* $50K Wanderers Club Grand Prix. Elisa Uribe topped the field of 40 with a double clear score in 40.154. Ashley Baker and Coolmann 7 were 2nd and double clear in 43.451. Mavis Spencer ended up 3rd with 4 faults in the jump-off in 39.112. Vanessa Mannix and Catinka 25 were 4th in 41.354 with 4 in the jump off. Jordan Macpherson had 4 in 41.38 aboard Aanwinst for 5th. Leonie Bockmann and Fire and Ice J were 6th, Elissa Reisman 7th, and Jorge Matte Capdevila in 8th on Balou Du Reventon (a favorite horse of my husband). Many of the more well-known names did not earn a top spot in this class!
The $50K CP 1.50 National Grand Prix came shortly thereafter. Of 46, only 3 were double clear. 2 of those clear rounds earned McLain Ward both 1st and 2nd. Clinta was the fastest to win in 33.696. Bellefleur PS Z was 34.737. Rowan Willis was 3rd aboard Shark in 35.73. 4th and with 4 faults Pedro Junqueira Muyalaert and Chacote. Laura Chapot and Chandon Blue were 5th, Luis Pedro Biraben and Eres Tu (loved this horse) were 6th, Cormac Hanley and Captain Caruso 7th, and rounding out the top 8 – Mavis Spencer and Dubai.
Meanwhile, over at the Stadium Derby Field, the 2nd round of the $50K USHJA International Hunter Derby was underway. Coming back from the first round in the 6th spot, Liza Boyd and S & L Just a Cobbler came back strong and ultimately finished at the top of the class with a 391.75. Mindful ridden by Jennifer Hannan came in from the 7th position to take over 2nd overall with a 384. Samantha Schaefer finished 3rd with In the Know. They were in the 5th spot coming into round 2. Victoria Colvin moved up from the 10th spot and into 4th with Cuba. She also secured the 5th spot with Private Practice, who was in the 9th spot after round 1. Kelley Farmer and Exceptional ended up in 6th moving down from their 4th spot after round 1. Tori Colvin took the 7th spot as well aboard I Love Lucy moving up from the 11th spot. Kristy Herrera and Kensi rounded out the top 8. They moved up from the 17th position after round 1! After piloting 4 of the horses in this class, I am certain Tori Colvin must have slept well on Sunday night.
And there you have it! THAT’S A WRAP. SO, what are we going to do on Monday’s????? Drop me a line! What do you want to see in place of the Monday Brief?
I’ve enjoyed this season immensely and I feel insanely lucky to have been here among all of this amazing action all season long. Until next time, farewell WEF 18.