The Monday Brief: WEF Week XI

Equestrian, General

What a beautiful weekend we had here in Wellington! I finally feel slightly less guilty for saying that now that I see people enjoying the signs of spring up north.

WEF Week 12 is coming in hot! But first, let’s revisit Week 11.

The competition took place at both the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center and the Adequan Global Dressage Festival showgrounds. This week some of the feature classes normally held in the International ring at WEF moved over to the grass field at Global. The qualifying round is also known as the Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup was set to take place on the grass derby field, but due to some rain, it had to be moved into the Global International Ring, which is a challenging arena.

We had all kinds of excitement going on at the Salazar casa this past week. We had friends visiting from up north. We did horse show stuff, a little lounging, attended the Equine Tech Collab mastermind, visited the Peeps Foundation mini’s, hit the dog beach in Jupiter, had some great laughs and an all around good time. 

After last Saturday night’s $134K Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3* win, Amanda Derbyshire secured another big win, taking the top prize in the $72K WEF 4* aboard Luibanta BH.

69 entries participated in the International Ring of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival showgrounds. 12 qualified for the jump-off round and 10 of them came back.

Amanda and her ride, owned by Gochman Sport Horses, LLC, were the final combination to jump off and the best would indeed be for last. Beating out Martin Fuchs fast time, Amanda secured the win with a clear round in 41.81.

The feature class of the week was the $209K Wellington Agricultural Services Grand Prix CSI 4*, held on the grass derby field at Equestrian Village. Emil Hallundbaek and Chalisco bested the class of 45 after 5 participated in the jump-off.

At just 21 years old, Emil who is based in Aachen, Germany, has won 14 CSI 2* and 3* classes, but this was his first 4* win.  It was he and Chalisco’s first Grand Prix win together at any level in their 6 year partnership.

A bit of a funny George Morris encounter I had during the prix on Saturday morning…I was standing by observing him talking to Hunter Holloway after her round. After they had finished he looked over at me and started walking right toward me (I was slightly panicked) He came and said to me, “Who do you work for?” I simply stated “Myself. I have a blog.” From there he proceeded to pull out his “vintage” flip phone for me to see and said smiling, “I don’t do computers.” That was that. It made me giggle. 

In the $134K CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Jumper Series Final, Sergio Alvarez Moya rode MHS Attraction to the win, while Lorenzo de Luca took home the overall series victory.

60 entries came out to compete under the lights in the finale. Only 3 were double-clear in the end. Sergio recently back after recovering from ACL surgery won aboard his own MHS Attraction.

The top 15 scores from the 1st round (25% of the original entries) came back to a second phase to decide the ultimate winner. In this format, faults were cumulative through the two rounds.

Lorenzo De Luca and Soory de l’Hallali, owned by Stephex Stables, finished just behind Sergio in 50 seconds flat. They are fairly new in their partnership and the jump-off was only the second one they have done together.

In finishing 2nd, Lorenzo secured the series championship with top finishes throughout 11 weeks of 1.50m competition. As part of his series championship, Lorenzo was presented with a trip for 6 people on the CaptiveOne Advisors yacht, Reel Captivating.

The future is bright! Daniel Coyle claimed victory in the $50K Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix Final riding CHS Krooze to the win on the grass derby field Sunday.

30 competitors came out for the Final. Daniel Coyle was part of a 6 horse jump-off saving the best for last by going clear in 39.83.

Zoe Conter finished 2nd and ending on a great result. A huge accomplishment after a fall last year kept her out for six months with a broken neck.

While Ailish Cunniffe finished 5th aboard Baloucento 2 with 4 faults in 42.17 seconds, she was leading the Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix Series coming into Sunday’s Final and kept the top spot in the series overall.

The series win scored Ailish Cunniffe a Hermès mini saddle, a $10K store credit to Hermès, as well as an invitation to compete in Europe with transportation provided by The Dutta Corp. 

On top of all of that, we also saw the 12th Annual George H. Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship. In order to qualify, entries had to have won an equitation class during this WEF season or during the Holidays and Horses competition just prior to the start of WEF.


The riders are required to turn off and hand over their cell phones before the class starts. They cannot have any communication with their trainers. They were on their own for the course walk and schooling their own horses with the help of a single groom.


Panel 1 – Ralph Caristo and Chris Kappler

Panel 2 – Jimmy Torano and Lauren Hough

Schooling judge, Eric Straus, awarded each combination points ranging from minus 2 to plus 2 based on timeliness, efficiency, and practices in the warm-up area.

3 round Format:

Top 15 from the first phase return for the second phase in reverse order.

Phase 1 included several rollbacks and bending lines, the second round held more difficult challenges, including a trot fence and a change of lead through the walk after fence eight but before fence nine.

The riders with the 4 highest 2 round total were asked to return for the final testing. They were asked to demonstrate 2 counter-canter fences, a hand gallop, and a halt throughout the abridged course.

I am so grateful for these “office views”.

Alright friends, on to Week 12! As always, feel free to reach out – say hi – ask questions – let me know you’re there and what you’d like to see!


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