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Saturday, April 17, 2021


Chapots sweep WEF circuit-end Jumper awards

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Laura Chapot was the Overall Leading Jumper Rider again this year, a title she has owned for almost two decades, but this year the Chapot family swept all three Overall Jumper titles, with Mary and Laura Chapot also winning the Overall Jumper Owner title and Mary winning the Overall Jumper Trainer title.

Laura Chapot on Calafornia Sportfot.jpg 3121Laura Chapot on Calafornia winning a 1.40m class (Photo by Sportfot)Frank Chapot won the Overall Trainer title s few times before he died in 2016, and Mary Chapot has won it a few times since, but they have seldom won the Owner title.

"The Owner title is very hard to win," said Mary. "You have to have a lot of horses showing to win that. For instance, the girl who was second to us this year had 30 horses.

Laura showed 14 horses throughout the circuit, dominating the 1.40m section with the top four placings and also placing three in the top 10 in the 1.35m section.

"We showed Chadon Blue in a few grand prix, but we didn't show in any of the 4* or 5* grand prix," said Mary. "The competition was just crazy with all the Europeans over here trying to prove themselves for the Olympics. Plus, FEI classes are very expensive to go in, so if you're not winning it's very hard to make expenses."

"Each of the horses has its own little bit, so I would hesitate to name a favorite, but I guess for s personal favorite I would have to say Umberto,,who was 1.35m champion at 20 years old," said Mary.

"We were going to go to Devon, and we're very disappointed that it's been cancelled," said Mary. "We'll do some shows at Andrew Philbrick's Princeton series. They're very nice shows. And we'll do some Saugerties, but they've bumped up some classes to FEI, so we'll have to look at expenses there. Then we'll do Lake Placid. That's always our favorite, and it looks like it's going to go on."

Ken Berkley of Flemington, N.J., who is listed as the trainer for Scott Stewart's mounts, was Overall Hunter Trainer, but while Stewart won a big share of championships, he was beaten out this year for the Overall Hunter Rider title by Victoria Colvin.

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Charlotte Jorst won the G P Freestyle while Alice Tarjan won the Young Horse Series Final

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Charlotte Jorst of Laguna Beach, Calif., on Kastel’s Nintendo posted a personal best score of 77.400 percent to win the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI3* on Sunday, April 4, the final day of competition at the Global Dressage Festival, while Alice Tarjan of Flemington, N.J. on Serenade MF won the Young Horse Grand Prix Series Final.

Charlotte Jost on Kastels Nintendo Susan StickleCharlotte Jost on Kastels Nintendo (Photo by Susan Stickle)Jorst rode to a “Pirates of the Carribean”-themed freestyle, highlighting the horse’s big movement and showcasing his talent for the piaffe and passage. 

“It feels great to hit a personal best, but to be honest, now it has me wanting more,” said Jorst.

“I’ve had lessons with Debbie McDonald this week, and that has really seemed to help me finesse those little things that needed to be finessed," said Jorst. "He was great in the Grand Prix, so yesterday I just walked him out. Today, I just warmed up a little beforehand to keep him fresh. He loves it, and he really loves his job.”

“This season I’ve been here longer than I ever have in the past,” she said. “There’s just so much kindness here. I feel like in this community in Florida is one family. For me, this has been an incredible season full of personal growth and friendships. It’s really been an incredible season for me on all fronts, and it never ceases to amaze me how incredibly supportive this community is.”

Jorst also has several talented up-and-coming horses in her string, but said that Nintendo will always have a special place in her heart.

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Doug Payne dominates the 4* at The Fork

MILL SPRING, N.C.--Doug Payne of Aiken, S.C., dominated the CCI4*-S Division at The Fork, winning on Vandiver and also placing fifth and eighth on Quantum Leap and Star Witness.

Doug Payne on Vandiver Shannon BrinkmanDoug Payne on Vandiver (Photo by Shannon Brinkman)But Payne didn't just win in Eventing as In between rides and coaching across all divisions in Eventing, Payne was also winning in the Jumper rings as part of Tryon Welcome 2 competition, where he went two-for-two aboard Quintessence.

The cross-country and show jumping phases of The Fork for the upper levels were competed on Sunday over Captain Mark Phillips' course on the White Oak cross-country course and Michel Vaillancourt of Canada designing the show jumping courses in Tryon Stadium.

Payne on Vandiver was the only one to add no time faults to his score after cross-country to win the CCI 4*-S Division on a score of 25.7.

Payne was also fifth place on Quantum Leap on a score of 34.6, while on Starr Witness he  scored 37.9 to place eighth.

Holding steady all weekend at second place, Boyd Martin of  Cochranville, Pa., finished on a score of 28.1 for reserve with Tsetserleg, and Tamie Smith of Murrieta, Calif., was third on Mai Baum, adding 7.2 to her score to finish with a 28.4 .i

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Adam Prudent beat a top field to win the $214,000 WEF Grand Prix

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Adam Prudent on Baloutinue raced to victory in the $214,000 Grand Prix CSI4* on Saturday, April 3 at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

Adam Prudent on Baloutinue SportfotAdam Prudent on Baloutinue (Photo by Sportfot)A starting field of 42 competed over the 1.60m track designed by Olaf Petersen Jr. of Germany with eight qualifying for the jump-off.

First to return in the jump-off, Ioli Mytilineou of Greece on Levis De Muze set the time to beat with a clean round in 40.20 seconds.

Times just got faster from there as Canada’s Jim Ifko rode next on Un Diamant Des Forets to a new leading time in 36.54 seconds which held up for second.

The next rider got the job done even faster as Prudent produced a clear round in a blazing 35.28 seconds.

Riding sixth spot in the jump-off field of eight, Kent Farrington on Gazelle was clean in 37.37 seconds to move into third.

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Adrienne Lyle on Salvino won the Grand Prix for Special at the Festival

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Adrienne Lyle rode Salvino to win the FEI Grand Prix for Special CDI4* on April 1 at the Global Dressage Festival.

Adrienne Lyle on Salvino Susan Stickle 4121Adrienne Lyle on Salvino (Photo by Susan Stickle)This was Salvino's first competition in over a year.

“It felt amazing,” said Lyle. “He just never ceases to amaze me with his heart; that horse has a bigger heart than any animal on this planet, I think. He’s just proven time and time again that he’ll be there when I need him to be there, if we listen to him and don’t overdo it. We waited to come out last year until later in the season and it worked, so we decided to wait again this year, and so far it’s off to a good start. Hopefully we can put in a few more performances like that leading up to the summer.”

Lyle put in an outstanding performance, ending the ride with a personal best score of 80.065 percent.

“He felt really fit and fresh,” said Lyle, “He was even squealing a little going around the outside of the ring like he was really fired up. I like him to be in that spot where he’s really excited to go in there.”

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Rising star Brian Moggre on MTM Vivre Le Reve won the WEF Challenge on April 1

WELLINGTON, Fl.--Brian Moggre, just a couple of years off winning the Maclay Championship as a junior, was double-clear on MTM Vivre Le Reve to win the $50,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 12 on Thursday, April 1, at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

Brian Moggre on MTM Vivre Le Reve SportfotBrian Moggre on MTM Vivre Le Reve (Photo by Sportfot)In the final grand prix qualifier of the winter circuit, 63 entries challenged the first-round course set by Olaf Petersen Jr. of Germany with just eight qualifying for the jump-off, but the seventh-ranked rider in the world, Kent Farrington, elected to save his horse for the weekend leaving a total of seven to compete over a shortened track.

First to return for the jump-off, Nayel Nassar of Egypt paved the way for the rest as he rode Lucifer V to a clear round in 40.32 seconds.

Fresh off his victory in the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5*, Germany’s Daniel Deusser returned fifth of seven to also go clean but just off the leading time , finishing in 40.56 seconds.

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Kristen Vanderveen won the $10,000 1.45m Jumper at WEF

WELLINGTON, Fla.--On the opening day of the final week of the Winter Equestrian Festival, Kristen Vanderveen rode Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili to win the $10,000, 1.45m Jumpers CSI4* on Wednesday, March 31.

Kristen Vanderveen on Bull Runs Faustino De Till SportfotKristen Vanderveen on Bull Runs Faustino De Till (Photo by Sportfot)In the 1.45m, 50 competed over the two-phase course set by Olaf Petersen Jr. of Germany, in a class that is a qualifier for Friday’s $73,000. 1.50m Classic Series Final.

Just ninth in the starting order, Vanderveen was clean in 21.92 seconds, fast enough to hold the lead until the end.

“My plan was actually not to try and win,” she said. “He felt like winning today. He jumped the first half really nice, and he likes to go fast so I figured I would let him have it. I definitely changed my plan midway through. It went from a nice schooling round to a ‘let’s have some fun.’”

Canada’s Tiffany Foster on Brighton finished second with a clean round in 23.46 seconds, and Daniel Bluman of Israel rode Colestina H  a clean round in 24.30 seconds to place third.

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Aaron Vale on Cando Van De Zuuthoeve won the WEC $200,000 Grand Prix

OCALA, Fla.--Aaron Vale on Candro Van De Zuuthoeve won the $200,000 Grand Prix at the World Equestrian Center over a course designed by Anderson Lima of Brazil and Bobby Murphy of Lexington, Ky., that featured technical tracks with multiple combinations.
Forty-seven entries took to the WEC Grand Arena under the lights Saturday evening, March 27 with 10 qualifying for the jump-off.

Aaron Vale on Candro an De ZuuthoeveAaron Vale on Candro an De ZuuthoeveVale set the pace with a time that would prove unbeatable.

During the 12-week Winter Spectacular at World Equestrian Center – Ocala, Vale has won four grand prix classes.

Though Vale riding Candro Van De Zuuthoeve had landed in the top few placings in grand prix classes several times throughout the season, that pair had yet to secure a win.

On Saturday evening, Vale and the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding were first in the jump-off and set the pace with a quick, clear round in 41.208 seconds, which would ultimately prove unbeatable.

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Darragh Kenny solidified his lead in the 1.50m Grand Prix series with another win on March 28

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Darragh Kenny of Ireland on Vertige De Galarzacs, was double-clear to win the $50,000, 1.50m Grand Prix on Sunday, March 21 at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

Darragh Kenny on Vertige De Galarzacs Sportfot 328Darragh Kenny on Vertige De Galarzacs (Photo by Sportfot)A total of 43 competed in the first round over a course set by Olaf Petersen Jr. of Germany, with just six qualifying for the jump-off.

The first in the jump-off was Canada’s Nicole Walker on Excellent B, who set the time to beat, clean in 37.81 seconds, which would eventually hold up for second place.

Next to challenge, David Oberkircher of Collegeville, Pa. on Upper, was just off the mark as he crossed the finish line in 38.59 seconds for third place.

The next three riders would each have four faults, leaving the door open for one final rider, Kenny, the current overall leader of the  1.50m Classic Series, who proved once again why he’s at the top, winning in 36.01 seconds.

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Andre Thieme on Chakaria won the $1 Million Grand Prix at HITS Ocala

OCALA, Fla.-Andre Thieme rode Chakaris to win the $1 Million HITS Grand Prix in Ocala on March 28, winning the $1 Million class for the fourth time.

Andre Thieme on ChakariaAndre Thieme on ChakariaIt was the 22nd $1 Million Grand Prix and the seventh $1 Million Grand Prix in Ocala, and the field of 63 included previous Million Winners from Ocala, Saugerties, N.Y., and Thermal, Calif., first time Million riders, Grand Prix and Olympic Veterans.

This class was a varied group of riders," said course designer Bernardo Cabral of Lisbon, Portugal. "Some have been in Ocala all circuit, and some came from other parts of the state. It was a big field, so I thought it was a hard class to put together. I didn't make it overly big but it was technical, and I thought asked a lot of questions to the riders, but also left an easy way out for the horses if there was a mistake by the pilot."

The first round course consisted of 14 fences and included several delicate verticals throughout the track, often with wide oxers right before or after, making riders plan their adjustments quickly.

The triple bar to the triple combination was a unique effort early in the course, and the last line of a wide oxer away from the ingate to the final vertical foiled many a rider.

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Germany's Daniel Deusser tops a winning streak with a victory in the $500,000 Grand Prix at WEF

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Topping off an astonishing winning streak at the Winter Equestrian Festival, world number three rider Daniel Deusser of Germany won the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5* with Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z.

Daniel Deusser on Scuderia SportfotDaniel Deusser on Scuderia (Photo by Sportfot)Forty of the best riders in the world took to the grass Derby Field at Equestrian Village on a picture-perfect day for the featured class of the circuit with eight clean to qualify for the jump-off.

As the last to go in the jump-off, Deusser had the advantage of knowing the time to beat and used it to his advantage, coming in to win by one tenth of a second in 36.40 seconds.

This was Deusser’s seventh win at WEF, his fourth CSI5* class victory, and his third grand prix win, having captured the $214,000 Grand Prix CSI4* with Killer Queen VDM and the $214,000 Grand Prix CSIO4* with Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z.

“Tobago has been my best horse for years,” said Deusser of the 13-year-old Zangersheide stallion by Tangelo Vd Zuuthoeve x Mr Blue. “He has won many grand prix classes, and also he really likes big grass arenas. He was in very, very good shape already the last couple of weeks here. That doesn’t necessarily mean he wins today, but he kept his form and he performed great. It was a little bit in my favor today that I had to start second to last in the first round and last in the jump-off. I knew exactly what I had to do. And in the end, I have to say once it works out and the horse jumps how he jumps, it was not too difficult.”

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Ashlee Bond & Harrie Smolders win at WEF

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Ashlee Bond, riding for Israel on Donatello 141, won the $137,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 11 on the grass field on Thursday, March 25, at the Winter Equestrian Festival

Ashlee ond on Donatello SportfotAshlee Bond on Donatello (Photo by Sportfot)A total of 56 competed over a 1.55m course set by 2016 Olympic Games designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil with 22 qualifying  for the jump-off,of which 14 returned.

As the class was a qualifier for the Grand Prix, not allwanted to jup a second time.

Second last to go in the jump-off, Bond was the quickest of the day, clean in 40.29 seconds.

“I felt he was jumping a little bit too high in the first round, which is a good feeling, but I wanted him to level down a little bit for the jump-off,” explained Bond of her decision to return for the jump-off. “My plan was just to gallop and take as much risk as I wanted but I didn’t want to put everything out there. I felt like I just rode my own track. I didn’t think about who was leading or what I had to do to win. It was just for him, what is the best preparation for Saturday’s grand prix, and I felt that the round that I gave him got him in the right space in terms of how high he was jumping over the fence, how well he was getting across, and being careful off the front rails. It felt really, really good.”


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U.S. 2nd to Germany in dressage Nations Cup and 2nd to Canada in the Nations Cup U25 (2)

WELLINGTON,  Fla.--The U.S. finished second in both Nations Cup competitions held on March 17 and 18, losing to Germany in the Nations Cup and to Canada in the Nations Cup U25 while U.S. riders won won the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix U25.

Team USA SusanJStickleTeam USA. left to right, AGDF Director of Sport Thomas Baur, Chef d’Equipe Debbie McDonald, Benjamin Ebeling, Jennifer Williams, Adrienne Lyle, Katherine Bateson Chandler, Tuny Full Page and judge Christoph Umbach. (Photo by Susan Stickle)The team from Germany took home their first ever gold medal at the Wellington Nations Cup with 448.568 percent on Thursday, March 18.

A hairsbreadth behind for the silver medal was the team from the United States, that earned 448.381 percent, and Canada won the bronze medal with 437.071 percent..

First in the ring for the Germans was Michael Klimke on Domino 957, scoring 68.000 percent in the Intermediaire I CDIO3*, which ultimately became the drop score for the team.

“First I want to say thank you to the organizers,” said Klimke. “It’s a very difficult time with the pandemic and the outbreaks, and the show has gone on perfectly organized. We all come from Germany and there is [no competition] going on there, so a big thanks from the German riders, the German team, and the German federation to the organizers. We are very, very happy to be sitting here.”

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Will Coleman won Carolina International CI4* and Phillip Dutton won the 3*

RAEFORD, N.C.--Will Coleman of Gordonsville, Va. on Off The Record won the CCI4*-S title at Carolina International CCI and Horse Trial, while Phillip Dutton of West Grove, Pa., rode Caroline Moran’s Quasi Cool to win the CCI3*-S, and Andrew McConnon of Southern Pines, N.C., placed first in the CCI2*-S win on D’Luxe Steel on March 21.

Will Coleman on Off the Record Brant GammaWill Coleman on Off the Record (Photo by Brant Gamma)Cross-country proved influential across all divisions once again at the Carolina Horse Park, with all three winners adding nothing to their overnight dressage and show jumping scores to win.

In the CCI4*-S, time proved the hardest to make of any division.

Double clears were hard to come by with Coleman producing the only one of the day to win.

“It was a good weekend for us." said Coleman. "I thought my horses ran really well. I was particularly happy with Off The Record. He was on fire out there and just lives for the cross-country. As soon as he left the start box, he was on a mission. I was really pleased and looking forward to the next event.”

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Tracy Fenney won the $200,000 GP at HITS while Santiago Lambre won the $75,000 GP at WEC

OCALA, Fla.--Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, Texas won the $200,000 HITS Ocala Grand Prix on Sunday, March 21 while Santiago Lambre of Mexico won the $75,000 World Equestrian Center Grand Prix under lights Saturday evening.

Tracy Fenney on MTM AppleTracy Fenney on MTM AppleFenney won on MTM Apple for her fourth HITS Grand Prix win,  and Lambre rode Dingeman, while Aaron Vale of Williston, Fla., placed second in both on Elusive and Major respectively.

A field of 46 riders competed in the $200,000 HITS Ocala Grand Prix with eight clean to return for the jump-off over the course designed by Ms. Catalina "Catsy" Cruz of Mexico City, Mexico.

The jump-off consisted of past Million Winners, Grand Prix Veterans, and riders that are no stranger to the Winner's Circle at HITS Ocala.

First to return in jump-off was Andre Thieme on Crrazy Girl, clean in 41.930 to set the pace.

Following Thieme, was Fenney and her first mount in the jump-off, MTM Reve du Paradis, who had a rail to ultimately place them fifth.

"Following Andre, I had an idea of what the time would be like," said Fenney. "Aaron has been super on fire and I knew that he has won a lot with that horse, so I knew with him behind me and Jordan Coyle also having two after me, that I needed to be pretty quick."

Fenney had one more shot at the win as she was fourth to return aboard MTM Apple, who was clean in 36.645 to hold the lead until the very end.

"I don't know that I've won a $200,000, so that's pretty impressive," said Fenney. "My mare was great, and I am so excited! Aaron was within a whisper of me so it could have gone either way today."

Second was Vale on Elusive, who were also the winners of this class in 2020 in a time of 39.714 in the jump-off, with Thieme on Crazy Girl third, the only other fault-free jump-off.

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Ireland's Darragh Kenny won two at WEF, including the $137,000 Grand Prix

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Ireland's Darragh Kenny picked up his second win of the week on Great-Tikila J in the $137,000 Grand Prix CSI3* Sunday, March 21, having previously won the 1.50m Jumpers on Saturday on Vertige De Galarzacs,

Darragh Kenny on Great Tikila J SportfotDarragh Kenny on Great Tikila J (Photo by Sportfot)Of the 45 entries, 10 were clean over the course set by Michel Vaillancourt of Canada. with Mimi Gochman the first double-clear on Gigi’s Girl BH to eventually finish third in 41.38 seconds.

“I went super early, so I just really wanted to have a nice round,” said Gochman. “I was trying to go for it a little bit, but I didn’t want to make any big mistakes or make her unconfident in me because it was my first three-star grand prix, and I really just wanted to go double clear.”

Next to go in the jump-off, Hilary McNerney on Lovelight shaved nearly five seconds off the leading time with a clear round in 36.53 seconds to finish second.

“My horse is super competitive, so once I got the first line done, I was like, “Okay, here we go,’” said McNerney. “When I jumped out of ‘b’ of the double combination, I thought, ‘I’ve got to do five strides.’ My trainer Kent Farrington said, ‘You can’t do four, so all you have to do is kick and get the five.’ Once I got that, I took the risk to the second to last jump, and he was incredible and right there with me. It was a great feeling.”

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Adrienne Lyle on Harmony's Duval won the Grand Prix Freestyle, while Sabine Schut-Kery won the Special

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Adrienne Lyle rode Harmony’s Duval to win the Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO3*on Friday, March 19,  and Sabine Schut-Kery on Sanceo, won the Grand Prix Special CDI3* on Saturday at the Dressage Festival..

Adrienne Lyle on Harmonys Duval Susan StickleAdrienne Lyle on Harmony's Duval (Photo by Susan Stickle)Lyle and Harmony’s Duval,won the freestyle under the lights, scoring  80.020 percent.

“It was worth staying up past my bedtime!” she joked.

“There’s really nothing that compares to riding at Global on a Friday Night Stars,” said Lyle. “It’s one of my favorite experiences in the horse world. To do this on Duval, who we had from when he was unbroke, all the way up to becoming an individual gold medalist here, is just really special. I’ve got an unbelievable group of owners that have supported me along the way. ”

Lyle said that her freestyle is from her previous mount, Wizard in 2011 at Dressage at Devon, but thought it would fit well for her mount’s second ever freestyle.

“I wanted to go back to something I knew since Duval has done one freestyle in his life, so I could give him a good experience out there,” she said.

Lyle and the gelding produced top performances all week, achieving the highest scores in both the grand prix and grand prix special before contesting the freestyle.

“I started with the canter work with him when planning the degree of difficulty," she said. “I think he’s got some fun, powerful canter work. It’s not the most difficult freestyle out there nowadays. When I made it, they didn’t have the degree of difficulty score the way that they do now. But it still has double pirouettes and piaffe pirouettes, so it gets enough degree of difficulty points. I think it’s a really fun one; it doesn’t always have to be for him the most difficult every time he goes out.”

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Ben Maher won WEF Challenge while Alix Matz won the 7-y.o. Young Jumpers

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Ben Maher of Great Britain rode Ginger-Blue, owned by Jane Forbes Clark, to win the $37,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 10 CSI3* on Friday, March 19, at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

Ben Maher on Ginger Blur SportfotBen Maher on Ginger-Blue (Photo by Sportfot)A starting field of 93 entries was narrowed down to just nine qualifying and seven electing to return for the jump-off over a course designed by Michel Vaillancourt of Canada,

Maher led the way as the first to return in the jump-off, setting the pace a clear round in 39.66 seconds.

“I thought it was a big enough course for her,” said Maher of the mare’s double clear performance. “It’s tough here at WEF because the CSI3* weeks are very competitive, and the track is probably a lot bigger than a typical three-star grand prix qualifier. I think that proved it with only nine clears out of 93 horses, so it was clever course building and quite technical in the middle of the course.

“It was a long day; I think she jumped three and a half hours ago and thought it was dinner time,” Maher said. “It was difficult to go first, but I rode the plan, and fortunately for me I forced the others to make mistakes.”

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Laura Chapot wins another 1.40m class on Calafornia

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Laura Chapot once again scored a victory in the $6,000, 1.40m Jumpers, this time with Calafornia, owned by Laura and Mary Chapot, on Wednesday, March 17, at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

Laura Chapot on Calafornia Sportfot.jpg 3121Laura Chapot on Calafornia ({Photo by Sportfot)Eighty-nine riders challenged the speed format course consisting of 13 fences set by Michel Vaillancourt0f Canada.

Chapot, of Neshanic Station, N.J., rode Calafornia to a double clear round and winning time of 30.25 seconds.

“When you have a class that has so many in it, it’s always difficult to make a course that isn’t too hard for everyone, but I think Michel Vaillancourt always does a great job making it very fair,” said Chapot. “I think the course suited my horse because he was able to leave out strides here and there. He’s got a tremendous ability to cover the ground, so that always helps for him.”

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Laura Chapot celebrates a big lead in Jumper Rider wins at WEF, while Kent Farrington on Creedance won 1.50m on March 14

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Laura Chapot is back in a familiar position at the Winter Equestrian Festival as, after about three-quarters of the season is done, she leads in Overall Jumper Rider by double digit numbers, with 1,150 points over the second placed rider with 508 points.

Laura Chapot on Out Of Ireland SportfotLaura Chapot on Out Of Ireland winning a class in February (Photo by Sportfot)Laura also dominated a couple of sections, placing first, second third and fifth in 1.40m jumpers, a section in which 389 horses have competed so far.

She is first on Calafornia with $11,450, second on Thornhill Kate with $8,375, third on Out of Ireland with $6,180 and fifth on Shooting Star with $9,180.

In 1.35m jumpers, Laura is first on Umberto with $4,360, third on Calmondo with $1,480 and seventh on Gideon with $1,180.

Laura and Mary Chapot lead in Overall Jumper owner with 952 points to the second placed owner's 425 points, and Mary Chapot is second in Overall Jumper Trainer.

"That's nice," said Mary in a slight understatement. "The horses have been good this year. A lot of people in the 1.40m are on horses that are on their way up, while our horses have found their niche in that section."

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Egyptian Abdel Said won the $401,000 Grand Prix at WEF

WELLLINGTON, Fla.--Abdel Saïd of Egypt rode his own Bandit Savoie to win the $401,000 Grand Prix CSI5*, on Saturday, March 13 at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

Abdel Said on Bandit Savoie portfotAbdel Said on Bandit Savoie (Photo by Sportfot)In the third CSI5* of the 2021 winter circuit, a field of 39 starters competed over the 1.60m track built by Ireland’s Alan Wade, with nine jumping clear to qualify for the jump-off.

Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa set the pace early as the first to return on Carlito’s Way 6, clean in a time of 41.45 seconds, fast, but leaving door was left open.

Fourth of nine to return, Cian O’Connorof Ireland on Kilkenny left a stride out down the final line to move into the lead, clean in 39.09 seconds.

Next to go, Saïd opted to make up time through the turns, to take over the lead in 38.70 seconds.

It was the pair following Saïd that kept everyone on the edge of their seats as Daniel Deusser of Germany on Killer Queen VDM was clean, but stopped the clock just one-hundredth of a second off the leading time in 38.71 seconds.

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Sharn Wordley on Gatsby won the $75,000 Grand Prix at the World Equestrian Center on March 13

OCALA, Fla.--Sharn Wordley rode Gatsby to win the $75,000 Grand Prix oevr a field of 30 competitors under the lights at the World Equestrian Center on March 13.

Sharm Wordley on Gatesby Andrew ybackSharm Wordley on Gatesby (Photo by Andrew Ryback)The class saw fierce competition with 13 entries advancing to the jump-off and six jumping double clear, but it was Wordley and his own Gatsby that had the win.

Nine countries were represented in the night class with several Olympians vying for the win.

One of the first entries to deliver a clear first round was Mexico’s Santiago Lambre on his own Comtess , who had won last week’s $75,000 Grand Prix.

Lambre also qualified for the jump-off on Easy Girl. who had been second in last week’s $75,000 Grand Prix.

New Zealand’s Wordley had been second place in Week 7’s $75,000 WEC Grand Prix.

Lambre on Comtess was near the top of the order in the jump-off,  and was clean in 42.802 seconds, setting the time to beat.

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McLlain Ward on Catoki wins again, this time in 1.45m Jumpers at WEF

 WELLINGTON, Fla--McLain Ward and Catoki claimed their second victory of the week in the $37,000, 1.45m Classic CSI5* on Friday, March 12 at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

McLain Ward on Catoki Sportfot 31221McLain Ward on Catoki (Photo by Sportfot)Beating a field of 53 starters over a speed track set by Alan Wade of Ireland, Ward was clean to finish in 52.33 seconds, nearly three seconds faster than the runner-up.

“He’s been incredible here this year,” said Ward Cofatoki. “He felt great on Wednesday, so I knew he was in good form for today. He’s starting to know when the bell goes what to do a little bit in this ring, so it was a little bit out of control I thought. I was a little bit faster than I meant to be, but he’s such a careful horse, I got away with it.”

Erynn Ballard of Canada was second on Ronja, stopping the clock in 55.50 seconds, and third was Patricio Pasquel of Mexico on Yoga Santa Rosa in 55.87 seconds.

Ward had ridden Catoki to win earlier in the week in the $37,0001.45m CSI5* on Wednesday afternoon.

“We joke that in all of these classes, if you take a pull on the reins you’re eighth,” said Ward. “I had a plan and actually changed it to the second combination. I ended up doing seven strides instead of eight because I got just the right line on the jump before, and it worked out. He’s just such a quick horse that you’re just trying to slow down a little bit at the fence.”

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McLain Ward on Catoki won the 1.45m at WEF

WELLINGTON, Fla.--McLain Ward on Catoki, owned by Marilla van Beuren, Bob Russell, and Ward,won the $37,000, 1.45m CSI5* on Wednesday, March 10, in the International Arena at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

McLain Ward on Catoki Sportfot on 31021McLain Ward on Catoki (Photo by Sportfot)Wednesday afternoon’s class had 56 compete over the 1.45m two-phase format designed by Alan Wade of Ireland, with 32 going double clear, but as the 18th to go in the starting order, Ward was the fastest to win in 25.51 seconds.

“Alan Wade is my favorite course designer in the world, so it’s always good to see him again,” said Ward. “The power and speed always sets up nicely for Catoki because he’s so quick. He’s got such good ground speed, which doesn’t allow for the bigger-strided horses to catch us over a longer course so it was a good track for us.”

As the 12-week winter circuit moves into its final weeks, Ward is looking to close the home stretch with some big wins.

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Darragh Kenny on Sligo Balou Boy won the WEF Challenge Cup

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Darragh Kenny of Ireland on Sligo Balou Boy won the $73,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 9 CSI5* in a class dominated by the Irish on Thursday, March 11 at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

Darragh Kenny on Sligo Balou Boy Sportfot 1Darragh Kenny on Sligo Balou Boy (Photo by Sportfot)As a qualifier for the $401,000 Grand Prix CSI5* on Saturday night, the Challenge Cup drew 53 entries to compete over a course designed by Alan Wade of Ireland.

Kenny, ranked ninth in the world, was 47th to go in the starting order, going clean in the opening round, the last of 14 to go clean.

With 10 electing to return for the jump-off, Kenny was last to return and had the fastest time, clean in 33.75 seconds.

“I just knew that I had to go fast and try to leave the jumps up,” said Kenny. “I think the ‘nothing to lose’ part is nice when you go last in the order. You just go in thinking that if you want to try to win, you just have to leave it all out there and if it comes off, it comes off, and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.”

The Irish swept the top three ribbons, with Michael Duffy on Jeff Ten Halven clean in 34.90 seconds for second, and Paul O’Shea on Chancelloress placing third in 35.40 seconds.

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Daniel Deusser wins yet again, this time in the $214,000 Grand Prix at WEF

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Daniel Deusser of Germany rode Scuderia 1918 Tobago Zto a double-clear ride to win the $214,000 Grand Prix CSIO4* on Sunday, March 7 at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

Daniel Duesser on Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z Sportfot 2Daniel Duesser on Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z (Photo by Sportfot)A total of 50 entries including six of the top 12 riders in the world, competed over the track set by Steve Stephens and Nick Granat, with eight returning for the jump-off.

Sixth in the jump-off, Deusser shaved nearly a second off the leading time, finishing in 36.45 seconds.

“To be honest, I only saw Andre Thieme on his way to the last jump,” said Deusser of the man holding the lead before he entered the ring. “I didn’t really get to see what kind of strides he did everywhere. I had already put together my plan. I know he is very good in short turns to the vertical like jump number three. I think maybe there I left one out and had a good turn to the double too, and he was pretty smooth down the straight lines, so I think I had quite a good jump-off.”

Thieme, also of Germany, on Chakaria, placed second, clean in 37.49 seconds.

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Olivia LaGoy-Weltz won the Freestyle at the Festival, qualifying for the World Cup

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Olivia LaGoy-Weltz on Rassing’s Lonoir won the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W on March 7 at the Global Dressage Festival.

Olivia LaGoy Weltz on Lonior. susan Stickle 3Olivia LaGoy-Weltz on Lonior (Photo by Susan Stickle)LaGoy-Weltz had her sights set on the Dressage World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden, and the ride secured her ticket for the North American League after earning another personal best score of 83.570 percent.

“I think there was relief when we came down that final centerline,” said LaGoy-Weltz. “There was a small fear that since this was the last World Cup qualifier, something would go wrong, and you really just hope you make it to the end of the test.”

Though she was just on the cusp of 90 percent for her artistic marks, LaGoy-Weltz said that she wasn’t sure how it went until the pair left the arena and she got feedback from her team.

“I don’t always know how it went,” she said. “I’ll come out like, ‘Was it good?’ and everyone’s like, ‘It was amazing!’ I think we are all such perfectionists, and we are always finding things here and there that could be better. He’s quite extravagant so I don’t always know what his legs are doing under me. When you come out and everyone is excited, there is relief. He’s such a special horse, and though he is getting older, it just seems like we are just getting better, and I feel very lucky that it’s going that way.”

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McLain Ward won the 1.50m Jumpers on Blossom Z while Margot Peroni wins in AO Hunter

WELLINGTON, Fla,--McLain Ward on Blossom Z flew to the win in the $50,000, 1.50m National Grand Prix on Saturday, March 6, in the International Arena at the Winter Equestrian Festival.

McLain Ward on Blossom Z SportfotMcLain Ward on Blossom Z (Photo by Sportfot)A total of 25 competed over the 1.50m track set by Steve Stephens and Nick Granat with nine qualifying to return for the jump-off.

First to go of the nine returning, Ben Maher of Great Britain on Kalinka De Kalvari set the pace, going clean in 36.200 seconds.

Fifth in the order, Ward beat the time set by Maher, going clean in 33.022 seconds.

“She’s a quick horse naturally,” said Ward. “She’s typically the fastest one in the first round. She was the fastest in our class the other day with the last fence down, so she’s quick across the ground. The numbers of strides set up nicely for me today. With my size stride she was able to keep coming, and Ben couldn’t do one less but had to do it slower.”

The jump-off became a battle of the world’s best as the second ranked rider in the world, Martin Fuchs, was third on Conner 70, finishing in 36.205, just five-thousandths of a second behind Maher, who sits fifth in the world rankings.

Ward, currently ranked 14th in the world, bought the winning mare in mid-December.

“She’s a special horse,” said Ward. “She’s a really good jumper and very careful but she’s also a little bit spicy and likes to go her own way. It has taken us a little bit of time to try to figure each other out, and I think it’s starting to turn the corner in a good direction. She has a lot of ability, a little bit of personality, and we just need to meet our minds.”

“We’ve played around with some different bits,” he said. “We’ve also adjusted how we work her on the flat. She just doesn’t have all the experience in the world so it’s a matter of stepping her up, letting her digest things, and then she grows from it.”

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Nick Wagman wins again, this time in the Grand Prix Special

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Nick Wagman on Don John scored another personal best, this time a 77.319 percent, to win the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI3* on Saturday, March 6 at the Global Dressage Festival, marking another top placing this week for Wagman.

Nick Wagman on Don John Susan Stickle 2Nick Wagman on Don John (Photo by Susan Stickle)“This one hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Wagman. “I think it’s going to take a moment to process this! I was more concerned about the rain all day and then to go and pull off a ride like this is just WOW! A lot of credit goes to him; he really pulled it together, and we didn’t let each other down… or I didn’t let him down, that’s a better way to put it.”

The middle of the class was put on an hour-long hold due to rain, and Wagman said that “DJ” was hot in warmup, but handled it all like a pro.

“I went in there and DJ was really hot in the warmup, and it was a little muddy from the rain, but as soon as I went into that arena, he was just totally with me," said Wagman. "I went in and was like, ‘Ok, we got this!’ For me, it’s just about trying to ride a clean test, and actually I think I pushed for a little more brilliance, and that all seemed to kind of fall into place today.”

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Young U.S. team wins the Nations Cup at WEF

WELLINGTON, Fla.--A young, relatively inexperienced U.S. team stepped up to the plate with class in $150,000 Nations Cup CSIO4* at the World Equestrian Festival on March 5 to win with just 1 fault over a very strong, experienced Irish team that finished second on 4 faults and Brazil, third with 14 faults.

US Nations Cup winThe winning Nations Cup U.S. team of Bliss Heers, Brian Moggre, Jessica Springsteen, and Lillie Keenan were joined in front by Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland, Heidi Zorn, President of Premier Equestrian, and Mark Neihart, CEO of Premier Equestrian. (Photo by  Sportfot)On paper, before the class, Ireland would have been the overwhelming favorite, with Canada and Great Britain also fielding strong teams.

But the team of Lilly Keenan, 24 of New York, N.Y., Bliss Heers, 33 of Las Vegas, Nev., Brian Moggre, 20 of Flower Mound, Texas, and Jessica Springsteen, 29 of Colts Neck, N.J., led by Chef d'Equipe Robert Ridland, certainly weren't intimidated by the veterans they faced.

Ridland has made choosing at least one young, inexperience rider to join veterans on Nations Cup teams a staple of his leadership, and it has worked extraordinarily well, resulting in collecting numerous Nations Cup wins while raising the level of top riders eligible to ride on teams.

"I'm still on top of the world," said Ridland the morning after the young team's win. "The kids were amazing. They beat a real veteran Irish team. That could be the team the Irish send to the Olympics."

One of the cardinal rules for riders on Nations Cup teams is "Do not have a time fault."

In the first round, in the order in which they went, Keenan on Fasther was clean, Heers on Antidote De Mars also clean, Moggre with Balou De Reventon had 4 faults, and Springsteen riding Don Juan Van Donkhoeve had 1 time fault.

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Olivia LaGoy-Weltz won the Grand Prix on March 5

WELLINGTON, Fla.--Olivia LaGoy-Weltz and Rassing’s Lonoir won the Grand Prix CDI-W on March 5 at the Global Dressage Festival.

Olivia LaGoy Weltz on Rassings Lonoir Susan Stickle 3Olivia LaGoy Weltz on Rassing's Lonoir (Photo by Susan Stickle)With her personal best score of 75.739 percent, LaGoy-Weltz and Rassing’s Lonoir, won the Grand Prix and qualified for Sunday’s Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W.

“I feel like he really stayed with me today," said LaGoy-Weltz. "Our goal for today was to just go in there and have a clean test, and it was almost clean, apart from a little jig in the walk, but I’m not too worried about that. For me, he gives a lot, and my goal was to keep him back and more collected with more brilliance. That was the plan, and I feel like we executed that well. I feel like we have ridden that line for a while where I keep him quiet but there is less brilliance, or there is brilliance but then it’s hard to keep the consistency, so it’s just getting better and better.”

 “It feels really awesome to get a personal best, especially when it feels like it was just another day in the office," said LaGoy-Weltz. "We were already really happy with the last show, and in the last show if it had been clean, our score would’ve been closer to this type of score. This one would’ve been even higher if it was totally clean, so I’m feeling good about it.”

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More Articles ...

  1. Nick Wagman wins Grand Prix at the Festival while Brian Hafner won at WEC in Ocala
  2. Emily Moffitt won the WEF Challenge Cup while Adrienne Sternlicht won the Welcome Stake
  3. Harrie Smolders on Monaco wins the $73,000, 1.50m Classic CSI5* at WEF
  4. Aaron Vale on Major won his fourth $75,000 WEC Grand Prix win.
  5. Phillip Dutton sets new USEA Advanced Dressage record score, wins Advanced ar Pine Top
  6. Riders for the Nations Cup in Wellington announced
  7. Benjamin Ebeling won the Grand Prix Special at the Festival on Feb. 28
  8. Ireland's Bartram Allen and Daniel Coyle place one two in the $401,000 5* Grand Prix at WEF
  9. Steffen Peters and Daniel Deusser add more wins in dressage and jumpingat WEF
  10. Steffen Peters and Sabine Schut-Kery won in dressage while Daniel Deusser won in jumping at WEF
  11. McLain Ward on Catoki wins a 1.45m Jumper class at WEF
  12. HITS and The Turf Tour offer great opportunities in Ocala and Wellington
  13. Canadian Moreira Laliberté won the Grand Prix at the Festival on Feb. 20
  14. Kristen Vanderveen wins the $75,000 World Equestrian Center Grand Prix on Bull Run's Prince of Peace
  15. Amanda Steege on Lafitte De Muze won the $50,000 WEF Hunter Spectacular
  16. Bertram Allen won over Beezie Madden in WEF Challenge Cup
  17. Stewart wins three championships & Torano wins one at WEF
  18. Jimmy Torano and Scott Stewart win in hunters at WEF
  19. Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu wins the Freestyle and Lindsay Kellock wins the Grand Prix 3*
  20. Daniel Deusser and Cian O'Connor win at WEF
  21. Ireland's Shane Sweetnam wins the first 5* Grand Prix at WEF
  22. Nick Wagman on Don John won the Grand Prix CDI 3* for Special, and Canadian Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu won the Grand Prix-CDI-W
  23. Daniel Deusser wins again at WEF, this time in 1.45m Jumpers
  24. Lucy Deslauriers wins the Challenge Cup and Jimmy Torano the Green Conformation Championship at WEF
  25. Kentucky 5* Three-Day Event back on, but without spectators
  26. Germany's Daniel Deusser wins $214,000 WEF Grand Prix over Ashlee Bond and McLain Ward while Jessie Springsteen won the 1.50 earlier
  27. Kady Abrahamson wins World Equestrian Center Grand Prix in Ocala
  28. Henrik von Eckermann on Glamour Girl won the 1.45m Jumper class in his first year competing at WEF
  29. Laura Chapot finished first and second in both sections of the 1.40m Jumper class at WEF
  30. Kent Farrington wins his second class of the week, the 137,000 Grand Prix, on Austria 2
  31. Guenter Seidel on Equirelle wins the Grand Prix Freestyle 4* at the Festival
  32. Steffen Peters on Suppenkasper scores again at the Festival
  33. Steffen Peters won the Grand Prix for Special in dressage while Kent Farrington won the WEF Challenge Cup in jumping
  34. Darragh Kenny on jumpers and Evan Coluccio in hunters win at WEF
  35. Darragh Kenny and Ben Maher win 2 sections of the 1.40m jumpers at WEF
  36. Anne Gribbons and Nora Batchelder win at the World Equestrian Dressage show in Ocala
  37. Ben Maher on Jane Clark's Tic Tac won the $137,000 Grand Prix at WEF
  38. McLain Ward wins 1.50m on the Derby Field at WEF
  39. Todd Minikus beats Laura Chapot in the 1.40m Jumpers at WEF
  40. Ireland's Bertram Allen, Sydney Shulman and Scott Stewart win at WEF
  41. Kent Farrington and Tracy Fenney awarded International and National Equestrian of the Year titles
  42. Lyle and LaGoy-Weltz win again at the Dressage Festival
  43. Beezie Madden on Breitling LS won $137 WEF Grand Prix
  44. Adrienne Lyle and Olivia LaGoy-Weltz win during first two days of the Global Dressage Festival
  45. Lillie Keenan, Molly Ashe Cawley aand Eric Lamaze win at WEF
  46. McLain Ward wins the first Grand Prix of the WEF 13 week season
  47. WEF opened for 13 weeks of competition with Ramiro Quintana and Erynn Ballard posting victories
  48. Darragh Kenny wins again in Wellington
  49. Erynn Ballard wins the $25,000 Grand Prix in Wellington
  50. Laura Kraut on Confu wins the $214,000 Holiday II Grand Prix CSI4*

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