Up For Winter Equestrian Festival Week 5, February 25-29
Capital Wellington Masters
FL March 1, 2004 The fifth week of the 32nd Winter
Equestrian Festival entitled PDP Capital Wellington Masters was
held February 25-29 at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club in Wellington,
Florida. Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela was the course designer
in the Internationale Arena. Patrick Rhodes built the tracks in
the Grand Hunter Field.
Winter Equestrian Festival continues in Wellington through March
21, and then the action moves to Tampa for two weeks at the Bob
Thomas Equestrian Center, and caps off with the $200,000 Budweiser
American Invitational Presented by Publix and The Tampa Tribune
on April 3 at the Raymond James Stadium. Total prize money for the
2004 WEF is three-million-dollars. Produced by founder Eugene R.
Mische and Stadium Jumping, Inc., the Winter Equestrian Festival
is the largest and longest consecutively running equestrian sporting
event in the world.
Babington And Carling King Win $75,000 PDP Capital Masters Cup,
of the horses that are competing here today will compete at the
Olympics and they had as much of a test today as theyd get
at the Olympics, said Kevin Babington, winner of the weeks
featured class on Sunday, February 29 the $75,000 PDP Capital
Masters Cup, CSI***.
Babington, 35, who now resides in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania,
topped a class of 50 entries aboard Carling King for owner Kindle
Hill Farm. In a two-horse jump-off that pitted Babington and Carling
King against Kim Frey, 38, of Virginia and Marlou owned by Windmill
Ranch LLC, no one went clean, but Babington managed to log fewer
faults in a faster time to take the win.
17 efforts to jump in a time allowed of 94 seconds in round one,
Frey going 14th in the order posted the only clear trip until Babingtons
clear as the 39th rider. Frey said she was not surprised that her
new Grand Prix mount handled the round one course. No, because
she can jump anything, said Frey. I knew it was hard
but I had the utmost confidence in my horse. Theres nothing
she cant jump. Marlou is a 10-year-old Dutch mare by
Jus de Pomme.
horse has a lot of experience and it was a course that I thought
might suit him because of his mileage, but it was very tough. I
definitely felt like I had to ride every step of the way
there was no gimme anywhere, said Babington. Carling
King is a 13-year-old, chestnut, Irish Sport Horse gelding by Clover
Hill. Hes been jumping five years in Grand Prix. Ive
had him all over Europe and hes been to the World Championships
and two European Championships, so he has quite a bit of mileage.
and Marlou led off the tiebreaker, which posed 9 efforts in 60 seconds.
They incurred 8 jumping faults including a refusal and 8 time faults
for a penalty of 16 in 67.45 seconds. Babington watched Frey go
before he tackled the jump-off. I would much prefer to have
Kim in front of me than behind me. Unfortunately for her, she didnt
have her best jump-off day. Shes very, very fast and I was
afraid that shed go in and put a blazing round down. My horse
is not the fastest horse in the world, said Babington. So
it suited me in the position that I was in to go in and try to go
slow because when I get fast with him the ride-ability is not so
good. Babington had the first element of the double down and
also incurred 3 time faults for a total of 7 faults in 62.09, which
was good enough for the win.
said he expected this type of challenge from Mr. Palacios. He
didnt make the time such a factor today, but for $75,000 and
Leopoldo, you expected to jump a very difficult course, and thats
one of the reasons I picked this week. Carling King has been
on the Irish team for the last four years and has been chosen to
compete in the Olympics. We dont have a selection trial
so hes one of the top picks, said Babington who has
never ridden in the Olympics. So just, please God, he stays
sound and we dont do anything foolish between now and then.
said that she is unsure yet if Marlou will be going to California
for the Selection Trials in May. Shes a little shy on
experience but shes strong on ability, Frey said. She
is an Olympic horse, she just doesnt know it yet.
Thursday Through Sunday
Madden And Authentic Win $25,000 PDP Capital WEF Challenge Cup Series
a class of 66 horses, Beezie Madden, 40, of Cazenovia, New York,
riding Authentic for owners John Madden Sales and Elizabeth Bush
Burke won the $25,000 PDP Capital WEF Challenge Cup Series Round
V, CSI*** on Thursday, February 26. Madden was the fastest of seven
double-clear performances, claiming victory over a 13-horse jump-off.
Frances Yann Candele of Schomberg, Ontario, riding Millcreeks
Sweet Dream for owner Millcreek Stables placed second. Ian Miller
of Perth, Ontario, aboard Promise Me for the owners syndicate
The Bakers Dozen was third. In the tiebreaker, Madden noted that
she used different approaches to the fences and took risks that
cut time. From fence one to two, I did six strides and McLain
did five on his last one, but I bent the six more so I had more
foot speed to one and more foot speed to two and because of the
line I used I had a quicker line to fence three. Then particularly
down by the ingate I took a big risk at the in of the double combination.
I didnt set him up a lot for it or give him a big chance to
eye it up. He just had to come through and he was great there.
McLain Ward with two mounts in the jump-off posted the fastest time
at 38.67 aboard his first mount Hurricane but had a rail to take
eighth, then tried for the win with Sapphire only to incur a rail
in 40.57 for ninth. Authentic is a 16.3-hand, nine-year-old Dutchbred
gelding that Madden has brought along since she got the ride on
him as a six-year-old.
two days of competition in the Grand Hunter Field, five hunter divisions
wrapped up their Championships on Thursday, February 26. McLain
Ward riding Northfields won the Second Year Green Hunter Championship.
Scott Stewart riding Tribute won the First Year Green Hunter Championship.
Scott Stewart also won the Regular Conformation Hunter Championship
with For The Music. Ken Smith in the irons on Storyline won the
Regular Working Hunter Championship. Wendy Lewis saddled Forget
Paris to win the Adult Amateur Hunter 33 Championship.
Chapot And Sprite Win $5,000 1.40m Acorn Hill Farm Challenge, Section
Welles And Octavius Win $5,000 1.40m Acorn Hill Farm Challenge,
148 horses entered in the $5,000 1.40m Acorn Hill Farm Challenge
on Friday, February 27, Stadium Jumping, Inc. management split the
class into two sections.
the 70 horses in Section A, 26 of them went clear over the 11-Fence
Time First Round with a time allowed of 81 seconds. Chapot, 30,
of Neshanic Station, New Jersey, had two entries. Going 17th in
the order, she rode Three Coins for owner Windsome Farm Ltd to a
clear trip in 62.046, which was eventually good enough for seventh
place. Chapot aboard her second mount, Sprite, went 60th in the
order and tripped the timers in the unbeatable time of 59.244. Michael
Morrissey, 18, of Palmetto, Florida, riding Dame for owner Simonetta
Meisels rode 38th in the order and was the class leader with his
time of 59.815 until Chapot edged him into second place. Fabio Da
Costa riding Tijuana Domar for Domar Team had gone 33rd in the order
and briefly held the lead with his time of 60.291 before Morrissey
took him down a peg and he ended up third.
said she wasnt sure how she beat Morrisseys time. My
mare was just jumping phenomenally. I tried to do the best route
for her. Im not sure what Michaels path was, but I usually
go in and ride my own course, my own game plan and hope that thats
going to be good enough. You really dont have to press her
to go much faster. Its not like Im kicking and driving
every stride. Shes really careful, so its mostly just
finding the smoothest, most direct route between the jumps.
up the action in the International Arena as dusk fell, Jeffery Welles
of Pound Ridge, New York, riding Octavius for International Jumpers
LLC topped a roster of 78 horses in the $5,000 1.40m Acorn Hill
Farm Challenge, Section B. Cara Raether aboard So What owned by
Trelawny Farm Inc. placed second. Laura Kraut riding Joyous for
Summit Partners was third.
earlier in the Grand Hunter Field on Friday, Havens Schatt riding
Charming for owner Caroline Moran won the First Year Green Working
Hunter Championship, Section A. Sandy Ferrell rode Indian Summer
owned by Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Caristo to the win the First Year Green
Working Hunter Championship, Section B.
continued into the night on Friday as Leigh Healey rode Starlight
owned by Mary Alexis Healey to win the $15,000 Solaray Junior Jumper
Gamblers Choice presented by Outback Steakhouse. Healey topped
a class of 30 riders in the evening class held under lights in the
Internationale Arena. Riders were limited to those aged 18 and under
and also included a Junior Exhibitors Party with Buffet Dinner
provided by Outback Steakhouse in The Jockey Club.
Cheska And Education Win Adequan High Amateur-Owner Jumper Championship
competition on Saturday, February 28, Cara Cheska, 27, of Waukesha,
Wisconsin, and Wellington, Florida, won the Adequan High Amateur-Owner
Jumper Championship riding Education, an Australian Thoroughbred
that she owns with her husband, Donald Cheska. The championship
was determined after three days of competition. Cheska did not contest
the first class, the $2,500 Adequan High A-O Time First Jump-Off
on February 26; Quinault ridden by Danielle Torano for Laurenzo
Torano & Sir Ruly topped the field of 33 horses for the win.
Cheska won the second competition, the $2,500 Adequan High A-O Power
and Speed on February 27, besting 46 entries. Wrapping up the Championship,
in the $10,000 Adequan High A-O Jumper Classic, Cheska and Education
placed second; Charlie Jacobs riding Innocence for Deeridge farm
was the winner. Based on accumulated scores, Cheska and Education
earned 16 points to claim the Championship. Torano and Quinault
earned 10 points, and Jacobs and Innocence also earned 10 points,
for the Reserve.
dont ever do three classes. Last year I only did one a week.
This year just getting going again, Ive been doing two because
hes 16, Cheska said. He knows exactly what hes
doing. He doesnt need the practice. Its just for me.
The focus is always on the Classic because that has a $10,000 purse.
I pick one class before as a warm- up. I dont set out saying
that I want to be champion. I always want to do well in the Classic
and if another ribbon comes along, then thats a bonus.
Cheska chose the Power and Speed class as her warm-up and picked
up the blue ribbon yesterday. I just went as fast as I could
go leaving the jumps up. Hes extremely fast he flies.
In the Classic, 16 went clear for the tiebreaker. Jacobs and Innocence
were the fifth to go and logged a clear round in 37.274, which held
up for the win. Cheska and Education were 10th in the order, and
clocked in clean at 39.166 for second place, which clinched the
Lindner And Strapless Win Amateur-Owner Hunter, 18-35 Championship
was icing on the cake on Saturday, February 28, for Clara Lindner,
18, of Cincinnati, Ohio, when she picked up the Amateur-Owner Working
Hunter 18-35 Championship aboard Strapless a sweet topping
to this duos win a week ago in the American Hunter-Jumper
Foundation Hunter Classic Spectacular. Lindner competed in four
over fences classes and an Under Saddle class over two days to earn
the younger A-O Hunter Championship. Her accumulated scores clearly
put her in the winners circle she totaled 30 points.
Lee Kellogg aboard her own Gifted was the Reserve with 14 points.
Friday, February 27, Lindner won the first over fences class, placed
second in the Under Saddle, and then was out of the ribbons in the
third over fences class. She came back today to place third in the
opening jumping class, and then finished up with a win in the final
class of the division. It was her consistency that won the
Championship, said Lindner. Strapless was in the top
three in every class but one. Shes a great jumper and a great
mover shes the whole package. Strapless, owned
by the Lindner familys All Seasons Farm, is an 11-year-old,
15.3-hand, Dutch warmblood mare by Leandro. Lindner assessed that
of the five competitions in the division she felt her final performance
in the ring on Saturday was her best one. Definitely the last
class. She was relaxed and was just amazing. I rode my best and
just let her do her thing.
WINTER EQUESTRIAN FESTIVAL TICKET INFORMATION
days for the 2004 Winter Equestrian Festival are Wednesday through
Sunday. Gates open at 8:00 am. Ticket Prices: Wednesdays are free
to everyone; Children 12 and under are admitted free every day;
Young Adults 13 to 18 and Seniors are $5 on Thursday through Sunday;
Adults are $5 on Thursday and Friday, $10 on Saturday, and $15 on
Sunday. The Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club is located on Pierson
Road off South Shore Boulevard. For additional information, visit
www.stadiumjumping.com or call 561-793-5867.
WEF SCHEDULE OF COMPETITIONS
3 - 7 CN Wellington Open CSI-W
10 - 14 CSIO United States Cosequin Finale CSIO***
18 - 21 Zada Enterprises WEF Dressage Classic CDI***/Y
(Qualifier for Olympic Selection Trials)
24 - 28 Tampa Bay Classic CSI-W (Bob Thomas Equestrian Center)
30 - April 3 Tournament of Champions CSI-W (Bob Thomas Equestrian
3 Budweiser American Invitational (Raymond James Stadium)
2004 MILLION DOLLAR GRAND PRIX SERIES
7 $75,000 CN Wellington Open presented by Estates of Wellington
12 $50,000 Samsung Nations Cup, presented by CN, CSIO****
14 $100,000 Cosequin U.S. Open Jumper Championship, CSIO****
28 $75,000 Grand Prix of Tampa, presented by Kilkenny/ICH, CSI-W
3 $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational,
Presented by Publix and The Tampa Tribune
JUMPER CLASSIC CSI****
Coliseum, Charlotte, NC
9 -11 Charlotte Jumper Classic CSI****
11 $150,000 Grand Prix of Charlotte For the Charlotte Bobcat Cup