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Jeffery Welles And Equinox Win $10,000 Chesapeake Petroleum National Speed Stake At 120th National Horse Show

WELLINGTON, FL – November 30, 2003 – Jeffery Welles, 41, of Pound Ridge, NY, riding Equinox for owner Elizabeth Saunders won the $10,000 Chesapeake Petroleum National Speed Stake on Saturday, November 29, at the 120th National Horse Show in Wellington, FL. The show runs from November 26-30 at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club show grounds, highlighted by the $100,000 AGA Championship on Sunday, and Dressage at the National, November 28-30.

Welles bested a class of 20 entries in the Internationale Arena over a course designed by Jose Gamarra. He described the 11-effort track as “a nice galloping course with a few turns and a few options. One oxer by the ingate that was a little bigger caught a few horses.” The time allowed was 76 seconds, and Equinox blazed around the course clean in the unbeatable time of 51.290. “It was a very fast class,” said Welles. “The other entries that really tried to go fast ended up with some mistakes at the end. The horses got a little flat and had rails. My horse really kept his focus all the way through and jumped a really nice round. The horse went great and I’m very happy with him.”

The competition was a faults converted class, which meant that jumping faults were converted into seconds. “In that way you really had to go for broke knowing that everybody was really going to be taking a shot,” Welles explained. “My horse jumped great. I had seen McLain [Ward] go and he had a fence down, which left the door open a little bit for the rest of us. He was on a really fast horse [La Belle] that won yesterday.”

Ward of Brewster, NY, and La Belle owned by Turnabout Farm, won the $25,000 Chesapeake Petroleum National Speed Classic on Friday, November 28, but in Saturday’s stakes class, though Ward stopped the clocks in fastest time, the knockdown added four seconds to his time for a finish of 54.926 and second place.

Equinox is a nine-year-old Dutch gelding that Welles has been bringing up through the jumper ranks for the past year. Owner Elizabeth Saunders had shown him in the amateur division and gave Welles the ride when she entered college. Welles started Equinox in the Meter 50 classes where he won twice then moved up to Grand Prixes during the summer. “He’s basically for sale,” said Welles. “In the meantime I’m going to get him into some bigger Grand Prix classes down here this winter in Florida.”

In addition to the competitions on Saturday, youngsters at The National Horse Show enjoyed a Children’s Fair on the Great Lawn, which included rides, clowns, face painting, and an exhibition by Mexican charro Gerardo Diaz. Spectators also enjoyed exhibitions by Frieze Frame Friesians, which included Andalusians performing trick riding, a Pas de Deux, and an eight-stallion quadrille of Friesians.

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Children age 12 and under are always free. General admission seating for adults, Wednesday through Saturday (on Friday, there are separate day and evening tickets), is $10/each, with Sunday priced at $15/each; children over the age of 12 and seniors (65 and older) are $7/each. Diamond Horse Shoe Club and box seating information and reservations can be obtained by calling (800) 237-8924 or the Special Events office at (561) 753-3389.


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