WEEK 1: January 28 - February 1, Nutrena/Western Hay Wellington Classic
Ward And Quickstar Win 1.45 Meter Jeffery Welles Aboard Ursa Major
Wins 1.40 Meter
FL - January 28, 2004 - The 32nd annual Winter Equestrian Festival
opened today at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club show grounds
in Wellington, Florida, with the five-day Nutrena/Western Hay Wellington
Classic CSI***. The 2004 WEF runs from January 28 through March
21 in Wellington, and March 24 through April 3 in Tampa, Florida.
today's 32 competitions in eight rings were two heavily contested
jumper classes in the Internationale Arena. In the morning class,
McLain Ward riding Quickstar II Z won the $7,500 1.45m, Time First
Jump-Off Table II, Sec 2(b) class, besting 44 entries. In the afternoon,
Jeffery Welles aboard Ursa Major won the $5,000 1.40m, Faults Converted
Into Seconds, Table III class, topping a whopping roster of 120
entries. Course designer for the week is Javier Fernandez.
the $7,500 Time First class, riders negotiated a 14-effort course.
Those that went clear immediately tackled the eight-effort jump-off
course. With only four riders to follow, Ward put in two clean rounds,
completing the jump-off in 35.119 seconds, edging out Federico Sztyrle
aboard Mythos who had led for most of the class. "It was nice
to start off with a win," said Ward, 38 of Brewster, NY. "Quickstar
is a new horse for me and my sponsor, Double H Farm and the Harrison
family. We've put together a great partnership and a great string
of horses, so this is a great start to the year. We showed her two
weeks ago in a Littlewood Grand Prix - it was the first class we
ever showed her in and she won that. This is her second class and
she won that, so we're two for two. We'll keep knocking on the door."
Quickstar II Z is a 10-year-old, 16.2-hand, French-bred, bay mare.
Welles went 50th in the order and posted a clear round in 64.027,
then had to wait for 70 more riders to see if the time held up in
the $5,000 Faults Converted class in which every knockdown added
four seconds to the rider's time. "It's a big field and he
really covers the ground, so I didn't feel like I was having to
fly around too much," said Welles, 41, of Pound Ridge, NY.
"He was good on the turns and jumped very well at the same
time - the speed didn't interfere with his jump." Ursa Major
is an 11-year-old, bay, 17-hand, Belgian gelding owned by Mr. and
Mrs. Fred Croft.
pointed out that many of the riders were in the class more to train
than to win, getting their horses used to the big ring on the first
day. But his game plan was different. "He's a seasoned horse.
I'm not showing him in the grand prix this week; if he were showing
in the grand prix, maybe I'd go a little slower and take it easy
but he's got a cool head and it doesn't really upset him to gallop
like that. Some horses that are hot get quick and flat, so it's
not really the best thing to gallop and really go for it the first
class, but a horse like him it doesn't affect him in a bad way.
He's a horse that likes a little bit of a challenge. I went in to
try and take a nice gallop around and take a shot at it."
full results of today's classes, visit www.stadiumjumping.com
WINTER EQUESTRIAN FESTIVAL TICKET INFORMATION
Show 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
January 28 - February 1 Nutrena/Western Hay Wellington Classic CSI***
February 4 - 8 Bayer/USET Gold Coast Jumper Classic CSI***
February 5 - 8 Wellington Dressage (Qualifier for Olympic Selection
February 11 - 15 Kilkenny/ICH Internationale CSI***
February 18 - 22 Florida Classic/WCHR Spectacular CSI-W/Y CSI-Ch
February 19 - 22 Zada Enterprises, LLC Florida Dressage Classic
February 25 - 29 PDP Capital Wellington Masters CSI***
March 3 - 7 CN Wellington Open CSI-W
March 10 - 14 CSIO United States Cosequin Finale CSIO***
March 18 - 21 Zada Enterprises WEF Dressage Classic CDI***/Y
(Qualifier for Olympic Selection Trials)
March 24 - 28 Tampa Bay Classic CSI-W (Bob Thomas Equestrian Center)
March 30 - April 3 Tournament of Champions CSI-W (Bob Thomas Equestrian
April 3 Budweiser American Invitational (Raymond James Stadium)
2004 MILLION DOLLAR GRAND PRIX SERIES
February 1 $35,000 Farr XTN Grand Prix of Palm Beach, presented
by Western Hay, CSI**
February 8 $50,000 Bayer/USET Wellington Cup, CSI***
February 15 $50,000 Kilkenny/ICH Internationale Cup, CSI***
February 22 $60,000 Idle Dice Classic, presented by Palm Beach Post,
February 29 $75,000 PDP Capital Masters Cup, CSI***
March 7 $75,000 CN Wellington Open presented by Estates of Wellington
March 12 $50,000 Samsung Nations' Cup, presented by CN, CSIO****
March 14 $100,000 Cosequin U.S. Open Jumper Championship, CSIO****
March 28 $75,000 Grand Prix of Tampa, presented by Kilkenny/ICH,
April 3 $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, presented by The