The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival concluded on Sunday with an exciting line-up of world-class show jumping and the presentation of special awards to round out a very successful winter circuit at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. Although inclement weather caused Saturday night’s classes to be postponed, the final afternoon of FTI WEF competition was blessed with beautiful clear skies and sunshine for Sunday’s feature events.
Concluding the 2014 competition, the $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix CSI 5* saw an exciting win for the world’s number one ranked rider and 2012 Olympic Team Gold Medalist, Scott Brash (GBR), with his talented mount Hello Sanctos. British teammate and world #2 ranked rider Ben Maher took home the top bonus in the $100,000 FTI Consulting Rider Challenge for his incredible success throughout the circuit. Todd Minikus (USA) and Babalou 41 won the $100,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Final, and Tim Gredley (GBR) and Unex Omega Star topped the 1.50m series overall to earn a $25,000 bonus.
Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) designed the courses for Sunday’s competition and set a challenging track for the finale grand prix featuring 38 of the best competitors from the circuit. Riders from 14 different countries were represented, including 17 Olympic veterans.
Seven entries from the the first round advanced to the jump-off, where four jumped double clear. Nineteen-year-old Ben Asselin (CAN) and Attache Stables’ Makavoy began the jump-off with a clear round in 46.01 seconds to eventually finish fourth. Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Stone Hill Farm’s Vindicat W upped the ante in 44.87 seconds to earn third place honors. Richie Moloney (IRL) and Equinimity LLC’s Slieveanorra were faster in 44.64 seconds to take home second place honors. The final clear round belonged to Scott Brash and Hello Sanctos, who blazed through the course in 43.44 seconds to secure their victory. Last to go, Kent Farrington (USA) had the fast time of the jump-off in 42.72 seconds with Amalaya Investment’s Voyeur, but had a rail at the final oxer to finish fifth.
Along with the winner’s share of $165,000, Brash was presented with the Dennis D. Dammerman Perpetual Trophy. The trophy was created to honor the contributions to equestrian sport of Dennis D. Dammerman, a longtime owner of horses and founding member of the Wellington Equestrian Partners. Brash had a lot of top finishes throughout the circuit and was happy to get his win in the end with Hello Sanctos, a twelve-year-old Belgian Sport Horse gelding (Quasimodo Vd Molendreef x Nabab de Reve) that has given the rider many great moments in his career.
“I have been coming second a lot to this man,” Brash said, pointing to Maher. “So to win a class at the end is very rewarding and good for my team that has worked so hard for the circuit, because it is hard work. Sanctos was fantastic today. I gave him a rest when I first came here and then I started him back, and he felt just a little bit rusty and not quite jumping fit. I jumped two weeks and then I gave him last week off. This week he has just felt great and feels like he is jumping back to how he was, and I’m very happy going home looking forward towards Europe. There are a lot of big shows coming up with the championships and everything, so it is good to feel him in such good form early on in the year.”
Brash and Sanctos were a new partnership when they were last in Wellington in 2012. That was before they won an Olympic team gold medal in London that year and went on to many other victories that led Brash to his current position as the number one ranked rider in the world.
In addition to the day’s grand prix, the $100,000 FTI Consulting Rider Challenge concluded on Sunday after 12 weeks of jumper competition at the 2014 FTI WEF. Ben Maher led the standings and earned a $50,000 cut of the bonus money for his record-breaking number of grand prix wins and top finishes throughout the circuit. Beezie Madden finished in second place to earn $25,000, Kent Farrington was third and received a $15,000 check, and Scott Brash finished fourth for a $10,000 bonus.
Several other awards were presented on Sunday for the final week of competition in Wellington as well. For the second year in a row, Maher’s mount Cella earned Jane Clark the Simba Run Perpetual Trophy as the owner of the open jumper who has earned the most prize money in classes held at 1.45m or more during the 2014 FTI WEF. Clark was also presented with The Harrison Cup Perpetual Trophy, which is awarded to the owner whose horses won the most jumper money in all of the open jumper classes held throughout the circuit. In addition, Cella’s groomJoy Montgomerie was presented with the Oliver O’Toole Perpetual Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the groom of the horse who has earned the most money in the grand prix jumper classes.
Other awards included the Leading Lady Grand Prix Rider for the circuit, which was presented to Lauren Hough (USA) on behalf of Martha Jolicoeur of Illustrated Properties in memory of Dale Lawler. Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Artisan Farm LLC’s Zigali P S were presented with the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award for the overall circuit, which is awarded to the jumper whose style best exemplifies a show jumper based on scope, rideability, technique and competitive spirit. Lamaze and Zigali P S also won the overall WEF Challenge Cup Series Award. Sweden’s Alexander Zetterman earned the Hermès Talented Young Rider Award as the young jumper rider between the ages of 16-25 that has earned the most points in all FTI WEF FEI rated jumper competition.
$100,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Final
The $100,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Final concluded on Sunday with a win for Todd Minikus (USA) and Babalou 41, a nine-year-old Oldenburg mare by Balou du Rouet x Silvio I.
The competition saw 84 entries in the first round on Saturday and the top 25% returned to compete in round two on Sunday, where their cumulative scores from both rounds were combined to determine the winner.Three riders chose not to return for the second round, leaving 18 entries to show on Sunday.
Todd Minikus (USA) and Babalou 41, Andres Rodriguez (VEN) and Caballito, and Daniel Deusser (GER) and Fyloe v/h Claeyssenhof were the only three to complete double clear rounds, and their times in round two served as the tiebreaker.
Minikus and Bob Haefner’s Babalou 41 jumped double clear through both rounds and completed the fastest time of the competition in 48.78 seconds to earn top honors.Rodriguez and Arao Enterprises Caballito cleared the second round course in 49.97 seconds to finish second. Deusser and Fyloe v/h Claeyssenhof, owned by Stephex Stables and Double H Farm, finished third in 50.59 seconds.
Canada’s Tiffany Foster was 12th aboard Melody Des Hayettes Z with eight faults in the first round.
As the conclusion to the twelve-week Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series, Sunday’s class served as the final allocation of points for the overall standings for the $25,000 Leading Horse and Rider Award. The bonus money was presented to Great Britain’s Tim Gredley and Unex Omega Star as the horse and rider combination who gained the most points throughout all twelve classes of the circuit. Unex Omega Star is a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Quick Star x Quatoubet du Rouet, owned by Unex Competition Yard Ltd.
Sunday’s competition concluded a fantastic 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival. Equestrian Sport Productions would like to thank everyone for a wonderful circuit and looks forward to 2015. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.
$500,000 FTI Consulting CSI 5* Finale Grand Prix
1. HELLO SANCTOS: 2002 SBS gelding by Quasimodo Vd Molendreef x Nabab de Reve
SCOTT BRASH (GBR), Lady Harris And Lady Kirkham: 0/0/43.44
2. SLIEVEANORRA: 2002 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Voltaire x Flagmount Diamond
RICHIE MOLONEY (IRL), Equinimity LLC: 0/0/44.64
3. VINDICAT W: 2002 KWPN gelding by Guidam x Libero H
JESSICA SPRINGSTEEN (USA), Stone Hill Farm: 0/0/44.87
4. MAKAVOY: 2003 KWPN gelding by Hors La Loi II x Ahorn
BEN ASSELIN (CAN), Attache Stables: 0/0/46.01
5. VOYEUR: 2002 KWPN gelding by Tolano van’t Riethof x Goodwill
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Amalaya Investments: 0/4/42.72
6. CORTES ‘C’: 2002 BWP gelding by Randel Z x Darco
BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Abigail Wexner: 0/4/43.72
7. MYSELF DE BREVE: 2000 SFA mare by Quidam de Revel x Grand Veneur
MARIE HECART (FRA), Normandie Connection: 0/8/45.23
8. ZIGALI P S: 2004 KWPN gelding by Kigali x Palfrenier
ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Artisan Farms LLC: 1/81.65
9. ROYCE: 2004 Oldenburg stallion by Café au Lait x Grandilot
MARGIE ENGLE (USA), Elm Rock LLC: 1/82.92
10. ASLAN: 2000 Danish Warmblood gelding by Aston x Blue Hors Agent
LJUBOV KOCHETOVA (RUS), Ljubov Kochetova: 4/76.38
11. ROTHCHILD: 2001 Belgian Sport Horse gelding by Artos x Elegant de l’Ile
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Sagamore Farms: 4/77.32
12. CELLA: 2002 BWP mare by Cento x Chin Chin
BEN MAHER (GBR) Jane F. Clark: 4/77.52
$100,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Final
1. BABALOU 41: 2005 Oldenburg mare by Balou du Rouet x Silvio I
TODD MINIKUS (USA), Bob Haefner: 0/48.78
2. CABALLITO: 2002 Holsteiner gelding by Contendro x Argentinus
ANDRES RODRIGUEZ (VEN), Arao Enterprises LLC: 0/49.97
3. FYLOE VH CLAEYSSENHOF: 2005 BWP gelding by Burggraaf x Hearbreaker
DANIEL DEUSSER (GER), Stephex Stables: 0/50.59
4. VICTORY DA: 1998 BWP mare by Clinton x Attach Z
AUDREY COULTER (USA), Copernicus Stables, LLC: 1/55.37
5. UNEX OMEGA STAR: 2002 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Quick Star x Quatoubet du Rouet
TIM GREDLEY (GBR), Unex Competition Yard: 1/59.18
6. JUVINA: 2001 Austrian Warmblood mare by Cassini I x Grannus
GEORGINA BLOOMBERG (USA), Gotham Enterprizes, LLC: 1/59.68
7. BERNADIEN VAN WESTUUR: 2001 BWP mare by Toulon x Wibramino
BENJAMIN MEREDITH (AUS), River Farm Sporthorses: 1/62.88
8. FIRST CLASS VAN EECKELGHEM: 2005 BWP gelding by Balou du Rouet x Feinschnidtt I VD Richter
DANIEL DEUSSER (GER), Stephex Stables: 4/51.06
9. LISONA: 2001 Irish Sporthorse mare OBOS Quality 004 x Porsch JESSICA SPRINGSTEEN (USA), Stone Hill Farm: 4/55.99
10. ZOVIDIUS R: 2004 KWPN gelding by Oviidius x Nabour
VICTORIA GUILLKSEN (NOR), Stall Guillik: 5/61.94
11. STAR POWER: 2001 KWPN gelding by Quick Star
IAN MILLAR (CAN), Team Works: 6/57.13
12. MELODY DES HAYETTES Z: 2004 Zangersheide mare by Mozart des Hayettes X Ryon d’Anzex X
TIFFANY FOSTER (CAN), Artisan Farms LLC: 8/50.9