Week three of the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) continued on Friday with a win for Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Cyklon 1083 in the $34,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m speed class in Wellington, FL. Sponsored by Adequan®, WEF 3 runs at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) through Sunday, January 25. The week features the $127,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 3* on Saturday, January 24. The 12-week circuit continues through March 29, awarding over $8.2 million in prize money.
Course designer Leopoldo Palacios (VEN) set the speed track for Friday's 1.45m competition with 57 entries and 19 clear rounds. Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm LLC's Cyklon 1083 were the winners in 60.69 seconds, just over Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Stone Hill Farm's Davendy S in 60.91 seconds.
Spencer Smith (USA) and Artisan Farms LLC's Nevada stopped the clock in 61.70 seconds to place third. Meagan Nusz (USA) and Amalaya Investments' Leoville 2 finished fourth in 63.53 seconds.Sweetnam and the 14-year-old Swedish Warmblood stallion (Cardento x Cortus) are no strangers to the winner's circle, especially in Wellington. The pair inked five FEI wins last year at WEF alone and went on to a great summer.
"After circuit last year he had a good season. He won at Spruce Meadows and had a couple of good results in the Hamptons," Sweetnam detailed. "Every show he goes to, he is good. Last year he didn't travel as much, but he has been great. I did a small show the first week in January, just two smaller classes, and this is his first major class back and today was great."
Wednesday's 1.45m winners, Conor Swail (IRL) and Simba de la Roque, were last to go in Friday's class and were definitely out to defend their title. Swail was well on the way to his second win of the week with the fastest round of the day in 59.17 seconds, but dropped a rail at the second to last fence to hand the win to his fellow Irishman. Sweetnam stood at the in gate and watched their every step.
"I knew Conor would be fast. He has a very fast horse, and he was really taking risks with him," Sweetnam noted. "The first day when he won, I think he was two seconds faster than everybody. I had done my best; I don't think I could have done much more. I was hoping that I would still win, but I thought he had a chance of catching me."
Earlier in the class, Sweetnam had also watched the round of Jessica Springsteen and Davendy S, which led the way through many rounds until he came along with Cyklon. "Jessie had a lovely, neat round," Sweetnam said. "That is a very fast horse naturally. It is quick in the air and really covers the ground. I had an idea of the numbers I had to do to be in contention, and I did those numbers. I regretted pulling an extra stride to the wall the other day, so today my plan was to do one less stride there. I didn't take any pull, and I got a little lucky. He (Cyklon) made it happen, which he does. If I had taken a pull there and added another stride, I would have been too slow, so it worked out."
Sweetnam praised the course set by Leopoldo Palacios on Friday, noting that the class was great for the spectators right down to the finish. "He did a great job with the course today. I think it was entertaining for everybody. It was maybe a little bit bigger than Wednesday, but there were still options, tight turns, and the double of verticals. He definitely gave you places to be fast, and then at the end there was a bit of a gallop, so it was exciting for the crowd and for the horses," Sweetnam concluded.
Also showing on Friday, the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge was held in a California Split with 104 entries total. Darragh Kenny (IRL) was the fastest overall to top Section A aboard Eva Castegren's Cicomein VDL with Georgina Bloomberg (USA) and Gotham Enterprizes' Washington Square in second. Nicolas Pizarro (MEX) and Jacobo Zaga's Calvaretto topped Section B with Daniel Zetterman (SWE) and Gyllebo Farm's Acapulco Z in second.
1. CYKLON 1083: 2001 Swedish Warmblood stallion by Cardento x Cortus
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm LLC: 0/60.69
2. DAVENDY S: 2003 Belgian Warmblood mare by Kashmir van Schuttershof x Pachat II
JESSICA SPRINGSTEEN (USA), Stone Hill Farm: 0/60.91
3. NEVADA: 2004 Zangersheide gelding by Nelson Z x Chellano Z
SPENCER SMITH (USA), Artisan Farms LLC: 0/61.70
4. LEOVILLE 2: 2000 Bavarian Warmblood stallion by Landor S x Wettruf
MEAGAN NUSZ (USA), Amalaya Investments: 0/63.53
5. FLECU: 2004 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Hip Hop x Flamingo
ALEXANDER ZETTERMAN (SWE), Alexander Zetterman: 0/64.20
6. TEMASCALTEPEC: 2007 Mexican Sport Horse mare by Balou du Rovet x Bachus
NICOLAS PIZARRO (MEX), Armando Torrado: 0/64.70
7. ADARE: 2005 KWPN mare by Royal Bravour x Burggraaf
LAUREN HOUGH (USA), Paris Sellon: 0/64.87
8. ATHENA: 2005 KWPN mare by Gentleman x Lennard
CHLOE REID (USA), Chloe D Reid LLC: 0/65.10
9. ZAZOU: 2005 KWPN gelding by Furore x Zuidhorn
VICTORIA GULLIKSEN (NOR), Stall Gullik: 0/65.65
10. WITH WINGS: 2003 KWPN gelding by Larino x L. Ronald
KAREN POLLE (JPN), Karen Polle: 0/65.85
11. COCO BONGO: 2005 Rheinlander stallion by Caretino x Calido
ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Artisan Farms LLC: 0/67.14
12. BARLA: 2004 Oldenburg mare by Baloubet du Rouet x Carthago Z
HANNAH SELLECK (USA), Descanso Farm: 0/68.23
Source: Press release from Lauren Fisher and Maddy Stover for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
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