Week eleven of the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), sponsored by Artisan Farms, continued on Thursday with a one-two finish for Brazil in the $50,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 11. Alvaro de Miranda was the winner riding Show Show with Rodrigo Pessoa and HH Let's Fly in second. Germany's Daniel Deusser and Cornet d'Amour finished third.
Richard Jeffery of Bournemouth, England, is the course designer in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center for week eleven. In Thursday's WEF Challenge Cup class, Jeffery saw 70 entries and 12 clear trips over the first round course. Eleven of those entries returned for the jump-off, and six of those jumped double clear. Alvaro de Miranda and RD Jumper Higher Ltda's Show Show had the fastest round of 35.34 seconds for the victory. Rodrigo Pessoa and Double H Farm's HH Let's Fly finished in 37.58 seconds to place second. Third place honors went to Germany's Daniel Deusser with his time of 37.80 seconds aboard Cornet d'Amour, owned by Stephex Stables and Pedro Veniss.
De Miranda and Show Show, an eleven-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Darco x Royal Fleu, have had many top finishes in the last eleven weeks of competition in Wellington, but this was their first win. The rider went home to Brazil last week and gave his horses the week off to rest. He just arrived back on Thursday morning.
"It feels very good to win," the rider smiled. "I think it was very important that I gave my horses a rest last week. I felt my horse jumping really good today. He did last weekend and he was clear and then had two or three down (in the jump-off) and he felt really empty. He needed a little bit of air, so we gave him the week and put him out a lot in the paddock."
"The jump-off was very good," he continued. "I gave everything that I could. I didn't see Daniel, but normally he is very fast and I was surprised to see that I was almost two seconds faster than him. Also especially to have me and Rodrigo one and two is good. It is very tough to win here and finally I got my first win, so I am very happy."
Show Show is a horse that was purchased from fellow Brazilian rider Carlos Ribas. De Miranda explained that the horse had jumped a lot of clear rounds, but was not used to going fast and often had time faults.
"Normally I like to gallop my horse, so at the beginning I was shocking him a little bit," he explained. "That is why sometimes the jump-offs are difficult for him because he doesn't look by himself for the fence. Sometimes I have a very good first round and then one down in the jump-off, but normally when he is clear, he is in the top three. He is learning a lot, and he is a super brave horse. He is a very special horse and I am very proud of him."
De Miranda's wife, Athina Onassis de Miranda of Greece, was the first competitor to clear the short course without fault and finished sixth aboard Camille Z, owned by the rider and Victory Equestrian. De Miranda was also very proud of her.
"Athina was super," he smiled. "She has been training with George Morris now for three weeks and I am very happy because I think it fits perfectly. We always admired him a lot, the great job that he did with the American team here as a trainer and as the first man of the team. We are really lucky to have the possibility of him coaching us. He started now with Athina and I am going to have his help also. We are trying to see if he can be with us as much as he can for the next four years."
De Miranda also feels that he and his wife as well as their horses have all improved throughout the last eleven weeks with the ability to show so much.
"I think we have progressed a lot over the circuit," he said. "You have so many rings. Normally we can never go with all of the horses to one show and here it was good to have all of the horses together. You are able to jump the young horses in a class in one ring and then another here in the big ring. I think especially for Athina it was very good because she is progressing a lot. She is riding a lot of horses. I think twelve weeks here is like six months in Europe. You have the possibility to show so much. The time is always very short and that is one of the things that Athina needs to improve. It has been very important for her to be here because she can work on exactly what she needs to improve."
Along with his winning prize money, De Miranda was also presented with a special rider's bonus for the SSG "Go Clean for the Green" promotion. A $3,000 bonus is offered each week if the winning rider of the Challenge Cup class is wearing the SSG 'Digital' Riding Gloves in all rounds of competition with the SSG logo clearly visible.
Also showing on Thursday, Italy's Lorenzo de Luca and Zoe II won the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class.
Final Results: $50,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 11
1. SHOW SHOW: 2002 BWP gelding by Darco x Royal Fleu
ALVARO DE MIRANDA (BRA), RD Jumping Higher Ltda: 0/0/35.34
2. HH LET'S FLY: 1999 Hanoverian gelding by Lordanos x Forrest
RODRIGO PESSOA (BRA), Double H Farm: 0/0/37.58
3. CORNET D'AMOUR: 2003 Westphalian gelding by Cornet Obolensky x Damiani
DANIEL DEUSSER (GER), Stephex Stables & Pedro Veniss: 0/0/37.80
4. MYSELF DE BREVE: 2000 SFA mare by Quidam de Revel x Grand Veneur
MARIE HECART (FRA), Normandie Connection: 0/0/40.94
5. BARONEZ: 2001 Warmblood mare by Heartbreaker x Unknown
KIRSTEN COE (USA), Ilan Ferder: 0/0/42.17
6. CAMILLE Z: 2003 Zangersheide mare
ATHINA ONASSIS DE MIRANDA (GRE), Athina Onassis de Miranda & Victory Equestrian: 0/0/45.68
7. ZANDER: 2004 KWPN gelding Cantos x Saygon
MCLAIN WARD (USA), McLain Ward: 0/4/38.83
8. BOO VAN HET KASTANJEHOF: 2001 BWP mare by Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Pachat II
ANDREW WELLES (USA), Peter Welles: 0/4/44.56
9. URAGUAY: 2001 KWPN gelding by Nairobi x Colino
TODD MINIKUS (USA), Legacy Stables, LLC: 0/12/42.38
10. CORTES 'C': 2002 BWP gelding by Randel Z x Darco
BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Abigail Wexner: 0/16/55.53
11. VALESKA: 2005 Belgian Warmblood mare by Vigo d'Arsouilles x Heartbreaker
CHARLIE JAYNE (USA), Pony Lane Farm: 0/19/58.45
12. URICO: 2001 KWPN gelding by Zandor Z x Fedor
BEN MAHER (GBR), Jane F. Clark: 0/WD
Source: Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
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