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Ben Maher and Quiet Easy 4 Take Top Prize in $33,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Speed

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Ben Maher and Quiet Easy 4. Photo © Sportfot.Week ten of the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), sponsored by Horseware Ireland, continued on Friday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) with a win for Great Britain's Ben Maher and Quiet Easy 4 in the highlight $33,000 G&C Farm 1.45m speed class. In an exciting finish, Maher just edged out Canada's Eric Lamaze and Wang Chung M2S for the win with Japan's Eiken Sato and Viva finishing in third.

On Friday evening at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival at The Stadium at PBIEC, a fantastic $10,000 Puissance high jump competition was also featured along with the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle presented by Horseware Ireland. Great Britain's Tim Gredley and Unex Valente and Germany's Johannes Ehining and Salvador V went head to head over the ever-increasing wall with Gredley winning in four rounds at a final height of 6'11" (2.10m). Gredley then went on to attempt 7'6" (2.31m).

Week ten's FTI WEF competition runs March 13-17 featuring CSI 3* competition. Highlights include the $82,000 Horseware Ireland CSI 3* Grand Prix on Saturday and the $33,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Sunday. The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival features 12 weeks of competition running from January 9-March 31, 2013, and will be awarding almost $7 million in prize money throughout the circuit.   Ben Maher and Quiet Easy 4 in their winning presentation with ringmaster Cliff Haines and Carolina and Gustavo Mirabal of G&C Farm. Photo © Sportfot.

Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany set the speed track for Friday's $33,000 G&C Farm 1.45m class in the International Arena at PBIEC with 43 entries competing. Fifteen were able to clear the course without fault and the times got faster and faster as the list went on. In the end, Ben Maher and Mrs. Phillips' Quiet Easy 4 won it with their time of 60.69 seconds. Eric Lamaze and Wang Chung M2S, owned by Morningside Stud and Torrey Pines Stables, were just behind in 60.92 seconds. Eiken Sato and Stephex Stables' Viva finished third in 62.06 seconds. Meagan Nusz (USA) and Amalaya Investments' Vesuvius were fourth in 62.62 seconds.

When Maher originally finished his round, the clock on the scoreboard showed that his time was slower than Lamaze, but a review by the judges determined that he was in fact faster. "I landed after the last fence and I saw it was around 59 seconds and you obviously need to run a little bit to get to the timers, but then the clock said I was 61 seconds and I was sure it had run on a little," Maher explained. "When I came out the judges were already discussing it. They said that it did run late and they went to the backup time, which was noticeably different, so luckily it worked out."

With a busy schedule showing in other rings, Maher did not get to watch the beginning of the class, but showed up just in time to see Lamaze's round. "These classes you just do what you can and know what you can't do it," he noted. "I had some other horses going in another ring, but luckily I watched Eric just before I went, so I knew I had to kind of do the same as him and take time off where I knew I could. He was quick places that I knew I couldn't be, so I just did my own thing and Quiet Easy jumped fantastic today. He was great from the first fence. He warmed up well, so I thought we had a good chance."

"It was a good course," Maher stated. "It had a lot more turns today and a little bit more options of how tight you wanted to go and to turn, so that suited my horse. I think I was pretty quick one, two, three, but it was all within less than a second, so I don't think we really got it any place in particular. He was just quick the whole way."

Quiet Easy's barn name, Roary, is quite fitting. Owner Emma Phillips was in Wellington today to watch his winning round and explained that he is named after the British cartoon, Roary the Racing Car, about a young, energetic red race car. Phillips was pleased to be in town to see her horse earn a great win. "It was special for us because we just flew in this weekend," she smiled. "We have been here before over the years, but not for this season, so it was really nice to be able to see him win. It was nice for my husband too because he never sees him win."

Maher laughed, "Every time Mr. Phillips comes, they always knock a jump down, so finally they won a class."

"I haven't seen them for such a long time and then they arrive and the horse wins, so it could not have worked out any better," Maher acknowledged. "He has been great. He loves Florida and he has had some great results. We'll save him for the last two 1.50m classes now."  

Final Results: $33,000 G&C Farm 1.45m

1. QUIET EASY 4: 2004 Oldenburg gelding by Quidams Rubin x Zapateado
BEN MAHER (GBR), Mrs. Phillips: 0/60.69

2. WANG CHUNG M2S: 2003 KWPN stallion by Royal Bravour x Ahorn
ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Morningside Stud & Torrey Pines Stable: 0/60.92

3. VIVA: 2002 KWPN mare by Corrado x Nimmerdor
EIKEN SATO (JPN), Stephex Stables: 0/62.06

4. VESUVIUS: 2002 KWPN gelding by Numero Uno x Expert
MEAGAN NUSZ (USA), Amalaya Investments: 0/62.62

5. KAID DU RY: 1998 Selle Francais gelding by Brett Saint Clair x Royal Ardent
ALISE OKEN (USA), Hi Hopes Farm LLC: 0/63.02

6. MADEMOISELLE: 1997 Holsteiner Mare by Libertino I x Silvester
BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Abigail Wexner: 0/63.81
   7. WHISPER: 2003 KPWN gelding by Zandor Z x Hugo
TAIZO SUGITANI (JPN), TS-Showjumping GmbH: 0/65.55

8. ZERO: N/A
LAURA KRAUT (USA), Chris Sorensen: 0/67.25

9. QUEL PACHA: 2004 Selle Francais gelding by Gadget Du Banney x Alligator Fontaine
BRIANNE GOUTAL (USA), Santiago Diaz: 0/68.72
   10. CAPALL ZIDANE: 2004 KWPN gelding by Concorde x Baloubet du RouetRONAN MCGUIGAN (IRL), Ronan McGuigan: 0/68.97
 11. NORLAM DES ESTISSES: 2001 Selle Francais stallion by Quidam de Revel x Uriel
EIKEN SATO (JPN), Stephex Stables: 0/69.47

12. SHOWGIRL: 2000 Selle Francais mare by Gold De Becourt x Elf III
JONATHAN ASSELIN (CAN), Attache Stables: 71.24

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