The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) kicked off its ninth week of competition on Wednesday, March 5, with a $34,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m speed class and a top finish for Ireland's Darragh Kenny aboard Quiz.
The week will continue on Friday with the $34,000 G&C Farm 1.45m in the afternoon as well as the $25,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Semi-Final Friday night. The $280,000 FEI World Cup™ Grand Prix CSI-W 4*, presented by The Bainbridge Companies, will be featured on Saturday night and the $84,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic will be held on Sunday. The FTI WEF, held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, features 12 weeks of world-class competition through March 30, awarding $8 million in prize money.
Ireland's Alan Wade is the course designer in the International Arena for week nine. Wade set the track for 58 competitors in Wednesday's 1.45m speed class with 14 clear rounds. Darragh Kenny finished first with Quiz and third aboard Picolo, with Lauren Hough (USA) and Ohlala in second.
Kenny jumped the first clear round of the class aboard his first mount, Oakland Ventures LLC's Picolo, and set the pace at 61.91 seconds. He then beat his own time with Spruce Meadows' Quiz several rounds later, taking the lead in 61.65 seconds. Kenny sat first and second until the end, when Lauren Hough jumped into second with Ohlala in 61.76 seconds. Quiz took the win and Picolo settled for third.
"I had a good plan with the first horse," Kenny noted after the class. "I was really planning on being quick, and he is careful, so I wanted to have a good go. Out of the double, I did eight strides to the liverpool, and I just got caught. He shifted right, and I got caught doing one more stride."
"I knew somebody was going to beat me, so I said, 'I better go and try to do it myself!'" Kenny laughed. "With Quiz, I just start and get a good pace, and then if he feels good, I just keep going faster. I am very lucky. I have some really great horses right now and some really great owners. My business is really coming together and the horses are really coming together, and I am a very lucky guy."
Kenny and Quiz also won the $34,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic during week four competition. "He has been great," Kenny acknowledged. "I am just taking my time with him and not pushing him too much. I am just keeping him in the 1.45m and 1.50m classes. He is a very good horse. He is really careful, and he really wants to do well. I am lucky to be able to ride him."
"Picolo is a horse I had last summer," Kenny detailed. "He was placed in a couple of grand prix classes. He's a super fun horse, and he is really competitive. He had some stomach problems over the winter, he got ulcers, and so he has not been showing a lot. I just started him back about four weeks ago, did two weeks, gave him a week off and then did this. He is really easy. He wants to win and wants to be careful, so he is really perfect for these classes."
Coming from Ireland, Kenny grew up jumping Alan Wade's courses and always enjoys Wade's style. "For me, Alan is one of the best course designers in the world," Kenny declared. "I think he is absolutely fantastic. He does a great job. He never makes anything too difficult that anybody crashes or anything like that, but the issues that you are having, he weeds them out straight away. If you have a problem with a horse's rideability, guaranteed you are going to have a problem with it. The same if a horse isn't careful enough, he will catch them out. He's not very big about the time allowed being very tight. He just builds really good, technical courses up to the height, and he lets the horses and the riders figure it out from there."
Also showing on Wednesday, week nine's competition began in the morning with a win for Laura Chapot and Bradberry in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m speed class. Chapot then went on to her second win of the day in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class riding Mary Chapot's Umberto. For full results, please www.showgroundslive.com.
Final Results: $34,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m
1. QUIZ: 2004 Selle Francais gelding by For Pleasure x Laudanum
DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), Spruce Meadows: 0/61.65
2. OHLALA: 2003 Swedish Warmblood mare by Orlando x Cardento
LAUREN HOUGH (USA), The Ohlala Group: 0/61.76
3. PICOLO: 2003 Selle Francais gelding by Diamant de Semilly x Alme
DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), Oakland Ventures LLC: 0/61.91
4. CYKLON 1083: 2001 Swedish Warmblood stallion by Cardento x Cortus
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm LLC: 0/63.21
5. CZARDAS 30: 2003 Hanoverian stallion by Contendro x Grannus
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Ilan Ferder: 0/63.60
6. DOMINGO: 2003 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Brownboy
DANIEL DEUSSER (GER), Stephex Stables: 0/63.65
7. Y B BLUE: 1999 KPWN gelding by Mr. Blue x Rigoletto
NICK NOVAK (USA), Nick Novak: 0/66.02
8. Q ROYAL PALM Z: 2005 Zangersheide mare by Quidam de Revel
EIKEN SATO (JPN), Stephex Stables: 0/66.66
9. ANDRETTI S: 2005 KWPN gelding by Corland x Animo
LAURA KRAUT (USA), MH Sporthorse: 0/67.93
10. ANDRETTI: 2005 KWPN gelding by Orame x Ahorn
SCHUYLER RILEY (USA), South Beach Stables: 0/70.00
11. COLASKO: 2005 Oldenburg stallion by Coleman x Granus
NICOLAS PIZARRO (MEX), Monica Burillo Eguia Lis & Nicolas Pizarro: 0/71.32
12. QUABELLE: 2004 Selle Francais mare by Helrios de la Cour II x Kannan
BLYTHE MARANO (USA), Riverview Farm LLC: 0/72.02
Source: Press release from Jennifer Wood Media Inc.
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