Week one of the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) continued on Friday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, with the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off and Speed Challenge classes held in the International Arena in the afternoon. The jump-off class went first with a win for Ireland's Darragh Kenny aboard Windbreaker. The Speed Challenge saw a win for Laura Chapot (USA) and Shooting Star. The 12-week WEF circuit runs through March 29, 2015, awarding over $8.2 million in prize money.
Eric Hasbrouck (USA) set the course for the day's 1.40m competition with a busy schedule of show jumping. The $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class saw 77 entries in total 15 clears in round one. Entries jumped off immediately following their first round where seven more went double clear.
David Beisel and Equine Holdings LLC's Ammeretto were the first pair to jump double clear over the short course and held the lead through much of the class with their time of 32.69 seconds, but eventually finished in third place. Darragh Kenny came along many rounds later with Windbreaker and took the lead in 31.89 seconds. Victoria Colvin and Karen Long Dwight's Chanel B 2 jumped into second place at the end of the class in 32.59 seconds.
Class winner, Windbreaker, is a 12-year-old KWPN gelding by Heartbreaker x Farmer. Kenny explained that he was just schooling the horse for its owner, but easily breezed past the leaders to take over the top position. "This is only the second time I have ridden the horse," Kenny detailed. "It is trained by Laura Bowery, and it is owned by Kerry McCahill. It is actually her junior jumper. I was just riding it in a class or two for her this week to give it a school."
"Laura said to me that it is a really quick horse and it is super easy, so it was easy to go fast on him," Kenny said of his jump-off. "He is super nice to ride, very uncomplicated and very careful. I think he will make a really good junior jumper."
"I didn't know the horse and actually I didn't see David go either, so I just went as quick as the horse felt comfortable with and it turned out to be good enough," Kenny added of his round. "It is a quick horse and he is very uncomplicated, so I could do whatever I wanted, and it was very easy just to be fast on him."
Kenny praised this week's course designer, Eric Hasbrouck, on another great track, noting, "He has been super. Eric is a brilliant course designer. He rode himself, so he knows a lot about it and I think the courses this week have been great."
Kenny looks to show Windbreaker a few more times throughout the circuit in preparation for his rider. "It will be just doing the same thing, a couple of schooling classes to have him set up for Kerry, and Laura will ride him a little bit as well. Between us all I think the horse should go really well," he stated.
Kenny has a big group of horses to show throughout the winter and looks forward to a great few months. "I have a lot of good horses for this circuit, so hopefully it goes really well," he concluded.
Also competing in the International Arena on Friday, the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge was held later in the afternoon with a win for Laura Chapot aboard Mary Chapot's Shooting Star. Forty-nine entries showed with 13 clear rounds. Chapot and Shooting Star jumped the fastest clear round in 62.14 seconds early in the class. Nicolas Pizarro and Jacobo Zaga's Calvaretto finished second in 62.45 seconds. Chapot also took third place honors with Mary Chapot's Zealous in 62.84 seconds.
Final Results: $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Jump-Off
1 2868 WINDBREAKER DARRAGH KENNY CHLOE D REID LLC: 0/0/31.891
2 2254 CHANEL B 2 VICTORIA COLVIN KAREN LONG DWIGHT: 0/0/32.594
3 4062 AMMERETTO DAVID BEISEL EQUINE HOLDINGS LLC: 0/0/32.693
4 3281 TEMASCALTEPEC NICOLAS PIZARRO ARMANDO TORRADO: 0/0/32.869
5 4518 BIALDA RAMIRO QUINTANA ST. BRIDE'S FARM: 0/0/33.528
6 5136 G&C CLOSE UP LUIS LARRAZABAL SAN FRANCISCO STABLES LLC: 0/0/35.463
7 1946 QUINCY CAR FERNANDO CARDENAS FERNANDO CARDENAS: 0/0/36.532
8 4461 QUIDAM MB ADRIENNE STERNLICHT STARLIGHT FARMS LLC: 0/4/33.384
9 2431 AX-CENT KENNETH BERKLEY RIVERS EDGE: 0/4/34.416
10 120 POWERPLAY ERIC LAMAZE ARTISAN FARMS LLC: 0/4/34.430
11 3811 WINN WINN ANDREW RAMSAY ANDREW RAMSAY: 0/4/35.225
12 4773 CASSINJO DAVID BLAKE PINE HOLLOW FARM: 0/4/35.545
Source: Press release from Lauren Fisher and Lindsay Brock for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
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