Top British riders David McPherson and Scott Brash each took home their winner's share on Thursday in a split class for round nine of the $32,000 WEF Challenge Cup Series at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). The class featured 99 horse and rider combinations jumping a course set by Venezuela's Leopoldo Palacios. Just ten were able to clear the first round course without fault, and an exciting jump-off ensued.
The day's class was split into two with equal prize money awarded to each section. The class ran as a whole and the jump-off scored the clear rounds together to determine the overall standings. The top placings were then split accordingly.
With ten returning for the jump-off, five were able to jump double clear, and David McPherson and Scott Brash had the two fastest times. McPherson and Silver Spring were fastest overall, completing the jump-off course in 39.56 seconds to become the winner of Section A. Brash and Sanctos Van Het Gravenhof finished in 39.74 seconds, earning the top prize in Section B.
Section A awarded second place to Jeffery Welles (USA) and Aries, who cleared the jump-off course in 40.42 seconds. Third place went to Marie Hecart (FRA) and Opal Du Golfe for their clear round in 41.91 seconds. Brianne Goutal (USA) and Nice De Prissey finished with four faults in the jump-off in 43.63 seconds to claim Section A's fourth place prize.
In Section B, Kent Farrington (USA) and Amalaya Investment's Voyeur finished in second place with a clear round in 41.49 seconds. Scott Brash and his second mount, Whisky Mac IV, finished third with a four-fault round in 38.93 seconds, and Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Stone Hill Farm's Vornado Van Den Hoendrik placed fourth with eight faults in 42.28 seconds.
"The course builder did a wonderful job today," McPherson stated after the class. "It was a tough track; a really tight time. It was good. My first horse had an amazing round and just ticked the last fence, but that's life. I'm delighted with this one. He is as brave as a lion and has all of the scope; he is a lovely horse."
Silver Spring has shown at high levels, even competing in the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) in 2010 with McPherson's previous student, Oliver Lazarus. McPherson hopes to get the horse back in top form now that he has returned to the show ring.
Scott Brash made it to the jump-off with each of his two mounts in the class,
finishing first and third in Section B of the standings. He went fast and clear with Sanctos Van Het Gravenhof to finish at the top and had the time in hand with his second mount, Whisky Mac IV, but had an unfortunate rail at the last fence. The skies opened up as Brash entered the ring for his jump-off round with Whisky Mac, but the rain did not affect his ride.
"I'm from Scotland, so I'm used to it," Brash laughed. "Obviously it's a bit of a disadvantage if your horse is uncomfortable with it, but you've just got to knuckle in and get on with it, don't you?"
Brash also praised Palacios on his course for the afternoon. "It was a tough track. All credit to the course builder; he has done a fantastic job," he stated. "It was tough jumping out there today and I couldn't be happier with both of my horses."
Final Results: $32,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 9 Section A
1. SILVER SPRING: 1999 KWPN gelding by Larino x Glendale
DAVID MCPHERSON (GBR), David McPherson: 0/0/39.56
2.ARIES: 2001 Oldenburg gelding by Argentinas x Grannus
JEFFERY WELLES (USA), Noel Love Gross: 0/0/40.42
3.OPAL DU GOLFE: 2002 Selle Francais by Elf D'or SF
MARIE HECART (FRA), Ecurie Michel Hecart: 0/0/41.91
4. NICE DE PRISSEY: 2001 Selle Francais stallion by Rosire x Amarpour
BRIANNE GOUTAL (USA), Cloverleaf Farm: 0/4/43.63
5.MERLIN: 2002 Royal Dutch Warmblood gelding by Hors La Loi II x Emilion
JEFFERY WELLES (USA), Noel Love Gross: 0/11/51.04
6.COMBINA: 2001 Dutch Warmblood stallion
KIRSTEN COE (USA), Ilan Ferder: 1/81.80
7. CEONTO: 2001 Holsteiner gelding by Cassini I
KAREN CUDMORE (CAN), Blair Cudmore: 2/85.28
8. AZZARO VAN'T HAGENHOF: 2000 BWP Gelding by Mr. Blue x Lys De Darmen
LAURA KRAUT (USA), Susan Grange: 4/75.47
9. AMARETTO D'ARCO: 2000 BWP stallion by Darco x Tenor Manciais
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm LLC: 4/76.41
10. STAR POWER: 2001 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Quick Star
IAN MILLAR (CAN), Team Works: 4/77.18
11. CARLO 273: 2001 Holsteiner gelding by Contender x Cascavelle
NICK SKELTON (GBR), Beverly Widdowson: 4/77.41
12. CABALLITO: 2002 Holsteiner gelding by Contendro x Argentinus
ANDRES RODRIGUEZ (VEN), Arao Enterprises LLC: 4/77.71
Final Results: $32,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 9 Section B
1. SANCTOS VAN HET GRAVENHOF: 2002 SBS gelding by Quasimodo Vd Molendreef x Nabab De Reve
SCOTT BRASH (GBR), Lady Harris And Lady Kirkham: 0/0/39.74
2. VOYEUR: 2002 KWPN gelding by Tolano Van't Riethof x Goodwill
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Amalaya Investments: 0/0/41.49
3. WHISKY MAC IV: 2003 Scottish Sporthorse gelding by Emilion x Burggraff
SCOTT BRASH (GBR), Mr. Stanley Brash: 0/4/38.93
4. VORNADO VAN DEN HOENDRIK: 1998 BWP gelding by Darco x Ramiro
JESSICA SPRINGSTEEN (USA), Stone Hill Farm: 0/8/42.28
5. GIOVANNI 151: 1999 Hanoverian stallion by Graf Grannus x Graf Remus
DAVID WILL (GER), Paul Schockemohle: 0/Elim.
6. TRIPPLE-X III: 2002 Anglo European stallion by Namelus R x Cantango
BEN MAHER (GBR), Ben Maher: 1/82.06
7. OCEANE DE NANTUEL: 2002 SFA mare by Diamant de Semilly x Quidam de Revel
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Ecurie Michel Hecart: 4/75.16
8. TEIRRA: 2000 KWPN mare by Tolano Van Het Riethof x Aldatus
LAURA KRAUT (USA), Stars & Stripes: 4/75.53
9. ROYCE: 2004 Oldenburg stallion by Café au lait x Grandilot
MARGIE ENGLE (USA), Elm Rock LLC: 4/76.53
10. AVENIR: 2000 BWP gelding by Phin Phin x Flamingo
CHRISTINE MCCREA (USA), Candy Tribble: 4/77.41
11. CASSIATO: 1998 Holsteiner gelding by Concerto II x Landgraf I
HARLEY BROWN (AUS), Oak Park Group, LLC: 4/77.57
12. BOGEGARDENS APOLLO: 1998 Holsteiner stallion by Acord II x Ronald
EMILIE MARTINSEN (DEN), Emilie Martinsen: 4/77.83
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