Week three of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival started with a day full of competition, and the main class in the International Arena was the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers. Debbie Stephens of Palmetto, FL, was victorious on Swagger, owned by Centennial Farm. The G&C Farm 1.45m class was a time first round format and had 26 entries. There were nine clear rounds, and the fastest of those was Stephens and Swagger, who posted a winning time of 70.049 seconds. Angel Karolyi and Artifice L.S., owned by Hollow Creek Farm, were second in 72.670 seconds. Third place went to Bon Ami, ridden by Scott Brash for Liz MacTaggert.
"He really doesn't have a lot of experience because I broke my hip last year. I didn't ride him in the International ring. I never got in there," she recalled. "He was sort of the 'next' horse. I was in the 1.35m and was going to move up to the 1.40m, but I didn't make it. He had four months of flatting with someone else and a slow comeback. For him to be doing this, I have to say, I have to give him all the credit. He's an amazing animal." Stephens described Swagger as a "young and up and coming horse." She added, "He's scopey, careful, fast, and competitive; he's sort of all the things you dream of in a horse."
In today's 1.45m victory, consistent pace was the key for Stephens. "I think I left strides out everywhere. I don't think I was faster at one point, I was just pretty much on it," she explained. "I think it was faster everywhere. It was a Beezie Madden type of ride where it was smooth and then you look at the clock and go, 'Wow! I was fast!' It felt smooth and right on it."
For full results please visit www.showgroundslive.com.
Final Results: $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers Time First Round
1 SWAGGER DEBBIE STEPHENS CENTENNIAL FARMS: 0/70.049
2 ARTIFICE L.S. ANGEL KAROLYI HOLLOW CREEK FARMS: 0/72.670
3 BON AMI SCOTT BRASH LIZ MCTAGGERT: 0/73.053
4 BLUE ANGEL LAUREN HOUGH BUENA VISTA FARMS: 0/74.123
5 WODCA MICHAEL WALTON MIA MARANO: 0/76.375
6 CARISMA EMILIE MARTINSEN EMILIE MARTINSEN: 0/77.914
7 QUICK LATINUS MIRANDA SCOTT MIRANDA SCOTT: 0/77.920
8 TEIRRA LAURA KRAUT STARS & STRIPES: 0/78.027
9 WATCH ME VD MANGMATT WILLIAMS SAMANTHA TUERK: 0/78.249
10 COPILOT JACKIE MC QUADE JACKIE MCQUADE: 4/68.592
Source: Press release from Jennifer Wood Media, Inc
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