Week four of the2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) continued on Thursday with a win for Charlie Jacobs and CMJ Sporthorse, LLC's Flaming Star in the $33,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 4. In a 23-horse jump-off, Jacobs and Flaming Star topped an all-star field with second place honors going to Conor Swail (IRL) riding Lansdowne and third place awarded to Brianne Goutal (USA) aboard Nice de Prissey.
Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela set the course for an impressive field of 81 starters in Thursday afternoon's $33,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 4. A total of 24 entries jumped clear in the first round to advance to the jump-off, and 23 of those returned to jump the short course. Out of 23, ten jumped double clear, and the times got faster and faster as the race for the top prize progressed. The final three competitors earned the top three spots.
Twentieth to go, Brianne Goutal and Remarkable Farm LP's Nice de Prissey cleared the short course in 33.67 seconds to place third. Class winners Charlie Jacobs and Flaming Star were second to last in the jump-off and blazed through the course in 32.40 seconds to earn the victory. Last to go, Conor Swail and Lansdowne, owned by Ariel and Susan Grange, placed second with their time of 33.21 seconds.
Other top finishers included Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Adrienne Sternlicht's Oreade des Dames, who finished fourth in 33.78 seconds. Luis Larrazabal (VEN) and Gustavo Mirabal's G&C Flash were fifth in 34.42 seconds, and Ian Millar (CAN) and Dixson, owned by Ariel and Susan Grange, placed sixth with a time of 34.68 seconds. McLain Ward and Grant Road Partners' Super Trooper de Ness actually had the fastest time of the day in 31.89 seconds, but a rail at the last fence left them in eleventh place.
After completing the winning effort, Charlie Jacobs exclaimed, "That was a horse race!"
Jacobs had two horses in the jump-off. He went second with Deeridge Farms' Leap of Joy and then second to last with Flaming Star. He spoke about his rounds, stating, "I went second on Leap of Joy and thought I was quick with a time of 34 seconds and unfortunately I had the last rail. When I saw that the leading time was 33 with Brianne and knowing how slick she can be, I knew that there really wasn't going to be any hitting the brakes (with Flaming Star), taking any of the reins. It was going to be flat out to try to catch her and that is what I did. I feel very blessed to have that horse in my barn. He is a real special creature and we have a very good rapport when it comes to going against the clock."
Jacobs explained his strategy to get Flaming Star revved up as he headed to the first fence and start out strong.
"I wanted to wake my horse up a little bit," he noted. "He needs the turbo charge to go a little faster. That is that horse's turbo button; you just light him up a little to start the jump off. It gets his blood up. He kicks out a little bit and he is a little ornery about it, but from there you don't really have to ask again. It just goes to that sixth gear, if you will."
"I observed that there was a little bit of a distance between the timers and the first jump, so I wanted to cover that ground as quickly as possible," Jacobs added. "We are talking fractions of a second here, but at this point, it really counts. It separates first from second."
In addition to the prize money for Thursday's class, a $9,000 bonus for the SSG "Go Clean for the Green" contest was also up for grabs. A $3,000 bonus is available each week if the winning rider is wearing the SSG 'Digital' Riding Gloves in all rounds of competition with the SSG logo clearly visible. The bonus rolled over from weeks two and three and Jacobs was not wearing the gloves this week, so it will add up once more into next week's competition. During week five, the winning rider will have the chance to win $12,000 just for wearing SSG gloves.
Also showing in the International Arena on Thursday, Ronan McGuigan guided Capall Zidane to victory in the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Classic. Catherine Tyree and Wetter won in the RCG Farm High Amateur-Owner Jumpers.
Final Results: $33,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 4
1. FLAMING STAR: 1999 AES gelding by Fairman x Unknown
CHARLIE JACOBS SR., CMJ Sporthorse LLC: 0/0/32.40
2. LANSDOWNE: 2003 KWPN stallion by Guidam x Wolfgang
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Ariel & Susan Grange: 0/0/33.21
3. NICE DE PRISSEY: 2001 Selle Francais stallion by Rosire x Amarpour
BRIANNE GOUTAL (USA), Remarkable Farms LP: 0/0/33.67
4. OREADE DES DAMES: 2002 Selle Francais mare by Kannan x Hurlevent
DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), Adrienne Sternlicht: 0/0/33.78
5. G&C FLASH: 2002 Hanoverian gelding by Forrester x Grannus
LUIS LARRAZABAL (VEN), Gustavo Mirabal: 0/0/34.42
6. DIXSON: 2003 BWP gelding by Vigo d'Arsouilles x Olisco
IAN MILLAR (CAN), Ariel and Susan Grange: 0/0/34.68
7. QUOINTREAU UN PRINCE: 2004 Selle Francais gelding by Diamant de Semilly x Rosire
LAURA CHAPOT (USA), Laura Chapot & Mclain Ward: 0/0/36.91
8. WHITNEY: 2003 KWPN mare by Indoctro x Concorde
RAMIRO QUINTANA (ARG), St. Bride's Farm: 0/0/38.02
9. CEDRIC: 1998 Holsteiner gelding by Chambertin x Carolus Z
LAURA KRAUT (USA), Cherry Knoll Farm, Inc: 0/0/38.86
10. ORMSBY HILL: 1997 BWP gelding by Unknown
LIZA FINSNESS (USA), Liza Finsness: 0/0/38.96
11. SUPER TROOPER DE NESS: 2002 Belgian Sport Horse stallion by Vigo D'arsouilles x Polydor
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Grant Road Partners: 0/4/31.89
12. CHILL R Z: 2003 Zangersheide stallion by Chellano Z x A Lucky One
CHARLIE JAYNE (USA), Pony Lane Farm: 0/4/32.78
Source: Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
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