Frances Land (USA) and Vieanne proved themselves with a win against many of the world's best in Friday's $34,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m speed class during week three of the 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). An FEI World Ranking competition, the pair held a significant lead through most of the class, jumping clear and fast to top second place finishers Daniel Bluman (COL) and Apardi, with Ben Maher (GBR) and Aristo Z finishing third.
Week three of the FTI WEF, sponsored by Fidelity Investments® continues through Sunday, January 26. The week will feature the highlight $125,000 Fidelity Investments® Grand Prix CSI 3* on Saturday night and the $34,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic 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.
Brazil's Guilherme Jorge set the speed track for Friday's Spy Coast Farm 1.45m with 53 competitors and 13 clear rounds. Daniel Bluman and Apardi jumped the first clear round and set the pace at 65.23 seconds, but were quickly pushed into second place when Frances Land and Vieanne cleared the course in 63.97 seconds five rounds later. Eighth to go in the overall order, Land and Vieanne held onto that lead to the end despite the roster of impressive horses and riders that followed.
Ben Maher and Jane Clark's Aristo Z finished third with their time of 66.60 seconds. Tim Gredley (GBR) and Unex Competition Yard's Unex Omega Star placed fourth in 68.96 seconds. Beezie Madden (USA) and Abigail Wexner's Amadora were fifth in 70.82 seconds. McLain Ward (USA) and Wings and Brianne Goutal (USA) with Uata were the only two pairs to beat Land's time, stopping the clock in 61.97 seconds and 63.62 seconds respectively, but each had a single rail on course to finish out of the money. For Land, it was easier to go early and stick to her plan, but she then had to wait nervously for the final result.
"I really like going early," Land said. "I like to just go in and do my plan so that I don't sit around and get nervous and have to watch a bunch, because then I always end up changing my plan and riding worse. I knew there were a bunch in the class, and I knew I needed to be fast. Naturally, Vieanne is just really fast, so I figured if I was really smooth and made some tight turns, left out a couple of strides, then we stood a good chance of winning. She was just great. Everywhere she was just with me and perfect."
"I got nervous when McLain went in," Land admitted. "Him and Brianne were way faster than me. That's the worst part for me is just afterwards, waiting. You have to wait through 35 rounds, and your head is in your hands and you're thinking 'Oh, please don't beat me!' But it is good because I also get to watch them. I learn from them because I see where they do go faster than me, and that just pushes me to do better. If they shave a second or two off of my time, that just means that tomorrow I need to be that much faster."
Land and Vieanne will compete again in Sunday's $34,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic and will then be back for FTI WEF week four. Land (19) is a student at Emory University in Georgia and commutes back and forth to show during the week.
Also on Friday, the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge was held earlier in the day with 107 entries and double prize money awarded in a 'California Split.' Abigail McArdle and David McArdle's Cosma 20 had the fastest clear round of the class to win Section A. Santiago Diaz and Tizimin La Silla topped Section B.
Final Results: $34,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m
1. VIEANNE: 2002 KWPN mare by Andiamo x Voltaire
FRANCES LAND (USA), Frances Land: 0/63.87
2. APARDI: 2005 KWPN stallion by Corland x Kannan
DANIEL BLUMAN (COL), Daniel Bluman: 0/65.23
3. ARISTO Z: 2004 Zangersheide gelding by Andiamo Z x Flamenco Desemilly
BEN MAHER (GBR), Jane Clark: 0/66.60
4. UNEX OMEGA STAR: 2002 Irish Sport Horse stallion by Quick Star x Quatoubet du Rouet
TIM GREDLEY (GBR), Unex Competition Yard: 0/68.96
5. AMADORA: 2003 KWPN mare by Chin Chin x Indoctro
BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Abigail Wexner: 0/70.82
6. CARAMELLO Z: 2005 Zangersheide mare by Crown Z x Concorde
RAMIRO QUINTANA (ARG), St. Bride's Farm: 0/71.33
7. VICTORY DA: 1998 BWP mare by Clinton x Attach Z
AUDREY COULTER (USA), Copernicus Stables, LLC: 0/73.17
8. CORTENDER: 2004 Holsteiner gelding by Corland x Contender
CALLAN SOLEM (USA), Horseshoe Trail Farm LLC: 0/74.09
9. ROSANA DU PARK: 2005 Selle Francais mare by Kannan
CARLY ANTHONY (USA), Artisan Farms LLC: 0/74.66
10. QUELMEC DU GERY: 2004 Selle Francais gelding by Pamphile x Jasper
ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Artisan Farms LLC: 0/75.08
11. DARCON SCHEEFKASTEEL Z: 2005 Zangersheide gelding by Darco x Contender
LAUREN TISBO (USA), Tequestrian Farms LLC: 0/76.06
12. SKARA GLEN'S VOLTAN H: 2002 KWPN gelding by Pacific x Voltaire
SPENCER SMITH (USA), Ashland Farms: 0/76.69
Source: Press release from Equestrian Sport Productions
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