Week seven of the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, sponsored by Hermès, continued on Thursday in Wellington, FL, with the $30,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 7 featured on the grass derby field at The Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). American duo Kirsten Coe and Ilan Ferder's Baronez were the winners of the class with the only double clear round in a jump-off of five starters. Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Hays Investment Corporation's Any Given Sunday finished second; Meagan Nusz (USA) and Amalaya Investments' Dynamo were third.
Richard Jeffery, of Bournemouth, England, is the course designer on the derby field for the week. On Thursday afternoon, Jeffery set the track for 44 entries in the seventh edition of the Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Series. Five jumped the first round course without fault to advance to the jump-off, and Kirsten Coe and Baronez were the only pair to also clear the short course. Their faultless jump-off round in 43.303 seconds was the winning round.
Darragh Kenny and Any Given Sunday finished second with their four-fault round in 40.469 seconds. Meagan Nusz and Dynamo had four faults in 41.658 seconds to place third. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Spy Coast Farm, LLC's Diktator van de Boslandhoeve had one rail down in 43.648 seconds to finish fourth. Mario Gamboa (COL) placed fifth aboard Stansky's Mission Farms, Inc.'s Unico with four faults in 44.963 seconds.
In addition to winning $9,000 in prize money for her win in Thursday's class, Kirsten Coe was also awarded an impressive $18,000 in extra bonus money for the SSG "Go Clean for the Green" promotion. A $3,000 bonus is offered each week if the winning rider of the Challenge Cup class is wearing the SSG 'Digital' Riding Gloves in all rounds of competition with the SSG logo clearly visible. The bonus went unclaimed for five weeks straight until Thursday, when Coe was presented with six-$3,000 checks following her win. The rider, originally from California but now a Florida resident, had not originally planned to show this week but definitely made the ride worth it.
She was very pleased with the performance of Baronez, a twelve-year-old chestnut Belgian Warmblood mare by Heartbreaker, who she has had for two years. "She was great today," Coe smiled. "It wasn't my original plan to show this week, but last week she was great in the WEF and then she jumped her first night class and I thought she was a little nervous and tense. She didn't really jump that great, so I decided to change my plan and jump again today and it worked out well."
"I knew she is really good on the grass; that's why it kind of benefitted me," Coe continued. "She jumps really well at Spruce Meadows and any of the venues with grass, so I knew it would be fine for her to walk right out here and show. She is really happy on the grass and I think it is a nice change of venue. The field is wonderful and it is nice that they use it; they should use it more." Describing Baronez, Coe stated, "She is very sensitive for such a big mare. She is your typical chestnut mare. She is quite opinionated, she tries to kick you, but she is a real fighter and she is really talented."
Nusz, Gamboa and Kenny went before Coe in the jump-off and all had rails down, so the strategy was obviously to jump clear, but she knew that Sweetnam was last to go and time was still a factor. "I knew Meagan's horse is fast," Coe detailed. "It has a very big stride and I have seen it show a lot at Spruce, so when I went in and I saw Darragh have one rail before me, I thought, 'Just be prompt and clean.' At least if I went clean or Shane went clean, I was first or second." On the question of where this win ranks in her career, she smiled, "It's a good one. It was a nice win and the bonus was nice. I think the promotion is amazing and I think I was lucky that no one has won it in the last six weeks."
Final Results $30,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 7
1. BARONEZ KIRSTEN COE ILAN FERDER: 0/0/43.303
2. ANY GIVEN SUNDAY DARRAGH KENNY HAYS INVESTMENT CORP: 0/4/40.469
3. DYNAMO MEAGAN NUSZ AMALAYA INVESTMENTS: 0/4/41.658
4. DIKTATOR VAN DE BOSLANDHOEVE SHANE SWEETNAM SPY COAST FARM, LLC: 0/4/43.648
5. UNICO MARIO GAMBOA STRANSKY'S MISSION FARMS, INC: 0/4/44.963
6. FLAMING STAR CHARLES JACOBS CMJ SPORTHORSE, LLC: 4/81.087
7. OLYMPIC DE CHAMANT JOHNATHON CORRIGAN SAGAMORE FARMS: 4/82.158
8. G & C SONNY RODRIGO PESSOA GUSTAVO MIRABAL: 4/82.250
9. TACKERAY LAUREN HOUGH NORDIC LIGHTS FARM, LLC: 4/84.519
10. SPLENDOR CIAN O'CONNOR ADMED TOLBA: 4/85.062
11. VANCOUVER D.M.L. CONOR SWAIL CLOVERLEAF FARM: 4/85.678
12. DERLY CHIN DE MUZE SHARN WORDLEY ASHLAND STABLES: 4/85.764
Source: Press release from Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
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