Week eight of the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), sponsored by G&C Farm, continued on Thursday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, with the $43,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 8. The win went to U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist McLain Ward aboard Grant Road Partners' Super Trooper de Ness.
Anthony D'Ambrosio of Red Hook, NY, is the course designer in the International Arena at PBIEC for the week. On Thursday, 64 entries showed over D'Ambrosio's speed track for the eighth installment of the Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Series with 17 clear rounds over the course. McLain Ward and Super Trooper de Ness, an eleven-year-old Belgian Sport Horse stallion by Vigo d'Arsouilles x Polydor, had the fastest time of 59.12 seconds.
Second place went to Kent Farrington (USA) and Robin Parsky's Blue Angel with a time of 61.46 seconds. Lauren Hough (USA) and Laura Mateo's Quick Study were third in 61.83 seconds, and Beezie Madden (USA) placed fourth with a time of 62.53 seconds aboard Abigail Wexner's Cortes 'C'.
Commenting on his winning round aboard Super Trooper, Ward noted, "He is a very fast horse. I had the luxury of going on Zander first and had a good round. I actually wasn't thinking to beat Kent when I went in the ring. I was thinking fast, but kind of right behind them is what I was hoping."
"It was a good day," Ward smiled. "The class had a lot of participation and a lot of entries, which is a good thing. The sport is strong. These classes are hard to win, but both of my horses went phenomenal and I was really happy with them. Anthony built a nice course. It was difficult, but it wasn't unfair or trappy. It was a good class I think."
Ward has had a lot of great horses over the years and although they are still building their partnership, he already counts Super Trooper among the top. "I think he is one of the best horses I have ever sat on," he stated candidly. "He is an unbelievably careful horse. He had a colic last year and lost some time and we started back this year in Florida and built up. He won a 1.50m and he almost won a WEF (Challenge Cup), but had the last fence down in the jump-off. I think the sky is the limit for him, but he is so careful that I have to be very correct in how I bring him up to that level."
Also showing on Thursday, Marilyn Little (USA) began the day with a win in the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m jump-off class riding Raylyn Farms' Venus. The $5,000 Hollow Creek Farm Young Rider Classic was held next with a win for Catherine Pasmore (USA) and Pasmore Stables' Z Canta. The $2,500 Hollow Creek Farm Junior Classic saw victory for Gustavo Machado (VEN) and Copernicus Stables' Credit Cruise. In the $2,500 Hollow Creek Farm Children's Classic, the win went to Vittorio Burger (BRA) and Yves Sportiello's Cheese Z.
Final Results: $43,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 8
1. SUPER TROOPER DE NESS: 2002 Belgian Sport Horse stallion by Vigo d'Arsouilles x Polydor
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Grant Road Partners: 0/59.12
2. BLUE ANGEL: 2002 AES mare by Luidam x Ascendant
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Robin Parsky:0/61.46
3. QUICK STUDY: 1999 SFA gelding by Quick Star x What a Joy
LAUREN HOUGH (USA), Laura Mateo: 0/61.83
4. CORTES 'C': 2002 BWP gelding by Randel Z x Darco
BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Abigail Wexner: 0/62.53
5. BIG STAR: 2003 KWPN stallion by Quick Star x Nimmerdor
NICK SKELTON (GBR), Beverly Widdowson: 0/62.63
6. LEWIN 5: 2002 Sächsisches Reitpferd gelding by Lewinski x Fidelio
PETER WYLDE (USA), Societe Civile de l'Ecurie Meautry: 0/63.61
7. UNEX OMELLI: 1996 KWPN gelding by Burggraaf x Equador
TIM GREDLEY(GBR), Unex Competition Yard: 0/63.97
8. BELMONT: 2001 Canadian Warmblood gelding by Ahorn OT x Landfriese II
LAURA KRAUT (USA), Beverly Widdowson: 0/64.05
9. LIGIST: 2000 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Levantos II x Robin Z
REED KESSLER (USA), Reed Kessler: 0/64.17
10. CATHARINA 9: 2004 Mecklenburg mare by Cellestial x Monsum
ANDRE THIEME (GER), Seth Vallhonrat:0/64.33
11. NOUGAT DU VALLET: 2001 Selle Francais gelding by Scherif D'elle
KATHERINE DINAN (USA), Grant Road Partners: 0/65.92
12. LANSDOWNE: 2003 KWPN stallion by Guidam x Wolfgang
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Ariel & Susan Grange: 0/65.94
Source: Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
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