Week two of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) continued on Friday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) with a win for McLain Ward and Grant Road Partners' Super Trooper de Ness in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class. Laura Chapot and Bradberry won the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m speed class and Laurie Stevens and Iceman took home their second championship of the circuit in the Camping World Adult Amateur Hunter 51 & Over division. The second week of FTI WEF competition, sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty, will run January 16-20. Highlight events include the $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty CSI2* Grand Prix on Saturday evening and the $25,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Classic on Sunday afternoon. The 2013 FTI WEF circuit runs through March 31 featuring 12 weeks of world-class competition.
Luc Musette of Belgium is the course designer in the International Arena for week two. Eighty-one entries showed in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class with 27 qualifying for the second round. Seventeen entries jumped the short course without fault and the fastest of those jump-off rounds belonged to McLain Ward and Super Trooper de Ness with a time of 39.287 seconds. Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm, LLC's Beluga finished second in 40.551 seconds. Laura Kraut and Equinvest's Maranon LS stopped the clock in 40.763 seconds to place third.
Class winner Super Trooper de Ness is an eleven-year-old Belgian Warmblood stallion by Vigo d'Arsouilles x Polydor. Grant Road Partners originally purchased the horse two years ago and he showed briefly with young rider Katie Dinan, but will now become a full-time mount for McLain Ward on the road to the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Normandy, France. Super Trooper is sired by the 2010 World Champion, Vigo d'Arsouilles, and Ward thinks that he has all of the potential to reach that level. Following the pair's win on Friday, Ward detailed his plans.
"I am going to be riding him for the next two seasons," he stated. "We bought him two years ago with great hopes and unfortunately he had a couple of health problems, but he is fully recovered now. The Dinans were kind enough to give me the opportunity to try and bring him up to the level that we believe that he is and aim him towards the World Equestrian Games next year, so we are trying to build the relationship."
Prior to his purchase by the Dinan family, Super Trooper de Ness had begun to jump the big grand prix classes in England and competed on the Sunshine Tour in Spain with great success. Ward saw the stallion and recognized his ability immediately.
"He is an incredible horse," the rider declared. "We believed that when we bought him two years ago and unfortunately he just hit a few bumps in the road early on. He is unbelievably talented. I think he may be the most careful horse I have ever ridden; he just needs to get back up to the top level. I think he is really confident right now and when he gets there, I think he is going to be a really tough horse to beat."
The pair was certainly tough to beat in Friday's class as they won over more than 80 competitors. Commenting on their rounds in the class, Ward noted, "He felt really good. We have been kind of experimenting with different spurs and different things with the bit, just trying to figure out what works the best and making mild changes. In the first round today it felt like we had it really together and he is so careful that in the jump-off he just makes it very easy to do the difficult turns and what not."
Ward plans to jump Super Trooper again in the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Sunday and then hopes to gradually work him up towards the bigger classes throughout the circuit, building toward the ultimate goal of the WEG next year. He will have next week off to relax and then continue on during week four.
Also showing on Friday, the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge was held in the International Arena with a win for Laura Chapot and the ever-speedy Bradberry. Nicholas Dello Joio and Pamela Postal's Triumph finished second with Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm, LLC's Cyklon 1083 in third.
Final Results: $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Jump-Off
1. SUPER TROOPER DE NESS MCLAIN WARD GRANT ROAD PARTNERS LLC: 0/0/39.287
2. BELUGA SHANE SWEETNAM SPY COAST FARM LLC: 0/0/40.551
3. MARANON LS LAURA KRAUTEQUINVEST: 0/0/40.763
4. UMBERTO LAURA CHAPOT MARY CHAPOT: 0/0/40.812
5. PJOTTER VAN DE ZONNEHOEVE MCLAIN WARD LOUISBURG FARM: 0/0/41.122
6. KING KOLIBRI LAUREN TISBO TEQUESTRIAN FARMS LLC: 0/0/41.178
7. C'EST CI BON 4 LAUREN CROOKS GLENN YOUELL & CROOKS SHOW JUMPING: 0/0/42.666
8. ONIRA BRIANNE GOUTAL REMARKABLE FARMS LP: 0/0/42.687
9. ZIEDENTO RAMIRO QUINTANA ST. BRIDE'S FARM: 0/0/42.828
10. DOLORES BEN MAHER MRS. WANG: 0/0/42.890
11. VICOMTE D BEN MAHER JANE F. CLARK: 0/0/42.956
12. BROOKLYN BLUES ALEXANDRA PAILLOTCAROL SOLLAK: 0/0/43.011
Source: Press release Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
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