For the second week in a row, Nick Skelton and Beverley Widdowson's Carlo 273 led the victory gallop in the Thursday afternoon $32,000 WEF Challenge Cup Grand Prix in Wellington. Today's class was the third in the series at the 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, which runs through April 1, 2012. The WEF Challenge Cup saw 50 entries in the first round of competition showing over a course set by Olaf Petersen Sr. of Germany. Seventeen jumped clear to return for the short course, and Great Britain's Nick Skelton and Carlo 273 had the fastest double clear time of 38.76 seconds to beat out the competition.
"I don't think I went as quick as I did last week," Skelton said of his jump-off ride. "I didn't feel like I was anyway. I think I was quite quick from one to two, then to the double."
Petersen's jump-off course proved challenging as the first few entries set a quick pace, leading just seven of the 17 contenders to jump clear. Many fast rounds followed, and it was Skelton and Carlo who went halfway through the order who would prove unbeatable. Kent Farrington (USA) and RCG Farm's Uceko came close as the next competitors in the ring with their time of 38.97 seconds, but had to settle for second place.
"Uceko felt great," Farrington said. "I started him last week and he felt a little fresh and rusty, so I thought I'd get him back in the ring again this week. He was more like himself. (For) Uceko, that's a difficult jump-off for him because the jumps aren't huge. Nick is riding a very fast horse, and mine's not as fast of a mover. I'm trying to gear that horse up for later in the week."
Class winner Carlo 273 is an eleven-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Contender x Cascavelle. Skelton said that Carlo will compete in the grand prix on Sunday and then have two weeks rest. "Big Star gets out next Tuesday," Skelton noted. "Carlo was great again today. The heat is wearing him down a little bit. This was quite quiet for him really. He takes a lot out of himself; he's a busy horse. Unique could probably go around out there four times and not take a bit of energy out of him. He puts so much effort into everything."
Final Results: $32,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round III
1. CARLO 273: 2001 Holsteiner gelding by Contender x Cascavelle/NICK SKELTON (GBR), Beverly Widdowson: 0/0/38.76
2. UCEKO: 2001 KWPN gelding by Celano x Koriander/ KENT FARRINGTON (USA), R.C.G. Farm: 0/0/38.97
3. CANTANO: 2000 Holsteiner stallion by Cascavelle x Acord/MEREDITH MICHAELS-BEERBAUM (GER), Octavia Farms LLC: 0/0/39.43
4. HH CAROTINO: 2002 Holsteiner gelding by Caretino x Corrado I/QUENTIN JUDGE (USA), Double H Farm: 0/0/39.79
5. MERLIN: 2002 Royal Dutch Warmblood gelding by Hors La Loi II x Emilion/JEFFERY WELLES (USA), Noel Love Gross: 0/0/39.97
6. STAR POWER: 2001 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Quick Star/IAN MILLAR (CAN), Team Works: 0/0/40.34
7. CHILL R Z: 2003 Zangersheide stallion by Chellano Z x A Lucky One/CHARLIE JAYNE (USA), Pony Lane Farm: 0/0/41.13
8. EVERYTHING: 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Toulon x Mast VD Vrombautshoeve/CIAN O'CONNOR (IRL), Abdulla Humaid Al Muhairi: 0/4/36.99
9. UP CHIQUI: 1997 BWP gelding by Quidam De Revel x Chin Chin/KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Alex Boone, William Dobbs, & K. Farrington: 0/4/38.42
10. DERLY CHIN DE MUZE: 2003 BWP mare by For Pleasure x Nabab de Reve/ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Ashland Stables: 0/4/38.78
11. APACHE: 1999 Selle Francais/Thoroughbred gelding by Mescalaro x Unknown /ASHLEE BOND (USA) Little Valley Farm: 0/4/39.67
12. MARK Q: 2002 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Obos Quality 004 x Positively/KEVIN BABINGTON (IRL), Kevin Babington: 0/4/39.94
For full results please visit www.showgroundslive.com.
Source: Press release from Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
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