The FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) continued on Thursday with round ten of the $32,000 WEF Challenge Cup Series and a victory for Irish rider Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm's Amaretto D'Arco. Today's WEF Challenge Cup saw 46 entries showing over a course set by Michel Vaillancourt of Aiken, SC. Twelve posted clear rounds to return for the jump-off, but just two were able to clear the second round.
Six entries faulted over the short course before Tiffany Foster and Victor returned with the first double clear in 46.58 seconds. Last to go, Shane Sweetnam and Amaretto D'Arco were the second pair to go clear and their time of 45.73 seconds took over the lead.
In eight years of showing at the FTI WEF, this was Sweetnam's first WEF Challenge Cup victory. Amaretto D'Arco, a twelve-year-old BWP stallion by Darco x Tenor Manciais, has been a fantastic mount for Sweetnam for many years. They recorded clear rounds in the Nations Cup League last year for Ireland in places like La Baule, Aachen, Dublin, and St. Gallen. He is what Sweetnam considers "a horse of a lifetime."
"He's a great horse; even now he's still not up to peak form and he's jumping well," Sweetnam noted. "He was good in the Nations Cup. Last summer he had an amazing summer and couldn't do anything wrong really. He really does try for you. He has his own frame of mind, but if you meet him halfway, he's great. I'm hoping this summer will be a great year again."
"I was surprised at how little clear rounds there were in the second round," Sweetnam sais after the class. "It was lucky for me. I didn't have to go so fast. I knew what Tiffany had done. I came inside to the triple bar, but I actually slowed up. I tried to be quick in places that weren't so risky, and I was hoping that would be enough. That's the lucky thing about being last. I thought I had enough time and it worked out."
Final Results: $32,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 10
1. AMARETTO D'ARCO: 2000 BWP stallion by Darco x Tenor Manciais
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm LLC: 0/0/45.73
2. VICTOR: 2002 KWPN gelding by Elmshorn x Grandeur
TIFFANY FOSTER (USA), Artisan Farms & Torrey Pines LLC: 0/0/46.58
3. FLAMING STAR: 1999 AES gelding by Fairman x Unknown
CHARLIE JACOBS SR., CMJ Sporthorse LLC: 0/4/39.53
4. OMELLI: 1996 KWPN gelding by Burggraaf x Equador
TIM GREDLEY (GBR), Mrs. R. Gredley: 0/4/42.04
5. VIGARO: 2002 KWPN gelding by No Limit x Polydox
SARAH TREDENNICK (USA), Wood Run Farm: 0/4/42.13
6. LIGIST: 2000 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Levantos II x Robin Z
REED KESSLER (USA), Reed Kessler: 0/4/42.86
7. MARK Q: 2002 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Obos Quality 004 x Positively
KEVIN BABINGTON (IRL), Kevin Babington: 0/4/44.32
8. CABALLERO 84: 2002 Holsteiner gelding by Chambertin x Carpaccio
ALEXANDRA THORNTON (USA), Dunwalke LLC: 0/4/46.47
9. BELMONT: 2001 Canadian Warmblood gelding by Ahorn OT x Landfriese II
LAURA KRAUT (USA), Beverly Widdowson: 0/8/41.52
10. UTAH: 2001 KWPN gelding by Andiamo x Jus De Pomme
LESLIE HOWARD (USA), The Utah Group: 0/8/42.00
11. COLORIT: 2003 Württemberger stallion by Coriano x Capitol
DAVID WILL (GER), Isaak Klaus: 0/16/41.57
12. INTERTOY Z: 1999 Zangersheide gelding by Interadel x Centauer
SCOTT BRASH (GBR), Stan Brash: 0/24/66.08
Source: Jennifer Wood Media Inc.
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