Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Spy Coast Farm LLC's Cyklon 1083 earned their second FEI world ranking win of the 2014 season in Friday's $34,000 G&C Farm 1.45m speed class during week five of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF). The pair beat out Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Prof de la Roque and Beezie Madden (USA) aboard Vanilla, who placed second and third respectively.
FTI WEF week five, sponsored by Rolex, runs February 5-9, 2014. The week will continue with the $370,000 FEI World Cup™ Qualifier Grand Prix CSI-W 5* presented by Rolex on Saturday night, and the $84,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Sunday afternoon. The FTI WEF, held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, features 12 weeks of world-class competition through March 30, awarding $8 million in prize money.
Great Britain's Robert Ellis set the speed track for 70 entries in Friday's $34,000 G&C Farm 1.45m with 20 clear rounds. Beezie Madden and Abigail Wexner's Vanilla set the pace early on in 67.19 seconds to eventually finish third. Darragh Kenny and Postage Stamp Farm LLC's Prof de la Roque improved on the time in 65.62 seconds to earn second place honors. They held the lead for 40 rounds before Shane Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083 cleared the course a full second faster in 64.62 seconds for the win.
Sweetnam and Cyklon, a 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood stallion by Cardento x Cortus, also won the $34,000 G&C Farm 1.45m at the beginning of week three during this year's FTI WEF. The pair was extremely close to a victory earlier this week as well in Wednesday's $34,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m, but finished a close second to McLain Ward and Wings. This time, Sweetnam noted that he had the advantage of a course that was very suited to Cyklon's strengths of speed and tight turns.
"He has had a good week," Sweetnam stated. "He was unlucky not to win the class on Wednesday, but McLain did a great job. There was one place that I thought I lost time, and McLain definitely took advantage of it. Today I watched a couple go. I didn't get to see Darragh go, but it looked like a fast time, especially since I saw Tiffany (Foster) go and she was really moving. I had a plan, and he did a great job. We stuck to the plan, and we executed it as well as we could."
"He is a very quick horse rolling back on the jumps," Sweetnam explained. "Bob Ellis normally likes to have a lot of rollbacks, even in his grand prix courses, so it definitely played to my advantage with him. You can really turn back tight with Cyklon, and he always tries to leave the jumps up."
Sweetnam spoke more about Cyklon, noting that the beautiful stallion is very well-behaved at home and at the horse show and has a fantastic drive to win when he gets in the show ring. "For sure when he is in the ring he goes a little bit more," Sweetnam detailed. "He still always has a little bit of go with the blood, and he is feisty, but he is quite easy. In the ring, when he sees a jump and he knows he is going fast, he really puts in the extra effort. You do have to fight with him a little bit to get what you want done, he is a little bit more aggressive in the ring, but he also gets the job done."
Cyklon is done showing now for week five and will have some time off. Sweetnam has not yet decided what week Cyklon will show again, but explained that he tries to keep his top horses on a good rotation to keep them feeling fresh. "He had the week off last week," Sweetnam noted. "He had done two weeks in a row before that, so he needed a week off and Solerina went last week and she did great. I try to rotate them as much as I possibly can, those two, because they are both winners."
In addition to the 1.45m class, competition kicked off in the International Arena on Friday morning with a win for Eugenio Garza (MEX) and Providence in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge. A $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class was also held later in the day with a win for Katie Prudent (USA) riding Michael Smith's Onisha.
Final Results: $34,000 G&C Farm 1.45m
1. CYKLON 1083: 2001 Swedish Warmblood stallion by Cardento x Cortus
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm LLC: 0/64.62
2. PROF DE LA ROQUE: 2003 Selle Francais gelding by Kannan x Damiro B
DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), Postage Stamp Farm LLC: 0/65.62
3. VANILLA: 2002 Danish Warmblood mare by Nabab De Reve x Clinton
BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Abigail Wexner: 0/67.19
4. MELODY DES HAYETTES Z: 2004 Zangersheide mare by Mozart des Hayettes X Ryon d'Anzex X
TIFFANY FOSTER (CAN), Artisan Farms LLC: 0/67.32
5. QUELMEC DU GERY: 2004 Selle Francais gelding by Pamphile x Jasper
ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Artisan Farms LLC: 0/67.48
6. ELKY VAN HET INDIHOF: 2004 Belgian Warmblood mare by Toulon x Thunder van de Zuuthoeve
LORENZO DE LUCA (ITA), T & L NV: 0/68.26
7. SANDRO: 1999 KWPN gelding by Larino x Casimir
KATHERINE DINAN (USA), Grant Road Partners LLC: 0/69.88
8. BROOKLYN BLUES: 2004 Oldenburg mare by Balou du Rouet x Fruhlingsball
YANN CANDELE (CAN), Carol Sollak: 0/70.51
9. D ELIA VAN HET MOLENHOF: 2003 Belgian Warmblood mare by Up Chiqui x Weltruf
DARRAGH KERINS (IRL), Jan Van Tricht: 0/72.68
10. KAID DU RY: 1998 Selle Francais gelding by Brett Saint Clair x Royal Ardent
ALISE OKEN (USA), Hi Hopes Farm LLC: 0/73.09
11. APHRODITE: 2005 KWPN mare by No Limit x Cavalier
ALEXANDRA PAILLOT (FRA), Paillot Equine Consulting Inc: 0/73.64
12. DARCON SCHEEFKASTEEL Z: 2005 Zangersheide gelding by Darco x Contender
LAUREN TISBO (USA), Tequestrian Farms LLC: 0/74.51
Source: Press release from Equestrian Sport Productions
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