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Skelton and Unique Score Again in $32,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic

Monday, 12 March 2012

Nick Skelton takes yet another victory in Wellington, this time on Unique. Photo by Sportfot.The ninth week of competition at the 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival concluded on Sunday with a one-two finish for Great Britain in the $32,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic. Nick Skelton (GBR) and Beverley Widdowson's Unique took home the top prize with Tina Fletcher and Unique IX in second. USA's Katie Dinan and Nougat Du Vallet finished third. Competing over a course set by Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela, 57 entries started the class, and just six were able to clear the obstacles without fault. The jump-off saw only two clear rounds.

Tina Fletcher and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum were the first two competitors in round one to jump clear and were then first to jump-off. Fletcher rode her own Unique IX first in the jump-off and went clear in 39.08 seconds to earn the second place prize. Germany's Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum went next aboard Cantano, owned by Octavia Farms LLC. In the jump-off, the pair had a rail at the first fence and stopped the clock in 38.80 seconds to finish in sixth. Young American rider Wilton Porter put his name on the jump-off list aboard Sleepy P Ranch LLC's Paloubet, but also had a rail over the short course and finished in fifth with his time of 36.33 seconds.

Nick Skelton (GBR) and Unique made it to the jump-off next and the pair jumped a clear round in 35.03 seconds to take over the lead. Ben Maher (GBR) and Katie Dinan (USA) each bested Skelton's time, but incurred faults. Maher and Mrs. Louise Flower's Rowan stopped the clock in 34.99 seconds with four faults and finished in fourth place. Dinan and Grant Road Partner's Nougat Du Vallet were last to go and finished the jump-off course in 32.86 seconds with four faults to place third.

Winners Skelton and Unique won the first Suncast 1.50m Classic during week one of the FTI WEF and are currently leading the series standings. Unique is an eleven-year-old KWPN gelding by Indoctro x Voltaire.

Nick Skelton and Unique with ringmaster Cliff Haines and Lauren Tisbo of Suncast. Photo by Sportfot.On his ride in the class today, Skelton stated, "I thought he felt really good. He has done the 1.50 every week and he has been great. I thought maybe I might have placed third when I came out from the jump-off because I wasn't that quick. I thought it wouldn't take much to beat me to be honest, but luckily the other two had rails. I didn't think I was particularly quick, but I was clear and that was the main thing."

Second place finisher Tina Fletcher went first in the class and was happy with her round. Her horse Unique IX is an eleven-year-old KWPN gelding by Heartbreaker x Vasco. "He was good, I was really pleased with him," Fletcher smiled. "I have had him for about a year. He is basically sort of my second horse, but he has done quite a bit. He jumped on a Nations Cup team last year and he has been good here. He was second in one of the WEF classes on the grass. He is a nice horse; he is usually very consistent."

For full results, please visit  

Final Results: $32,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic

1. UNIQUE: 2001 KWPN gelding by Indoctro x Voltaire NICK SKELTON (GBR), Beverly Widdowson: 0/0/35.03

2. UNIQUE IX: 2001 KWPN gelding by Heartbreaker x Vasco TINA FLETCHER (GBR), Lady Harris & Lady Kirkham: 0/0/39.08

3. NOUGAT DU VALLET: 2001 Selle Francais gelding by Scherif D'elle KATHERINE DINAN (USA), Grant Road Partners: 0/4/32.86

4. ROWAN: 2003 stallion BEN MAHER (GBR), Miss Louise Flower: 0/4/34.99

5. PALOUBET: 2001 Selle Francais gelding by Baloubet Du Rouet x Voltaire WILTON PORTER (USA), Sleepy P Ranch LLC: 0/4/36.33

6. CANTANO: 2000 Holsteiner stallion by Cascavelle x Acord MEREDITH MICHAELS-BEERBAUM (GER), Octavia Farms LLC: 0/4/38.80

7. QUINTENDER 2: 2001 Holsteiner stallion by Quinar x Contender   HENRIK GUNDERSEN (DEN), Emilie Martinsen: 1/78.02

8. LINCOURT GINO: 2003 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Gino III x Graf Magna PETER LEONE (USA), Monica Carrera: 1/78.10

9. MAKAVOY: 2003 KWPN gelding by Hors La Loi II x Ahorn JONATHAN ASSELIN (CAN), Attache Stables: 1/78.42

10. LUIKKA: 2002 AES mare by Luidam x Renville ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Torrey Pines & Artisan Farm LLC: 3/86.17

11. COLORIT: 2003 Württemberger stallion by Coriano x Capitol DAVID WILL (GER), Isaak Klaus: 4/74.84

12. LIGIST: 2000 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Levantos II x Robin Z  REED KESSLER (USA), Reed Kessler: 4/75.58

Source: Press release from Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

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