The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) kicked off its eleventh week of competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Wednesday with a win for Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Cyklon 1083 in the $34,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m speed class, marking Sweetnam's fifth world ranking class win of the circuit.
FTI WEF week eleven, sponsored by Artisan Farms LLC, runs March 19-23, 2014. The week will feature the $50,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 11 on Thursday afternoon. The $34,000 G&C Farm 1.45m will be held during the day on Friday and the George Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship, presented by Alessandro Albanese, will be held Friday starting at 4:30 pm. The $100,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix CSI 4* will be the feature event on Saturday night at 8 pm. The grass derby field at The Stadium at PBIEC will host the $50,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series Final (8 am) and the $84,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic (2 pm) on Sunday.
Live streaming of three events will be featured on The Chronicle of the Horse website. The links to view the live streaming are: $50,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 11: http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/2014-wef-cup-round-11-live, George Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship, presented by Alessandro Albanese: http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/2014-george-morris-equitation-live, $100,000 Engel & Völkers Grand Prix CSI 4*: http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/2014-100000-engel-volkers-grand-prix-live.
Germany's Olaf Petersen, Jr. is the course designer in the International Arena at PBIEC for week 11. In Wednesday's $34,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m, Petersen saw 55 entries over his one round speed course with 19 clear rounds. Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm LLC's Cyklon 1083 set the winning time of 59.19 seconds about halfway through the class.
Germany's David Will and Black Jack 163 completed the next best time of 60.14 seconds at the very end. Brazil's Joao Victor Castro finished third with Wamira in 60.15 seconds. Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) and Alain van Campenhoudt's Citizenguard Million Dreams placed fourth in 60.64 seconds. Sweetnam also took fifth place honors with Sweet Oak and Spy Coast Farms' Solerina in 61.23 seconds.
Sweetnam has been on a roll in this year's ranking classes and noted that his horses have stepped it up a notch in 2014. "I have never won that many, but last year I think I was in the hunt a lot," Sweetnam stated. "I had a lot of seconds last year in those ranking classes and I won one grand prix and was second and third in other grand prix classes. I was close to having that many wins, but I just didn't get them, and this year those two horses (Cyklon and Solerina) have been great. They have been really up there in nearly every speed class, so it has been really nice."
Sweetnam had already set the leading time with Cyklon in 1.45m, so he went a little easier with Solerina, knowing that she will show again on Thursday and Sunday this week. "I wanted to be quick enough to get a piece of it, but I didn't plan on beating Cyklon's time," he explained.
With Cyklon, one less stride down a line and a couple of quick rollback turns made the difference, plus his always impressive foot speed. "He does cover the ground," Sweetnam detailed. "He is always galloping, so he is always quick. The course was delicate, but he is really careful and he is always trying to leave the jumps up. I think we were a little lucky to the water today. He helped me out a little bit, and other than that, he was very good."
Sweetnam had some very fast competitors that followed in the last half of the class, so all he could do was wait for the final result. "There are always a lot of very fast rounds, especially here. The standard is so high, and there are so many good riders," Sweetnam acknowledged. "There are always going to be ones to watch for. You always have to have an eye over your shoulder, and you are always hoping that you are going to win, but you never know."
The talented Cyklon 1083 is a 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood stallion (Cardento x Cortus) that is currently available for breeding through Spy Coast Farm LLC. The farm, owned by Robert and Lisa Lourie, specializes in the breeding and development of top quality performance horses. "There is frozen semen definitely available with Spy Coast Farm, and then if you are lucky enough if Cyklon is not traveling, you can get fresh semen as well," Sweetnam explained. "If you contact www.spycoastfarm.com, you can see if it is possible to breed to him. He breeds very well; they have good brains."
"We have a few yearlings by him, and they are looking good," Sweetnam added. "We are excited; it will be interesting to see what they do. He also has a son in Sweden called Cobalt that wins a lot of classes, and I think it did the world championships last year in the young horses. He has already bred one good horse and we are hoping that for the future I can have a few Cyklon babies later on in life."
"Lisa Lourie is very enthusiastic about the breeding program and always has been," Sweetnam pointed out. "I pick the stallions for myself and then when they are finished their jumping careers they are to breed and they do breed during their careers as well. We are always discussing it, and we are always trying to find different matches. We have a lot of good mares and good stallions. We have Rolette and Werly Chin de Muze. I think we have a Rolette, Big Star embryo at the moment, so hopefully that stays. A limited supply of Big Star semen has been collected, so if people are interested they can contact Spy Coast."
A $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m speed class was the first competition to be held on Wednesday morning with a win for Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Hyperion Stud LLC's Chin Quidam VDL. A $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class was held later in the day with a one-two finish for Laura Chapot (USA) aboard Umberto and Zealous.
Week eleven will continue on Thursday with the $50,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 11 in the International Arena at 1 p.m. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.
Final Results: $34,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.45m
1. CYKLON 1083: 2001 Swedish Warmblood stallion by Cardento x Cortus
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm LLC: 0/59.19
2. BLACK JACK 163: 2004 Hanoverian gelding by Escudo I x Drosselklang II
DAVID WILL (GER), Eveline Kraus: 0/60.14
3. WAMIRA: 2003 KWPN mare by Oklund x Animo
JOAO VICTOR CASTRO (BRA), Joao Victor Castro: 0/60.15
4. CITIZENGUARD MILLION DREAMS: 2005 Westphalian mare by Diamant de Semilly x Concetto
RODRIGO PESSOA (BRA), Alain Van Campenhoudt: 0/60.64
5. SOLERINA: 1999 Irish Sport Horse mare by Cruising x Diamond Lad
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Sweet Oak & Spy Coast Farms: 0/61.23
6. CHECK PICOBELLO Z: 2006 Zangersheide gelding by Cardento x Orlando
ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Artisan Farms LLC & Torrey Pines: 0/61.74
7. Q ROYAL PALM Z: 2005 Zangersheide mare by Quidam de Revel
EIKEN SATO (JPN), Stephex Stables: 0/61.75
8. APPEARANCE 2: 2003 Oldenburg mare by Armitage x Levantos I
JOHANNES EHNING (GER), Nybor Pferde GmbH & Co. KG: 0/62.47
9. LESTHAGO: 2005 Oldenburg gelding by Levisto x Carthago
DAVID WILL (GER), Klaus-Peter Wiepert: 0/62.65
10. SIMON: 1999 KWPN gelding by Mr. Blue x Polydox
BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Abigail Wexner: 0/62.97
11. ZOJASPER: 2004 KWPN stallion by Concorde x Jasper
RODRIGO PESSOA (BRA), Ilan Ferder Lovsta & Tal Milstein: 0/63.55
12. ROMANTOVICH TAKE ONE: 2000 KWPN gelding by Numero Uno x Karandasj
CHRISTINE MCCREA (USA), Candy Tribble: 0/65.19
Source: Press release from Equestrian Sport Productions
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