It was a great afternoon for grand prix riders Kent Farrington (USA) and Richie Moloney (IRL) at the 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) as each took home the top share of prize money in a split class for round five of the WEF Challenge Cup Series. Held in a 'California Split', the class awarded two sets of placings, each with $32,000 distributed due to the large number of entries.
Guilherme Jorge of Brazil set the course in the International Arena for today's $32,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 5 with a total of 107 starters. Today's class incuded big show jumping names such as Meredith Michales-Beerbaum, Laura Kraut, and Ben Maher and Nick Skelton. The class was split into two with equal prize money given to each section. The jump-off scored the clear rounds from both sections together to determine the overall standings, and is also a qualifier for Saturday night's World Cup Grand prix.
Fifty-four riders started today in Section A of the Challenge Cup class, with nine entries jumping clear. Another fifty-three followed, with eight entries clearing the course. A combined jump-off with those 17 horses and riders resulted. Twelve others jumped the course clear only to finish with a single time fault in Jorge's tight time allowed.
In the jump-off, seven entries completed the course without fault. The fastest time belonged to Kent Farrington and RCG Farm's Uceko, who stopped the clock in 40.77 seconds for the win in Section A. Richie Moloney and Equinimity LLC's Slieveanorra finished in 41.23 seconds for the win in Section B.
The top three finishers in section A included Farrington and Uceko, Quentin Judge riding HH Carotino and Darragh Kenny and Wannahave. Section B saw Moloney and Slieveanorra on top, with Kate Levy and Vent Du Nord in second, while Beezie Madden and Simon came third.
Uceko is an eleven-year-old KWPN gelding by Celano x Koriander. Describing Uceko and the inside turns he made in the jump-off, Farrington stated, "He's not naturally a super fast horse across the ground, but he's a big jumper and he's very brave, so he can do really short turns to big fences. It was good for me to practice that and still be competitive in the class without having to run him off his feet today."
Slieveanorra is a ten-year-old Irish Sport Horse gelding by Voltaire x Flagmount Diamond. Commenting on his round in the jump-off, Moloney explained, "He spooked at that second jump in the first round, so I looked at the inside turn and decided not to do it before I started. He's a very quick horse anyway, so I knew I'd be quick enough going around.
Farrington and Moloney each commented on today's course, praising Guilherme Jorge on narrowing down the entries for the jump-off. Farrington noted, "I think it's always hard to build with that many, whether they split the class or not. You're trying to use it as a Grand Prix qualifier to sort out the better half of the field without making the course diabolical. I thought it was well-built. Both last week and this week they've done an excellent job. If you looked at a combined field of 107 horses to have 17 clear is a pretty incredible job. It's a high level of riding. The time allowed was well done where you had to go a little bit. Maybe it made some people make some mistakes. There were a bunch of rounds that were just a tick over." Moloney agreed, "It was a very good job last week and this week so far. Without it being stupid big, there have been little things here and there to catch people."
Final Results: $32,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 5 Section A
1. UCEKO: 2001 KWPN gelding by Celano x Koriander KENT FARRINGTON (USA), R.C.G. Farm: 0/0/40.77
2. HH CAROTINO: 2002 Holsteiner gelding by Caretino x Corrado I
QUENTIN JUDGE (USA), Double H Farm: 0/0/42.12
3. WANNAHAVE: 2003 KWPN gelding by Manhattan x G. Ramiro Z DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), The Wannahave Group: 0/0/44.54
4. STAR POWER: 2001 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Quick Star IAN MILLAR (CAN), Team Works: 0/0/47.09
5. TACKERAY: 2000 KWPN stallion by Quick Star x Sandro
BEN MAHER (GBR), Emma Phillips: 0/4/40.52
6. CHILL R Z: 2003 Zangersheide stallion by Chellano Z x A Lucky One
CHARLIE JAYNE (USA), Pony Lane Farm: 0/4/45.74
7. NOTRE STAR DE LA NUTRIA: 2001 Selle Francais stallion by Quick Star x Jalisco B
NICHOLAS DELLO JOIO (USA), Thelma Romero-Cloud: 0/8/42.24
8. MERLIN: 2002 Royal Dutch Warmblood gelding by Hors La Loi II x Emilion
JEFFERY WELLES (USA), Noel Love Gross: 0/9/52.70
9. OSIRIS: 1996 KWPN gelding by Polydox x Lucky Boy GEMMA PATERNOSTER (GBR), Gemma Paternoster: 0/14/53.95
10. LANSDOWNE: 2003 KWPN stallion by Guidam x Wolfgang YANN CANDELE (CAN), Ariel & Susan Grange: 1/77.05
11. RAGING BULL VANGELLIS S: 1998 BWP stallion by Nonstop x Feinschnitt I Van De Richter NAYEL NASSER (EGY), Nayel & Sharaff Nasser: 1/77.15
12. WATCH ME VD MANGELAAR: 2003 KWPN gelding by Heartbreaker x Wolfgang MATT WILLIAMS (AUS), Paul Williams & Karen Tuerk: 1/77.42
Final Results: $32,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 5 Section B
1. SLIEVEANORRA: 2002 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Voltaire x Flagmount Diamond
RICHIE MOLONEY (IRL), Equinimity LLC/Richie Moloney: 0/0/41.23
2. VENT DU NORD: 1998 BWP gelding by Canadian River x Quidam De Revel KATE LEVY (USA), Kate Levy LLC: 0/0/43.12
3. SIMON: 1999 KWPN gelding by Mr. Blue x Polydox BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Abigail Wexner: 0/0/45.04
4. BIG STAR: 2003 KWPN stallion by Quick Star x Nimmerdor NICK SKELTON (GBR), Beverly and Gary Widdowson: 0/3/50.64
5. TEIRRA: 2000 KWPN mare by Tolano Van Het Riethof x Aldatus LAURA KRAUT (USA), Stars & Stripes: 0/4/42.41
6. QUINTENDER 2: 2001 Holsteiner stallion by Quinar x Contender HENRIK GUNDERSEN (DEN), Emilie Martinsen: 0/4/46.49
7. VIGARO: 2002 KWPN gelding by No Limit x Polydox SARAH TREDENNICK (USA), Wood Run Farm: 0/8/42.40
8. CHECKMATE 4: 1995 Hanoverian gelding by Contender x Pik Bube I I MEREDITH MICHAELS-BEERBAUM (GER), Octavia Farms LLC: 0/10/53.65
9. HH LET'S FLY: 1999 Hanoverian gelding by Lordanos x Forrest
RODRIGO PESSOA (BRA), Double H Farm: 1/77.02
10. AMARETTO D'ARCO: 2000 BWP stallion by Darco x Tenor Manciais SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm LLC: 1/77.10
11. BULL RUN'S LA BAMBA: 2001 Holsteiner mare by Lancer II x Carthago KRISTEN VANDERVEEN (USA), Bull Run Jumpers: 1/77.32
12. FIFTH ESTATE 3E: 2001 Canadian Sport Horse gelding by Class Action x Emilion HUGH GRAHAM (CAN), Kingridge Stables: 1/77.43
Source; Jennifer Wood Media, Inc/worldofshowjumping.com