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Diego Perez Bilbao concludes WEF week 10 with victory in $36,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI3*

Monday, 18 March 2019
Winter Equestrian Festival 2019 – Week 10

Photo © Sportfot Diego Perez Bilbao and Helios. Photo © Sportfot.


Press release from Equestrian Sport Productions by Lindsay Brock and Summer Grace for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.



The tenth week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) came to an end with a win for Spain’s Diego Perez Bilbao in the $36,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI3* riding Helios. WEF continues with two remaining of the 12 consecutive weeks of world-class competition through March 31, 2019 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.

Coming up at WEF, Week 11 presented by Wellington Agricultural Services features the $209,000 Wellington Agricultural Services Grand Prix CSI 4* on the Derby Field at Equestrian Village, as well as the $134,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Jumper Series Final CSI4* during “Saturday Night Lights” in the International Arena on Saturday, March 23. Week 11 closes out with the $50,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix Series Final on the Derby Field at Equestrian Village on Sunday, March 24.

Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) set the track for the $36,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI3* and saw 13 horses advance to the jump-off from a starting field of 63. Bilbao took the win with a double-clear performance in 34.79 seconds, a full second faster than USA’s Katherine Dinan riding Tarioso Mancais for Grant Road Partners, LLC. 

“He has all the talent in the world; super careful, so easy to ride, and really balanced. He could be a superstar,” said Bilbao of Helios, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Couleur-Rubin x Grandeur) in partnership between Hugo Matheson Drummond and Adrienne Sternlicht’s Starlight Farms, LLC. “Sometimes his mind is not one of a fighter, but today after the second fence I knew he was fighting for me and we could take some risks.”

Bilbao, a former rider for Belgium’s François Mathy, got the leg up on Helios more than a year ago when Sternlicht approached him about competing the horse in Europe. Now, Bilbao works with Venezuela’s Victoria Vargas and is based in Wellington while competing at WEF for the first time.

“I’m loving it,” said the 32-year-old rider of his experience in Wellington. “This win is important for me because no one knows me here and I wanted to get a good result. I’m so happy with my horse.”

Taking third behind Bilbao and Dinan, Gabriela Reutter (CHI) piloted Atticus Diamant to a time of 35.90 seconds for owner Juan Reutter, while Markus Beerbaum (GER) finished fourth aboard Daylight VDL, owned by Daylight Group, in 36.28 seconds. Rounding out the top five, Emil Hallundbaek (DEN) stopped the clock at 36.64 seconds riding Dazermie for Ecurie François Mathy.

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