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Erin Davis-Heineking swoops in for $137,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI3* victory

Sunday, 26 January 2020
CSI3* Winter Equestrian Festival 2020

Photo © Sportfot Erin Davis-Heineking and Leonie. Photo © Sportfot.


Press release from Jennifer Wood Media, Inc. written by Lindsay Brock and Sabrina Brashares 



Erin Davis-Heineking (USA) is making the most of her two-week visit to the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) with a win in the $137,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI3* during “Saturday Night Lights” of week three at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL, on Saturday, January 25.

WEF continues through March 29, 2020, with 12 consecutive weeks of world-class competition and $13 million dollars on offer. The third week of competition at WEF is sponsored by Adequan® and recognized as a CSI3* by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI).

Davis-Heineking rode Leonie (Leo von Faelz x Chacco-Blue) to thrill Saturday night’s crowd by leading the grand prix from start to finish after posting the first clear round over Kelvin Bywater’s (GBR) opening track. She again returned first over the short course and set the pace fault free in a quick 45.51 seconds. At the conclusion of a six-horse jump-off, Davis-Heineking still stood atop the podium, barely inching out Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam and Karlin van’t Vennehof (Fantomas De Muze X Quasimodo Vd Molendreef). They were just fractions off the win in 45.67 seconds.

“I was a little bit in disbelief that I had left a couple of jumps up out there,” said Davis-Heineking of her jump-off ride. “It didn’t quite go as I planned; I had an idea in my mind of the numbers that I wanted to do, and then right before I went in, my trainer/husband [Christian Heineking] basically said to leave one out from all of those. So, I took a shot at the last line and tried to do the six. I chipped in a seven, and she left it up. I was really proud of her.”

Leonie, an 11-year-old Oldenburg mare (Leo von Faelz x Chacco-Blue) owned by October Hill Farm, Inc., joined Davis-Heineking’s string two years ago when she came out of retirement to pilot the mount.

“She was a sale horse of my husband’s, and he was trying to get me back in the saddle,” she said. “He told me to play around with her at home. I did, and before I knew it, he had talked me into going in a small grand prix close by. I almost won it, and got the taste again. Honestly, I never saw myself here two years ago, so it’s been quite a ride.”

Photo © Sportfot Podium finishers Erin Davis-Heineking, her daughter Ella, Shane Sweetnam, and Kent Farrington are honored by (left to right) ringmaster Steve Rector, Roger Smith of ESP, Director of Strategic Partnerships for American Regent Animal Health Allyn Mann, ESP CEO Mark Bellissimo, Account Coordinator at Stephens & Associates Advertising Eleni Mauromoustakos, and Senior Territory Manager at American Regent Animal Health Kathy Serio. Photo © Sportfot.

Davis-Heineking competed at WEF in the amateur jumper ranks in her 20s and returned with a bang this week. “I never really imagined that I would win one of these grand prix!”

After finishing the runner-up, Sweetnam is excited about Karlin van’t Vennehof’s future, saying, “It’s her first three-star ever and her first night class ever. She still has a bit of a ways to go with her rideability, but it’s getting better all the time.

“When I walked the course tonight, it looked like a very tough course, but she’s a good mare,” continued Sweetnam of the 10-year-old Belgian-bred mare he owns with Seabrook LLC. “She really gets on with her jump. In the jump-off, maybe I could have been a touch faster, but she did a great job; I’m very happy with her.”

U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington rounded out the podium on his up-and-coming mount Kaprice (Echo van’t Spieveld x Carthago), owned by Farrington and Tanma Corp.

“This is the biggest class that she’s ever jumped, so she was going super high in the first round,” he said of the 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare. “I was trying to compete in the jump-off going as fast as I thought she’d be comfortable under the lights. Erin had an amazing round. I’ve known her since I was a kid riding in the Midwest, so I’m really excited to see her here in Wellington and coming out with a big win.”

Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) finished fourth riding Cornwall BH (Con Air x Cambridge) for Gochman Sport Horses. They were double-clear in 49.89 seconds, securing Derbyshire the Martha W Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award for week three. Cameron Hanley (IRL) capped the top five on Kasper Van Het Hellehof (Emerald Van’t Ruytershof x Nabab de Reve) for owner Poden Farms with the fastest four-fault jump-off round.

Allyn Mann of Adequan®, a colossal supporter of horse sport, was impressed with the level of competition converging in Wellington this weekend that spanned disciplines. “I think what’s amazing is this afternoon I was across the street watching some of the top dressage horses in the world compete. Then I hopped in a golf cart and took about a five-minute ride to come here to watch some of the top [show jumping] riders and horses in the country compete.

“This place is electric,” he continued. “We’re just all really blessed to be part of it.”

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