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Kristen Vanderveen wins two-in-a-row to kick off CSI5* week at 2019 WEF

Thursday, 07 February 2019
Winter Equestrian Festival 2019 – Week 5

Photo © Sportfot. Todd Jenard of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Ringmaster Steve Rector, and Kristen Vanderveen. Photo © Sportfot.

Kristen Vanderveen (USA) christened CSI5* week at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) with a win in the featured $36,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m after also earning a victory in the Bainbridge 1.40m earlier in the day on Wednesday, February 6. WEF continues with 12 consecutive weeks of world-class competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL, through March 31, 2019.

The fifth week of competition at WEF, sponsored by Fidelity Investments®, features the $391,000 Fidelity Investments® Grand Prix CSI5* during “Saturday Night Lights” on February 9 at 7 p.m. Additionally, the $72,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI5* and $50,000 Rushy Marsh Farm Grand Prix CSI 2* will take center stage on Sunday, February 10, in the International Arena.

Sixty-three horse-and-rider combinations contested Kelvin Bywater’s (GBR) two-round course. Vanderveen rose to the top riding Bull Run’s Almighty, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Caspar x Quidam de Revel) owned by Bull Run Jumpers LLC. She and the mount she imported two years ago stopped the timers at 26.43 seconds to best Irish rider Darragh Kenny aboard Extra van Essene by Diamant de Semilly for owner Victoria Vargas D’Agostino. Their final time was just fractions slower at 27.05 seconds.

Vanderveen spent time competing her string in smaller national-level classes over the last several weeks to prepare them for CSI5* competition at WEF, a plan that worked well for her.

“I’m not going to lie, it feels really great,” she said. “There is nothing like winning! I haven’t used him much as a speed horse. He’s very scopey so I have always used him in some of the bigger grand prix classes, but the way this class was structured I thought it would be best to show him today and save my stallion for tomorrow. It was fun to see how fast he could really go against these speed horses!

“I used his big stride to my advantage and he’s very brave, so I was able to turn him in to the jumps and cut off a lot of time by making the turns extra tight,” continued Vanderveen. “I’m going to see what he starts telling me, but I would love to start using him as my main grand prix horse.”

Four-time U.S. Olympic medalist Beezie Madden finished in third behind Vanderveen and Kenny. She rode Jiva (Concorde x Nonstop) to a time of 27.27 seconds for owner Abigail Wexner. Luiz Francisco De Azevedo (BRA) took fourth riding So What HP Z, owned by Carlos Eduardo Correa da Veiga, to fourth place in 28.75 seconds. Katherine Dinan (USA) rounded out the top five aboard Atika Des Hauts Vents, owned by Grant Road Partners, in a time of 28.86 seconds.

Competition at the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival continues on Thursday with the $134,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 5 CSI 5* in the International Arena and the crowning of Pre-Green Hunter Champions.

Press release from Equestrian Sport Productions

Photo © Sportfot

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