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Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs records a 1-2 on the derby field in week four of 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival

Saturday, 01 February 2020
CSI4* Winter Equestrian Festival 2020

Photo © Sportfot Martin Fuchs and Silver Shine. Photo © Sportfot.


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



The Derby field at Equestrian Village (home to the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival) wrapped up its third day of action in week four with the $73,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI4*. It was Swiss rider Martin Fuchs – ranked number-one in the world and the 2019 victor of the same class – who commanded both first and second place in the class. He claimed the winner’s rug riding Willow Grace Farm’s eye-catching gray 11-year-old Califax gelding Silver Shine and took second on the 12-year-old Stakkatol gelding Stalando 2, picking up prize-money of more than $38,000 in the process.

WEF continues through March 29, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida, with 12 consecutive weeks of world-class competition and $13 million dollars on offer. The fourth week of competition at WEF, sponsored by Marshall & Sterling Insurance/Great American Insurance Group and recognized as a CSI4* by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), runs January 29 through February 2. Highlights include the $214,000 Marshall & Sterling Insurance/Great American Insurance Group Grand Prix CSI4* at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Equestrian Village. The Great Charity Challenge, presented by Fidelity Investments® will take place during “Saturday Night Lights” at 7 p.m. in the International Arena.

Ten of the 40 starters qualified for the jump-off, with four of those also going clear in the second round over Brazilian course designer Anderson Lima’s track on the immaculate palm tree-lined grass Derby field. Fuchs and Silver Shine’s (Califax x Balou du Rouet) time of 46.74 seconds proved unassailable, while he clocked 47.06 seconds on Stalando (Stakkatol x Lando). Sam Walker (CAN) finished third on Coralissa (Com Air x Corrado I) in 48.45 seconds, while fourth-placed Jose Antonio Chedraui Prom (MEX) recorded the only other double clear, in 54.33 seconds, riding Aymara Des Bergeries (Canturo x Cavalier Royale).

Fuchs, who is at WEF for the whole season before returning to his base near Zurich in Switzerland, said, “I had a good plan for this week. My grand prix horse Silver Shine only did the first day, then I didn’t do the WEF qualifier yesterday on him and I did this class today so that he gets two more rounds before the grand prix [on Saturday]. He jumped fantastically in both rounds today, and Stalando did too.”

Of Silver Shine, who he has been riding for a year, Fuchs added, “He’s a sensitive, insecure horse, and I always have to give him a lot of confidence. He can be a bit shy and spooky, but he’s very careful and always tries. He has a lot of ability and can jump all the big fences. He was good in Aachen, in Spruce and in Barcelona; he really likes the big rings.”

The Derby field at Equestrian Village is no exception, and 27-year-old Fuchs relished the chance to perform in this arena too. “I already jumped two classes on this field this week, and I really like riding in it,” added Fuchs, who is visiting WEF for the fourth time, but only the second as a competitor. “The footing is perfect and the warm-up is insane – huge, with perfect footing – the best I’ve ever been on. You barely needs studs; it’s fantastic, and it’s my favorite place to ride here in WEF.”

Second-placed horse Stalando, owned by Polishman Gospodarstwo Rolne Andrzej Oplatek, is a relatively new ride for Fuchs, and this was only their third show together. Fuchs aims to contest some of the four-star grand prix and five-star qualifiers this season, although the horse may be destined to be sold before the season is out.


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