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Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Divine Fortune speed to Douglas Elliman Real Estate Classic victory

Saturday, 02 March 2019
Winter Equestrian Festival 2019 – Week 8

Photo © Sportfot. Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run's Divine Fortune. Photo © Sportfot.


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


It was a race to the finish for 43 competitors in the $36,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Classic CSIO4* on Friday afternoon over a course designed by Steve Stephens (USA). There were eight clear rounds in a speed format, and the fastest of those was Kristen Vanderveen (USA) on Bull Run’s Divine Fortune, who finished in a time of 62.43 seconds for victory.

It was a sweep for the ladies in the top five spots in the class. Zoe Conter (BEL) and Stephex Stables’s Dolitaire Chavannaise (Cicero Z x Voltaire) were second in 63.12 seconds, while Eve Jobs (USA) rode her own Limbridge (Limbus x Cambridge) to third in 64.45 seconds. Lauren Hough (USA) and her own Joblesse (Clinton I x Wanderbursch II) were fourth in 64.94 seconds, and Petronella Andersson (SWE) rounded out the top five with Stephex Stables’s Bacardi 188 (Andiamo x No Limit) in a time of 65.11 seconds.

This was the sixth FEI ranking class win at the 2019 WEF for Vanderveen, which she has accomplished on four different horses. These classes mean a lot for the 29-year-old rider.

“I find it really important to have a good speed horse like her to keep you consistently in the points so that we can even get into the shows we want to go to, to give us the opportunity to jump the big grand prix,” said Vanderveen, who is currently ranked 73rd in the world.

Vanderveen said of the 10-year-old KWPN mare by Padinus x Caruso, “She’s such a fighter. She’s the best horse to have in those speed classes; she’s always going to give one hundred percent. You never wonder if she’s coming out not ready to go. She’s ready to go every time. For me, she’s a brilliant 1.45m speed horse. That’s her job on my string. You can bring her anywhere.”

But while she turns it on in the show ring, “Fortuna” is “relaxed and like a school horse” at home.

“She’s a bit on the pudgy side and everyone makes fun of her because she looks like a fat pony and she acts like a fat pony,” Vanderveen described. “All the kids ride her during the week. She’s very simple, and we enjoy her. She doesn’t take too much high-tech training. She’s always had that mindset.

“An amateur had her before me,” she continued. “She’s one of those special types of horses that can handle an amateur ride and when you get to have a professional ride, she thrives and can do some big things. But it’s nice to know I could make a mistake trying to win the class and she’d never hold a grudge against me. She’d just try again the next time.”

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