Adam Prudent and Vasco in their winning presentation with Thomas Baldwin, Casey Flannery and Ryan Beckett of Equestrian Sotheby’s. (Photo © Sportful).
Week six of the Winter Equestrian Festival, sponsored by Salamander Hotels & Resorts, concluded on Sunday with jumper action featured on the beautiful grass field at The Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). The $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix speed class, presented by EnTrust Capital, the $34,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic, and the $50,000 Equestrian Sotheby’s Jumper Derby were the day’s highlight events.
Course designer Richard Jeffery (GBR) saw 16 entries jump his course in the $50,000 Equestrian Sotheby’s Jumper Derby with a win for Adam Prudent (FRA) aboard Patrick Flin and Plain Bay Sales’ Vasco. The class featured 20 numbered obstacles, including the derby bank, table bank, open water, devil’s dyke and more. The number of challenging natural obstacles along with the length of the course tests the stamina of both horse and rider.
Held in a faults converted format, Prudent and Vasco finished their course with four faults in 134.22 seconds to win on 138.22. Chris Sorensen (CAN) and Wriomf had two rails down and finished second with a 144.54 total. Andrew Ramsay (USA) and Shalanno Farms LLC’s Woitcek placed third with two rails to bring their total time to 151.56 seconds.
“It is one of my first big wins here at WEF. It was such a pleasure coming here and showing on the grass,” Prudent said following his win. “It is always amazing showing on grass, and the horse loves it. It was fun. Derbies are fun, and I had a great time.”
Prudent (25) has had Vasco, a 13-year-old KWPN gelding (Andiamo x Clinton), for a year and a half and mostly competes the gelding in speed classes here at WEF.
“I have been showing this horse throughout the summer in the bigger classes. He does have the ability to do big grand prixs, but I decided to put him in the lower classes for the beginning of season and by the end of season I will pop him back up into some bigger competitions,” Prudent said of his mount. “I have done a few derbies, but this is one of the bigger derbies that I have done and he has done one derby previously.”
Riding with a broken finger made Prudent’s job a little harder, but as he explained, the class is great experience for any rider.
He said, “I am young in the sport and I don’t have that much experience yet, so it is always fun to do derbies and bigger courses. It is great experience.” As for his strategy on course, the rider explained, “You have to try to be as fast as you can between the jumps. You have to have your course plan, and you have to have a fast horse that leaves the rails up.”
With the biggest win of his career, Prudent left the derby field happy with a great afternoon and a nice round for his horse.
“It feels good. It was a great day,” he acknowledged. “My horse was amazing. He performed very well, and it is a pleasure to win.”
For Chris Sorensen, his mount Wriomf has been preparing for this class and put in a great performance to land her rider in second place. Sorensen has had the mare for about two years and has great derby experience.
“She is probably one of the more experienced derby horses here,” Sorensen explained. “She did the big derbies in Spruce Meadows, and she did the big derbies in Aachen this summer. This is something she is very good at. We came and hoped to win, but Adam was fantastic today. She was very good. That mare is very brave and experienced at that kind of competition.”
Knowing the test of endurance for horse and rider, Sorensen and his mount both worked on their fitness to get ready for the class.
“They are getting fatigued by the end for sure, but she has done specific training for this,” Sorensen detailed. “She did gallop sets and a little more endurance than normal in the weeks leading up to this. Personally, they send me to the gym every morning. I was on a special program last month.”
“We really were aiming her at this specific class,” Sorensen continued. “It is great prize money, and it is really fantastic experience and exposure for us, for our sponsors, and for our customers to come watch. Everybody is excited for this day. It is fun, and it is a beautiful day in the sun. The obstacles they have here are equal to all those that I have seen in the world. It is a very fun class for us to focus on, but at the end of the class no matter how hard you prepare, those horses are tired. They are fighting to concentrate, they are fighting to jump, the lactic acid is pumping, and you start to test the heart of the horse.”
“I think these kind of competitions are important,” Sorensen added. “It is good that the horse show supports them. They are great for spectators, they are exciting, and it is great to have a good sponsor. That is really important.”
Third place finisher, Andrew Ramsay, also has some experience in derby classes with his mount, Woitcek, and was happy to finish in the top three with his mount on Sunday.
“This is my fourth derby. My first one was with this horse about three years ago at Eindhoven,” Ramsay stated. “He is a good boy. I had never jumped a natural until he did his first derby, and he just picked right up and did it. He was brave, and it was quite easy.”
“To be honest, I didn’t really prepare specifically for the derby here,” Ramsay explained. “I was just working on riding and keeping him fit. He came out and I had confidence that he is a player and he wants to do his job. I think I had more hesitation than he did. He was good to me today, and I am happy to be up here.”
Final Results: $50,000 Equestrian Sotheby’s Jumper Derby
1. VASCO: 2002 KWPN gelding by Andiamo x Clinton
ADAM PRUDENT (FRA), Patrick Flin & Plain Bay Sales: 138.22
2. WRIOMF: 2003 KWPN mare by Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve x Julius
CHRIS SORENSEN (CAN), Chris Sorensen: 144.54
3. WOITCEK: 2003 KWPN gelding by Calvados x Gran Corrado
ANDREW RAMSAY (USA), Shalanno Farms LLC: 151.56
4. FANANKA A: 2005 BWP mare by Chin Chin x Kannan
EMANUEL ANDRADE (VEN), Emanuel Andrade: 152.76
5. ACAPULCO Z: 2005 Zangersheide stallion by Action-Breaker x Lux II Z
DANIEL ZETTERMAN (SWE), Gyllebo Farm LLC: 157.73
6. APPLE 3Z: 2006 Zangersheide gelding by Argentinus x Le Tot de Semilly
PETER WYLDE (USA), Aram Ampagoumian LLC: 157.87
7. CENTURION B: 2002 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Rebel Z I x Indoctro
LISA GOLDMAN (USA), Mary Goldman: 158.42
8. CARNEYHAUGH MANX: 2005 Irish Sport Horse gelding by VDL Douglas x Hampton Clover
PETER LUTZ (USA), Katherine Gallagher: 159.94
9. ZACANTOS Z: 2004 KWPN gelding by Casantos x Kojak
LISA GOLDMAN (USA), Lisa Goldman: 160.09
10. ROCKY W: 1998 KWPN gelding by Libero H x Corofino
KAITLIN CAMPBELL (USA), Kaitlin Campbell: 165.45
11. FERRON: 2005 Holsteiner stallion by For Pleasure x Concerto II
CANDICE KING (USA), Bellissimo LLC: 171.63
12. BRIGHTLY: 2006 KWPN mare by Tolan R x Niagara
JUAN ORTIZ (VEN), Synchronicity Group: 189.78
Source: Winter Eqiestrian Festival