Paris Sellon and Belle. (Photo © Sportfot).
The 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) began its ninth week of competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Wednesday with a win for 22-year-old Paris Sellon, of Los Angeles, CA, riding Belle in the $34,000 1.45m speed class. Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Davendy S were second with Andrew Ramsay (USA) and Welfare in third.
Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) is pleased to welcome Douglas Elliman as the title sponsor of week nine’s CSI-W 5* competition at the 2015 WEF. Week nine runs March 4-8, 2015, featuring the $372,000 FEI World Cup™ Grand Prix CSI-W 5*, presented by Douglas Elliman, on Saturday, March 7. Several classes throughout the week will be livestreamed at www.coth.com. Watch Saturday night’s grand prix beginning at 7 pm. here – http://bit.ly/1FY5PkK
The $127,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 9 on Thursday will be live at 1 p.m. at http://bit.ly/1M7QzWq. Sunday’s $85,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic will be shown live beginning at 10:00 a.m. at http://bit.ly/18QxRVj. The week also features the $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series Semi-Final presented by Kingsland Equestrian on Friday.
Ireland’s Alan Wade is the course designer in the International Arena for week nine. He kicked off the week with 20 clear rounds out of 68 starters in the $34,000 1.45m speed. Paris Sellon and Belle, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Numero Uno x Voltaire), completed the fastest clear round in 56.85 seconds. Jessica Springsteen and Stone Hill Farm’s Davendy S were second in 57.32 seconds, and Andrew Ramsay and Shalanno Farms LLC’s Welfare finished third in 58.38 seconds.
Sellon, who started training with Lauren Hough in October, walked the course with her trainer and knew that it suited her horse very well.
“She is quick turning and she has a big step, so everything just kind of showed up how I wanted it to,” Sellon stated. “I am actually working on going faster. I am not the fastest rider I don’t think, so I was really happy with that round.”
Sellon purchased Belle when the mare was seven years old and has been slowly building up to higher levels.
“I was riding with Laura Kraut at the time and she found the horse for me,” Sellon detailed. “The past year I have slowly been working her up to 1.40m/1.45m level and she has been really good this circuit so far.”
Jumping in the middle of a big class, Sellon followed some very fast rounds and also knew that there were plenty of top horses and riders still to come. She took her trainer’s advice and rode the best round for her horse.
“I was lucky enough to go a little bit later in the order to see what I needed to do, what strides and everything. Lauren went a few before me and said seven strides from one to two. It was a rollback and I think that is what got me going. The course just rode basically the same as it walked and everything just showed up how I liked it,” Sellon explained.
“She is super hot and she is really careful, so speed isn’t something that I have had to work on with her. For the past year it has been more trying to slow her mind down a little bit and slow her jump down a little bit,” the rider said of Belle. “We have done a lot of flatwork at home and keeping her straight and she has learned a lot. She is a bit feisty and she is a bit bratty, but I feel like that is what makes her such a good horse. She listens and I think we understand each other now. Last year we had a little bit of miscommunication, but the time that I spent at home and the time that I have spent here in the show ring, we have kind of synced together and I think we get each other now.”
Final Results: $34,000 1.45m Speed
1. BELLE: 2006 KWPN mare by Numero Uno x Voltaire
PARIS SELLON (USA), Paris Sellon: 0/56.85
2. DAVENDY S: 2003 Belgian Warmblood mare by Kashmir van Schuttershof x Pachat II
JESSICA SPRINGSTEEN (USA), Stone Hill Farm: 0/57.32
3. WELFARE: 2003 KWPN gelding by Pacific x Zortin
ANDREW RAMSAY (USA), Shalanno Farms LLC: 0/58.38
4. BALANCE: 2006 KWPN gelding by Cantos x Peter Pan
LILLIE KEENAN (USA), Chansonette Farm LLC: 0/58.65
5. ZERNIKE K: 2004 KWPN gelding by Sam R 60 x H Topas
BRIANNE GOUTAL (USA), Remarkable Farms LP: 0/58.83
6. CORDONOS: 2001 Oldenburg gelding by Lordanos x Tin Rocco
TODD MINIKUS (USA), Carl Brems: 0/59.82
7. LONDINIUM: 2002 Oldenburg gelding by Lord Pezi x Cascadeur
LILLIE KEENAN (USA), Chansonette Farm LLC: 0/60.15
8. ARIANA: 2001 KWPN mare by Oklund x Damiro
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Susan Grange: 0/60.25
9. BOO VAN HET KASTANJEHOF: 2001 Belgian Warmblood mare by Thunder van de Zuuthoeve x Pachat II
ANDREW WELLES (USA), Peter Welles: 0/61.45
10. WIRMA: 2003 KWPN mare by Hors La Loi III x Lux
BRIANNE GOUTAL (USA), Remarkable Farms LP: 0/62.10
11. FOR FREEDOM Z: 2005 Zangersheide gelding by For Pleasure x Baloubet du Rouet
KEEAN WHITE (CAN), Angelstone Partners: 0/62.50
12. G&C CLOSE UP: 2007 KWPN gelding by Eurocommerce Washington x Cobra
LUIS LARRAZABAL (VEN), San Francisco Stables LLC: 0/62.72
Source: Winter Equestrian Festival