(Photo © Sportfot)
Week two of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) featured the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 on Thursday, January 19, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. With a California Split to award two winners, Guatemala’s Alvaro Tejada jumped Agroprosa’s Voltaral Palo Blanco to the win in Section A, while Ireland’s Daniel Coyle rode Ariel and Susan Grange’s Cita to victory in Section B.
Week two’s CSI 2* rated event runs through Sunday, January 22, 2017. Highlights coming up include the $10,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Welcome and the $86,000 Marshall & Sterling Insurance Grand Prix CSI 2* on Saturday. The $25,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix and $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic will be featured on Sunday.
WEF 2 course designer Ana Catalina Harris Cruz (MEX) saw 119 entries jump her first round track for Thursday’s WEF Challenge Cup, with 28 horse and rider combinations clear for the jump-off. After three entries opted out, 25 starters returned over the short course, and 20 of those clocked double clear rounds. Tejada and Voltaral Palo Blanco had the fast time in 40.82 seconds to win Section A. Coyle and Cita were close behind in 40.86 seconds to earn the win Section B.
McLain Ward (USA) and Contessina Della Caccia placed second in Section A with their time of 40.94 seconds. Beat Mandli (SUI) and Grant Road Partners’ Zander were third in 41.44 seconds.
Emily Moffitt (GBR) and It’s Real Love vd Smis Z, owned by Poden Farms, finished second in Section B in 41.01 seconds. Laura Chapot (USA) guided Mary Chapot’s ISHD Dual Star to third place honors in 41.47 seconds.
Tejada’s mount, Voltaral Palo Blanco, is a 15-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Voltaire x Contender) that last competed in Wellington two years ago before the pair represented Guatemala at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada.
“For me this is very exciting. This is probably one of the biggest wins in my riding career. I am very proud of it because Voltaral Palo Blanco is a homebred mare,” Tejada said of his horse that had 2016 off with an injury. “My grandfather bred her in Guatemala five years ago, before he passed away, so she is a special horse for me. She tries so hard for me, and she would do anything for me.”
“I was really quick. I saw Daniel go, and he was super fast,” said Tejada, who went last in the jump-off. “I thought it was going to be impossible to catch him, but the mare was feeling great. You have to take the opportunity and go for it when the horse is feeling good. I think the difference in time was a millisecond everywhere. I took a risk to the double; I did eight strides because I saw Daniel do that. It was really risky, but I had to do it in order to win.”
Coyle and Cita, a 13-year-old Holsteiner mare (Casall x Pik Ramiro), just joined up this winter and already earned a major victory with their win in week one’s $75,000 Rosenbaum Mollengarden PLLC Grand Prix. Now qualified for Saturday night’s grand prix, Coyle feels confident that their partnership is on the right path.
“I think I understand her now and understand the way she likes to go,” he explained. “She does not like to be told off too much. If you can just let her jump the jumps, and steer her to the right place, she is brilliant.”
Describing his jump-off, Coyle noted, “I actually was planning not to go crazy today. I just went forward from the first jump and tried to stay the same pace. I did eight strides to the double, but it wasn’t crazy. She is naturally very quick. I have only ridden her a handful of times and she is brilliant to me, so I have to be very happy. She is a real winner, and I really hope she goes well on Saturday night as well.”
Final Results: $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 (Section A)
1. VOLTARAL PALO BLANCO: 2002 KWPN mare by Voltaire x Contender
ALVARO TEJADA (GUA), Agroprosa: 0/0/40.82
2. CONTESSINA DELLA CACCIA: 2008 Selle Francais mare by Contefino x Cassini
MCLAIN WARD (USA), McLain Ward: 0/0/40.94
3. ZANDER: 2004 KWPN gelding by Cantos x Saygon
BEAT MANDLI (SUI), Grant Road Partners LLC: 0/0/41.44
4. TEQUILA DE LILE: 2007 Selle Francais mare by Luccianno x Etna Paulelle
MARKUS BEERBAUM (GER), Artemis Equestrian Farm LLC: 0/0/41.66
5. COUP DE CHANCE: 2006 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Cardento x Darco
ELIZABETH GINGRAS (CAN), B Gingras Equestrian Ltd: 0/0/41.98
6. HEROS: 2007 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Canadian River x Clinton
AMY MILLAR (CAN), AMMO Investments: 0/0/42.95
7. LORO PIANA BALLYLECK ROYALE: 2003 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Royale Touch
ALMA BJÖRKLUND (SWE), Alma Björklund: 0/0/45.24
8. CASSINI Z: 2007 Oldenburg gelding by Cassini II x Capone
DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), Southern Ways Equestrian Ltd: 0/0/45.83
9. REUS DE LA NUTRIA: 2005 Selle Francais mare Zandor Z x Kannan
EMANUEL ANDRADE (VEN), Emanuel Andrade: 0/0/46.72
10. COUNT ME IN: 2007 Hanoverian gelding by Count Grannus x Sherlock Holmes
BETH UNDERHILL (CAN), Sandy Lupton: 0/0/48.68
11. NOUVELLE: 2004 KWPN mare by Solitair x Contango
LAURA KRAUT (USA), Evita Group: 0/4/42.49
12. BABALOU 41: 2005 Oldenburg mare by Balou du Rouet x Silvio I
TODD MINIKUS (USA), Two Swans Farm: 0/4/44.92
Final Results: $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 (Section B)
1. CITA: 2006 Holsteiner mare by Casall x Pik Ramiro
DANIEL COYLE (IRL), Ariel and Susan Grange: 0/0/40.86
2. IT’S REAL LOVE DV SMIS Z: 2008 Zangersheide mare by C Indoctro x Liberato I
EMILY MOFFITT (GBR), Poden Farms: 0/0/41.01
3. ISHD DUAL STAR: 2002 Irish Sport Horse mare by Quick Star x Concorde
LAURA CHAPOT (USA), Mary Chapot: 0/0/41.47
4. BREITLING LS: 2006 Dutch Warmblood stallion by Quintero x Accord II
BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Abigail Wexner: 0/0/41.79
5. IL RUBACOURI: 2006 SI gelding by Nabab de Reve x Heartbreaker
ROBERTO TERAN JR (COL), Roberto Teran Jr: 0/0/42.44
6. CASSINJA S: 2006 Dutch Sporthorse mare by Carinjo x Cassini I
CHARES JACOBS (USA), CMJ Sporthorse, LLC: 0/0/44.84
7. PALOMA: 2006 Holsteiner mare by Canaletto S x Henzo de la Brasserie
PETER WYLDE (USA), Kathleen Kamine: 0/0/45.62
8. HH CISKE VAN OVERIS: 2002 Belgian Warmblood mare by Celano x Darco
MAGGIE MCALARY (USA), Double H Farm: 0/0/46.60
9. UITTERAARD: 2001 KWPN gelding by Numero Uno x Burggraaf
ANGEL KAROLYI (VEN), Stransky’s Mission Farms, Inc: 0/0/48.14
10. TOU LA MOON: 2008 Belgian Warmblood mare by Toulon x Skippy II
CHARLIE JAYNE (USA), Alex Jayne & Maura Thatcher: 0/0/48.93
11. BLUF: 2006 KWPN gelding by Ukato x Placido
BRETT BURLINGTON (USA), Alden Burlington: 0/4/42.66
12. TISELE DU PARK: 2007 Selle Francais mare by Tinka’s Boy x Ukase
KARA CHAD (CAN), Torrey Pines Stable: 0/15/60.36
Source: Lauren Fisher and Sara Cook for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.