The tenth week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) came to an end with a win for Spain’s Diego Perez Bilbao in the $36,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI 3* riding Helios. WEF continues with two remaining of the 12 consecutive weeks of world-class competition through March 31, 2019 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.
Diego Perez Bilbao and Helios. Photo © Sportfot
Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) set the track for the $36,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI 3* and saw 13 horses advance to the jump-off from a starting field of 63. Bilbao took the win with a double-clear performance in 34.79 seconds, a full second faster than USA’s Katherine Dinan riding Tarioso Mancais for Grant Road Partners, LLC.
“He has all the talent in the world; super careful, so easy to ride, and really balanced. He could be a superstar,” said Bilbao of Helios, a 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Couleur-Rubin x Grandeur) in partnership between Hugo Matheson Drummond and Adrienne Sternlicht’s Starlight Farms, LLC. “Sometimes his mind is not one of a fighter, but today after the second fence I knew he was fighting for me and we could take some risks.”
Bilbao, a former rider for Belgium’s François Mathy, got the leg up on Helios more than a year ago when Sternlicht approached him about competing the horse in Europe. Now, Bilbao works with Venezuela’s Victoria Vargas and is based in Wellington while competing at WEF for the first time.
“I’m loving it,” said the 32-year-old rider of his experience in Wellington. “This win is important for me because no one knows me here and I wanted to get a good result. I’m so happy with my horse.”
Diego Perez Bilbao and Helios in their winning presentation with Laura Southard of CaptiveOne Advisors and ringmaster Steve Rector. Photo © Sportfot
Taking third behind Bilbao and Dinan, Gabriela Reutter (CHI) piloted Atticus Diamant to a time of 35.90 seconds for owner Juan Reutter, while Markus Beerbaum (GER) finished fourth aboard Daylight VDL, owned by Daylight Group, in 36.28 seconds. Rounding out the top five, Emil Hallundbaek (DEN) stopped the clock at 36.64 seconds riding Dazermie for Ecurie François Mathy.
Final Results: $36,000 CaptiveOne Advisors CSI 3* 1.50m Classic
1 HELIOS: 2007 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Couleur-Rubin x Grandeur
DIEGO PEREZ BILBAO (ESP), Starlight Farms LLC: 0/0/34.79
2 TARIOSO MANCIAIS: 2007 Selle Français gelding by Arioso du Theillet x First Bride
KATHERINE DINAN (USA), Grant Road Partners LLC: 0/0/35.78
3 ATTICUS DIAMANT: 2009 Selle Français gelding by Diamant de Semilly x Vas Y Donc Longane
GABRIELA REUTTER (CHI), Juan Reutter: 0/0/35.90
4 DAYLIGHT VDL: 2008 KWPN gelding by Baloubet du Rouet x Stakkato
MARKUS BEERBAUM (GER), Daylight Group: 0/0/36.28
5 DAZERMIE: 2008 KWPN mare by Asemie x Hamlet
EMIL HALLUNDBAEK (DEN), Ecurie François Mathy: 0/0/36.64
6 COOL HAND LUKE 3: 2009 Holsteiner gelding by Cascari x Quick Nick 4
EMIL HALLUNDBAEK (DEN), Lisa Schranz: 0/0/36.82
7 FANTAST: 2005 BWP gelding by Toulon x Rubens du Ri d’Asse
ADRIENNE STERNLICHT (USA), Starlight Farms LLC: 0/4/34.35
8 RANDON PLEASURE: 2005 Selle Français mare by For Pleasure x Quidam de Revel
FABIO LEIVAS DA COSTA (BRA), Bonne Chance Farm: 0/4/34.55
9 CAPTAIN: 2007 KWPN mare by Verdi x Ahorn
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), BB Gingras Equestrian Ltd.: 0/4/34.59
10 CHUCK BERRY 8: 2007 Hanoverian gelding by Chacco Blue x Watzmann
OLIVIA CHOWDRY (USA), Atlas Equine Holdings LLC: 0/4/35.27
11 DOLITAIRE CHAVANNAISE: 2009 SBS mare by Cicero Z x Voltaire
ZOE CONTER (BEL), Stephex Stables: 0/4/38.48
12 KENWOOD: 2010 BWP gelding by Ogano Sitte x Kashmir van Schuttershof
ADAM PRUDENT (USA), Plain Bay Sales: 0/8/34.90