Wellington, FL – March 9, 2017 – Karen Polle (JPN) and veteran partner With Wings earned a big win in Thursday’s $130,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 9 at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.
The ninth week of WEF features CSI 5*/2* competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on March 8-12, 2017. Highlights include the $380,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix CSI 5*, presented by The Bainbridge Companies, on Saturday night and the $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic and $50,000 Grand Prix CSI 2* on Sunday. The 12-week WEF circuit continues through April 2, 2017, awarding over $9 million in prize money.
Round 9 of the Challenge Cup series saw 51 starters over Alan Wade’s (IRL) first round course. Twelve entries advanced to the jump-off, and six completed double clear rounds. Polle and With Wings took the win in 36.71 seconds. Lillie Keenan (USA) and Chansonette Farm’s Skyhorse finished second in 38.14 seconds. Lauren Hough (USA) aboard Willow Grace Farm’s Cornet 39 placed third in 38.53 seconds, and Lucy Davis (USA) riding Old Oak Farm’s Cassis 54 finished fourth in 38.95 seconds.
“I thought the first round was actually pretty tricky. At the beginning we didn’t see so many clears,” Polle said after her win. “The jump-off was really fun. For Wings, it really suited him well because you could get a gallop and try to cruise through, and just watch the verticals. There were two places where I was able to leave out strides, which I think really helped me.
“I was a little long at the last fence, but I went for it,” Polle continued. “Wings has so much range that he can do that. That is where I have to be a little quicker sometimes because he has a big stride, but he is not a quick, quick horse, so to make up that time I need to do the leave outs.”
Karen Polle and With Wings in their winning presentation with Steve Rector.
Polle began training with Olympic gold medalist Rodrigo Pessoa in October, but also had her longtime experience riding With Wings to her advantage.
“Last month was seven years that I have had him,” Polle noted. “I think that is one of the most special things, to have a horse that you start really young. I started in the Low Junior Jumpers with him, and then we worked our way up to the five-star level. I think that makes our partnership even more special because we have known each other for so long. We trust each other a lot because we have been through everything together. It is very rare, so I am really lucky.”
Eduardo Menezes (BRA) and Quintol finished fifth in 39.30 seconds, and Pablo Barrios (VEN) riding A S D Farfala placed sixth in 39.54. Kent Farrington (USA) completed the fastest time in 35.54 seconds with his own and Robin Parksy’s Gazelle, but had a rail at the final fence to place seventh.
Jonathan McCrea and Special Lux
Also competing in the International Arena on Thursday, Jonathan McCrea and Candy Tribble’s Special Lux won the $8,000 Douglas Elliman CSI 2* 1.45m speed class. Alexandra Pielet and Helene VE topped the $1,500 Sleepy P Ranch High Junior Jumper speed class.
KAREN POLLE (JPN), Karen Polle: 0/0/36.71
2. SKYHORSE: 2007 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Calvaro x Quidam de Revel
LILLIE KEENAN (USA), Chansonette Farm LLC: 0/0/38.14
3. CORNET 39: 2004 Oldenburg gelding by Cornet Obolensky x Caletto I
LAUREN HOUGH (USA), Willow Grace Farm: 0/0/38.53
4. CASSIS 54: 2005 Bayerischer gelding by Candidatus x Landadel
LUCY DAVIS (USA), Old Oak Farm: 0/0/38.95
5. QUINTOL: 2005 Oldenburg gelding by Quintender x Cento
6. A S D FARFALA: 2003 Holsteiner mare by Hyo Dario x Furioso II
PABLO BARRIOS (VEN), Pablo Barrios: 0/0/39.54
7. GAZELLE: 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare by Kashmir van Schuttershof x Indoctro
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Kent Farrington & Robin Parsky: 0/4/35.54
8. LORDAN: 2004 Hanoverian gelding by Lordanos x Landor
NAYEL NASSAR (EGY), Nayel Nassar: 0/4/36.23
9. ROYCE: 2004 Oldenburg stallion by Café au Lait x Grandilot
MARGIE ENGLE (USA), Gladewinds Partners LLC: 0/4/36.87
10. AVALON 280: 2006 Westphalian gelding by Arpeggio x Potsdam NRW
YANN CANDELE (CAN), Erickson Halina Group: 0/4/37.30
11. COACH: 2008 Holsteiner gelding by Con Air x Corofino I
BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Abigail Wexner: 0/4/37.82
12. QUIRIE 2: 2007 Bayerischer stallion by Quadrigus M x Quidam’s Rubin
ALI WOLFF (USA), Ali Wolff: 0/4/39.80