Wellington, FL – January 22, 2017 – Week two of the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded on Sunday, January 22, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. Competition featured the $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic, which saw victory for 2016 Olympic Team Bronze Medalist Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER) riding Daisy. The $25,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix was also held with a win for young rider Lillie Keenan (USA) and Be Gentle.
Week three, sponsored by Adequan®, features CSI 3* competition on January 25-29, 2017. Highlights include Thursday’s $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 3, Saturday’s $130,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 3*, and Sunday’s $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic. The 12-week WEF circuit continues through April 2, 2017, awarding over $9 million in prize money.
Course designer Ana Catalina Harris Cruz (MEX) concluded week two with 64 entries in the 1.50m competition and 12 in the jump-off. The times were fast, but only three were able to complete the short course without fault. Michaels-Beerbaum took the win with Artemis Equestrian Farm’s Daisy in 41.98 seconds.
Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Daisy. PC Sportfot
Marie Hecart (FRA) jumped Normandie Connection’s Cenwood Delle Lame to second place in 42.57 seconds, and Kimberly Prince (USA) rode Rushy Marsh Farm’s RMF Fatum to third place in 44.08 seconds. Jessica Springsteen (USA) had the fastest round in 40.44 seconds, but finished fourth with one rail down on Stone Hill Farm’s Davendy S.
A nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Excenel V x Timeless), Daisy jumped the young horse classes throughout Europe with Michaels-Beerbaum in 2016, and is just stepping up to the 1.50m level.
“She is absolutely fantastic. She has a heart as big as this horse show,” the rider described. “She wants to do it. She has a wonderful character, a wonderful attitude, and it makes riding fun. This was her first 1.50m jump-off class, and it was just amazing how well and how easily she jumped it. Then to go and win it like she did was really the icing on the cake.”
Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Daisy in their winning presentation with ringmaster Steve Rector and Lauren Tisbo of Suncast®. PC Sportfot
With five riders ahead of her in the jump-off that all had rails down, Michaels-Beerbaum was the first to jump a double clear round and keep up the pace.
“I knew everybody was going a little bit too fast, that’s why the rails were coming, so I tried to not overdo it,” she explained. “There were a lot of fast horses in the jump-off, and fast riders, so I think some riders were trying to win it before it was even over. I just tried to give her the best ride I could. She is a fast little horse, so the time was good enough. She is kind of like a little motorcycle. She is adorable and you know she is on your side.”
Michaels-Beerbaum plans to keep Daisy at the 1.50m height this winter to give the mare more experience. “We will just take it as it comes, and try to manage her well and not over do it, but I think she has a big future,” she concluded.
Keenan Goes Two for Two in Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Series
The Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series hosted its second event of the circuit with back-to-back wins for 20-year-old Lillie Keenan of New York, NY, aboard Chansonette Farm LLC’s Be Gentle. Keenan and the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Ticallux Verte x Gentleman) topped Saturday’s $10,000 Welcome speed class and returned to take victory in Sunday’s $25,000 Grand Prix jump-off.
The $25,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix saw 65 entries Sunday morning in the International Arena at PBIEC. Ana Catalina Harris Cruz (MEX) set a challenging test for the young competitors, which saw five clear rounds advance to the jump-off.
Taylor Land (USA) was first to return over the short course, with a clear track in 43.56 seconds that eventually placed fourth riding Jay Land’s For Edition. Lucas Porter (USA) went next, jumping the second place time of 40.74 seconds aboard Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Diamonte Darco. Kerry McCahill (USA) and Cadensky followed with the third place time of 43.43 seconds. Keenan then jumped the winning round in 39.85 seconds aboard Be Gentle. Last to go, Jennifer Gates (USA) incurred eight faults in 42.74 seconds to finish fifth.
Lillie Keenan and Be Gentle. PC Sportfot
“I have a lot of confidence in my horse,” Keenan said following her win. “I have had her for over a year now and I have jumped her in some bigger classes, so we have experience together. She is lightning fast against the clock. I would say out of all my horses, she is the most straightforward and trustworthy. The feeling that she gives you is that you could really point her to the eye of a needle. Some of the angles that you can point her at for a jump are really remarkable.”
Keenan detailed her jump-off, explaining that her position to go fourth out of five was an advantage.
“I got to see Lucas go and I think really where I made up time was on the turns,” Keenan said. “I have experience going very fast on my horse. That was something that I tried to fine tune throughout the year, and I feel like now it’s really coming together.”
Lucas Porter and Diamonte Darco. PC Sportfot
Lucas Porter (19), of Wellington, FL, took the reins on Diamonte Darco in 2016 after the mare showed with his older brother Wilton for two seasons. The 12-year-old Great Britain Sport Horse (by Unbelievable Darco) has jumped bigger tracks and is an experienced mount for her young rider.
“She’s a super competitive horse,” Porter stated. “Even though she has jumped bigger, our team feels that she jumps the best at this height. These classes are usually really quick, and she has now learned how to go fast against the clock, so she is super useful. It is the perfect fit for these U25 classes.”
Kerry McCahill and Cadensky. PC Sportfot
McCahill (20), of Windermere, FL, just began showing Cadensky two weeks ago. She bought the 14-year-old Oldenburg stallion (Cornet Obolensky x Carthago Z) late in November and is getting to know the mount through the Under 25 classes.
“I was just trying to be smooth and give him a good ride,” she noted. “I really wasn’t sure how it was going to go, but he’s incredible. I am very lucky to have him.”
McCahill first showed in the Under 25 Series in 2016 and has made it her goal to qualify for this year’s $50,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Final, which the top 30 riders in the point standings will be invited to contest on Sunday, April 2.
The series, presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte,has been expanded to ten events offering a total of $215,000 in prize money for the 2017 season. Developed as a bridge to the international level of grand prix competition, the Series gives athletes, both human and equine, an opportunity to compete under a myriad of conditions, including jumping on grass, under the lights at night, and in team competition; all important elements that competitors will face as their international careers progress.
Jennifer Ward representing Hollow Creek Farm and ringmaster Steve Rector join Lillie Keenan and Be Gentle in their winning presentation. PC Sporfot
Keenan, who has been competing and training in Europe with Olympian Cian O’Connor of Ireland, enjoys the experience that the Series offers.
“I am very grateful that they offer this division because it is a great stepping-stone,” she noted. ” I haven’t been in the show ring since November, so it is a big confidence boost to start the circuit with two events like this.
“I am very fortunate to have had the experience of competing in America throughout my junior divisions, going to Young Riders and making the transition to competing in Europe and showing against the pros,” Keenan continued. “Having the experience of myself jumping on a Nations’ Cup team, you need to learn how to deal with pressure and how to work in different environments, so I think we are very lucky that Hollow Creek Farm offers that for us here.”
The 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival continues with its third week of competition, sponsored by Adequan®, on January 25-29, 2017. Week highlights include the $35,000 Ruby Et Violette WEF Challenge Cup on Thursday, January 22, the $130,000 Adequan® Grand Prix on Saturday, January 28, and the $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Classic on Sunday, January 29. For full results and more information, please visit www.PBIEC.com.
Final Results: $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic
1. DAISY: 2008 KWPN mare by Excenel V x Timeless
MEREDITH MICHAELS-BEERBAUM (GER), Artemis Equestrian Farm LLC: 0/0/41.89
2. CENWOOD DELLE LAME: 2007 KWPN gelding by Emilion x Riverman
MARIE HECART (FRA), Normandie Connection: 0/0/42.57
3. RMF FATUM: 2005 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Orlando x Equitop de Moyon
KIMBERLY PRINCE (USA), Rushy Marsh Farm LLC: 0/0/44.08
4. DAVENDY S: 2003 Belgian Warmblood mare by Kashmir van Schuttershof x Pachat II
JESSICA SPRINGSTEEN (USA), Stone Hill Farm: 0/4/40.44
5. BETAGRAVIN: 2006 KWPN mare by Quasimodo Z x Grandeville
JIMMY TORANO (USA), Missy Clark & North Run: 0/4/40.98
6. CANASTA Z: 2003 Zangersheide mare by Canabis Z x Caretano Z
LAUREN HOUGH (USA), Willow Grace Farm: 0/4/41.29
7. ROBIN DE PONTHUAL: 2005 Selle Francais gelding by Elf d’Or x Calypso d’Herbiers
PETER LUTZ (USA), M. Michael Meller: 0/4/41.82
8. DAZZLE WHITE: 2008 KWPN gelding by Calvino Z x Narcos II
SAMUEL PAROT (CHI), Samuel Parot: 0/4/41.96
9. STANLEY STONE: 2005 KWPN gelding by Karandasj x Ekstein
LORCAN GALLAGHER (IRL), Sher-Al Farm Inc: 0/4/42.18
10. CALGARY 56: 2006 Zweibrücker gelding by Carinjo x Cassini I
QUINCY HAYES (CAN), Quincy Hayes: 0/4/45.92
11. CADALORA P: 2007 KWPN gelding by Namelus R x Furore
TIFFANY FOSTER (CAN), Artisan Farms LLC: 0/4/46.24
12. CONTESSINA DELLA CACCIA: 2008 Selle Francais mare by Contefino x Cassini
MCLAIN WARD (USA), McLain Ward: 0/8/41.78
Final Results: $25,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix
1. BE GENTLE: 2006 KWPN mare by Ticallux Verte x Gentleman
LILLIE KEENAN (USA), Chansonette Farm LLC: 0/0/39.85
2. DIAMONTE DARCO: 2005 GBSH mare by Unbelievable Darco x Unknown
LUCAS PORTER (USA), Sleepy P Ranch LLC: 0/0/40.74
3. CADENSKY: 2003 Oldenburg stallion by Cornet Obolensky x Carthago Z
KERRY MCCAHILL (USA), Kerry Anne LLC: 0/0/43.43
4. FOR EDITION: 2000 Hanoverian stallion by Forsyth FRH x Leggiero
TAYLOR LAND (USA), Jay Land: 0/0/43.56
5. CADENCE: 2001 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Cardento x Irco Marco 662
JENNIFER GATES (USA), Evergate Stable LLC: 0/8/42.74
6. NIGHTFIRE 25: 2006 Holsteiner gelding by Numero Uno x Cambridge
KIRA KERKORIAN (USA), Lisa Kerkorian: 1/68.00
7. ALL IN: 2005 KWPN gelding by Aachen x Indoctro
KATHERINE STRAUSS (USA), Katherine Strauss LLC: 1/68.25
8. HUCKLEBERRY: 2006 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Unknown
COCO FATH (USA), Hillside Farm LLC: 1/68.87
9. CORTINA 186: 2007 Holsteiner mare by Contendro II x Lavall I
EMANUEL ANDRADE (VEN), Emanuel Andrade: 1/69.16
10. ANICMO: 2004 Westphalian gelding by Amantus x Gracioso
PAIGE JARDINE (AUS), Paige Jardine: 4/64.48
11. ARMANI SL Z: 2008 Zangersheide stallion by Asca Z x Cumano
EUGENIO GARZA (MEX), El Milagro: 4/65.34
12. CHAPLIN W: 2007 KWPN gelding by Vermont x Indorado
EMILY MOFFITT (USA), Poden Farms: 4/65.51