A winter storm surged through Southwestern Ohio last week, but exhibitors and spectators alike at World Equestrian Center’s Winter Series of the Midwest were unfazed, thanks to perfect indoor conditions throughout the facility. A large crowd filled the stands in the Sanctuary Arena tonight to watch the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix and the $7,500 Futures Prix 1.30 m, sponsored by Voltaire.
The evening’s $25,000 WEC Grand Prix course challenged riders to pilot their horses with precision, with plenty of combinations, turn options and a few fences by the in gate, which proved to be tough for horses that were easily distracted by the in gate, with a change in pace leading to a downed rail. However, Kirstie Lynn Dobbs and Treesdale Farms’ Barilla (Casco x Kemarilla) made the course look simple, taking their time and jumping a clear round in 89.337 seconds, well within the time allowed of 92 seconds.
Michael Kocher and Altezza Du Jardin jump a clear first round. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography.
Michael Kocher and Altezza Du Jardin jumped clear and stopped the clock at 86.631 seconds to earn the next spot in the jump off. The final clear first round of the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix was executed by David Q. Beisel aboard his own Essince W (Chacco Blue x Rossan). Like Dobbs and Barilla, the pair took a little extra time to ensure a clean round, but still finished within the time allowed at 89.096 seconds, securing their spot in the jump off.
With just three to ride in the short course, it was a true head-to-head competition. Dobbs and Barilla were first to return, taking the speedier approach, but taking one rail, crossing the timers at 40.524 seconds.
Kirstie Lynn Dobbs and Barilla set the pace in the jump off. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography.
Next in was Kocher and Altezza Du Jardin. The pair also took the speedy approach, riding the jump off in just 39.637 seconds, but had an unfortunate sixteen faults. Last to ride the jump-off was Beisel and Essince W. Knowing that a clear round was more important than speed, the pair took their time, stopping the clock at 45.516 seconds, still within the time allowed of 48 seconds, and leaving all of the rails up.
David Q. Beisel of David Beisel Stables in Goshen, Ohio was thrilled to talk to us about his win in the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix. Beisel has owned and ridden Essince W for about a year, and when they began, Essince W was only jumping 1.10 m. Beisel has brought him along, putting in plenty of show miles with Essince W, particularly at World Equestrian Center. “I showed him [at World Equestrian Center] in October and December, and by the end of the Fall Series, he was jumping 1.40 m. We tried the Grand Prix in December, and he was great with just one rail down. He was also great last week with just one down, so I was excited for tonight,” explained Beisel.
David Q. Beisel and Essince W leap into first place. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography.
In preparation for the Grand Prix, Beisel and Essince W competed in a 1.35 m class on Wednesday. “I told my wife (Paige Beisel) when I got home on Wednesday, ‘I’m not showing Essince until the Grand Prix; he’s ready.’ He’s ready to go compete, not just do miles,” said Beisel, confident in Essince W’s abilities.
Beisel’s instincts were clearly correct watching Essince W’s performance tonight, jumping well above the standards over many of the fences, drawing audible gasps from the crowd. Beisel even heard the crowd gasp from across the ring, “I heard the crowd gasp when he jumped the out of the double in the jump off,” said Beisel, “Also, over the oxer by the ingate in the first round when I was looking over my shoulder to the left for the next jump, I saw his hind feet all of the sudden by my eyeballs and I was like, ‘What are your hind feet doing there by my head?’”
David Q. Beisel and Essince W (joined by Reilly Gogul and Izzy Beisel) take home first place in tonight’s $25,000 WEC Grand Prix. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography.
Despite his wealth of talent, Beisel notes Essince W’s lovely personality, “He’s just the sweetest horse. When I was leading him around today, every person he saw he put his ears up like, ‘Would you like to feed me a treat?’ He’s so nice and kind. My daughter (Izzy Beisel) even flats him for me at home. He’s a fun horse too.” However, Essince W was not the only one showing kindness Saturday evening. Before he left the arena, Beisel gave his first place ribbon and cooler to a young, star-struck fan, which very clearly made her night.
$25,000 WEC Grand Prix Results
- Essince W, David Q. Beisel – 0 | 0 | 45.516
- Barilla, Kirstie Lynn Dobbs – 0 | 4 | 40.524
- Altezza Du Jardin, Michael Kocher – 0 | 16 | 39.637
- Caphur, Taylor Kain – 4 | 84.759
- Shuttergold, Taylor Kain – 4 | 87.650
- Jordan, Jill M. Gaffney – 4 | 87.662
- Quantos, Jason Berry – 4 | 90.831
- Kir Royal SCF, David O’Brien – 8 | 84.596
- With A Little Help Sir, David Q. Beisel – 8 | 86.133
- Call Me Hannes, David Q. Beisel – 11 | 88.809