Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 7, 2016 – The inaugural CP Wellington Masters, presented by Sovaro™, produced a world-class event, where it was only fitting that the victory in the $200,000 Longines FEI World CupTM Jumping Wellington went to leading U.S. athlete Kent Farrington with his veteran mount Uceko.
Topping a 14-horse jump-off, Farrington captured his second victory in the new Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping East Coast League. The highlight event took place under sunny skies at the picturesque Deeridge Farms, owned by the Jacobs family. Closely in conjunction with leading horse show producers Stadium Jumping, the Jacobs family worked tirelessly to produce the first event of its kind at their home in Wellington.
“I thought it was a beautiful, beautiful event here at Deeridge Farms,” expressed Farrington after his win. “I think this facility is amazing and really exciting for our sport and for show jumping here in Florida. For us to have this kind of competition and this caliber of competition is really exciting for all of us as riders.”
Forty combinations turned out to make a bid for the win over the Alan Wade designed course in the new all-weather arena. Only 14 of the athletes were able to master the opening track without error and advance to the final tiebreaker.
Paris Sellon was the pathfinder with Adare, setting the pace to beat at a clear 43.50 seconds. Callan Solem tried to best her with VDL Wizard, owned by Horseshoe Trail Farm, but she was just shy of the time in a faultless 43.80 seconds. Canada’s Ian Millar slipped just between them on Susan and Ariel Grange’s Dixson when they cleared the track in 43.54 seconds.
Richard Spooner was the first to beat Sellon’s time on his new mount Big Red, owned by Gerardo and Alfonso Pasquel. Despite a risky distance to the last fence, the duo left all the fences intact and broke the beam at 42.89 seconds, wearing a target on their back.
“I got him the middle of the first week [of the Winter Equestrian Festival], so it’s a fresh partnership,” explained Spooner. “I couldn’t be any happier with the result today. When we got here, I kind of thought, ‘I’m going to be very aggressive. It’d be nice if I could have four faults and have a nice result, maybe get a point or two at this class.’ To have him go out and go double clear far exceeds my expectations.”
Katie Dinan and Grant Road Partners’ Nougat Du Vallet had the next clear effort, but they were more conservative in a time of 48.64 seconds. Despite his solid round, Spooner had left the door open for an experienced pair, and Farrington knew he could make up time by shaving the turns and leaving strides out with 15-year-old Uceko. The pair never touched a rail and blazed across the finish line 40.30 seconds, almost three seconds faster than Spooner.
“Uceko has learned to be a fast horse,” admitted Farrington. “He actually was not a fast horse when I started. He has a long stride and sort of a slow canter. As I’ve gotten to know him really well, he’s learned to turn very short to the fences and leave out strides where other horses can’t. Now for a jump-off, I really have his plan, and I’m very confident of what he can do. I try to execute it to the best of my abilities, and usually if I don’t make a big error he pulls it off.”
The last athlete in the class was Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum on the talented Fibonacci 17, owned by Artemis. The scopey 11-year-old was clear over all of the obstacles, but could not match Uceko’s speed taking over the second place spot in 42.83 seconds. Spooner was just six-hundreths of a second slower than Beerbaum for third place, while Farrington led the lap of honor.
Although the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final is not on Beerbaum’s radar, the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro are her main goal for Fibonacci. “He’s short-listed for the German team at the moment,” she commented. “He showed great form today, and we just hope to keep that going.”
Spooner also hopes to aim Big Red toward the Games in Rio, but he knows the new pair will need to work hard to make the U.S. team. “It’s a bit of a new combination; it would be a long shot for, but I’m gearing him for the team,” he stated. “I think he’s a team horse. He’s impressed me incredibly.”
The Jacobs family is a strong supporter of world-class athletes and world-class events, and the family was thrilled to have the opportunity to host the Wellington leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping East Coast League.
“It’s a three-year commitment to host the World Cup Qualifier here,” noted President Louis Jacobs. “To have first the FEI and Longines grant us a World Cup Qualifier and then to have this group of sponsors – not just Longines, but Canadian Pacific and the folks from Sovaro – people that really demonstrated their faith in us early on, we’re incredibly grateful for that.”
Katie Jacobs Robinson added, “It’s exciting, and it’s an honor that Longines and the FEI have trusted us with this. It’s been a huge learning experience and something that I think we have all really enjoyed. We hope that Longines is happy as well as the FEI and all the competitors, and we look forward to doing it again.
Representing the family in the ring was Charlie Jacobs, who hopes to be traveling with the U.S. delegation to the prestigious Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final, which will take place in Gothenburg, Sweden March 23-28.
“The feedback from the riders has been nothing short of extraordinary,” he commented. “Even riders that didn’t compete here were sharing that they wish to come and show next year if we offer more divisions, so by in large I’d say it’s been exclusively great feedback from the horseman.”
One of the additional events during the inaugural CP Wellington Masters was the $10,000 1.15m Jumpers. The victory in the day’s competition opener went to Javier Guerra of the USA on his own Chiquey Tiem.
Guerra and the 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare were one of 15 pairs to advance to the immediate jump-off following the first round, and while they went early in the order they set a time to be beat that would never be toppled, finishing in 29.738 seconds.
“It was a beautifully set course,” Guerra said of the Alan Wade designed track. “She’s just a very, very fast mare. I know if she keeps all the rails up, she’s going to be in the top three. She’s a very brave mare. She is my wife’s horse, and she was gracious enough to let me ride her today.”
Guerra continued, “We show her in the 1.25m, the Low Amateurs, and now we brought her in today for this beautiful show. I think it’s great. I hope they do it every year, and we will be sure to come back next year if they do it again.”
Finishing in a close second with a jump-off time of 30.014 seconds were Sima Morgello and Zopala, owned by Double S Farm LLC, while third place went to Lukene Arenas and Enrique Arenas’ Unique Star with a time of 30.876 seconds.
Before the main event got underway, a special presentation was made for the M. Michael Meller Style Award. During its inaugural year at the CP Wellington Masters, the award was presented to the late Andres Rodriguez of Venezuela. Rodriguez, fondly known as “Chepito,” passed away in a tragic car accident in January. The 2015 individual silver medalist from the Pan American Games was a true supporter of equestrian sport and embodied this award. He loved show jumping and all that knew him felt his enthusiasm. A team player, he was fun loving and always supportive with his competitors.
Rodriguez’s wife, Clementine Goutal, and barn manager, Carmen Barrera, accepted the award from Meller on his behalf. The M. Michael Meller Style Award will continue to be presented each year in honor of Rodriguez to a rider that exemplifies his style and sportsmanship, so that “Chepito’s” memory can live on in the sport.
The inaugural CP Wellington Masters, presented by Sovaro™, has received rave reviews and the Jacobs Family looks forward to hosting top athletes for the 2016 Longines FEI World CupTM Jumping Wellington.
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RESULTS: $200,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Wellington
1. 050 Uceko Kent Farrington usa 0 76.64 sec 0 40.30 sec
grey / 15y. / G / KWPN / Celano / Koriander / 102NG64 / R.C.G. Farm 66.000,00 USD
2. 162 Fibonacci Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum ger 0 78.23 sec 0 42.83 sec
grey / 11y. / G / SWB / For Feeling / Corland / 103UD28 / Artemis Equestrian Farm Llc + Micha 40.000,00 USD
3. 120 Big Red Richard Spooner usa 0 78.64 sec 0 42.89 sec
chest / 11y. / G / WESTF / Ludwig von Bayern / Lamoureux I / 103FK51 / Gerardo Pasquel & Alfonso Pasquel 30.000,00 USD
4. 091 Adare Paris Sellon usa 0 74.44 sec 0 43.50 sec
bay / 11y. / M / KWPN / Royal Bravour / Burggraaf / 103KS70 / Paris Sellon 20.000,00 USD
5. 097 Dixson Ian Millar can 0 79.26 sec 0 43.54 sec
bay / 13y. / G / BWP / Vigo d’Arsouilles / Olisco / 103CR29 / Susan and Ariel Grange 12.000,00 USD
6. 001 VDL Wizard Callan Solem usa 0 77.12 sec 0 43.80 sec
chest / 13y. / G / KWPN / Gentleman / Ahorn / 102PX05 / Horseshoe Trail Farm, Llc 9.000,00 USD
7. 165 Nougat du Vallet Katherine A. Dinan usa 0 77.50 sec 0 48.64 sec
chest / 15y. / G / SF / Scherif d’Elle / Saphir d’Elle / FRA46122 / Grant Road Partners Llc 6.000,00 USD
8. 080 HH Carlos Z McLain Ward usa 0 73.42 sec 4 41.75 sec
bay / 14y. / G / ZANG / Chellano Z / Voltaire / BEL41129 / Double H Farm 5.000,00 USD
9. 059 Czardas Alberto Michan Halbinger mex 0 76.55 sec 4 42.39 sec
13y. / S / HANN / Contendro / Grannus / 102NI85 / Lovsta Stuteri 4.000,00 USD
10. 020 Royce Margie Goldstein-Engle usa 0 73.92 sec 4 42.65 sec
bay / 12y. / S / OS / Cafe Au Lait / Grandilot / 102SR44 / Elm Rock Partners, Llc 4.000,00 USD
11. 084 Nouvelle Laura Kraut usa 0 76.49 sec 4 42.71 sec
12y. / M / KWPN / Solitair / Contango / 103MK28 / Evita Group 2.000,00 USD
12. 035 HH Copin van de Broy Quentin Judge usa 0 78.29 sec 4 42.91 sec
bay / 14y. / S / BWP / Darco / Brownboy / 102OV98 / Double H Farm 2.000,00 USD