Wellington, FL – March 11, 2016 – The $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Semi-Final, presented by Seabrook LLC, was the feature event on Friday night during week nine of the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). The class had 48 entries with a four-horse jump-off and a win for Kaely Tomeu (USA) and Gentille competing under the lights in the International Ring at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).
Alan Wade (IRL) set the course for the Under 25 riders competing under the lights on Friday night. The difficult track yielded just four clear rounds and a competitive jump-off to determine final honors. Kelli Cruciotti (USA) and Serenity Equestrian Ventures’ Chamonix H were first to jump-off and cleared the track in 40.52 seconds to finish second.
Kaely Tomeu and Siboney Ranch’s Gentille followed with the winning round in 36.96 seconds. Juan Jose Zendejas Salgado (MEX) had one rail down in 38.53 seconds aboard Alejandro Zendejas’ Hector V.D. Papendijk to finish third. Last to go, Wilton Porter (UAS) and Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Patriot dropped two rails in 37.32 seconds to finish fourth.
Tomeu (20), of Wellington, FL, trains with Shane Sweetnam and Michael Delfiandra at Sweet Oak Farm and just purchased Gentille in January. The new partnership has gone great, and Tomeu was especially excited to get the win Friday night with her father in the crowd, who does not often get to see her compete.
Kaely Tomeu and Gentille in their winning presentation with Guido Klatte, Tim Dutta of the Dutta Corp., Lacey and Kathryn Gilbertson of Seabrook LLC, Carlene Ziegler of Artisan Farms, and ringmaster Christian Craig. Photo: Sportfot
“I just got her, and she has been nothing but amazing,” Tomeu said of the ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Heartbreaker x Kannan). “I won our first time doing the Highs (Amateur-Owners), and was champion and won the classic three weeks ago. Then we did the U25 team event with Lacey Gilbertson, Brett Burlington, and Noelle Barry, and we were third and she was double clear. I was so excited because that was my first real show with her. We imported her in January, so I just started showing her the last week of January.”
“She is a little crazy, but not out of control. She is fun crazy, and when she goes in the ring she just knows her job and she is on top of it. She is way easier in there,” Tomeu said of the ride.
Speaking of the course, she commented, “Walking the course, I thought it seemed pretty straight forward and my trainer said it would be no problem, and we just went over it a lot. Then it appeared that a lot of people had a lot more problems than I thought. I think (it was) because it was under the lights and it was spooky and everybody gets more nervous, but she handled it well. I got a little too fast because my hands were slippery, but she was perfect. I liked the course a lot.”
Tomeu has been competing in the U25 Series for the last couple of years and has gained great experience from doing the different classes.
“It teaches you to definitely stay humble,” she stated. “I am not going to go out thinking I am going to win them all. My new horse, I owe it all to her, and Shane Sweetnam who found her. It worked out for us tonight. It was definitely tricky, but I liked it. It was her kind of round.”
Kelli Cruciotti and Chamonix H. Photo: Sportfot
Kelli Cruciotti (18), of Parker, CO, was aboard her longtime mount Chamonix H for her second place finish Friday night. Trained by her mother, Cindy Cruciotti, and Peter Lutz, Cruciotti guided the 15-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare (Equest Carnute x Caletto II) to double clear rounds and was happy with her night.
“When I walked the course, I thought it was definitely going to be hard,” Cruciotti admitted. “It was big and it was under the lights, which adds another element. It was pretty technical, and the time allowed was tight enough that you were thinking about it. I had in my head six clear, and it ended up being four, but I thought it was an amazing group of four. The horses jumped amazing, and I knew the jump-off was going to be really fast.
“My horse is not naturally very fast and I knew I had to try a little bit, but go on the safe side going first,” Cruciotti said of her jump-off. “I think I was a little conservative in a couple places, but going first you have to kind of gamble with how fast you want to go. [I watched] Kaely’s round. It was amazing and huge congratulations to her.”
Cruciotti also spoke of the experience that she has gained competing in the U25 Series, stating, “It is obviously a great experience no matter what horse you have. A young horse can gain invaluable experience under the lights, or I have the pleasure of riding a very seasoned horse. For her, it adds a little more element, so she is a little bit more impressed. I thought it was a great class with a lot of fantastic horses, and I am lucky to be here.”
Juan Jose Zendejas Salgado and Hector V.D. Papendijk. Photo: Sportfot
Juan Jose Zendejas Salgado (22), of Wellington, FL, was aboard Hector V.D. Papendijk, a nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Wandor Van De Mispelaere x Rabiat Z) for his third place finish. The rider, originally from Mexico, trains with Ilan Ferder and is competing in the series for the first time this year.
Speaking of his mount, Salgado detailed, “He is a young horse. He is a little bit green, and I am very happy with how he jumped today under the lights. It is very hard sometimes; the horses get very spooky. The first round he did amazing; he was jumping great. In the jump-off, I took the risk. I got pressured by the girls and I had the rail, but I am very happy and congratulations to the girls.
“I used to live in Mexico and I just moved here,” the rider explained. “It is my first year doing the Under 25, and it is a very good experience because it is a whole series. This was the semi-final; it was a pretty tough course, and I think jumping under the lights is a great experience for us.”
Presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, the Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series will have its final event during WEF 11, the $50,000 CSI-U25 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Final, presented by Equiline, held on the derby field at The Stadium at PBIEC on Saturday, March 26.
Final Results: $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Semi-Final, presented by Seabrook LLC
1 742 GENTILLE KAELY TOMEU (USA) SIBONEY RANCH: 0/0/36.96
2 1304 CHAMONIX H KELLI CRUCIOTTI (USA) SERENITY EQUESTRIAN VENTURES: 0/0/40.52
3 1021 HECTOR V.D. PAPENDIJK JUAN JOSE ZENDEJAS SALGADO (MEX) ALEJANDRO ZENDEJAS: 0/4/38.53
4 2387 PATRIOT WILTON PORTER (USA) SLEEPY P RANCH LLC: 0/8/37.32
5 947 CAYENNE 140 VICTORIA PRESS (USA) VICTORIA PRESS: 2/91.66
6 6658 LUFTIKUS S JENNIFER GATES (USA) JENNIFER GATES LLC: 2/92.15
7 368 CALGARY 56 QUINCY HAYES (CAN) QUINCY HAYES: 4/83.96
8 855 CAPTAIN CARUSO CORMAC HANLEY (IRL) CORMAC HANLEY: 4/84.24
9 546 PRECIEUSE PLATIERE ROGELIO PELLERANO (DOM) ROGELIO PELLERANO: 4/84.31 10 4904 TEAM DE COQUERIE STEPHEN MOORE (IRL) VLOCK SHOW STABLES LLC: 4/84.59 11 1790 VON CIM ALEXANDRA CROWN (USA) ALEXANDRA CROWN: 4/85.13
12 3991 JUANITA TINA YATES (USA) HIGHPOINT FARM LLC: 4/85.25
Lauren Fisher and Lindsay Brock for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.