Kristen Vanderveen Wins Two-in-a-Row to Kick Off CSI 5* Week at 2019 WEF

Kristen Vanderveen (USA) christened CSI 5* week at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) with a win in the featured $36,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m after also earning a victory in the Bainbridge 1.40m earlier in the day on Wednesday, February 6. WEF continues with 12 consecutive weeks of world-class competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL, through March 31, 2019.

Todd Jenard of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Ringmaster Steve Rector, and Kristen Vanderveen. Photo © Sportfot.

The fifth week of competition at WEF, sponsored by Fidelity Investments®, features the $391,000 Fidelity Investments® Grand Prix CSI 5* during “Saturday Night Lights” on February 9 at 7 p.m. Additionally, the $72,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI 5* and $50,000 Rushy Marsh Farm Grand Prix CSI 2* will take center stage on Sunday, February 10, in the International Arena.

Sixty-three horse-and-rider combinations contested Kelvin Bywater’s (GBR) two-round course. Vanderveen rose to the top riding Bull Run’s Almighty, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Caspar x Quidam de Revel) owned by Bull Run Jumpers LLC. She and the mount she imported two years ago stopped the timers at 26.43 seconds to best Irish rider Darragh Kenny aboard Extra van Essene for owner Victoria Vargas D’Agostino. Their final time was just fractions slower at 27.05 seconds.

Vanderveen spent time competing her string in smaller national-level classes over the last several weeks to prepare them for CSI 5* competition at WEF, a plan that worked well for her.

“I’m not going to lie, it feels really great,” she said. “There is nothing like winning! I haven’t used him much as a speed horse. He’s very scopey so I have always used him in some of the bigger grand prix classes, but the way this class was structured I thought it would be best to show him today and save my stallion for tomorrow. It was fun to see how fast he could really go against these speed horses!

Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Almighty. Photo © Sportfot.

“I used his big stride to my advantage and he’s very brave, so I was able to turn him in to the jumps and cut off a lot of time by making the turns extra tight,” continued Vanderveen. “I’m going to see what he starts telling me, but I would love to start using him as my main grand prix horse.”

Four-time U.S. Olympic medalist Beezie Madden finished in third behind Vanderveen and Kenny. She rode Jiva to a time of 27.27 seconds for owner Abigail Wexner. Luiz Francisco De Azevedo (BRA) took fourth riding So What HP Z, owned by Carlos Eduardo Correa da Veiga, to fourth place in 28.75 seconds. Katherine Dinan (USA) rounded out the top five aboard Atika Des Hauts Vents, owned by Grant Road Partners, in a time of 28.86 seconds.

Final Results: $36,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m

1 BULL RUN’S ALMIGHTY: 2008 Hanoverian gelding by Caspar x Quidam de Revel
KRISTEN VANDERVEEN (USA), Bull Run Jumpers LLC: 0/0/26.43

2 EXTRA VAN ESSENE: 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Diamant de Semilly
DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), Victoria Vargas D’Agostino: 0/0/27.05

3 JIVA: 2009 BWP mare by Concorde (84.4140) x Nonstop
BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Abigail Wexner: 0/0/27.27

4 SO WHAT HP Z: 2010 Zangersheide mare
LUIZ FRANCISCO DE AZEVEDO (BRA),Carlos Eduardo Correa da Veiga: 0/0/28.75

5 ATIKA DES HAUTS VENTS: 2019 Selle Français mare
KATHERINE DINAN (USA), Grant Road Partners, LLC: 0/0/28.86

6 KOSS VAN HEISTE: 2009 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Breemeersen adorado x Contact vd heffinck
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Eadaoin Collins: 0/0/29.01

7 ALEJANDRO: 2009 Rheinländer gelding by Acorado’s Ass x Contanga
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Seabrook, Spy Coast Farm and Sweet Oak Farm: 0/0/29.17

8 RANDON PLEASURE: 2005 Selle Français mare by For Pleasure x Quidam de Revel
FABIO LEIVAS DA COSTA (BRA), Bonne Chance Farm: 0/0/29.26

9 BUTTON SITTE: 2007 Belgian Warmblood stallion by Ogano Sitte x Parco
RICHIE MOLONEY (IRL), Equinimity LLC: 0/0/29.49

10 DAZERMIE: 2008 KWPN mare by Asemie x Hamlet
EMIL HALLUNDBAEK (DEN), Ecurie Francois Mathy: 0/0/30.37

11 WATERFORD: 2003 KWPN gelding by Coolcorron Cool Diamond x Julio Mariner XX
LAUREN HOUGH (USA), Laura and Meredith Mateo: 0/0/30.74

12 HH QUATUOR: 2004 Selle Français gelding by Col Canto x Rosire
QUENTIN JUDGE (USA), Double H Farm: 0/0/30.81