Although the 2020 winter equestrian season was cut short, Team Welles is celebrating a season full of growth and success for all of its clients and horses. Ten weeks of top show jumping competition led the team to three different horse shows spanning from Ocala to Wellington, FL, all of which prompted great results for head trainer Andrew Welles, assistant trainer Eric Glynn, and Team Welles’ talented group of students.
“While I am very disappointed that we were not able to finish off our goals for the 2020 winter schedule, not just the World Cup Finals, but what each horse in the barn was building towards, I feel that each horse and student left off on a very good note,” expressed Andrew. “I feel that as a team we improved across the board and at all levels, leaving us with good momentum heading into this unexpected break. Now it is time to get to the drawing board and come out even stronger from our extra training time!”
At the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), Team Welles riders and horses competed in a variety of jumper divisions including the 7-year-old Jumpers, the U25 Grand Prix series and the Amateur Owner Jumpers. Starting WEF strong, Welles claimed his first win of the season during Week 2 with the Itasca Group’s Brindis Bogibo, who bested a field of 67 competitors in the FEI CSI2* $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.45m Classic to take home the top spot. With the Itasca Group’s Idol H&H, Welles rode to first and second place in the 7-year-old Young Jumpers during Weeks 6 and 10, giving a glimpse at the young horse’s bright future ahead. Gablitz P also celebrated a successful season with Welles, jumping clear in the qualifier and Grand Prix his first time out at the CSI2* level to finish in the ribbons each time. Welles and Primo Troy also had a memorable 10 weeks, putting in numerous clear rounds and earning sixth place during WEF 8 out nearly 60 entries in the Premier Equestrian Welcome Stake.
Team Welles’ students also rode to top finishes throughout WEF. Hannah Lupica logged her first win of the season during Week 3 of competition with long-time partner Hypnose Van Paemel. The pair continued their winning ways throughout the remainder of circuit to earn five more top-three placings in the Low Amateur Owner and Modified Adult Amateur Jumpers. Quinn Larimer competed her very own Serpico and Bronson CR in the Low and Medium Amateur Owner Jumpers, tallying clear rounds in nearly every class. Professional rider Annabella Sanchez piloted her horses Incitatus and Prince Aslan to countless clears in the U25 Grand Prix Series and the 7-Year-Old Young Jumpers, claiming top finishes in both divisions and finishing the season by riding a great course in the $137,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI3*. Liz Porath was a strong contender with her horses Firefly and Tequila Girl in the Adult Amateur Jumpers and Training Jumpers. Stefania De Felice performed very well during Week 8, riding to second place with Emerson and fourth place with Loreley in the Children’s 15-17 Jumpers. Finally, as the newest Team Welles rider, Teddi Pritzker was welcomed to the team with a number of clear efforts and ribbon finishes in the Low Junior Jumpers aboard Cabras and Playboy.
“This year was a great WEF for all of our students at Team Welles,” noted assistant trainer Eric Glynn. “They all worked extremely hard both in and out of the show ring and it’s easy to see that it paid off for each of them. We are all thrilled with their success this season and the consistent clear rounds and results they were able to achieve.”
Assistant trainer Glynn played an instrumental role in the triumphs and victories of Team Welles’ horses and riders throughout the 10 weeks of competition. Glynn worked with students and their horses to make sure that they were well prepared for the show ring. Glynn ended the circuit on a high note, placing fourth out of 62 entries with Welles’ Shariva in the 1.35m Jumpers.
The 2020 Palm Beach Masters Series added an additional form of high performance equestrian sport to the mix for Welles during one of the ten weeks. Welles and Brindis Bogibo jumped a clear round in the CSI4*-W Candy Tribble Qualifier to secure a spot in the $213,300 CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Wellington.
At Live Oak International in Ocala, Fla., Welles competed in the $100,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Ocala and accomplished a longtime goal of his: to qualify for the 2020 World Cup Finals. The achievement of this goal was a highlight for everyone behind Team Welles, and although the event unfortunately had to be canceled, the members of Team Welles remain incredibly proud of this impressive accomplishment.
Team Welles would like to thank its entire team for their hard work and dedication, the Itasca Group for trusting Welles with so many incredible horses, and the sponsors that keep the horses and riders at Team Welles looking and feeling their best. Team Welles is looking forward to returning to the show ring sometime soon!