$50,000 World Equestrian Center Grand Prix
This morning kicked off with thirty two entries in the $50,000 World Equestrian Center Grand Prix vying for top honors over a track designed by Steve Stephens of Sarasota, Florida that featured two liverpools, a triple combination and a new signature “WEC” fence. Of the thirty two entries, five advanced to the jump off. All managed double clear rounds, but it was Ali Wolff and her own Quirie 2 (Quadrigus M x Zuckerqueen) that took the win, receiving the lion’s share of the prize money, a prize pack from Horse First and a $100 Dandy Products gift certificate.
One of the first to negotiate a clear round was David Raposa and Ronald Francoeur’s Mic Jagger, who finished second in the $15,000 Welcome Stake 1.35m on Thursday. The Welcome Stake schooled the pair well for this morning’s Grand Prix and Raposa and the ten year old German Riding Horse jumped a clear first round with ease in 77.348 seconds, well under the time allowed of 84 seconds.
Next to jump a clear round was Ali Wolff and her own Quirie 2 (Quadrigus M x Zuckerqueen). The pair took several second place finishes at Split Rock Jumping Tour in Johnstown, Ohio in August and September, but had yet to manage a win. This morning, Wolff and the twelve year old German Warmblood gelding delivered a clear first round in a time of 82.605 seconds.
Rounding out the clear rounds was David Beisel and his own Essince W (Chacco Blue x Rossan). The pair took second place just two weeks ago in the $25,000 World Equestrian Center Grand Prix and returned to the Sanctuary Arena this morning in hopes of another top placing. Beisel and the ten year old KWPN gelding nailed a clear first round in their usual knees-over-the-standards style, just under the time allowed in 83.441 seconds.
The ring was refreshed and the five clear first rounders returned for the jump off. Raposa and Mic Jagger returned midway through the order, blazing through the course that favored the open galloping stride. The pair set a brisk pace with a clear round in 36.982 seconds. Next to return was Wolff and Quirie 2. Knowing what they would need to hustle to claim the top spot, the pair kicked up their pace, hugging the fences on turns where possible and shaving off crucial seconds. Wolff and Quirie 2 stopped the clock at an impressive 34.992 seconds, moving themselves to the top of the scoreboard. Last to return was David Beisel and Essince W. The pair were set on a first place win, but crossed the timers slightly slower than Wolff and Quirie 2 at 35.667 seconds for second place.
Wolff took a few minutes to chat with us about her win in the class, “I always know that coming here with incredibly fast people like David Beisel and Lisa Goldman, I have to be extra fast and super competitive. Quirie 2 had never been in here until today and I was incredibly happy with him. In the jump off, everything came up nicely and he responded well. I couldn’t be happier about it.”
When asked about Quirie 2, Wolff replied, “We got him when he was eight. He was pretty far behind, he hadn’t been jumping anything bigger than about 1.20m. He’s a little bit of a late bloomer. This past year or two, he’s really come into his own. He’s very little if you stand next to him, but his presence makes him big. He kind of thinks that way, too. He just thinks that he can do anything that any of the bigger horses can do. He’s a little bit of a Sour Patch Kid – sour then sweet. He thinks the world of himself, which is actually a good thing for his performance.”
Wolff also commented, “I can’t even count how many times we’ve been a bridesmaid this year. He took second in Traverse City four times in a row. It’s finally his day to shine and that’s the happiest part about him winning today against these fast competitors. This is his first Grand Prix win, too, so it was very exciting.”
When asked about her riding history, Wolff replied, “I’ve been competing since I was about eight years old. I turned pro a few years ago and I decided to start a business with my fiance. We’re trying to form our own little niche in this business. I still have a few of my own horses and I’m always looking for sponsors and what not. We have a great group of clients right now.”
When asked who received the Groom’s Award for Quirie 2, Wolff replied, “Mary Glier came in just for this class. She takes care of Quirie 2. We’ve had Mary for over five years and sadly she is parting with us. We wish her the best. She’s going with another rider and going to get to travel to Europe. I wanted to do a special shout out to her because this is her last horse show with us, which makes this win just that much more special.”
Wolff also added, “I’d like to say a big thank you to my team and my fiance because it takes a village. I’d also like to say thank you to our other groom Adrian Barrios. This horse show marks her one year with us!”
$50,000 World Equestrian Center Grand Prix
- Quirie 2, Ali Wolff – 0 | 0 | 34.992
- Essince W, David Beisel – 0 | 0 | 35.667
- Mic Jagger, David Raposa – 0 | 0 | 36.982
- Dirocco Blue, Wilhelm Genn – 0 | 0 | 38.255
- Nike, Lisa Goldman-Smolen – 0 | 0 | 39.128
- Lasco 29, Summer Hill – 4 | 73.779
- Van Gogh, Wilhelm Genn – 4 | 74.133
- Catch A Star HSS, Kevin McCarthy – 4 | 77.174
- Sovereign, Lisa Goldman-Smolen – 4 | 77.890
- Freaky Liefhebber, Jacqueline Steffens – 4 | 78.664
$7,500 Futures Prix 1.30m
This morning’s $7,500 Futures Prix 1.30 m sponsored by Voltaire Design was contested by twenty eight entries with the top ten returning to jump double clear rounds within two and a half seconds of each other. Though competition was stiff, it was Rodney Harkey and his own Equador (Whitesnake x Vantibes) that earned the win.
One of the first to go double clear in the Table II 2b event was Ryan Genn and Wilhelm Genn’s VDL Gerinus T (Arezzo VDL x Rosalina). The pair are regulars in 1.30m-1.40m jumper classes, often taking top placings. This morning, the pair were quick in the first round, leaving all rails up in a time of 77.462 seconds, comfortably under the time allowed of 79 seconds. Genn and the eight year old Dutch Warmblood gelding advanced straight to the jump off, jumping a second clear round in 34.856 seconds.
Genn and VDL Gerinus T held the lead in the class until Charlotte Clark and her own Kinsella (Capitalist x Jerpoint Mist) took to the course. The pair have a great rapport in the jumper ring, taking top placings in Futures Prix and Grand Prix. Today, Clark and the nine year old Irish Sport Horse mare jumped a clear first round in their usual style, stopping the clock at 72.741 seconds. The pair continued straight to the jump off, racing through the timers at 34.826 seconds, moving to the top of the scoreboard.
Rodney Harkey and his own Equador (Whitesnake x Vantibes) were determined to leave their mark on this morning’s Futures Prix. The pair have been climbing the ranks in the 1.30m jumpers, preparing them well for today’s class. Harkey and the ten year old Dutch Warmblood gelding jumped a clear first round in 73.153 seconds. They continued straight to the jump off, galloping through the course and leaving a stride out to the combination to cross the timers at 34.789 seconds for the win in the class.
Harkey took a moment to chat with us about his win aboard Equador after the awards presentation, “He was great. The first round felt great, then in the jump off I just rode as fast as I could. I left a stride out to the combination and almost caught the out! He’s so careful and clean, though. I turned back pretty quickly to the third jump, but I think the leave-out to the combination is where I won.”
When asked about Equador, Harkey explained, “We just moved him up and started doing the smaller Grand Prix last year. I came here to do the Welcome Stake and the Grand Prix, but he was just too electric with the atmosphere. He’s a little spooky and pretty green. He’s only been indoors once. I didn’t want to scare him. I think he’s a special horse, so I’m just taking my time with him. He’s ten years old now. I imported him when he was three to be a hunter, but that didn’t work out. I’ve had him for seven years and we’re just now winning some 1.30m stuff, so this is a really big win for me.”
Harkey also gave us a bit of background on himself, “I’m from Charlotte, North Carolina. I take care of my own horses on my family’s land in Charlotte. It’s just me, a jumper, a hunter and a pony. I used to be a professional in the 90s, but I got my Amateur status back. I won a Futures Prix back then, but I’ve never won a Grand Prix, so that’s my goal. To win a big class like this one today was really special for me.”
$7,500 Futures Prix 1.30m Results
- Equador, Rodney Harkey – 0 | 0 | 34.789
- Kinsella, Charlotte Clark – 0 | 0 | 34.826
- VDL Gerinus T, Ryan Genn – 0 | 0 | 34.856
- Angelo, David Beisel – 0 | 0 | 35.000
- Graf Joe, Leann Kelly – 0 | 0 | 35.540
- Caya, Ali Wolf – 0 | 0 | 35.564
- Equinox HS, Leann Kelly – 0 | 0 | 35.648
- Golden Child, Ryan Genn – 0 | 0 | 36.342
- Coco Chanel M, Ryan Genn – 0 | 0 | 36.551
- Jack Straw, Camille Maddrix – 0 | 0 | 37.250
Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.