Forty-three competitive horse-and-rider combinations took to the WEC Grand Arena this morning to contest the $15,000 WEC Ocala Welcome Prix. FEI Level IV course designer, Bernardo Costa Cabral of Portugal designed the winding tracks that featured multiple new fences including the gorgeous Ethel M. Chocolates vertical and Buckeye Nutrition vertical. The tight time allowed of 77 seconds caught many riders throughout the class, but 17 entries managed a clean first round and 10 jumped double clear. Ultimately, it was Olympic Gold Medalist Will Simpson and Coxe Horses LLC’s Whoop De Doo (Mr. Whoopy x Double Trouble X) that captured their second consecutive $15,000 WEC Ocala Welcome Prix win.
Simpson is fresh off a very successful first week at WEC where he topped several events including the $75,000 Coca-Cola Beverages Florida Grand Prix aboard his other mount Chacco P.
Simpson continued his successful streak today with the 10-year-old Warmblood mare. Simpson and Whoop De Doo entered the class toward the end of the order, delivering a smooth and fast first round stopping the clock at 69.477 seconds, well within the time allowed.
Simpson was very proud of Whoop De Doo, “She felt even better this week. She is really coming into her own. She is a homebred horse that is ten years in the making. Her success comes from her owner being so patient. Whoopy wasn’t easy to start with, without a patient owner she would have been cast away a long time ago. Now, I think she is going to be an incredible show jumper. She has the scope for 1.60m and I think she will be able to know when it’s an important class and win it.”
Simpson and Whoop De Doo advanced straight to the jump-off, galloping from fence one to two in five strides. The pair quickly turned back to the C. Jarvis Insurance combination to fly to the next oxer. They soared over the Ethel M. Chocolates vertical to take a tight inside turn to the large white vertical. “I was going to that fence blind. When you are galloping in that gap you have to stay straight. There isn’t much room for a nice bend. It would have been easy to the slice the vertical but then you would be turning the wrong way,” laughed Simpson.
Simpson and Whoop De Doo jumped the tall vertical with ease, then flying to the final fence to stop the jump-off clock at 34.984 seconds for the win.
The second fastest time was caught by New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley and Fernando Cardena’s Valentine Car (Son of Juan Car x Sofia Car). Wordley and the 12-year-old Warmblood gelding earned third place during last week’s $75,000 Coca-Cola Beverages Florida Grand Prix. Wordley and Valentine Car navigated a fault free first round stopping the timers at 70.825 seconds. The pair jumped-off immediately, quickly leaving the ground while taking tight inside turns to stop the jump-off clock at 35.838 seconds.
Rounding out the top three was Grant Seger and Grey Fox Crossing’s Plot Z (Plot Blue x Salome). Seger and Plot Z earned last week’s third place honors in the $15,000 WEC Ocala Welcome Prix. Seger and the 10-year-old Warmblood gelding delivered a foot-by-foot perfect first round stopping the clock at 69.928 seconds. Seger and Plot Z advanced straight to the jump-off taking tidy turns while cruising through the lines to stop the clock at 36.072 second to earn third place.
$15,000 WEC Ocala Welcome Prix Results:
1.Whoop De Doo, Will Simpson, Coxe Horses LLC: 0 | 0 | 34.984
2.Valentine Car, Sharn Wordley, Fernando Cardenas: 0 | 0 | 35.838
3.Plot Z, Grant Seger, Grey Fox Crossing: 0 | 0 | 36.072
4.Quantum KS, Tom Foley, Tom Foley: 0 | 0 | 38.795
5.Hanea, Adolpho Franco, Capital Equine LLC: 0 | 0 | 39.145
6.Fast Forward, Harold Chopping, Rein Family LLC: 0 | 0 | 39.207
7.Nico 1427, Anna Dryden, Double Meadows Farm, LLC: 0 | 0 | 39.566
8.Tybo VD Tojopehoeve Z, Kyle Dewar, Joan Burke: 0 | 0 | 40.119
9.Catella, Sarah Gordon, Sarah Gordon: 0 | 0 | 41.339
10.Nashville, Luis Francisco De Azevedo, Luis Francisco De Azevedo: 0 | 0 | 42.858
Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.
Videos available at ClipMyHorse.TV.