Wilmington, Ohio – Winter Classic #9 of the 2023 Winter in the Midwest Series kicked off in World Equestrian Center – Wilmington’s Sanctuary Arena with the $10,000 Welcome Stake. It was another strong showing by Darby Pease (USA) who piloted Carel Van Donderen (Acolino x Terania Die Hoeghte)to the win besting a field of 13 athletes over a track built by FEI III course designer Anderson Lima (BRA).
The exhilarating class saw many horse-and-rider combinations negotiate solid four-fault efforts over Lima’s 12-obstacle first-round course, with only five moving onto the short course.
Pease returned second to last in the posted order aboard her top mount, Carel Van Donderen. Pease needed to post a quick and clear jump-off phase to surpass Michael Janson (USA) and Caveman Z (Carthago x Amelia Z). Early in the order, Janson laid down a double clear effort aboard Kimberly Janson’s 15-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, Caveman Z. Their time of 39.42 seconds held the lead for a majority of the class and was enough to secure the second-place finish until ultimately surpassed by Pease.
Pease of Windcrest Farm, mastered the jump-off track making all of the inside turns aboard her 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding to post a winning time of 35.492 seconds.
“The course was really nice, I really liked it. I watched a lot of people have the last vertical down in the first-round so I rode super carefully to that. I didn’t see anyone else do the jump-off, but I walked all of the inside turns, so I thought I might as well go for it since Carl [Carel Van Donderen] is always game,” Pease shared of her winning performance.
Nicole Loochtan (USA) returned to the winner’s circle once again aboard her very own It’s Me Du Bosquetiau (Dayton Sitte x Mirette Du Bosqueatiau). The nine-year-old Belgian Sport Horse stallion returned to the Sanctuary in top form after his recent $30,000 Grand Prix win. Loochtan of Stone Creek Stables in Lexington, Kentucky, guided her talented young mount to an easy double clear and rounded out the podium in 42.152 seconds.
$10,000 Welcome Stake Results:
1 Carel Van Donderen, Darby Pease, Louisa Robb | 0 | 35.492
2 Caveman Z, Michael Janson, Kimberly Janson | 0 | 39.42
3 It’s Me Du Bosquetiau, Nicole Loochtan, Nicole Loochtan | 0 | 42.152
4 VDL Maverick, Luis F. Saenz, Amanda Harris | 4 | 37.24
5 Azealia, Cooper Beisel, David Beisel | 4 | 40.105
6 Conquest, Devin Milan, Garo Kazan | 4 | 60.619
7 Karlina T, Devin Milan, Garo Kazan | 4 | 64.512
8 Diaz Barbotiere, Izzy Beisel, Izzy Beisel | 4 | 65.382
9 Caiman Des Sequoias, Nicole Loochtan, Nicole Loochtan | 4 | 66.119
10 Chaccomo 11, Drew Arnold, Theresa Kraft | 4 | 66.341
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Results can be found at HorseShowing.com.
All horse show images are provided by Winslow Photography and can be purchased onsite at WEC – Wilmington or online through their website.