Clear rounds were the name of the game in this afternoon’s $25,000 WEC Grand Prix and $7,500 Futures Prix 1.30 m sponsored by Voltaire Design. In the Grand Prix, the only double clear round of the class took home the blue and, in the Futures Prix, the fastest of only two double clear rounds took the win. Five countries were represented between the two classes including Austria, Belgium, Canada, Ireland and the United States, but it was the US and Canada that prevailed this afternoon.
$25,000 WEC Grand Prix
This afternoon’s $25,000 WEC Grand Prix saw a thrilling win by David Beisel and his own Essince W (Chacco Blue x Rossan) as the pair battled head to head with Kevin McCarthy and Catch A Star HSS (Sheraton x Tolinda). Beisel and McCarthy were neck and neck earlier this week in the Welcome Stake when a heartbreaking single rail took the chance of a win away from Beisel and Essince W. The pair returned to the Sanctuary Arena this afternoon prepared to claim their spot atop the score board, and did just that with two impressive clear rounds.
Beisel was first in the order aboard Essince W, making it known early on that the pair would be fierce competitors in the class. The pair are no strangers to the winner’s circle in the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix, having taken the blue during Week 3 of the Winter Series of the Midwest. The pair also took third place in the class just last week, preparing them for a great performance this afternoon. Beisel and the scopey Essince W jumped the first round with ease, never touching a rail and crossing the timers at 81.687 seconds, about four and a half seconds under the time allowed of 86 seconds.
Though the pair impressed the crowd, McCarthy and Catch A Star HSS were sure not to let Beisel and Essince W steal the show. Winning three $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35 m classes this Winter, the pair were more than prepared to compete this afternoon. McCarthy and Catch A Star HSS flew through the first course, jumping clear in an incredible time of 74.783 seconds.
Watch David Beisel and Essince W’s winning round courtesy of ShowNet
Beisel and Essince W were first to contest the short course, taking a slightly more cautious approach than usual to ensure that all rails were left up. The pair still galloped through the course, wowing the crowd with their impressive stride. Beisel and Essince W crossed the timers at 43.867 seconds, setting a tough pace to beat.
McCarthy and Catch A Star HSS tried their hardest to best Beisel and Essince W’s round, but an unfortunate rail meant they would be vying for second instead. The pair still jumped a quick course in a time of 45.217 seconds, securing second place and Beisel and Essince W in first. For their win, Beisel and Essince W received the lion share of the purse, along with items from WEC sponsors including a prize pack from Horse First and a $100 gift certificate from Dandy Products. Essince W’s groom received the Groom’s Award for the bay gelding’s stunning turnout, which included $100 cash and a $50 WEC Gift Card.
Beisel of David Beisel Stables in Goshen, Ohio stuck around for a few minutes after the awards presentation to chat with us about his rides in this afternoon’s $25,000 WEC Grand Prix. “In the first round, he winged it a little over the five, then he was pretty good after that,” said Beisel. “Kevin had gone right before me in the jump off in the Welcome Stake and laid a beautiful, blazing fast trip down, and I, of course, was determined to beat him and tried this dazzling turn, but still had the next jump down. So, my wife and I were discussing the class afterward, and she said, ‘Maybe for the class on Saturday night, you can just do your thing and jump clear and give it your best round.’ So I was trying to take her advice in the jump off. I figured that Kevin’s horse is super fast and super careful, and I did see an inside turn to the black vertical. I just thought, going first, if I could go clear, Essince W covers so much ground. So I thought I would go around instead and really gallop, and I thought he did it beautifully. I couldn’t believe how he galloped to the in and out. He just keeps learning and learning, so that’s fun.”
Beisel also added, “I was thrilled with my other two. On For Sunday, I didn’t even know I had a rail. I heard her hit it, but I didn’t hear it fall so I didn’t know to be a fast four faulter. Then, on the Angelo horse that Maarten Huygens owns, that was only his second Grand Prix. He jumped it so easy and I’m excited about him.”
$25,000 WEC Grand Prix Results
- Essince W, David Beisel – 0 | 0 | 43.867
- Catch A Star HSS, Kevin McCarthy – 0 | 4 | 45.217
- Viva’s Dolce W, Elyse Batista – 0 | 5 | 56.275
- Sandro Kahn, Logan Taylor – 4 | 72.836
- Downtown’s Main Event, Shannon Sullivan – 4 | 74.245
- For Sunday, David Beisel – 4 | 77.319
- Kinsella, Charlotte Clark – 4 | 81.639
- Ehrentanz, Silvia Geyer – 5 | 86.877
- Voi De Pique, Sara Sprague – 8 | 74.815
- Angelo, David Beisel – 8 | 77.607
$7,500 Futures Prix 1.30 m
Sam Pegg of Ten Sixty Stables in Ontario, Canada stole the spotlight in the $7,500 Futures Prix 1.30 m sponsored by Voltaire Design, taking first and third place aboard two mounts owned by Owen Gajoch, Katmandu L (Monte Bellini x Attica L) and Coco Beach Z.
Pegg rode Coco Beach Z about midway through the order of go. The pair placed second in the Futures Prix during Week 12 of the Winter Series and returned to the Sanctuary Arena this afternoon determined to lay down another great round. Pegg and Coco Beach Z jumped a clear first round in a time of 75.140 seconds, about six seconds under the time allowed of 81 seconds. The pair continued straight to the jump off, speeding around the short course and crossing the timers at 42.679 seconds, but pulling two unfortunate rails.
Katmandu L and Pegg contested the course at the end of the order after Celia Bresch and The Bresch Family’s Dior (Up To Date x Viva BW) jumped double clear in a time of 43.497 seconds, setting the time to beat. Katmandu L is newer to the Futures Prix, but has a win under his belt with owner Owen Gajoch from Week 7 of the Winter Series. The bay Belgian Warmblood gelding was on fire tonight as he and Pegg soared over each fence, jumping a clear first round in a time of 74.763 seconds. The pair continued straight to the jump off, picking up even more pace and powering through the timers in just 40.931 seconds to win the class.
We caught up with Pegg after the class to hear about his rides in this afternoon’s Futures Prix. “Katmandu L is a new horse for me. It’s my first week riding him,” Pegg explained, “He’s just an eight year old, so he’s new to jumping the open classes. This was just his second one. He’s a very sweet horse. He’s very kind and he wants to do right. He tries really hard.”
When asked about his third place mount, Pegg replied, “Coco Beach Z is leased out from us, so my farm owns him and Owen leased him from us about a year ago. He’s been showing him in the Junior Jumpers, and we thought, since I’m here and he’s here anyway, I may as well show him for a couple of weeks. Coco likes things to be his own way. He’s a really brave horse and he’s a professional show jumper, but he doesn’t like to be fussed with. He just likes to do his own thing.”
Sam was also fifth aboard his mare Shaia de Macheco.
Watch Sam Pegg and Katmandu L’s winning round courtesy of ShowNet
$7,500 Futures Prix 1.30 m
- Katmandu L, Sam Pegg – 0 | 0 | 40.931
- Dior, Celia Bresch – 0 | 0 | 43.497
- Coco Beach Z, Sam Pegg – 0 | 8 | 42.679
- Gwen MC 1, Kevin McCarthy – 4 | 68.416
- Shaia de Macheco, Sam Pegg – 4 | 69.837
- Alfie Z, Payton Beerbower – 4 | 72.172
- Cademuir, Celia Bresch – 4 | 72.998
- Air Guitar, Erin Ferguson-Hughes – 4 | 74.701
- Fronsac de Beaufort, Megan Bash – 4 | 77.999
- Capone, Meg McTiver – 8 | 66.680
Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.