Seventeen entries took to the Sanctuary Arena this afternoon to vie for the win in the $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35m sponsored by CWD Sellier. The course for the class was designed by Bobby Murphy of Lexington, Kentucky and featured fourteen jumping efforts including two one-stride combinations. Five entries managed double clear rounds, but it was Lisa Goldman-Smolen and her own Nike (Lasino x Wanda XII) that took top honors. Goldman-Smolen also took home fourth, fifth and sixth place aboard her own Hindsight (Vision x Rhiannon), her own As Di Sogrand (As Di Villagana x Grand Soso 2) and Barbara Disko’s Sovereign (Frontal x Galledent), respectively.
Goldman-Smolen and her own Nike (Lasino x Wanda XII) were first in the order, holding their lead throughout the entire class. The pair have taken several top placings in Welcome Stakes across the Midwest, but have taken a bit of a break from the show ring since their last show at World Equestrian Center in October. Goldman-Smolen and the nine year old Holsteiner mare returned to the Sanctuary Arena this afternoon ready to race for the win, jumping a clear first round in 73.057 seconds, well under the time allowed of 83 seconds. The pair continued straight to the jump off of the Table II 2b event, hugging the inside track to fences fourteen, nine and eleven. Goldman-Smolen and the fiery bay mare stopped that clock at what would prove to be an unbeatable 34.916 seconds, ultimately taking first place in the class.
Michael Kocher and Taje Warrick’s E. Umomia (Arthos R x U Umonia 6) contested the course shortly after and were hot on Goldman-Smolen and Nike’s trail. The pair took first place in the $7,500 Futures Prix 1.30m during week 3 of ‘Winter in the Midwest’ at World Equestrian Center and were on fire this afternoon. Kocher and the ten year old KWPN mare blazed through the first round clear in a time of 74.187 seconds, signaling that they would be strong competitors on the short course. The pair continued straight to the jump off, also opting for the inside track. Kocher and E. Umomia crossed the timers at 35.649 seconds, sliding neatly into second place.
Next in the ring was Goldman-Smolen and Barbara Disko’s Sovereign (Frontal x Galledent). The pair took first place in the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix last January and have collected top placings in several Grands Prix and Welcome Stakes since. This afternoon, Goldman-Smolen and the thirteen year old Selle Francais stallion were on their A-game, navigating a clear first round in 74.488 seconds. The pair advanced to the jump off, keeping their brisk pace but taking one unfortunate rail in 35.255 seconds. Their quick time was enough to snag them a sixth place finish.
Goldman-Smolen later returned to the ring aboard her own As Di Sogrand (As Di Villagana x Grand Soso 2). The pair have also been raking in top placings in 1.30m-1.40m classes across the Midwest, preparing them well for this afternoon’s 1.35m track. Goldman-Smolen and the nine year old Hanoverian gelding managed a clear first round in a time of 73.155 seconds and continued straight to the jump off. The pair were flawless, jumping a second clear round in a time of 38.503 seconds, ultimately earning fifth place.
Faith Davis and her own Da Vinci (Tangelo Van De Zuuthoeve x Warina) also delivered noteworthy rounds this afternoon. The pair compete successfully in 1.20m-1.40m jumpers and were prepared to take on this afternoon’s Welcome Stake. Davis and the eleven year old Dutch Warmblood gelding were conservative in the first round, jumping clear in 78.964 seconds, saving plenty of energy for the short course. Davis and Da Vinci advanced straight to the jump off, sticking to the inside track and crossing the timers at 36.141 seconds, moving into third place.
Last in the order was Goldman-Smolen and her own Hindsight (Vision x Rhiannon). The duo took first place in the $25,000 Grand Prix of Minnesota at the Minnesota Harvest Hunter Jumper show in October. Goldman-Smolen was a touch quieter in the first round with the twelve year old Holsteiner gelding, leaving all rails up in a time of 75.163. The pair picked up speed in the jump off, managing a second clear round in 37.029 seconds for a fourth place finish.
We caught up with Goldman-Smolen of Red Coat Farm in Hawthorn Woods, Illinois after the class to hear about her fantastic rides, “They all jumped fantastic. The course was really fun and the footing was great. I was really happy with all of the horses. It’s their first show back since they were here in October, so they’re a little fat and out of shape, but they jumped amazing. We’re gearing up for the rest of the season!”
When asked about first place finisher Nike, Goldman-Smolen replied, “My little mare that I can never go fast on was finally fast, so that was really exciting! It feels great!”
Goldman-Smolen also commented on her plans for the Winter season, “This is our kick start to the Winter. This is closer to home, but it’s a little warmer down south so we’re going to go down to Ocala. We’re going home for a week then heading down there for the rest of the Winter. Maybe I’ll get to see how the development is going at World Equestrian Center in Ocala! I got to go see it a little bit last year and I’m excited to see what comes of it.”
Goldman-Smolen also added, “I’m really excited for the year and to see what will come next year in Ocala. World Equestrian Center keeps making more and more improvements in Ohio, which is really nice. Every time you come here there is something new and everything is really well thought out. It’s fun to come here!”
$5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35m Results
- Nike, Lisa Goldman-Smolen – 0 | 0 | 34.916
- E. Umomia, Michael Kocher – 0 | 0 | 35.649
- Da Vinci, Faith Davis – 0 | 0 | 36.141
- Hindsight, Lisa Goldman-Smolen – 0 | 0 | 37.029
- As Di Sogrand, Lisa Goldman-Smolen – 0 | 0 | 38.503
- Sovereign, Lisa Goldman-Smolen – 0 | 4 | 35.255
- Gotham, Rachael Howard – 0 | 4 | 37.804
- Kinsella, Charlotte Clark – 0 | 8 | 34.656
- Angelo, David Beisel – 0 | 8 | 44.604
T10. Dillandra, Michael Kocher – 0 | – | –
T10. Lasco 29, Summer Hill – 0 | – | –
Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.