Wilmington, Ohio – The stands were packed in the Sanctuary Arena at World Equestrian Center – Wilmington as show jumping competition came to a head with the $30,000 CWD Grand Prix of Winter Classic 10. In the end, it was Megan Bash (USA) and Jackson VDL (Zirocco Blue VDL x Design O) that galloped away with a grand applause as the only duo to jump a fault-free effort.
Robert Barton (USA) crafted the technical 12-obstacle track for the field of athletes with only two starters jumping clear over the fences.
Bash of Cleveland Equestrian spoke on the towering track, “I thought that the track was nice and smooth. I wanted to have a good pace and a flow all the way around. I knew coming in with nobody clear that I needed to be pretty fast in case I had a rail, so I was really moving around the ends of the ring.”
Entering the arena as the second to last to contest over the course, Bash needed a fault-free effort to ensure a place on the podium. Aboard her longtime partner, Jackson VDL, she perfected the technicality of the track and posted an effortless, quick clear round.
Bash was effusive in her praise for her mount, “I got Jackson as a six-year-old when he was still very green. This is so satisfying because I brought him up through the ranks all by myself. He and I have a very special relationship because we know each other really well. The horse is so amazing and I am so impressed with him and can’t wait to see where he goes. He went clear in the Welcome and I made a mistake in the jump-off, so he was such a good horse to come back tonight and try even harder.”
This time on her nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Bash earned her second grand prix win of the 2023 Winter in the Midwest Series.
Devin Milan (USA) of Ann Arbor, Michigan, found another impressive podium placing in the Sanctuary. As the second-place finisher in the $10,000 Welcome Stake, Milan looked to add another top finish to her growing record of successes. The young professional guided Garo Kazan’s seven-year-old Zangershiede gelding, Conquest (Colestus x Excellenta C), to a seamless clear ride over the fences. A single unfortunate time fault earned them the red ribbon.
Rounding out the podium once again was Sam Pegg (CAN) and Gin Tonic 158 (Graf Top x Sanjador). Pegg of Ten Sixty Stables in Uxbridge, Ontario, piloted his new ten-year-old Hanoverian gelding to a confident round with an unfortunate four-fault score putting them in third place.
WEC – Wilmington sponsor Vitalize presented the Blazin’ Fastest Four Faulter $500 bonus in the $30,000 CWD WEC Grand Prix to Sam Pegg and Gin Tonic 158, who earned 78.007 seconds in the first round, finishing third in the class overall.
$30,000 CWD Grand Prix Results:
1 Jackson VDL, Megan Bash, Cleveland Equestrian | 0 | 80.803
2 Conquest, Devin Milan, Garo Kazan | 1 | 85.910
3 Gin Tonic 158, Sam Pegg, Ten Sixty Stables | 4 | 78.007
4 Big Girl Z, Sam Pegg, Ten Sixty Stables | 4 | 84.115
5 Jadina, Kevin McCarthy, Sweet Oak Farm | 4 | 84.136
6 FF Dior, Megan Bash, Cleveland Equestrian | 4 | 84.57
7 Formidable Diamant, Sam Pegg, Phyllis Harlow | 8 | 79.894
8 Diaz Barbotiere, Izzy Beisel, Izzy Beisel | 8 | 82.5
9 Downtown’s Main Event, Shannon Sullivan, Shannon Sullivan | 8 | 84.025
10 Vegas H, Izzy Beisel, David Beisel | 11 | 87.738
Sarah Long & Wildflower Race to Win in the $10,000 Futures Prix
The $10,000 Futures Prix kicked off showjumping action Saturday evening in the Sanctuary Arena. Twelve horse-and-athlete combinations competed over Barton’s tracks with seven moving immediatly to the jump-off phase. It was a race for the win, though none could surpass Sarah Long’s (CAN) time aboard Wildflower (Wildfire x Naiade Des Garins).
Long, riding out of Kestrel Farms in Ontario, Canada, made her first ever debut at World Equestrian Center – Wilmington this week during Winter Classic #10 and instantly stole the show. As the seventh athlete to go in the posted order, Long needed a speedy double clear to top the podium.
The expressive eight-year-old Canadian Sport Horse mare owned by Mark Hayes put all her effort into the track and posted an easy clear first round.
Long spoke highly of her winning mount, “Wildflower is eight this year, we did the seven-year-old classes last year, so we have been bringing her along the young horse series. She is super brave and super careful, and very fast. We have definitely clicked! She is a little funny and just a sensitive mare. She likes to be an independent girl; we just make her body feel good and she comes out and wants to be a winner every time.”
The duo moved onto to the immediate jump-off phase looking to find a double clear effort. Each inside turn and tidy tracks around the corners landed their winning time of 36.412 seconds.
“The course was great. The oxers were a good height, there were lots of bending lines and the jump-off was twisting and turning. It left it open for a lot of horses to make some nice roll backs. I wanted to just give this horse a good experience over the track today. We have plans to move her up to the welcomes and the grands prix as she gets more mature in her development,” commented Long.
Owen Gajoch (USA) piloted his own Montendro 5 (Messenger x Furstin B) to second place. As the second to go in the order, Gajoch found an early lead until ultimately bested by Long. The ten-year-old Oldenburg gelding was in top form and made light work of the track. In a jump-off time of 37.954, the duo galloped away with the red ribbon.
In a repeat performance of Thursday evenings $10,000 Welcome Stake, Sam Pegg (CAN) earned another yellow ribbon in the Sanctuary aboard Claas (Quiran x Braune). Pegg of Ten Sixty Stables guided the eight-year-old Holsteiner gelding to two confident clear rounds. The duo rounded out the podium in a time of 38.889 seconds.
$10,000 Futures Prix Results:
1 Wildflower, Sarah Long, Mark Hayes | 0 | 36.412
2 Montendro 5, Owen Gajoch, Owen Gajoch | 0 | 37.954
3 Claas, Sam Pegg, Ten Sixty Stables | 0 | 38.889
4 TC Latina 262, Michaella Gerlacher, True Course | 0 | 39.371
5 Karlina T, Devin Milan, Garo Kazan | 4 | 33.809
6 Retroflex, Sarah Long, Alan Manning | 4 | 37.529
7 Azealia, Cooper Beisel, David Beisel | 4 | 38.031
8 Eurodoll, Michaella Gerlacher, Ava Defelice | 4 | 80.320
9 Easton, Kevin McCarthy, Kevin McCarthy | 12 | 80.598
10 Honey Girl, Ragen McGowan, Ragen McGowan | 24 | 101.785
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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.