This afternoon brought thrilling Jumper action to the Sanctuary Arena for both the $10,000 WEC Grand Prix and the $4,999 Futures Prix 1.30m sponsored by Voltaire Design. Both classes featured courses designed by Bobby Murphy of Lexington, Kentucky that included one stride combinations, forward lines and plenty of opportunities for inside turns in the jump off.
$10,000 WEC Grand Prix
This afternoon’s $10,000 WEC Grand Prix saw fourteen entries attempt the course in hopes of taking home a piece of the prize money, but it was Mexico’s Javier Berganza Anderhub and Keystone Show Stables’ Gangnam Style (Indorado x U Two) that stole the win by two hundredths of a second. The pair claimed their lion’s share of the $10,000 purse and items from WEC sponsors including a $100 gift certificate from Dandy Products.
Four entries jumped a clear first round to advance to the jump off this afternoon, the first of which being Linda Radigan and her own Balveneur (Balougran Z x Irina Du Fouleray). The pair are highly competitive in the 1.30m and 1.40m Jumpers, preparing them well for today’s Grand Prix. Radigan and the eleven year old Zangersheide gelding jumped a clear first round with ease in 77.008 seconds, well under the time allowed of 83 seconds, securing a spot in the jump off.
Next to jump a clear first round were this week’s $1,500 Welcome Stake 1.35m winners Robert Mendoza and Bannockburn Farm’s United M (Baloubet Du Rouet x United). Mendoza and the nine year old KWPN mare have been fierce competitors this week, showing off their speed and agility more with each class. In the first round of the Grand Prix, Mendoza and United M showed off their technique, crossing the timers at 76.662 seconds to advance to the jump off.
Last to secure a spot in the jump off was Javier Berganza Anderhub and Keystone Show Stables’ Gangnam Style (Indorado x U Two). Berganza Anderhub and the fourteen year old Dutch Warmblood have been working their way up in height in the Jumpers recently and looked on their game this afternoon. The pair found a clear round with ease, stopping the clock at 72.939 seconds, one of the quickest first round times of the class, signaling that they would be strong competitors on the short course.
Radigan and Balveneur were first to attempt the jump off course, setting the pace with a clear round in a time of 39.978 seconds, but the pair’s time was soon bested by Mendoza and United M. Mendoza and the bay mare rode a foot-perfect round, hugging the inside track and flying down each line. The pair stopped the clock at 38.681 seconds, a seemingly impossible time to beat. However, Berganza Anderhub and Gangnam Style did not let that deter them from giving the course their all. The pair mimicked Mendoza and United M’s inside track, picking up even more speed than in their first round. Berganza Anderhub and Gangnam Style sailed over the final oxer and through the timers at 38.631 seconds, two hundredths of a second quicker than Mendoza and United M, to win the class.
Javier Berganza Anderhub of Keystone Show Stables in Sheridan, Indiana took time to chat with us ringside after the Grand Prix. “To be honest, I didn’t know if I was going to be fast enough with him. Gangnam Style is a rather new horse for me. He’s coming back from doing smaller jumps and just getting back up to this height, so I didn’t really know how it was going to go. He was really good in the warm up and apparently I was fast enough today! I’m really happy, I wasn’t really expecting to win today, I just tried to do the best I could and he was up to it.”
When asked about his strategy for the jump off, Berganza Anderhub replied, “When I walked the jump off, I tried to have a really clear plan of what the strides were going to be in between and I just tried to stick to it as close as I could. I think I did a couple of good turns which is where I think it paid off.”
Berganza Anderhub also commented on Gangnam Style’s personality, “He’s fourteen. He’s actually been in my family for the last seven years. My younger brothers used to ride him. He did the North American Young Rider Championships a couple of years. He’s done some really big tracks. He got hurt last year, so we’ve been taking the time to rehab him correctly and bring him back in the best way possible. He’s back! He’s a special horse for us.”
When asked about Gangnam Style’s groom Daniel D’Nieto who received today’s Groom’s Award of $100 cash and a $50 WEC Gift Card for the gelding’s stunning turnout, Berganza Anderhub replied, “Dani’s the guy that makes sure this guy (Gangnam Style) is taken care of and looks great. I couldn’t do any of this without him.”
$10,000 WEC Grand Prix Results
- Gangnam Style, Javier Berganza Anderhub – 0 | 0 | 38.631
- United M, Robert Mendoza – 0 | 0 | 38.681
- Balveneur, Linda Radigan – 0 | 0 | 39.978
- Cymo, Brian Shook – 0 | 4 | 40.302
- Beorn, Tammy Provost – 4 | 76.911
- Etoile Van’t Lambroeck, Alliy Moyer – 4 | 77.172
- Java Van De Kleinheide, Robert Mendoza – 4 | 77.230
- Strawberry, Molly Kindness – 4 | 79.480
- Levin, Morgan Ward – 8 | 69.582
- Cassius 74, Stephen Foran – 8 | 75.148
$4,999 Futures Prix 1.30 m
The $4,999 Futures Prix 1.30m sponsored by Voltaire Design also saw tough competition with four of the thirteen entries jumping double clear. Like in the Grand Prix, speed was a large factor to secure the win and Morgan Ward and Morlynn Farm’s Contiki had plenty to spare, bringing home the blue.
First to jump double clear was Alexis Bodo and Eye Candy Jumpers’ Colton Playtime (Dokkum De Rialfo x Colton Maelstrom). Bodo and the nine year old Warmblood gelding were quick in the first round, jumping clear in a time of 73.539 seconds, well within the time allowed of 84 seconds. The pair continued straight to the jump off of the Table II 2b event, jumping a seconds clear round and setting the pace at 40.270 seconds.
No entries managed to best Bodo’s clear round and quick time until the end of the class when Morgan Ward and Contiki took to the course. The pair were ready to compete after taking third place in Thursday’s $1,500 Welcome Stake 1.35m and jumped a clear first round in 77.316 seconds, conserving plenty of energy for the short course. Ward and the six year old KWPN gelding picked up the pace through the short course but managed to hug the inside track, shaving crucial seconds off of their time. The pair stopped the clock at a blistering 35.861 seconds, ultimately taking the win.
Robert Mendoza also had a notable ride in the Futures Prix aboard TSI Equestrian’s Jewel B (Couleur Rubin x Riane). The ten year old Belgian Warmblood mare competes regularly in both the Jumpers and the Hunters with Mendoza, as well as his daughter Nora. This afternoon, Mendoza and Jewel B were last to contest the course, jumping a clear first round in a speedy 71.339 seconds. The pair continued straight to the jump off, keeping their speed. While they were quick, they were not quite fast enough to beat Ward and Contiki. However, their clear round in a time of 37.342 seconds was more than enough to move them into second place.
We caught up with Morgan Ward of Morlynn Farm in Milford, New Jersey after the awards presentation to chat about her rides in the Futures Prix. “The first round was solid on Contiki. In the jump off, I did a couple of inside turns which helped me on time. With him, since he’s so young, I spend more time in the air than anything else. So I had to do a few inside turns to help him out. I thought he was great today.”
Ward also commented on her eith place mount, Time Out, “Time Out was really good. It was my first time showing her this week, so having one down wasn’t terrible in my opinion. She’s a little bit of the prima donna of the barn. She’s a princess; everything’s her way or no way. With Contiki, he is a complete nuisance. He is the big funny-maker at the farm, but he’s such a good boy. He always tries his heart out no matter what.”
Ward added, “This is my first time here so I’ve really been enjoying it. I’m loving it so far. I think we’re going to three weeks now; I’m excited for the rest.”
$4,999 Futures Prix 1.30m Results
- Contiki, Morgan Ward – 0 | 0 | 35.861
- Jewel B, Robert Mendoza – 0 | 0 | 37.342
- Colton Playtime, Alexis Bodo – 0 | 0 | 40.270
- Cinna HP, Brian Shook – 0 | 0 | 42.066
- Galway Bay Pandora, Alliy Moyer – 0 | 8 | 39.282
- Ti Amor B Z, Megan Bash – 0 | 8 | 44.429
- Colato Sabata, Emily Reder – 0 | – | –
- Time Out, Morgan Ward – 4 | 68.792
- Don Gerhard, Madeline Dunlap – 4 | 74.711
- Oak Groves Celebrity, Anna-Rose Klingenstein – 4 | 75.030