Week six of ‘Winter in the Midwest 2020’ at World Equestrian Center kicked off this afternoon with the $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35m sponsored by CWD Sellier. Entries contested a course designed by Bobby Murphy of Lexington, Kentucky that featured fourteen jumping efforts including two one-stride combinations, forward lines and two opportunities for inside turns on the short course. It was a battle of the four faulters for the win the jump off with none of the horse and rider combinations jumping a clear second round. Michael Kocher and Woodland Hills’ Dillandra (Zapatero VDL x Willandra) were the fastest four faulters, earning the top spot in this afternoon’s class.
The pace setter in this afternoon’s class was Genevieve Munson and Mark Holden’s Zonderling (Escudo I x Or-Animo). The pair took third place just two weeks ago in the $25,000 World Equestrian Center Grand Prix and were first in this afternoon’s order of go. Munson and the fifteen year old Dutch Warmblood gelding easily managed a clear first round, leaving all rails up in 75.606 seconds, well under the time allowed of 79 seconds. The pair continued straight to the jump off of the Table II 2b event, taking both available inside turns to fences eight and nine. Munson and Zonderling pulled one unlucky rail at fence five, but set the four fault time to beat at a speedy 37.512 seconds.
Next in the order was Michael Kocher and Woodland Hills’ Dillandra (Zapatero VDL x Willandra). The pair took second place in last week’s $7,500 Futures Prix 1.30m and returned to the Sanctuary arena this afternoon to try their hand at the Welcome Stake. Kocher and the eleven year old Dutch Warmblood mare were quick in the first round, jumping clear in a time of 74.730 seconds. The pair carried their speed into the jump off, also taking the inside track to fences eight and nine. Kocher and Dillandra picked up four faults at fence twelve, but their time of 34.741 seconds was enough to move them into the top spot.
Robert Mendoza and Bannockburn Farm’s United M (Baloubet Du Rouet x United) were hot on Kocher and Dillandra’s trail this afternoon. The pair took first place in the Welcome Stake during the first week of the World Equestrian Center Fall Horse Shows in late September and were prepared to reclaim a top spot this afternoon. Mendoza and the nine year old KWPN mare took their time in the first round, jumping clear in 78.257 seconds. The pair continued straight to the jump off, also hugging the inside track. Mendoza and United M took just one rail at fence nine and their time of 36.379 seconds was enough to move them into second place.
Kevin McCarthy and his own Catch A Star HSS (Sheraton x Tolinda) delivered noteworthy rounds near the end of the order. The pair took top honors in the $25,000 World Equestrian Center Grand Prix during the first week of ‘Winter in the Midwest 2020’, preparing them well for this afternoon’s Welcome Stake. McCarthy and the scopey nine year old Swedish Warmblood mare jumped a clear first round in 77.908 seconds and advanced straight to the jump off. The pair had an unfortunate four faults at fence eight, but their time of 37.303 seconds was enough to earn them a third place finish.
$5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35m Results
- Dillandra, Michael Kocher – 0 | 4 | 34.741
- United M, Robert Mendoza – 0 | 4 | 36.379
- Catch A Star HSS, Kevin McCarthy – 0 | 4 | 37.303
- Zonderling, Genevieve Munson – 0 | 4 | 37.512
- Graf Joe, Leann Kelly – 0 | 8 | 36.053
- Aintree Z, Katia Manuel-Adams – 2 | 80.935
- Harakiri Z, Madeline Reich – 4 | 72.559
- Contendro Star, Genevieve Munson – 4 | 73.577
- Z Love Story, Jill Gaffney – 4 | 77.439
- In Private, Lindsay Lyden – 4 | 82.271
Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.