Week 10 of ‘Winter in the Midwest’ at World Equestrian Center kicked off this afternoon with the $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35m sponsored by CWD Sellier. The course for the class this afternoon was designed by Tucker Williams of getjumps.com. With a home base in Ocala, Florida, getjumps.com boasts over 32 years of experience in the equestrian industry, designing and building jumps for more than 300 horse shows including World Equestrian Center. Williams’ course this afternoon featured 14 jumping efforts, including two one-stride combinations and adjustable bending lines. Competition was tight with about one second separating the top three placings, but it was Nicki Wilcox and Marjorie Martin’s Hannibal V (Tornesch 1042 x Danique Du Lys) who nabbed the win at the end of the order. Wilcox also managed a fifth place finish aboard Marjorie Martin’s Halifax VDM (Caruso La Silla x Dorsina VDM) and a ninth place finish aboard Hannibal V’s dam, Danique Du Lys (Harley VDL).
Wilcox and Marjorie Martin’s Halifax VDM (Caruso La Silla x Dorsina VDM) were the pace setters this afternoon, delivering the first double clear round of the class. The pair has a fantastic track record in the 1.20m jumpers and has recently stepped up to bigger classes. This afternoon, Wilcox and the eight-year-old KWPN gelding were quick in the first round, jumping clear in a time of 74.555 seconds, well under the time allowed of 80 seconds. The duo continued straight to the jump-off of the Table II 2b event, taking the inside track to fences 4, 5, 14 and 11, managing a second clear round in 42.557 seconds and setting the pace for the remaining entries.
The pair held the top spot until Danielle Urban and Flying Change Equine’s VDL Byacinthe (Calato x Vycinthe VDL) entered the ring. The dynamic pair earned a second place finish in the $25,000 Autumn in the Rockies Grand Prix at the Colorado Horse Park in September 2019. Urban and the 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare managed a clear first round with ease in 74.500 seconds and advanced straight to the jump-off. They picked up speed, mimicking Wilcox’s tidy inside turns to cross the timers at 39.341 seconds and land atop the leaderboard.
Shortly after, Michael Kocher and Andrew Kocher’s Hector AAD (Lord Z x Ricci van de Olmenhoeve) took to the course. Kocher and the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding took third place just two weeks ago in the $7,500 Futures Prix 1.30m at World Equestrian Center and have since stepped up to 1.35-1.40m classes. This afternoon, the pair blazed through the first round, leaving all rails up in a time of 73.068 seconds. Kocher and the scopey chestnut gelding continued straight to the jump-off, taking all of the available inside turns and galloping through the timers at 38.418 seconds, setting the new time to beat.
Wilcox was next in the ring with her own Danique Du Lys (Harley VDL). The pair took second place in the $40,000 National Western Grand Prix presented by Monarch Casino just three weeks ago at the National Western Stock Show, and earned a win last winter in the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix at World Equestrian Center. This afternoon, Wilcox and the 12-year-old KWPN mare jumped a clear first round in an impressive 67.780 seconds and advanced straight to the jump-off. They pulled one unlucky rail, but their fast jump-off time of 35.244 kept them in the running for a top placing.
Wilcox returned to the ring at the end of the order aboard Marjorie Martin’s Hannibal V (Tornesch 1042 x Danique Du Lys). The pair earned a fourth place finish in the $20,000 1.30m Grand Prix at the Las Vegas National Horse Show in November, signaling that they would be strong competitors in this afternoon’s 1.35m Welcome Stake. Wilcox and the eight-year-old KWPN gelding navigated a clear first round in a time of 73.068 seconds and continued straight to the jump-off. Wilcox and the fiery bay gelding chose the inside track, keeping their pace through the turns. The pair crossed the timers at 38.112 seconds, besting Kocher by three-tenths of a second for the win.
Wilcox of Nicki Wilcox Show Jumping in Parker, Colorado took a moment after the class to chat with us about her rides in the $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35m sponsored by CWD Sellier, “Hannibal V was great this afternoon. He did his first Grand Prix at the Denver Stock Show a few weeks ago, so I’m really looking forward to his future. The second horse that I rode this afternoon, Danique Du Lys, is Hannibal V’s mom. She had a rail out of the combination, but still jumped great. She’s my more seasoned mare. She has done a lot of wonderful things; she was second in the Grand Prix at the Denver Stock Show and she won at World Equestrian Center last year. It’s really exciting to bring Hannibal V up into the Grand Prix realm as well. He’s definitely stepping up to the plate and proving to be just as speedy as his mom.”
Wilcox also commented on fifth place finisher Halifax VDM, “The first one that I did in this afternoon’s class is a greener one of mine. He’s an eight-year-old that is owned by Marjorie Martin, who also owns Hannibal V. I was really happy with him today because he has mileage at 1.20m, but he really doesn’t have a ton of mileage at 1.35, and he jumped really well in this afternoon’s class.”
Course designed Tucker Williams also commented on the class, “We had a great class this afternoon and most fared well with the distance tests we included throughout the track. I was happy with the outcome and it was fun to watch everyone compete.”
$5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35m Results
- Hannibal V, Nicki Wilcox – 0 | 0 | 38.112
- Hector AAD, Michael Kocher – 0 | 0 | 38.418
- VDL Byacinthe, Danielle Urban – 0 | 0 | 39.341
- Zero Gravity, Lauren DiTallo – 0 | 0 | 41.108
- Halifax VDM, Nicki Wilcox – 0 | 0 | 42.557
- Catch A Star HSS, Kevin McCarthy – 0 | 4 | 35.244
- Cronos L, Sam Pegg – 0 | 4 | 37.140
- Shaia de Macheco, Sam Pegg – 0 | 8 | 39.213
- Danique Du Lys, Nicki Wilcox – 4 | 67.780
- Graf Joe, Sarah Hunter – 4 | 70.687
Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.