The Winter in the Midwest Winter Classic 2 kicked off at World Equestrian Center with a fantastic first and third place finish by Nicole Loochtan in the $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35m sponsored by CWD Sellier. Twenty three entries contested the track designed by Bobby Murphy of Lexington, Kentucky that featured a triple combination, a vertical to vertial double and several forward bending lines. Murphy’s holiday themed course featured a giant Christmas tree and several fun jumps including a giant striped candy cane oxer, a jump flanked by massive presents and a wide snow covered forest vertical.
The pace in tonight’s Welcome Stake was set by Alexandra Fierro and Veritas Farms, LLC’s Adare Ya To (Chacoa x Cool Calm Scarlett). Having regularly taken top placings in the 1.30m classes, the pair was well prepared for tonight’s class. Fierro and the nine year old Irish Sport Horse gelding were quick and clear in the first round, leaving all rails up at 73.817 seconds, well under the time allowed of 79 seconds. The pair continued straight to the jump off of the Table II 2b event, hugging the inside track and keeping their speed, stopping the clock at 39.342 seconds with no faults, setting the time to beat.
Shortly after, Nicole Loochtan and her own Famoso d’Ive Z (For Pleasure x Radetzky) tried their hand at the 1.35m track. The pair regularly earn top placings in the 1.30m-1.40m jumpers. Sharn Wordley also shows the twelve year old Belgian Warmblood gelding on occasion. Tonight, Loochtan and Famoso d’Ive Z were quick in the first round, blazing through the timers clear in 72.998 seconds. The pair continued straight to the jump off, remaining a bit more conservative to ensure that all rails stayed up. Loochtan and Famoso d’Ive Z stopped the clock at 40.072 seconds, moving into the second spot.
Loochtan and her own Carla de Kalvarie Z (Crown Z x Siebe De Kalverie) took to the course later in the class. The pair consistently show in 1.20-1.40m classes, often taking top placings. Tonight, Loochtan and the fourteen year old Zangersheide mare were on form, jumping a clear first round in 73.644 seconds. The pair picked up speed in the jump off and stuck to the inside track. The pair were impressive, blazing through the timers at 38.053 seconds for a first place finish, moving Fierro and Adare Ya To into second place and Loochtan and Famoso d’Ive Z into third place.
Ashley Fleischhacker also had fantastic rides this evening, taking fourth, fifth and sixth place on Ashland Show Stables LLC’s Durango VDL (Zirocco Blue VDL x Narona), Fancy Roos VDL (Baltic VDL x Alpen Roos VDL) and Davall (Zavall VDL x Rhamanta), respectively.
Loochtan stuck around after the awards presentation to chat with us ringside about her rides in tonight’s class, “The mare that won, Carla de Kalvarie Z, will be fifteen this year. I’ve had her for five years so I know her very well. She’s very spicy at all times. The other one, Famoso d’Ive Z, I’ve had for almost two years. He’s owned by Sharn Wordly. He’s super fast.”
When asked about her mounts’ personalities, Loochtan replied, “She’s very feisty. At home I only walk and trot her. The only time she’ll canter is if I go to a jump. She’s a lot of horse. Famoso acts like he’s scared of the world, but if you point him to a jump he’s going to jump it. He’s very reliable. They’re both very sweet.”
Loochtan also added, “I’m originally from Illinois, but I have a farm in Lexington, Kentucky called Stone Creek Stables. We’re located about five minutes from the Kentucky Horse Park. We offer boarding. I personally only do show jumping but we also offer cross country on our twenty five acres. I’m an amateur and I train with Sharn Wordly. I have four horses that I’m showing at World Equestrian Center this week.”
$5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35m Results
- Carla de Kalvarie Z, Nicole Loochtan – 0 | 0 | 38.053
- Adare Ya To, Alexandra Fierro – 0 | 0 | 39.342
- Famoso d’Ive Z, Nicole Loochtan – 0 | 0 | 40.072
- Durango VDL, Ashley Fleischhacker – 0 | 0 | 41.531
- Fancy Roos VDL, Ashley Fleischhacker – 0 | 0 | 42.532
- Davall, Ashley Fleischhacker – 0 | 0 | 44.345
- Chagrand, Michael Burnett – 0 | 4 | 36.834
- Volga Du Soleil, Madeleine MacNeill – 0 | 4 | 41.235
- Chatender, Madeleine MacNeill – 0 | 4 | 44.331
- Honfleur, Michael Kocher – 0 | 8 | 36.702
Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.