20 July 19  | 

Jennifer Strickland and Kroner Z Top the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix

Soaring temperatures brought an early start, popsicles, ice cream and water slides to the World Equestrian Center to accompany a day of thrilling equestrian sport. Exhibitors and spectators alike enjoyed free popsicles throughout the day, an ice cream social mid-day and a giant inflatable water slide in the afternoon, all in the spirit of keeping cool. Exhibitors also won some cool cash in today’s $25,000 WEC Grand Prix and $7,499 Futures Prix 1.30 m where entries contested courses designed by Bobby Murphy of Lexington, Kentucky in hopes of taking home a win.

$25,000 WEC Grand Prix

Jennifer Strickland and Kroner Z take the win in the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix.

Today kicked off with fantastic Jumper action in the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix. Five entries delivered a clear first round making for an exciting jump off. Competition was tough, but Jennifer Strickland and her own Kroner Z galloped to the win with a double clear over the 1.40 m track.

One of the first to jump a clear first round was Taylor Kain and Eirecon Equine Sale’s Gipsy 1134 (Corlensky G x Landina). The eight year old Oldenburg mare was well-schooled for the class, just coming off of her first FEI event with Kain in Tryon, where the pair took seventh in the ranking class. The pair were their usual fast and stylish selves, managing the first round in 77.663 seconds, well under the time allowed of 82 seconds.

Jennifer Strickland and Kroner Z jump a clear first round.

Shortly after, Jennifer Strickland and her own Kroner Z (Kannan x Lucinda Jo) also delivered a clear first round. The pair compete regularly in the 1.30 m – 1.40 m jumpers and were prepared to compete in today’s Grand Prix. The pair took their time through the first course, riding thoughtfully and ensuring that all rails stayed up. Strickland and the fourteen year old Zangersheide gelding crossed the timers at 81.032 seconds, securing a spot in the jump off.

One of the final entries to go clear in the first round was Shannon Clifford and her own Riesling De Milvrault (Elan De La Cour x Evohee), a fourteen year old Selle Francais gelding. The pair compete in various upper-level Jumper classes and were quick and lively through their first round of the Grand Prix. Clifford and Riesling De Milvrault stopped the clock at 75.768 seconds, making them one of the fastest clear first rounders.

The course was adjusted and five entries returned for the jump off. Near the top of the order was Kain and Gipsy 1134. The pair flew through the course, taking many inside turns and maintaining a blistering pace. Kain and the bay mare were clean until the final fence where they pulled an unlucky rail, but their time of 37.774 seconds would prove hard to beat.

Next to jump off was Strickland and Kroner Z. The pair took a different approach to the short course, choosing to keep their steady rhythm from the first round to ensure a clean jump off. Their strategy proved successful and the pair stopped the clock at 42.170 seconds with all the rails up, placing themselves atop the leader board.

Shannon Clifford and Riesling De Milvrault sail over an oxer.

Near the bottom of the jump off order was Clifford and Riesling De Milvrault. Like Strickland and Kroner Z, the pair chose a more quiet approach to the course, which worked out in their favor. The pair crossed the timers at 43.486 with no faults, sliding neatly into second place and moving Kain and Gipsy 1134 into third place.

Strickland and Kroner Z received the lion’s share of the prize money, along with a prize pack from Horse First and a $100 Dandy Products gift certificate. Kroner Z’s groom, Jamie Alnwick, also received the Groom’s Award for the gelding’s stunning turnout, which included $100 cash and a $50 WEC Gift Card.

Strickland took time to chat with us about her win after the awards presentation. “This was actually my second Grand Prix,” she explained, “I owe it all to my horse, he’s perfect. I’ve had him for four years and this is our first big season. He went in and was really feeling ready to win today. He felt really good. It was a great day.”

When asked about Kroner Z’s personality, Strickland replied, “He’s really laid back. He’s a giant teddy bear. He’s just a really sweet horse, I couldn’t ask for a better one.”

Jennifer also added, “I’m from Virginia originally and now I’m based out of Ocala, Florida. I work for Scott Keach, so I owe everything to Scott and Southern Cross Equestrian. It’s been a really fun circuit here. Jamie Alnwick and I both work for Southern Cross and we’re just up here showing our own horses, which has been fun.”

$25,000 WEC Grand Prix

  1. Kroner Z, Jennifer Strickland – 0 | 0 | 42.170
  2. Riesling De Milvrault, Shannon Clifford – 0 | 0 | 43.486
  3. Gipsy 1134, Taylor Kain – 0 | 4 | 37.774
  4. Inne Van De Plataan, Keely McIntosh – 0 | 8 | 40.558
  5. Kinsella, Charlotte Clark – 0 | R | R
  6. Gilded, Taylor Kain – 1 | 82.033
  7. For Sunday, David Beisel – 4 | 73.599
  8. Strawberry, Molly Kindness – 4 | 46.683
  9. Call Me Hannes, David Beisel – 4 | 77.931
  10. Metro Lass, Patricio Rodriguez – 8 | 73.518

$7,499 Futures Prix 1.30 m

David Beisel and Angelo take home the blue in the $7,499 Futures Prix 1.30 m.

The $7,499 Futures Prix 1.30 m sponsored by Voltaire Design offered equally exciting equestrian sport with a fantastic class and a head to head jump off between home-town favorite David Beisel and Anna-Rose Klingenstein of New York. Though both managed to go double clear, it was Beisel and Maarten Huygens’ Angelo (Conthargos x Grand Ronja) that took home the blue.

David Beisel and Angelo clear an oxer.

Several entries in the Futures Prix had fantastic rounds, but none jumped clear until David Beisel and Angelo took to the course. The pair have an incredible rapport, placing high in several feature classes at WEC this Winter and taking the win in the $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35 m in April. The pair were on their game today, both prepared to give their competition a run for their money. Beisel and the eight year old Mecklenburg gelding navigated a clear first round with ease in 73.825 seconds, nearly six seconds under the time allowed of 81 seconds, then continued straight to the jump off of the Table II 2b event. The pair picked up even more speed, feeding off of each other’s energy. Beisel piloted Angelo through several tidy turns, crossing the timers at 40.333 seconds, challenging the remaining entries to beat his clear round and quick time.

Anna-Rose Klingenstein and Oak Groves Celebrity jump double clear.

The only other entry to manage a clear first round was Anna-Rose Klingenstein and Ark Partners LLC’s Oak Groves Celebrity (Cassini II x Pretty Easy). The pair compete in the Junior A/O Jumpers and were determined to tackle today’s Futures Prix Course. Anna-Rose and the twelve year old Holsteiner mare took a slightly slower approach to the course to ensure a clear round. The pair executed just that in 78.104 seconds and continued straight to the jump off. Inside turns and a clean round were the name of the game, but the pair’s time of 46.131 was not quite quick enough to catch Beisel and Angelo, leaving them atop the scoreboard for the win.

$7,499 Futures Prix 1.30 m

  1. Angelo, David Beisel – 0 | 0 | 40.333
  2. Oak Groves Celebrity, Anna-Rose Klingenstein – 0 | 0 | 46.131
  3. Cornetta KF, Charlotte Clark – 4 | 74.194
  4. Illusionist II, Shannon Clifford – 4 | 75.186
  5. Fedel, Gwen Goodwin – 4 | 76.136
  6. Ardragh Rock Star, Harriet McCord Chang – 4 | 78.451
  7. Halouet, Miguel Ventura – 11 | 87.076
  8. Here I Am, Dennis Mitchell – 13 | 81.601
  9. Billy, Jamie Alnwick – 14 | 82.864
  10. Prince Verdi LKF, Katrina Fanning – 19 | 87.349

Photos courtesy of Winslow Photography.

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