The Sanctuary Arena saw thrilling equestrian sport this evening in both the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix and the $7,500 Futures Prix 1.30 m sponsored by Voltaire Design. Both classes featured courses designed by Keith J Bollotte with two combinations and several opportunities for inside turns. Competition was fierce with multiple entries jumping clear first rounds and taking to the short course on a mission to claim their share of the winnings.
$25,000 WEC Grand Prix
This evening’s $25,000 WEC Grand Prix saw fourteen entries racing for the win, but it was Richard Cheska and his own Casme VDB Z (Carosso VDL x Anastasia Z) that jumped double clear to win the class. Along with their share of the prize money, Cheska and Casme VDB Z received items from WEC sponsors including a prize pack from Horse First and a $100 gift certificate from Dandy Products. Casme VDB Z’s groom also received the Groom’s Award tonight for the nine year old Zangersheide’s stunning turnout, which included $100 cash and a $50 WEC Gift Card.
Eight horse and rider combinations went clear in the first round of the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix this evening. Shelly Zimmerli and Zimmerli Show Jumping, LLC’s Chardonay Haras Des Barrages (Kashmir van Schuttershof x V Quartz) were the first to contest the course with zero faults and inside the time. Zimmerli and Chardonay Haras Des Barrages took fourth place in the Grand Prix during Week #7 of the Winter Series of the Midwest and have been raking in top placings in the 1.30 m and 1.35 m classes throughout the Series. This evening, the pair displayed expert skill throughout their first round, jumping clear in a time of 77.263 seconds, well within the time allowed of 80 seconds.
The fastest clear first round of the Grand Prix was ridden by this week’s $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35 m winners Kevin McCarthy and Catch A Star HSS (Sheraton x Tolinda). The nine year old Swedish Warmblood mare was bred by Swedish breeder Johanna Friman of Hjältaryds Stall & Smide and has won multiple $25,000 WEC Grands Prix and taken the blue in the Welcome Stake both this week and during Week 4 of the Winter Series. The pair were fully prepared to give the course their all tonight with Catch A Star HSS taking each fence with her signature ‘clear-the-standards’ style. The pair jumped a clear first round in a speedy time of 73.558 seconds.
Riding next in the order of go was Richard Cheska and his own Casme VDB Z (Carosso VDL x Anastasia Z). The pair began 2019 in Venice, Florida at the Venice Equestrian Tour, earning several first place finishes in 1.30 m classes. This evening, the pair jumped a steady, consistent, clear first round in 79.449 seconds, saving plenty of energy for the jump off.
Eight entries returned for the jump off with Shelly Zimmerli and Chardonay Haras Des Barrages riding near the top of the order. The pair were plenty quick, crossing the timers at 35.117 seconds, but dropped one unfortunate rail. The class had yet to see a clear jump off round as Kevin McCarthy and Catch A Star HSS entered the ring. The pair flew through the course, pulling the crowd to the edge of their seats. They approached the last oxer and took a heartbreaking rail as they crossed the finish line at 35.156 seconds. Richard Cheska and Casme VDB Z were next to attempt the jump off. With all other competitors taking a rail, Cheska and Casme VDB Z opted for a more conservative approach to the jump off, staying a touch more collected. Their strategy was a success and the pair jumped the only clean jump off of the evening, stopping the clock at 37.094 seconds for the win.
$25,000 WEC Grand Prix Results
- Casme VDB Z, Richard Cheska – 0 | 0 | 37.094
- Chardonay Haras Des Barrages, Shelly Zimmerli – 0 | 4 | 35.117
- Catch A Star HSS, Kevin McCarthy – 0 | 4 | 35.156
- Danique Du Lys, Nicki Wilcox – 0 | 4 | 39.594
- ERP van www.ooland.biz, Katia Manuel-Adams – 0 | 8 | 34.504
- Uranus 112, Richard Rinehart – 0 | 8 | 34.553
- Geronimo 132, Sandra Zimmerli – 0 | 8 | 37.538
- Kioki Coffee SCF, Angela Moore – 0 | 8 | 37.772
- Berkley III, Doug Boyd – 4 | 70.919
- Kinsella, Charlotte Clark – 4 | 71.111
$7,500 Futures Prix 1.30 m
The $7,500 Futures Prix 1.30 m sponsored by Voltaire Design saw thirteen entries attempt the first course with five making it to the jump off, but as in the Grand Prix, just one entry managed to deliver a double clear: Kevin McCarthy and his own Gwen MC 1 (Quidam). McCarthy and the nine year old Irish Sport Horse mare were incredibly quick in both the first round and the jump off, and Gwen MC 1 was sure to show off her fancy one-of-a-kind walk as she entered and exited the ring.
McCarthy and Gwen MC 1 rode one of the first clear rounds of the Futures Prix, which came as no surprise considering the pair’s multiple first place finishes in 1.25 m classes throughout the Winter Series at World Equestrian Center. The pair were quick and agile, never touching a rail in a time of 73.823 seconds, about five seconds under the time allowed of 79 seconds. The pair continued straight to the jump off of the Table II event, picking up even more pace and clearing each fence with ease. The pair stopped the clock at 32.156 seconds, setting the pace for the remainder of the class.
Though none were able to beat McCarthy and Gwen MC 1’s clear round, Leann Kelly and Sarah Hunter’s Graf Joe (Graf Top x Aline) were able to best their time. The pair won several Low and Medium Schooling Jumper classes during Week 2 of the Winter Series and moved up to try their hand at the Futures Prix this evening. Kelly and Graf Joe blazed through the first round, jumping clear in a time of 70.823 seconds. The pair continued straight to the jump off, keeping their pace and taking the inside turns with ease. Though they did pull one unfortunate rail, the pair were still impressively fast, crossing the timers at 30.679 seconds for second place.
$7,500 Futures Prix 1.30 m
- Gwen MC 1, Kevin McCarthy – 0 | 0 | 32.156
- Graf Joe, Leann Kelly – 0 | 4 | 30.679
- Hannibal V, Nicki Wilcox – 0 | 4 | 33.553
- Cornetta KF, Charlotte Clark – 0 | 4 | 33.976
- Aintree Z, Katia Manuel-Adams – 0 | 4 | 35.372
- Junior Associate, Leann Kelly – 1 | 79.630
- Babar, Ryan Sassmannshausen – 4 | 69.826
- Shaia de Macheco, Sam Pegg – 4 | 73.541
- Fedel, Gwen Goodwin – 4 | 75.102
- Leonard van Dorperheide, Maggie Brink – 8 | 76.369
Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.