Wilmington, Ohio – The 2023 Fall Classic Series at World Equestrian Center – Wilmington kicked off with the $15,000 Welcome Stake on Thursday afternoon. The decorated Standlee Sanctuary welcomed some new and familiar faces to compete over Robert Barton’s (USA) tracks, though it was a frequent WEC winner that never missed a beat. Richard Rinehart (USA) stood atop the podium at the conclusion of the class, with first place honors awarded to Vincent (Van Gogh x Nirande), and second place awarded to Captain America 10 (Contendro).
As the third to go in the posted order with Ron Caraway’s 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Vincent, Rinehart jumped the first double-clear effort and set an instant winning pace of 31.926 seconds in the jump-off and held the lead by nearly three seconds through the entirety of the class.
Rinehart commented on his simple plan for the short course, “I just wanted to go smooth and just keep everybody on it. I didn’t make the inside turn from one to two in the jump-off, I went right around. He has such a big stride, so I just kept rolling right around the turn and it worked out well.”
The duo has been on an unbeatable streak throughout the summer show season with five total grand prix wins. “Vincent is on a roll. I was glad to jump something a little bit smaller today with him. I was really excited to show him. When he comes back to WEC he thinks he is back at home. After he won the first grand prix this summer, I thought it was partly me, but I know now that it is all him,” Rinehart laughed.
Returning later in the order with Catherine Rinehart’s nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Captain America 10, the seasoned professional looked to best his own winning time, mirroring his first jump-off track. Falling just shy of his leading time in 34.293 seconds, Rinehart secured second place.
With a one-two finish under his belt in Thursday afternoon’s $15,000 Welcome Stake, Rinehart picked up right where he left off and set the tone for the remainder of his fall season at WEC.
Wilhelm Genn (GER) rounded out the top three with his own Quincidence (Charleston K x Quilotte). The enthusiastic 10-year-old Danish Warmblood mare competed in numerous featured classes during the Spring/Summer Series and has proven to be a strong competitor. The duo earned their place on the podium with a consistent and tidy double-clear effort, with a jump-off time of 36.831 seconds.
$15,000 Welcome Stake Results:
1 Vincent, Richard Rinehart, Ron Caraway | 0 | 31.926
2 Captain America 10, Richard Rinehart, Catherine Rinehart | 0 | 34.293
3 Quincidence, Wilhelm Genn, Wilhelm Genn | 0 | 36.831
4 Karlina T, Devin Milan, Garo Kazan | 0 | 37.989
5 Koberlina VG, Natalie Thornell, Loveland Equine Investments | 0 | 41.285
6 Inne Van De Plataan, Keely McIntosh, Booth Show Jumpers | 4 | 33.382
7 Carel Van Donderen, Darby Pease, Louisa Robb | 4 | 35.09
8 El Classico, Richard Rinehart, Caroline Nadalin | 4 | 36.408
9 Lorstakov, Lauren Hester, Hester Equestrian LLC | 4 | 36.752
10 It’s Me Du Bosquetiau, Nicole Loochtan, Nicole Loochtan | 4 | 37.727
Make sure to visit the WEC Blog and follow us on social media @worldequestriancenter for full coverage on all feature classes!
Results can be found at wec.net.
All horse show images are provided by Winslow Photography and can be purchased onsite at WEC – Wilmington or online through their website.