Even though a polar vortex surged through the Midwest with wind chills dipping deep into the negatives, horses and riders at the Winter Classic #6 are staying warm and enjoying the comfort of World Equestrian Center’s heated indoor arenas and barns. With plenty of dining options onsite and lodging just steps from the horse show, there is no need for anyone to venture out into the cold!
This afternoon’s $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35 m sponsored by CWD heated up the Sanctuary Arena with plenty of gripping rounds and a fantastic win by Taylor Flury and Calano Z. Designed by Bobby Murphy of Lexington, Kentucky, this afternoon’s course featured fourteen jumping efforts in the first round with a time allowed of 82 seconds. The first round started over a vertical on the diagonal headed home near the top of the ring, then bent to jump two, an oxer headed toward the ingate. Entries then rode up the diagonal over a vertical to a one-stride combination, then rounded the top of the ring to jump an oxer and another one stride combination on the rail headed back home. From there, entries jumped a vertical near the ingate, then continued up a line on the diagonal, jumped an oxer at the top of the ring, then finished on a line on the rail headed home.
Third in the order of go, Taylor Flury of Minooka, Illinois entered the ring aboard Aliboo Farm, Inc.’s Calano Z (Calato Z x Calvacolle Z). The pair jumped a clean first round easily within the time allowed, stopping the clock at 73.523 seconds. They continued straight into the jump off of the Table II event. The course for the jump off saw entries starting over jump two, the oxer headed toward the ingate, continuing to jump three, the single vertical, then rolling back to jump the one-stride combination on the rail. From there, entries continued to the vertical by the ingate, jumped the in of the line on the diagonal, then finished by rolling back to the line on the rail headed home. Flury and Calano Z kept a steady, quick pace throughout the jump off, never coming close to touching a rail. The pair crossed the timers with a clear round at 40.719 seconds, setting the pace for the remainder of the class.
Up next was Robert Mendoza aboard Bannockburn Farm’s United M (Baloubet Du Rouet x United). The stylish pair were quick and clear, jumping the first round in a time of 73.741 seconds. Mendoza and United M continued straight to the jump off, opting to take several tight turns that shaved seconds off of their time. They had one unfortunate rail on the short course, but a speedy finish at 38.743 seconds.
Immediately after Mendoza and United M’s round, Taylor Kain entered the ring aboard The Gelt Group’s Shuttergold (Silvio I x Famose). The pair were slightly slower in the first round than the competition, but clear and still well under the time allowed, crossing the timers at 74.420 seconds. Kain and Shuttergold took their time in the jump off to ensure a clear round, stopping the clock at 42.688 seconds. The combination of their time and a clean round was still enough to land them in second place, right behind Flury and Calano Z.
Last in the order of go, Taylor Flury returned, this time aboard Aliboo Farm, Inc.’s Cosmea Z (Calvados Z x Zianne). Flury and Cosmea Z were one of the fastest of the clear first-rounders, crossing the timers at 72.226 seconds. The pair continued into the jump off keeping on the quick pace but taking one unfortunate rail in a time of 41.966 seconds, landing them in fourth place.
We caught up with Taylor after the $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35 m to chat about her rounds. “I’ve had both of them since they were three months old,” Flury said, referring to both Calano Z and Cosmea Z, “I was the first one to ride both of them. I’m the only one that has ever shown the stallion (Calano Z).” Flury was thrilled with both of her rides this afternoon, particularly with her ride aboard Calano Z, “He’s a young horse, only eight years old, and this was his first Welcome win. It’s only his second or third Welcome class, so this is a great way to start off 2019. I think he’s a really special young horse and he won a lot last year as a seven year old. He was Circuit Champion at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. We didn’t get to show much this summer, so today was the first day where I felt like, ‘Okay, I remember how to ride now!’ I was really happy with him. I thought the course was nice, I thought he jumped and rode great and I thought, ‘I just want a smooth, double clean round, nothing crazy,’ and he did that,” explained Flury.
Flury was also extremely pleased with fourth place finisher, Cosmea Z, “She was really good. I thought she jumped super in the first round. She also had a lot of time off last year, so I really just wanted confident rounds that I could build on for the future. I’m hoping to keep moving them up. I want to do them in some FEI 2 and 3 Star stuff this year. So, in my mind, I just need good, confident rounds to move up.”
$5,000 Welcome Stake 1.30 m
- Calano Z, Taylor A. Flury – 0 | 0 | 40.719
- Shuttergold, Taylor Kain – 0 | 0 | 42.688
- United M, Robert Mendoza – 0 | 4 | 38.743
- Cosmea Z, Taylor A. Flury – 0 | 4 | 41.966
- Elation, Michael A. Grinyer – 0 | 4 | 42.183
- Frankenstein, Devin M. Milan – 0 | 7 | 50.245
- Hilma, Sam Pegg – 0 | 30 | 69.131
- Chardonay Haras Des Barrages, Shelly Zimmerli – 4 | 71.034
- HHS Louis, Amanda L. Forte – elim. | –
- Kalune, Devin M. Milan – elim. | –
Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.