We are officially underway with the WEC Fall Horse shows at World Equestrian Center featuring five fun-filled weeks of thrilling equestrian sport and nearly $1 million in money and prizes. The week kicked off with an exciting $1,500 Welcome Stake on Thursday, then rolled into two incredible $20,000 USHJA National Hunter Derbies on Friday. Saturday saw a nail-biting $10,000 WEC Grand Prix and an equally fantastic $4,999 Futures Prix, and a great turnout for the $3,500 Non Pro Hunter Derby 2’6″.
$1,500 Welcome Stake 1.35m
Thursday’s $1,500 Welcome Stake 1.35 m sponsored by CWD Sellier saw sixteen entries vying for the win, but it was Robert Mendoza and Bannockburn Farm’s United M (Baloubet Du Rouet x United) that snagged the blue ribbon. The Welcome Stake had the audience on the edge of their seats for the entire class with only one second separating the top three entries. The pace in the Table II 2b class was set by Robert Mendoza and Bannockburn Farm’s Java Van De Kleinheide (Thunder Van De Zuuthoeve x Eclinta Van Der Bosrand) who jumped double clear in a time of 38.016 seconds. The lead was soon taken by Stephen Foran and Freedom Woods’ Cassius 74 (Conrad x Landra) who also jumped double clear, but took a quicker approach to the jump off in 35.758 seconds. The pair held their lead until Robert Mendoza entered the ring again, this time aboard Bannockburn Farm’s United M (Baloubet Du Rouet x United). The pair made the 1.35m fences look small, clearing them with ease and racing through the timers double clear at 35.105 seconds, which would ultimately win the class.
$20,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby – Open and Non Pro
Friday saw nearly fifty entries in both the Open and the Non Pro divisions of the $20,000 USHJA National Hunter Derbies. In the Open division, Jennifer Alfano and her own Page One (Chin Champ x Wielena E) took top honors with scores of 89 and 91 for a total score of 180. The pair impressed the judges with their effortless course in the handy round and stylish jump. In the Non Pro division, Chelsea Kasper and her own Miss Mo took the win. The pair earned scores of 87 and 88, bringing their overall total to 175. Kasper’s skillful riding combined with Miss Mo’s stand-out style wowed the judges, sending them straight to the top of the leader board.
$10,000 WEC Grand Prix
Saturday was full of Jumper action with a nail-biting finish in the Grand Prix. Fourteen entries attempted the course and four managed double clear rounds. The race for first came down to two riders: Robert Mendoza and Javier Berganza Anderhub. Mendonza and his mount, United M, took to the short course about mid-way through the jump off, finishing the round with all rails up in a seemingly unbeatable time of 38.681 seconds. Berganza Anderhub and his mount, Keystone Show Stables’ Gangnam Style (Indorado x U Two), were last in the order for the jump off. The pair managed to shave milliseconds off of Mendoza’s time, crossing the timers just two hundredths of a second faster at 38.631 for the win.
$4,999 Futures Prix 1.30m
Saturday also saw the $4,999 Futures Prix 1.30 m where speed was the name of the game. Morgan Ward and Morlynn Farm’s Contiki used this to their advantage to win the class. First to jump double clear was Alexis Bodo and Eye Candy Jumpers’ Colton Playtime (Dokkum De Rialfo x Colton Maelstrom) who set the pace in the jump off at 40.270 seconds. No entries managed to best Bodo’s clear round and quick time until the end of the class when Morgan Ward and Contiki took to the course. The pair also managed to go double clear and, knowing speed would set them high in the rankings, blazed through the timers at 35.861 seconds for the win. Robert Mendoza and TSI Equestrian’s Jewel B (Couleur Rubin x Riane) came close to Ward’s time at 37.342 seconds, enough to move into second place.
$3,500 Non Pro Hunter Derby 2’6″
Saturday’s $3,500 Non Pro Hunter Derby 2’6″ saw nineteen stunning Hunters contest the course, but it was Emily Sweeney and Front Row Sport Horses, LLC’s HH Gabriel (Cantos x Shilla) that took the blue. The pair also rode to top placings throughout the week in the Intermediate Adult Hunter and even took Champion in the Intermediate Adult Equitation.
Join us for the remainder of the WEC Fall horse shows featuring 5 back-to-back shows with nearly $1 Million in money and prizes offered. Feature classes include two $50,000 Grand Prixs and 16 Hunter Derbies during the series with two $20,000 USHJA National Hunter Derbies (Open and Non-Pro) weekly. Entries are open now and stall reservations can be made online at www.horseshowing.com.