Rising temperatures throughout midwest didn’t affect the WEC July II shows, as a cooling tent, cool events and even cooler cash boosted exhibitors both in and out of the show ring. Thursday saw a fantastic $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35 m, dominated by Taylor Kain. Friday brought a win for Jeff Gogul in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby followed by an evening concert on the lawn in front of the Paddock Club with rising Nashville country music star Justin Bryan. Saturday saw thrilling equestrian sport in both the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix and the $7,499 Futures Prix 1.30 m, as well as the $2,000 WEC Non Pro Hunter Derby 2’6″. Both exhibitors and spectators cooled off on Saturday with free popsicles, a ring-side ice cream social and a giant inflatable water slide on the lawn outside of the Paddock Club. All week horses were able to cool off in the cooling tent by the Grand Prix ring and under the massive covered pavillion where giant fans kept the air moving and everyone stayed more comfortable.
Taylor Kain stole the show in Thursday’s $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35 m sponsored by CWD Sellier, managing three fantastic rides and taking first and fourth place. Kain and The Gelt Group’s Shuttergold (Silvio I x Famose) were one of four entries to navigate a clear first round and advance to the jump off. Jennifer Strickland and her own Kroner Z (Kannan x Lucinda Jo) had set an early time to beat in the Table II 2b event of 45.923 seconds, so Kain knew that they would have to have a clear round to win the class. Kain and Shuttergold were quick but careful in the jump off. The pair made use of the inside track and crossed the timers at a speedy 40.968 seconds, which was more than enough to win. Kain also took fourth place aboard The Gelt Group’s Gilded (Comme Il Faut). The pair were quick in the first round and into the jump off, taking one unfortunate rail but navigating the short course in 42.253 seconds. Kain was also pleased with Eirecon Equine Sale’s Gipsy 1134 (Corlensky G x Landina). The pair incurred an unlucky eight faults, but had a lovely round.
Jeff Gogul stepped back into the winners’ circle on Friday in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby with Roberts Stables, LLC’s At Last. The pair were the only entry to break into the nineties, truly wowing the judges with their stylish form and handy turns. Gogul and At Last faced tough competition with many other entries scoring high into the eighties including Elizabeth Orozo and Linden Knoll Farm LLC’s Piano Man (Diarado x Calina) who earned scores of 88 and 89. Gogul and At Last chose to attempt all four high options in both rounds, jumping the 3’5″ jumps with undeniable style. The pair were incredibly handy in the second round and were rewarded in both rounds with a matching score of 92, easily placing them atop the leader board for the win in the class.
Jennifer Strickland and Taylor Kain returned to the Jumper ring on Saturday along with many other entries to compete in the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix. Like the Welcome Stake, the pair were neck and neck in the first round. Strickland and her own Kroner Z (Kannan x Lucinda Jo) took their time through the first course, riding thoughtfully and ensuring that all rails stayed up, crossing the timers at 81.032 seconds and securing a spot in the jump off. Kain and Eirecon Equine Sale’s Gipsy 1134 (Corlensky G x Landina) flew around through the track in 77.663 seconds, making it look almost effortless. When they returned for the jump near the top of the order, they maintained the brisk pace, but pulled a heartbreaking rail at the final fence. Strickland and Kroner Z took a different approach to the short course, choosing to keep their steady rhythm from the first round to ensure a clean jump off round. 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 her own Riesling De Milvrault (Elan De La Cour x Evohee) followed suit, also crossed the timers at 43.486 with no faults, sliding neatly into second place and moving Kain and Gipsy 1134 into third place.
The $7,499 Futures Prix 1.30 m sponsored by Voltaire Design also brought thrilling Jumper action to the outdoor ring, where only two managed clear first rounds: David Beisel and Maarten Huygens’ Angelo (Conthargos x Grand Ronja) and Anna-Rose Klingenstein and Ark Partners LLC’s Oak Groves Celebrity (Cassini II x Pretty Easy). Beisel and Angelo were the pace setters, jumping a clear first round and continuing straight to the jump off of the Table II 2b event. 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. Though Klingenstein tried, she and Oak Groves Celebrity could not best Beisel and Angelo’s time, but managed to jump clear in 46.131 seconds for a respectable second place.
Saturday also saw fantastic Hunter action in the $2,000 WEC Non Pro Hunter Derby 2’6″ where Samantha Roper and her own Al Betcha Wanna Look topped the class. This is not the first time the pair have excelled in the 2’6″ Derby. Roper and Al Betcha Wanna Look also took the blue in the 2’6″ Derby during Week 3 of the 2019 Winter Series of the Midwest at World Equestrian Center, proving to be strong, consistent contenders in the popular class.
Photos courtesy of Winslow Photography.
Join us for our Upcoming Shows
Be sure to get your entries in now for our August 7-11 horse show – the last show of the Spring / Summer Series which features a $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby. An added plus: there is no braiding required! Reserve your stalls and submit your entries at www.horseshowing.com.
Get your entries in for the WEC Fall horse shows featuring 5 back-to-back shows with nearly $1 Million in money and prizes offered. Feature classes include 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.