The Winter Series of the Midwest continued this week with fantastic equestrian sport and plenty of fun for all. This week was truly “The Week of the Davids” with David Beisel and David O’Brien trading off top placings in every Winter Classic 9 feature class. The Sanctuary arena hosted a special class for the dogs this week: the Dog Grand Prix. The Dog Grand Prix was run in the same format as a regular Grand Prix with an order of go, timers and even a specially designed course by Tucker Williams of Ocala, Florida. While many pups wowed the crowd, it was Izzy Beisel and “Peter” who topped the class with impressive speed and undeniable agility by both “Peter” and his handler.
Thursday’s $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35 m sponsored by CWD saw a thrilling 1-2-3 finish by David O’Brien, head young horse trainer at Spy Coast Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. O’Brien’s first ride was aboard Spy Coast Farm’s Kir Royal SCF (Amaretto D Arco x Werly Chin de Muze), who took first place in the WEC Winter Classic 8’s $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35 m. The pair were steady in the first round, negotiating the course with ease and jumping clear in a time of 78.123 seconds. O’Brien and Kir Royal SCF continued straight to the jump off of the Table II event, keeping their turns tight and executing an especially impressive turn to roll back to the last jump, crossing the timers at at 33.457 seconds, a blistering pace that set the tone for the remainder of the class. O’Brien returned to the ring aboard Sweet Oak Farm’s Starridor (Stakkatol x Ethylari), who was a bit quicker in the first round but still careful to leave all of the rails up. The pair finished the first course in 77.147 seconds, then continued to the jump off, mirroring O’Brien’s previous rollback turn to the last fence, stopping the clock at 35.512 seconds. O’Brien’s final ride of the class was Cleveland Equestrian’s Pourkoipa Fontaine (Royal Bravour x Iberiade D’Hublais). The pair took second just last week in the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix and were more than ready to bring it in this afternoon’s Welcome Stake. O’Brien and Pourkoipa Fontaine rode a quiet but scopey first round in 77.350 seconds, then continued to the jump off to jump a quick round in 33.564 seconds, moving Pourkoipa Fontaine to second place (just behind Kir Royal SCF and just ahead of Starridor) and securing the top three placings for O’Brien.
Friday saw stiff competition in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, brought on by David Beisel and Michael Leon. Leon had multiple mounts in the Derby, the first was Kelly Sims’ lovely True Enough (Catoki x Hauptstutbuch Chardas Fürstin). Leon and the eye-catching grey gelding navigated the course in the first round with plenty of style, jumping all four high options and earning a score of 84. The pair returned in the handy round taking every possible inside turn and all four high options for a score of 90, bringing their two round total to 174. Leon also rode another of Sims’ horses, Eleventh Hour (Christ x Baloubette), in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby. The flashy bay Oldenburg gelding mirrored Leon’s first mount’s stylish performance, catching the judges’ eyes. The pair jumped all four high options in the first round for a score of 89. The pair returned in the handy round to score a 92, bringing their total score to 180. Though Leon’s scores seemed unbeatable, David Beisel and Kalanov Equestrian’s Abudabi were determined to challenge them. Although new to each other, the horse and rider were completely simpatico, flowing around the course with ease and taking all four high options in the first round for a score of 88. The pair returned for the handy round, mimicking Leon’s handy turns and impressing the judges with their classic style, earning a score of 94 for a total score of 182, jumping to the top of the leader board for the win in the class.
Saturday’s $7,500 Futures Prix 1.30 m sponsored by Voltaire Design saw a 1-2 finish by David Beisel aboard Harlow Investment Enterprises, LLC’s For Sunday (For Pleasure x Patoile T. H.) and Maarten Huygens’s Angelo (Conthargos x Grand Ronja). Beisel rode second place finisher Angelo about midway through the order of go. The pair were patient in the first round, conserving energy for the jump off, and crossed the timers with all rails up at 75.629 seconds and continued to the short round. Beisel piloted Angelo through a quick, precise course in the jump off, crossing the timers at 38.889 seconds, which moved the pair to the top of the leader board. Beisel rode For Sunday at the bottom of the order, jumping a careful and fast first round, stopping the clock at 74.281 seconds. The pair continued to the jump off, putting their speed into overdrive, galloping around the course and never touching a rail. Beisel and For Sunday blazed through the timers at 38.373 seconds, moving themselves into first place for the win in the class.
Saturday’s $25,000 WEC Grand Prix also saw an exciting win by David Beisel aboard Harlow Investment Enterprises, LLC’s Call Me Hannes (Cassini II x Sestriere). The pair jumped a clear first round in 77.839 seconds with Call Me Hannes showing off his signature style, though they were a bit more conservative with their speed than usual, saving plenty of energy for the jump off. Heading into the jump off, the pair had plenty of competition with seven notoriously fast horse and rider pairs to ride against, but they did not let the competition faze them. Beisel and Call Me Hannes picked up their speed, blazing around the course and flying through tight turns, crossing the timers at a blistering 37.103 seconds. Though this time gave them the win in the class, Charlotte Clark and her own Kinsella (Capitalist x Jerpoint Mist) gave Beisel and Hannes a run for their money, galloping through the jump off in 37.125 seconds, just two-one-hundredths of a second behind the winning pair.
The Roberts Ring also saw a great win on Saturday by Traci Ribeiro and Kalanov Equestrian’s Abudabi in the $2,000 Non Pro Hunter Derby 2’6″ sponsored by Chagrin Saddlery. The pair have a great history in the 2’6″ divisions, having won the $2,000 Non Pro Hunter Derby 2’6″ during Week 4 of the Winter Series of the Midwest. Abudabi also took first place with David Beisel in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby this week, proving to be an exceptional, all around Hunter Derby mount.
Join us at the World Equestrian Center for the second half of the Winter Series of the Midwest. The prize list is available online at www.wec.net, and entries are being accepted via www.horseshowing.com and through Equestrian Connect. Reservations for stalls, hay and bedding as well as RV spaces may all be made online at www.horseshowing.com. Be sure to watch the live stream daily on www.shownet.biz or from our home page at wec.net.
Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.