The Winter Series of the Midwest wrapped up the Winter Classic 6 on Sunday, signaling that we are already a third of the way through the Winter Series! Time sure flies when you are having fun, and we had plenty of fun this past week! On Friday night, DJ Betic performed in the Paddock Club and all were invited to the party. The Paddock Club served up a delicious prime rib dinner, and everyone gathered to eat, drink and dance the night away. Saturday featured an inflatable jousting tournament after the Grand Prix in the Sanctuary Arena. The kids started the tournament, but the adults joined in shortly thereafter. There was plenty of jousting action, including rider vs. rider, kid vs. parent and even pony Mom vs. pony Mom. On Sunday evening, we gathered in the Paddock Club to watch the New England Patriots battle the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII. Game themed cocktails were served and appetizers were aplenty. There was no shortage of thrilling equestrian sport to go along with the rest of the week’s events, with exciting wins by Taylor Flury in both the $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35 m sponsored by CWD and the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix. Personal bests were in store for Alisa Berry who logged her first Derby win in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby and Raquel Scharyj in the $7,500 Futures Prix 1.30 m sponsored by Voltaire.
Thursday‘s Jumper action heated up the Sanctuary Arena in the midst of a massive polar vortex that hit the Midwest, sending temperatures into the negatives outside while horses and riders stayed warm and dry inside the World Equestrian Center. The $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.30 m sponsored by CWD saw plenty of gripping rounds, but it was Taylor Flury of Minooka, Illinois and Aliboo Farm, Inc.’s Calano Z (Calato Z x Calvacolle Z) that ultimately won the class. The pair were third in the order of go, jumping a clean first round in a time of 73.523 seconds, eight and a half seconds under the time allowed of 82 seconds. Flury and Calano Z continued straight to the jump off of the Table II event, keeping 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. Though many tried, no entry was able to best Flury and Calano Z’s time, and the pair took home the blue.
Friday saw twenty three stunning Hunters vie for the win in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby. Many of the first round pairs scored well into the eighties, but it was Alisa Berry of Staunton, Virginia aboard Michael Cline’s Fate (Cosmos x Dolce Vita) who topped the class with a 90 in their first round. Berry and the flashy bay Hunter returned for their handy round, laying down a flawless trip with plenty of style for a score of 89, and a two-round total of 179 to win the class. Berry was trilled with Fate’s performance in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby, but the win was particularly special because it was Berry’s first time ever winning a Derby. She shared her excitement with us, and we could not have been more thrilled to hear about her success.
Saturday saw more incredible Jumper action with both the $7,500 Futures Prix 1.30 m sponsored by Voltiare and the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix in the Sanctuary. The $7,500 Futures Prix 1.30 m sponsored by Voltaire was first, where two entries’ impressive jump off times stood apart from the rest of the class. Taylor Kain and Eirecon Equine Sales’ Gipsy 1134 (Corlensky G x Landina) were the first of those two, jumping the first round clear in a time of 75.907 seconds, then continuing straight to the jump off of the Table II event. The pair took an impressive inside turn in the jump off that had yet to be attempted, which shaved seconds off their time. Kain and Gipsy 1134 stopped the clock with a clear jump off in 31.531 seconds, a full four seconds faster than the competition. Kain and Gipsy 1134 held their lead in the class until Raquel Scharyj of Cleveland, Ohio and her own Artiflex R entered the ring. The pair were slightly slower in the first round, but still clear in a time of 76.317 seconds. Scharyj and Artiflex R continued to the jump off, mirroring Kain and Gipsy 1134’s inside turn and racing for the timers. The pair stopped the clock at 31.476 seconds, just fractions of a second quicker than Kain and Gipsy 1134, for the win. This was an exciting win for Scharyj and Artiflex R because it was their first time going clear in the $7,500 Futures Prix 1.30 m, let alone winning the class.
The $25,000 WEC Grand Prix followed as Taylor Flury proved to us that grey really is the new blue. Flury made her second trip to the winner’s circle aboard Aliboo Farm, Inc.’s Cosmea Z (Calvados Z x Zianne). The pair showed intense concentration throughout their first round, jumping clear in a time of 74.688 seconds. Flury and Cosmea Z kicked their speed up a level, giving the jump off their all. The pair sailed over every fence, and crossed the timers with a clear round at 38.271 seconds to win the class. Flury also took fifth place in the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix aboard Calano Z, who won the $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35 m on Thursday. Flury and Calano Z were the fastest of the first round four-faulters, finishing the course in a quick 73.402 seconds. Flury was thrilled with both of her stunning grey mounts this week. She had set goals of clear, consistent rounds, and accomplished that with ease, and the bonus of each horse taking an incredible win.
Saturday also saw fantastic Hunter action during the $2,000 Non Pro Hunter Derby 2’6″ sponsored by Chagrin Saddlery where fifteen entries competed for the win in the class. Though there were many great rounds, it was Hannah Eddlemon and Robert’s Stables, LLC’s Kashmir that took first place. Eddlemon and Kashmir had quite a successful week, also placing second, fourth and seventh in the Non Pro Hunter 2’6″ division.
Join us at the World Equestrian Center during the rest 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.
Don’t forgot to connect to our live stream, available at wec.net and brought to you by Show Net.
Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.