We’ve wrapped up the Winter Classic 14 at World Equestrian Center, meaning that there are just three weeks left of the Winter Series of the Midwest! Time sure flies when you’re having fun! This week we played host to more fantastic equestrian sport, along with plenty of exciting events for exhibitors and spectators alike. Riders Boutique hosted a wine and cheese party on Friday afternoon at their storefront in Vendor Village, which was a huge hit. Friday evening, we enjoyed a delicious meal of prime rib and fried catfish in the Paddock Club while DJ Jacoby played all of the latest hits. Brausch Brewery joined us again on Saturday afternoon for our weekly Sip & Shop in Vendor Village, and the dogs took to the Sanctuary Arena after the Grand Prix for a Dog Puissance. Plenty of thrilling equestrian sport accompanied all of the fun events this week with feature classes on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
Thursday saw a fantastic win in the $5,000 Welcome Stake 1.35 m sponsored by CWD Sellier for Nicki Wilcox and her own Danique Du Lys (Harley VDL). The pair battled head to head in the jump off against last week’s Welcome Stake winners Kevin McCarthy and Catch A Star HSS (Sheraton x Tolinda), but a crowd-rousing turn made all the difference, shaving seconds off their time and earning the victory. McCarthy and Catch A Star HSS set a quick pace in the jump off early in the Table II event, jumping clear in a time of 36.999 seconds. Wilcox and Danique Du Lys knew the time they had to beat as they entered the arena and jumped a clear first round, continuing straight to the jump off. The pair galloped to the first and second fence with ample power, then immediately executed an extremely tight rollback to make it to the third fence, shaving crucial seconds off of their time. They completed their jump off course and surged through the timers at 36.880 seconds, besting McCarthy and Catch A Star HSS’s time by a tenth of a second for the win in the Welcome Stake.
Friday saw an exciting win for Junior rider Josephine Rose in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby. She and her own Cassino (Cassiano x Marlen I) bested a field of twenty eight entries, earning the highest scores of the class in both rounds. Rose and Cassino strode into the ring Friday evening with an air of confidence. Rose piloted Cassino through the first round with the precision of a seasoned professional while the lovely grey gelding redefined the term “knees to nose” at every fence. The pair took all four high options, earning an impressive score of 90 in the first round. Rose and Cassino returned for the handy round and rode a second impressive course, maintaining their accuracy and finesse from the first round. Rose and Casino took all four high options, and chose the inside track to the final fence. The pair earned an 89 in the second round, bringing their two round total to 179 and securing first place by an astounding ten points.
Saturday saw a second trip to the winner’s circle for Nicki Wilcox and Danique Du Lys, this time taking the win in the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix. The pair were one of the last to go in the class with three entries already jumping a clear first round. Wilcox and Danique Du Lys attacked the first course, crossing the timers with all rails up at 81.777 seconds, about eight seconds under the time allowed of 90 seconds. The pair returned near the middle of the order for the jump off, keeping their same power and speed from the first round, but adding in skilled rollback turns to shave crucial seconds off of their time, as they did earlier in the week during the Welcome Stake. The pair took a turn to the final fence that no other entries attempted, making up time. Their efforts paid off and the pair crossed the timers at 41.376 seconds, setting themselves atop the leader board to win the $25,000 WEC Grand Prix.
Saturday also saw great success for Amateur rider Celia Bresch in the $7,500 Futures Prix 1.30 m sponsored by Voltaire Design. Bresch took first place aboard her own Cademuir (Sebastian III x Conoor De Charm), as well as third place aboard The Bresch Family’s Dior (Up To Date x Viva BW). Her rides were very consistent, jumping clear first rounds and continuing straight to the jump off of the Table II event. Her first ride was aboard Dior, and the pair rode a great round, but pulled two unfortunate rails. Their time was still quick, completing the short course in 45.094 seconds. Bresch took a second attempt at the short course aboard Cademuir, executing impressive turns and jumping clear. The pair stopped the clock at 44.071 seconds with the only double clear of the class, which earned them the win.
The Roberts Ring saw fantastic Hunter action on Saturday in the $2,000 Non Pro Hunter Derby 2’6″ sponsored by Chagrin Saddlery. Sarah Stary rode Amber Hill Farm’s Royal T to victory in the class against a field of twenty two. The pair also managed to stay in the tricolors throughout the week in the Medium Pony Hunter division and in the WIHS Pony Equitation Classic.
Congratulations to all on a fantastic week!
Join us at the World Equestrian Center for the remainder 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 ShowNet live stream daily on www.shownet.biz or from our home page at wec.net.
Become a WEC Member today! Your WEC Membership is your exclusive, all-access pass to everything World Equestrian Center. Signing up is simple, just register for WEC points online at www.wec.net, or sign up in the show office during your next horse show.
Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.