Feature class action for the first week of the World Equestrian Center – Ocala Fall Show Series kicked off early this morning with 30 entries vying for the win in the $15,000 WEC Ocala Welcome Prix. The WEC Grand Arena hosted a challenging track built by FEI III course designer, Catsy Cruz of Mexico. The winding track featured bending lines and a tricky triple combination. Fifteen entries managed a clear first round and four jumped double clear, but it was Olympian Will Simpson and 5 Rooster’s Whoop De Doo (Mr. Whoopy x Double Trouble X) that took home the top prize.
Simpson is a familiar face at World Equestrian Center – Ocala. During Ocala’s 10-week Summer Series, Simpson took home numerous top three finishes including a second place finish during the Ocala Summer Series Week 10 Grand Prix on Chacco P. Simpson recently established roots in Ocala, Florida after moving from Hidden Valley, California.
Simpson and Whoop De Doo were the seventh pair to enter the class this morning, delivering a clean and smooth first round stopping the clock at 76.127 seconds. Simpson thought that the course was a perfect warm-up for Saturday’s Grand Prix, “The course was very welcoming. Whoop De Doo rode around really nice and relaxed. After we got half way through I knew that we would make it to the jump-off.”
Simpson and Whoop De Doo were well prepared for the windy jump-off, “We practice a lot of turns at home, so this jump-off course came naturally to her. When she sees a jump from far away, she is a bit hard to manage, so I always like to give her a bit more of a short approach,” said Simpson.
The pair advanced straight to the jump-off, establishing a forward gallop to fence one to take a tight inside turn in eight strides to fence two. Simpson and the 10-year-old Warmblood mare continued to the C. Jarvis Insurance one stride leaving all rails up. The duo took a tight turn back to the World Equestrian Center skinny where they landed right to swiftly roll back to the Lugano Diamonds oxer. Simpson and Whoop De Doo then galloped to the last line where they left out a stride to stop the clock at 36.498 seconds, a time that no other competitor could catch.
Second place honors went to Derek Petersen and his own Zechariah 3:9 (Zirocco Blue x Karina). Petersen and the seven-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding delivered a very fast and clean first round stopping the clock at 73.456 seconds, well under the time allowed of 81 seconds. Petersen and Zechariah 3:9 jumped-off immediately, taking a tidy inside turn to fence two. The pair galloped through the double combination to slice the World Equestrian Center skinny. Petersen and Zechariah 3:9 flew through the rest of the course, soaring to the top of the standards to stop the clock at 37.604 seconds.
Rounding out the top three was Grant Seger and Grey Fox Crossing’s Plot Z (Plot Blue x Salome). Seger from Aiken, South Carolina and the 10-year-old Warmblood gelding produced a lovely first round stopping the clock well within the time allowed at 74.267 seconds. The pair advanced to the jump-off, taking every inside turn available while leaving up each rail. Seger and Plot Z galloped to the last line, leaving out a stride to stop the jump-off clock at 37.657 seconds, just five tenths of a second behind Petersen and Zechariah 3:9. Seger also earned the fourth place finish in today’s $15,000 WEC Ocala Welcome Prix aboard his other mount Dr. J (Diamant De Semilly x Galaxy).
$15,000 WEC Ocala Welcome Prix Results:
1. Whoop De Doo, Will Simpson, 5 Roosters: 0 | 0 | 36.498
2. Zechariah 3:9, Derek Petersen, Derek Petersen: 0 | 0 | 37.604
3. Plot Z, Grant Seger, Grey Fox Crossing: 0 | 0 | 37.657
4. Dr. J, Grant Seger, Grey Fox Crossing: 0 | 0 | 43.005
5. Verdini D’Houtveld Z, Lauren Balcomb, Lauren Balcomb: 0 | 2 | 49.341
6. Idalgo, Tom Foley, Tom Foley: 0 | 4 | 36.628
7. Glamour Van De Kakebeek, Anne Bingler, Anne Bingler: 0 | 4 | 41.478
8. Up Des Chaines, Thaisa Erwin, Wendy Smith: 0 | 4 | 46.140
9. Hells Angel, Melissa Blades, Melissa Blades: 0 | 4 | 46.423
10. Valentine Car, Sharn Wordley, Fernando Cardenas: 0 | 8 | 35.612
Congratulations to all entries on a successful day of equestrian sport!