The final week of the World Equestrian Center – Ocala Winter Spectacular brought another thrilling schedule of equestrian sport with several exciting finale classes. The week included a $200,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix, three $75,000 hunter derbies and even a $10,000 2’6″ hunter derby, along with countless additional finale classes.
Thursday’s $20,000 WEC Welcome Prix saw a field of 35 entries contest a technical course. Twelve entries managed a clear first round with eight pairs ultimately jumping double clear, but it was Molly Ashe Cawley of Louisburg Farm in Wellington, Florida, and Dover, Massachusetts, aboard Louisburg Farm’s Berdien (Bustique x Queen Z) that took the win. The duo jumped double clear in a time of 41.361 seconds to top the class.
Derby Friday hosted the $75,000 WEC Hunter Derby 3’6″-3’9″, the $75,000 WEC Derby 3′ Open and the $75,000 WEC Derby 3′ Non Pro. Nineteen entries filled the Stadium under the lights for the night’s $75,000 WEC Hunter Derby 3’6″-3’9″ and Samantha Schaefer of Shadow Ridge Farm in Ocala, Florida prevailed aboard Madeline Schaefer’s In The Know (Arkansas x Cavelle). The pair earned scores of 87 and 92 for a total of 179 in the first round and scores of 92 and 97 for a total of 189 in the handy round, bringing their overall score to 368 for the win in the class.
Before the start of the handy round in the $75,000 WEC Hunter Derby 3’6″-3’9″, the prestigious Style of Riding Award was presented to Samantha Schaefer for her classic style and her sportsmanship. The Style of Riding Award is generously donated by Bill Rube to be awarded to the rider who best displays the American Style of riding in the ring and sportsmanship outside of the competition arena. Schaefer received an elegant leather duffel bag and wore a white rose corsage on her lapel throughout the handy round to signify her achievement.
The Shapley’s Champion Groom Award for the best turnout in the class was presented to the grooms of 3rd place finisher in the $75,000 WEC Hunter Derby 3’6″-3’9″, Cartel. Shapley’s is a proud sponsor of the World Equestrian Center and is thrilled provide an award each week of the Winter Spectacular to the groom of the best turned out horse. Cartel’s grooms received a Shapley’s Award Bucket for his stunning turnout.
Samantha Schaefer proved unbeatable on Friday, also topping the morning’s $75,000 WEC Derby 3′ Open aboard Madeline Schaefer’s Sutton Place (Valentino x Argrepina). The duo laid down a flawless first round, taking all four high options for a score of 91. They returned last in the handy round, earning a score of 93.5, totaling 184.5 to win the class.
Friday afternoon’s $75,000 WEC Derby 3′ Non Pro saw a highly competitive field of 38 entries vying for the win. Competition was fierce, but it was Haleigh Landrigan and Ava Berman’s Skorekeeper (Casall) that prevailed. The duo found a foot-perfect first round, taking all four high options for a score of 90. They returned near the end of the order in the handy round, earning a score of 87, totaling 177 for the win.
Saturday night’s $200,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix saw 47 entries over a course co-designed by Anderson Lima of Brazil and Bobby Murphy of Lexington, Kentucky. Ten entries advanced to the jump-off, but it was Aaron Vale and Taylor Granat’s Candro Van De Zuuthoeve (Thunder Van De Zuuthoeve x Walach Van De Zuuthoeve) that set the pace with a time that would prove unbeatable. They were first to contest the course in the jump-off and negotiated an impossibly quick, clear round in 41.208 seconds to top the class.
Saturday morning’s $7,500 Futures Prix saw a field of 35 highly competitive entries. Eight entries managed double clear rounds, but it was 14-year-old Izzy Beisel and David Beisel’s Ammeretto (Numero Uno x Ranna) who topped the class, notching their third $7,500 Futures Prix win of the season. The duo jumped double clear in 36.616 seconds to ultimately win the class.
The week also featured two additional derbies including the $2,500 WEC Pony Hunter Derby and the $2,500 Non Pro Hunter Derby 2’6″. Susannah Morrell and her own Lumiere (Rosmel’s Scarlet Legacy) topped the $2,500 WEC Pony Hunter Derby. The pair also earned several ribbons in the Pony Hunters and Equitation this week.
Megan All and Laura Barrett-Gurtis’ I’ll Say JSF took home the blue ribbon in the $10,000 Non Pro Hunter Derby 2’6″. The duo also earned top ribbons in the Intermediate Adult Hunters and Equitation.
Congratulations to all entries on a fantastic season at World Equestrian Center — Ocala!
For our calendar of events, visit wec.net. For prize list information, class times and results, please visit horseshowing.com. To watch all of the equestrian sport action at World Equestrian Center — Ocala on the live stream, go to ClipMyHorseTV.
For the World Equestrian Covid-19 Protocols, please visit wec.net.
Photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.