Wilmington, Ohio – Fall Classic 5 concluded the 2023 Fall Classic Series at World Equestrian Center – Wilmington on Sunday, October 29. Johan Kachelhoffer (RSA) saved the best for last in the $75,000 GGT Footing Grand Prix. Chance (Connect x Paloma S) carried Havens Schatt to victory in the $15,000 USHJA National Open Hunter Derby sponsored by GGT Footing, while Finley Scheffel topped the $15,000 USHJA National Non-Pro Hunter Derby on Friday evening. Izzy Beisel (USA) claimed the first featured win of the week Thursday in the $15,000 CWD Welcome Stake.
Kachelhoffer piloted his own ten-year-old Brandenburg gelding Cooper B (Cellestial x Korsika) to the final and fastest double-clear effort in the $75,000 Grand Prix sponsored by GGT Footing for the win.
“This is my first time here and obviously I already had a great impression of WEC because we live in Ocala. We were looking for somewhere to go and to escape the heat a bit. We haven’t ridden indoors since we were in Europe and were looking for a change! It has been fantastic. Everything is run so well. There is such huge effort into the decorating and attention to detail. Our home-away-from-home here is fantastic. Overall, we have had a really good time here and we will definitely be back.”
Venezuela’s Vicente Guillen found the top of the leaderboard once again in the $10,000 Futures Prix this time with his own seven-year-old Italian Sport Horse mare Chacera (Harley VDl x Catch).
“Chacera is only seven years old. She was second in the welcome during Fall 4. She is a really nice horse; she needs a bit more experience. She is really good, fast and careful. WEC has been great to get her more experience. The futures and the welcome are great classes for these horses at 1.30m and 1.35m. They have the opportunity to see everything, and you can grow with your horses here,” said Guillen.
Schatt guided her own eight-year-old Holsteiner gelding, Chance, to the highest score of the day of 94 in the first round and 93 in the handy to win the $15,000 USHJA National Open Hunter Derby sponsored by GGT Footing.
Schatt used her knowledge and experience in the hunter ring to negotiate Alder’s tracks. “I felt like you really had to ride the courses, there wasn’t much time to rest. Everything came up quickly and the first line was a little tricky. When I walked it, I thought seven strides, but with Chance, he doesn’t always like to go away from the gate right at first. My plan was to go to the end of the ring and jump it off the right lead and get up in seven, but I know him well and I wasn’t sure that option was quite possible when I walked in the ring. I jumped it off the left and opted for the eight. He settled in after that and the first round was really good.”
Colin Syquia and Cynthia Sulzberger’s Front Page (Vigo D’Arsouilles x Cartagena Indias Ecaussinnes) returned to World Equestrian Center – Wilmington to defend their winning title in the $12,000 WEC 3’6 – 3’9 Hunter Derby. The nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding won the class with scores of 93 and 92.
“The course designer made it interesting. There were a lot of flowing parts to it, and it was a bit different, so it was a good challenge to have to practice going forward off a short turn and then making tighter turns afterwards. It worked on the rideability. Front Page loves this kind of scenario, having to do tight turns and then open back up to a gallop. He eats it up!”
Scheffel and the 18-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Artano G (Sheraton x Magonja G) earned scores of 87 and 90 to top the $15,000 USHJA National Non-Pro Hunter Derby.
Scheffel feels confident for her national debut after her win in Friday’s class, “I haven’t been doing too much with Artano because I was working at Capital Challenge and at Harrisburg. So, we came to this show to prepare for Vegas because that has been my goal all year. I almost didn’t do the derby because I didn’t want to do much, but I’m glad I did it! He is just working phenomenal right now. He can be a bit spooky, so being able to jump these more difficult courses will make Vegas feel a little bit easier.”
Speed machines Izzy Beisel and her ten-year-old Selle Francias gelding, Diaz Barbotiere (Messire Ardent x Quambera Barbotiere), surpassed the field of athletes in the $15,000 Welcome Stake sponsored by CWD.
“I did Vegas H in Prix Des States. This ring is absolutely huge compared to that! It was actually nice to do Vegas in this class before Diaz today to get a feel of the course, but Diaz felt really ready to go, and ready to win. He was having fun!”
Mary Kennedy and Candy Lane Acres’ Easter won the $3,500 Non-Pro 2’6 Hunter Derby sponsored by Kraft Horse Walkers.
Riders gathered in the Standlee Sanctuary for the Costume Gamblers Choice Classes. Lisa Bac and her Steel The Game (Adorado x Pudgette) won the $2,500 Gamblers Choice .90-1.0m dressed up as Team USA, while Hilary Dossett and her Oaks Blue Magic (Mr. Blue x Oaks Viola) won the $3,500 Gamblers Choice 1.10-1.15m.
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Results can be found at wec.net.
All horse show images are provided by Winslow Photography and can be purchased onsite at WEC – Wilmington or online through their website.