The final week of the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival featured the $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix CSI 5* last Saturday night at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.
Brazil’s Alvaro de Miranda and AD Rahmannshof’s Bogeno jumped to an exciting victory in front of a crowd of 8,600 people gathered to watch the best of the best from the winter circuit compete. Great Britain’s Ben Maher and Cella finished second and de Miranda’s wife, Athina Onassis de Miranda of Greece, placed third with Camille Z.
Ireland’s Alan Wade designed the course for Saturday night’s grand prix and set a challenging track for the 40 competitors. Ten entries cleared the first round course without fault to advance to the jump-off, and three of those completed clear rounds over the short course in the race for the top prize. Alvaro de Miranda and AD Rahmannshof’s Bogeno, owned by de Miranda and Victory Equestrian BV, had the fastest round in 43.96 seconds for the win.
Athina Onassis de Miranda was first to go in the jump-off and put in a steady clear round in 54.46 seconds. Although she was slower than many of the other riders, her controlled approach paid off when most of the combinations had faults in their attempt to put in the fastest round. The pair’s clear round finished in third. Maher and Cella were the only other pair to complete a clear round in the jump-off and briefly held the lead with their time of 44.88 seconds.
Kent Farrington and Robin Parsky’s Blue Angel had the fastest time of the night in 43.52 seconds, but a rail at the last fence left them in fourth.
Along with the winner’s share of $150,000, de Miranda was presented with the brand new Dennis D. Dammerman Perpetual Trophy. The trophy was created to honor the contributions to equestrian sport of Dammerman, a longtime horse owner and founding member of Wellington Equestrian Partners.
The $100,000 FTI Consulting Rider Challenge concluded Saturday night after 12 weeks of jumper competition. Farrington led the standings and earned a $50,000 cut of the bonus money for his success during the circuit. Conor Swail finished in second place to earn $25,000, Reed Kessler was third and received a $15,000 check, and Beezie Madden finished fourth for a $10,000 bonus.
Several other awards were presented for the final week of competition in Wellington. Maher’s mount Cella had a fantastic circuit and her owner, Jane Clark, was presented with the Simba Run Perpetual Trophy as the owner of the open jumper who has earned the most prize money in classes held at 1.45m or more during the 2013 WEF. Clark was also presented with the Harrison Cup Perpetual Trophy, which is awarded to the owner whose horses won the most jumper money in all of the open jumper classes held throughout the circuit. In addition, Cella’s groom Joy Montgomery was presented with the Oliver O’Toole Perpetual Memorial Trophy, which is awarded to the groom of the horse who has earned the most money in the grand prix jumper classes.
Other awards included the Leading Lady Grand Prix Rider for the circuit, which was presented to Kessler on behalf of Martha Jolicoeur of Illustrated Properties in memory of Dale Lawler. Conor Swail received the Niall Grimes Perpetual Trophy as the Irish rider who earned the most money during the week of CSIO competition. Laura Kraut and Woodstock O were presented with the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award for the overall circuit, which is awarded to the jumper whose style best exemplifies a show jumper based on scope, rideability, technique and competitive spirit.
On Saturday afternoon, the $33,000 Suncas® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic was held with a win for Jessica Springsteen and Stone Hill Farm’s Vindicat W. Forty entries showed in the class with 15 advancing to the jump-off and only three clear rounds over the short course. Springsteen and Vindicat W cleared the course in 44.33 seconds for the win.
Richie Moloney and Equinimity LLC’s Carrabis Z finished second in 44.86 seconds. McLain Ward finished third with the Wannahave Group’s Wannahave with a clear round in 45.77 seconds.
Springsteen also won the $15,000 RCG Farm SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic with Stone Hill Farm’s Wish.
Also this weekend, Molly Zisook rode her eight-year-old Westphalian mare C’est Si Bon to victory in the THIS National Children’s Medal 14 & Under class. Zisook, of Lake Forest, Ill., bested the class of 29 entries after a first round score of 87 landed her in the top four called back to test.
Second place went to Lucy Deslauriers, who finished with a score of 86 with Stonehenge Farms’ Al Pacino. Olivia Bruyn came in third with a score of 84 with Square One, owned by Beacon Hill Show Stables. The top four was rounded out by Emma Kurtz and Marigot Bay Farm’s Starts Go Blue. The pair scored an 83.
The Winter Equestrian Festival featured 12 weeks of competition. More than $6 million in prize money was awarded through the circuit. For full results, visit www.showgroundslive.com. The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center is located at 14440 Pierson Road in Wellington. For more info., visit www.equestriansport.com or call (561) 793-5867.
Above: Alvaro de Miranda rides AD Rahmannshof’s Bogeno. PHOTO BY SPORTFOT