The second week of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) continued on Thursday, January 18, with a win for Canadian Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze riding Chacco Kid in the $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round Two CSI 2* at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center(PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. WEF is a 12-week circuit of hunter, jumper, and equitation competition through April 1, 2018, and offers more than $9 million in prize money.
Week 2, sponsored by Marshall & Sterling Insurance, features the $70,000 Marshall & Sterling Insurance Grand Prix CSI 2* on Saturday, January 20, at 7 p.m. The $25,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix and $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.45m Classic will be held on Sunday, January 21.
From a field of 109 starters in the second round of the $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup, nine advanced to the jump-off over a track set by Mexican course designer Oscar Soberon. Lamaze and Chacco Kid, a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Chacco Blue x Come On) owned by the Chacco Kid Group, stopped the jump-off clock at 34.68 seconds to clinch the victory by more than two seconds.
In a rare turn of events, second place was awarded in a three-way tie between Emanuele Camilli (ITA) aboard Emperio van’t Roosakker, Cian O’Connor (IRL) riding Under Fire du Lozon, and Paul O’Shea (IRL) on Imerald van’t Voorhof, who all crossed the timers with a time of 36.76 seconds.
Lamaze came to Wellington for the 2018 winter season after competing at CSI5* events in Paris, France, and Geneva, Switzerland, at the end of his 2017 competition year.
“I always start WEF with horses that I finished the season in Europe with,” said Lamaze, who has had the ride on Chacco Kid for two years. “I like to keep them going because I feel that they were on form for Paris and Geneva, then I arrive and I continue with those horses. So, I had a bit of an advantage because most of the horses here have been on a layoff and mine was coming off some big shows.”
Of Soberon’s track, Lamaze noted, “Well over a hundred started, over what I think was a brilliant course. To not have 25 in a jump-off is already an accomplishment, but I think his time allowed made the difference. It was a very technical course that had rails everywhere, so the course designer did a fantastic job on what I think is sometime the most difficult courses to build in the early weeks because you want everyone to have a good experience and you’re trying to build up the horses.”
Lamaze utilized Chacco Kid’s compact stride to navigate the technical course without faults, saying, “Some of the lines were a little steady for the big movers, but I did nine strides from one to two, which was forward for me. In this jump-off, I had an advantage and I took a short turn to the double where I could really trust him, so I think that made the difference.”
Additional jumper results from Thursday include:
$8,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Jumpers – Out of Ireland, ridden by Laura Chapot (USA) and owned by The Edge
$6,000 Bainbridge 1.40m Jumpers – Fanta Light B, ridden by Abigail McArdle (USA) and owned by Plain Bay Sales
$2,500 The Crown Family 1.35m Jumpers – Emilia, ridden and owned by Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) and owned by Pine Hollow Farm
$2,000 Rushy Marsh Farm 1.30m Jumpers – Chaccadella, ridden by Abigail McArdle (USA) and owned by Plain Bay Sales
Source: Press Release by Jennifer Wood Media Inc. for ESP / WEF
Photos: © Sportfot
Categories: CSI 2*