Two FEI ranking classes were held on Friday, February 23, during the seventh week of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL. Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili were the winners of the $35,000 Bainbridge 1.45m Jumpers CSI 5*, while Francisco Jose Mesquita Musa (BRA) and Sharapova Imperio Egipicio won the $35,000 The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte 1.45m Jumpers CSI 2*.
WEF 7 continues through Sunday, February 25 with CSI 5* competition sponsored by Lugano Diamonds and featuring the $384,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* on Saturday, February 24. WEF runs until April 1 and offers more than $9 million in prize money.
There were 78 entries in the competitive 1.45m class for the two-star division, the $35,000 The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte 1.45 Jumpers. Musa and Sharapova Imperio Egipicio, a 15-year-old Brazilian-bred mare by Baloubet du Rouet owned by Daniel Aguiar Morelli, were the fastest in the jump-off over a course designed by Anthony D’Ambrosio.
Their time was 32.92 seconds, just over two seconds faster than the second place finishers, Luis Fernando Larrazabal (VEN) and G&C Close Up. Third place went to Chaganus and Olympic gold medalist Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) in 34.98 seconds.
Francisco José Mesquita Musa and Sharapova Imperio Egipicio joined in their presentation with Karin Ahlqvist of The Dutta Corp., Guido Klatte, and ringmaster Steve Rector.
Sharapova Imperio Egípcio has had success in Brazil in their national championships, and this is Musa’s first time competing at the Winter Equestrian Festival. He scored a win just last week with Biscayo in the $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.50m Classic.
“The course was very difficult,” said Musa. “The time was very short. The riders had to run a little bit in the first phase, and then the faults came. The jump-off was very fast and very competitive.”
Musa started riding the mare in September of 2017. “I like to ride the simplest way possible, always working the basic parts of the horse,” he said.
Source: Press Release by Jennifer Wood Media Inc. for ESP / WEF
Photos: © Sportfot