Wellington, FL – March 15, 2018 – Canadian Olympic champion Eric Lamaze claimed his third WEF Challenge Cup win of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) season on Thursday, March 15, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. The now 28-time winner of the class earned victory in the $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 10 with Chesney, owned by Artisan Farms LLC.
Week ten of WEF, sponsored by Horseware Ireland, runs March 14-18. The jumper highlight is the $132,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI 3* beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 17. A 12-week circuit, WEF hosts hunter, jumper, and equitation competition until April 1 and offers more than $9 million in prize money.
From a field of 85 entries in the $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 10, nine advanced to jump off over the track set by 2015 Pan American Games course designer Michel Vaillancourt (CAN). Lamaze and Chesney, an 11-year-old KWPN gelding by Indoctro x Kannan, tripped the jump-off timers in an unbeatable 36.59 seconds to take the win.
Second place with a time of 37.07 seconds was the USA’s Amber Harte riding Austria 2, owned by Take the High Road LLC. Rounding out the top three was Georgina Bloomberg (USA) aboard Manodie II H, owned by Gotham Enterprizes LLC, who finished on a time of 37.50 seconds.
“I must say, today’s a big step up,” said Lamaze of the winning performance from Chesney, a mount that he has gotten to know and seen progress over the past year. “I didn’t have a WEF [Challenge Cup] planned for him on this circuit to be honest, but we’re coming down to the end. We have horses in Europe; we have Mexico next week and all of that, so some of them have to step up, and how great it is that he responded that way!
“I really have respect for how careful he is. I love careful horses, and he sure is a catty one that I think actually has quite a bit of jump in him,” continued Lamaze. “You don’t know – a few of these jump-offs, and their wings start sailing and before you know it – Fine Lady was the same thing. So I really believe in him. I think he’s a first-class horse.”
Eric Lamaze (CAN) & Chesney in their awards presentation ceremony with ringmaster Steve Rector.
Chesney is owned by Andy and Carlene Ziegler’s Artisan Farms, a strong supporter of equestrian sport and an owner Lamaze is always thankful to have the opportunity to ride for.
“I’m really happy, and again, an Artisan horse winning this competition! It’s great,” said Lamaze, who also referenced that Tiffany Foster finished 12th in the class aboard Christos, a young, fellow Artisan Farms-owned horse. “They have great horse power, and for sure it’s a privilege to ride for them.”
Lamaze will next contest Saturday night’s $132,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI3* with Artisan Farms’ and Torrey Pines Stable’s Coco Bongo.
Full Results here.
Source: Press Release by Jennifer Wood Media Inc. for ESP / WEF
Photos: © Sportfot