The FEI CSI 3*-W week at National Sunshine II kicked off last Thursday with the $35,000 Desert Welcome Stake CSI 3*, in the Grand Prix Stadium, for the first leg of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Qualifier. Surrounded by mountainous views, top riders from across the country and the world challenged the first-round course designed by Marina Azevedo.
Amongst the field of 77 entries in the hunt for the lion’s share of prize money were Richard Spooner (USA), Charlie Jayne (USA), and Jamie Barge (USA), along with the winners of FEI classes the previous week, Nayel Nassar (EGY) and Ashlee Bond (ISR).
The first leg of the FEI CSI 3*-W was held as a speed class, with the fastest clear round taking home the blue ribbon.
It was Richard Fellers (USA), 2012 World Cup Final Champion, and Steelbi (Empire – Starfire) taking home top honors, competing the course in lightning fast speed, timed in 59.94 seconds. “I’m just super happy for her and the owner,” Fellers exclaimed. ”I’m proud of the horse. She is an up-and-coming mare”. Fellers took home a customized cooler, the winner’s trophy and Professional’s Choice Bell Boots for his win today.
Fellers explained that this is Steelbi’s first year doing FEI classes, but he has faith that she will excel.”She had a pole last week in the first class and two poles down in the second class, which was her first 1.50m, and I thought, okay, I bet she’ll come back fighting after that, and she did, she didn’t leet me down,” said Fellers. They would be competing in the $40,200 Desert Classic the following day and were a team to look out for.
Taking home the red ribbon, just four one-hundredths of a second behind, was Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Prince of Peace (Cardenio x Contender) in a time of 59.98 seconds. In third place was Kevin Babington (IRL) and Super Chilled (Gelvin Clover x ) crossing the timers in 61.09 seconds.
With an early sport in the order, just the second in the ring, Richard Spooner (USA) and Quirado RC’s (Quinar x Corrado I) time of 62.44 seconds put the pressure on the field early in the class. Their time would be hold up for fourth place. Fifth place was awarded to Karrie Rufer (USA) and Mai Tai 2 (Ustinov x Lissabon), soaring across the finish line with a time of 62.59 seconds.
For full results, please click here.
Source: Press release from Hits Horse Shows
Photo: © ESI Photography
Categories: CSI 3*