Wellington, Florida, USA – March 10, 2019 – McLain Ward (USA) and HH Gigi’s Girl brought to an end five-star level action in grand fashion yesterday, winning the $72,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI 5* during the ninth week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).
Forty-three combinations challenged Alan Wade‘s (IRL) course and sixteen of them advanced to the jump-off. Once again, the combination alongside the VIP tent was the bogey jump, causing several competitors from advancing to the decisive round.
Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Brighton were the first ones to stamp their names in the jump-off round. McLain Ward (USA) and HH Gigi’s Girl were the next ones to clear all the 1.50m obstacles and cross the finish line time to qualify for the next phase.
The two North American stars would be joined by a long list of top riders, among them: Kevin Babington (IRL), Karrie Rufer (USA), Hunter Holloway (USA), Carlos Hank Guerreiro (MEX), Kristen Vanderveen (USA), Ali Wolff (USA), Rodrigo Lambre (BRA), Petronella Andersson (SWE), William Whitaker (GBR), Martin Fuchs (SUI), Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP), Lorenzo de Luca (ITA), Lillie Keenan (USA) and Erynn Ballard (CAN).
As the second ones to go in the tiebreaker, McLain Ward (USA) and HH Gigi’s Girl, Double H Farm’s 11-year-old grey Dutch Warmblood mare (Vingino x Celano), took the lead for good, registering no penalties in 33.36 seconds.
William Whitaker (GBR) and RMF Echo (Virus de Laubry x Feo) earned the second spot on the podium backed by a penalty-free second performance, going through the timers in 34.514 seconds.
As the Captive One Advisors 1.50m Jumper Classic Championship overall standings leader, Erynn Ballard (CAN) was consistent once again, riding Ceitasi (Caretello B x Cavalier) to third place with no penalties and a final time of 34.891 seconds.
Baylee McKeever (representing McLain Ward) piloted HH Gigi’s Girl for the winning presentation with Laura Fetterman of Champion Equine Insurance, Laura Southard of CaptiveOne Advisors and ringmaster Steve Rector.
McLain Ward (USA)
“She was great. She jumped a nice first round. On Thursday, it was not the round we wanted in the WEF [Challenge Cup], but she came back really strongly today. In a jump-off like that with a large number and very fast ones and very good prize money, everyone is trying hard. It’s doesn’t matter if you go first or last, you have to try and do the best round you can.
“The jump-off was actually set up pretty nice for her; it was a good track for her strength. This is her fourth week of competition this circuit, and we’ve had the program we planned. She’s actually been very consistent and a little bit unlucky. It was great to have it all come together nicely today.”
“She’s a very good jumper, a very careful horse. We’ve been lucky to have some great results and nice wins on her. She’s been a very good grand prix horse.”
Results – $72,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI 5*
Place / Rider (Country) & Horse (Sire x Dam Sire) – Round 1 Penalties / Jump-off Penalties – Time
1) McLain Ward (USA) & HH Gigi’s Girl (Vingino x Celano) – 0 / 0 – 33.36
2) William Whitaker (GBR) & RMF Echo (Virus de Laubry x Feo) – 0 / 0 – 34.514
3) Erynn Ballard (CAN) & Ceitasi (Caretello B x Cavalier) – 0 0 – 34.89
4) Carlos Hank Guerreiro (MEX) & H5 Just the Music (Tornedo FCS x Quidam de Revel) – 0 / 0 – 35.201
5) Petronella Andersson (SWE) & Finally Z (Figaro C x Darco) 0 / 0 – 35.250
6) Tiffany Foster (CAN) & Brighton (Contendro II x Quick Star) 0 / 0 – 36.361
7) Lillie Keenan (USA) & Skyhorse (Calvaro x Quidam de Revel) – 0/0 – 36.526
8) Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) & Charmeur (Numero Uno x Gelha’s VDL Emilion) – 0 / 4 – 33.198
9) Martin Fuchs (SUI) & Karel VDB (Darco x Corland) – 0 / 4 – 33.637
10) Ali Wolff (USA) & Casall (Casall ASK x Capitol I) – 0 / 4 – 34.655
11) Rodrigo Lambre (BRA) & Chacanno (Chacco-Blue x Kannan) – 0 / 4 – 36.161
12) Kevin Babington (IRL) & Super Chilled (Gelvin Clover x Ballypartick Codex) – 0 / 4 – 37.730
For full results, please click here.
Source – Interview: Jennifer Wood Media Inc. for PBIEC – Palm Beach International Equestrian Center / ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions
Text: Lo-Ami Souza
Photos: © Sportfot
Categories: Winter Equestrian Festival