Wilmington, Ohio, USA – October 26, 2019 – Saturday morning kicked off with thirty two entries in the $50,000 World Equestrian Center Grand Prix vying for top honors over a track designed by Steve Stephens (USA), featuring two liverpools, a triple combination and a new signature “WEC” fence. Of the thirty two entries, five advanced to the jump off. All managed double clear rounds, but it was Ali Wolff (USA) and her own Quirie 2 (Quadrigus M x Zuckerqueen) that took the win, receiving the lion’s share of the prize money, a prize pack from Horse First and a $100 Dandy Products gift certificate.
One of the first to negotiate a clear round was David Raposa (USA) and Ronald Francoeur’s Mic Jagger, who finished second in the $15,000 Welcome Stake 1.35m on Thursday. The Welcome Stake schooled the pair well for this morning’s Grand Prix and Raposa and the ten year old German Riding Horse jumped a clear first round with ease in 77.348 seconds, well under the time allowed of 84 seconds.
Next to jump with a clear round was Ali Wolff (USA) and her own Quirie 2 (Quadrigus M x Zuckerqueen). The pair took several second place finishes at Split Rock Jumping Tour in Johnstown, Ohio in August and September, but had yet to manage a win. This morning, Wolff and the twelve year old German Warmblood gelding delivered a clear first round in a time of 82.605 seconds.
Rounding out the clear rounds was David Beisel and his own Essince W (Chacco Blue x Burggrag). The pair took second place just two weeks ago in the $25,000 World Equestrian Center Grand Prix and returned to the Sanctuary Arena this morning in hopes of another top placing. Beisel and the ten-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding nailed a clear first round in their usual knees-over-the-standards style, just under the time allowed in 83.441 seconds.
David Raposa (USA) & Mic Jagger
The ring was refreshed and the five clear first rounders returned for the jump-off. Raposa and Mic Jagger returned midway through the order, blazing through the course that favored the open galloping stride. The pair set a brisk pace with a clear round in 36.982 seconds.
Ali Wolff (USA) & Quirie 2
Next to return was Wolff and Quirie 2. Knowing what they would need to hustle to claim the top spot, the pair kicked up their pace, hugging the fences on turns where possible and shaving off crucial seconds. Ultimately, the American and the 12-year-old bay Bavarian Warmblood (Quadrigus M x Zuckerqueen) that took the win. The pair returned for the jump off managing a second flawless effort in just 34.922 seconds, moving themselves to the top of the scoreboard for good.
David Beisel (USA) & Essince W
Last to return was David Beisel and Essince W. The pair were set on a first place win, but crossed the timers slightly slower than Wolff and Quirie 2 at 35.667 seconds for second place.
Wolff took a few minutes to chat with us about her win in the class, “I always know that coming here with incredibly fast people like David Beisel and Lisa Goldman, I have to be extra fast and super competitive. Quirie 2 had never been in here until today and I was incredibly happy with him. In the jump off, everything came up nicely and he responded well. I couldn’t be happier about it.”
When asked about Quirie 2, Wolff replied, “We got him when he was eight. He was pretty far behind, he hadn’t been jumping anything bigger than about 1.20m. He’s a little bit of a late bloomer. This past year or two, he’s really come into his own. He’s very little if you stand next to him, but his presence makes him big. He kind of thinks that way, too. He just thinks that he can do anything that any of the bigger horses can do. He’s a little bit of a Sour Patch Kid – sour then sweet. He thinks the world of himself, which is actually a good thing for his performance.”
Wolff also commented, “I can’t even count how many times we’ve been a bridesmaid this year. He took second in Traverse City four times in a row. It’s finally his day to shine and that’s the happiest part about him winning today against these fast competitors. This is his first Grand Prix win, too, so it was very exciting.”
When asked about her riding history, Wolff replied, “I’ve been competing since I was about eight years old. I turned pro a few years ago and I decided to start a business with my fiance. We’re trying to form our own little niche in this business. I still have a few of my own horses and I’m always looking for sponsors and what not. We have a great group of clients right now.”
When asked who received the Groom’s Award for Quirie 2, Wolff replied, “Mary Glier came in just for this class. She takes care of Quirie 2. We’ve had Mary for over five years and sadly she is parting with us. We wish her the best. She’s going with another rider and going to get to travel to Europe. I wanted to do a special shout out to her because this is her last horse show with us, which makes this win just that much more special.”
Ali Wolff (USA) & Quirie 2 during the awards ceremony
Wolff also added, “I’d like to say a big thank you to my team and my fiance because it takes a village. I’d also like to say thank you to our other groom Adrian Barrios. This horse show marks her one year with us!”
Results – $50,000 World Equestrian Center Grand Prix
1) Ali Wolff (USA) & Quirie 2 – 0 | 0 | 34.992
2) David Beisel (USA) & Essince W – 0 | 0 | 35.667
3) David Raposa (USA) & Mic Jagger – 0 | 0 | 36.982
4) Wilhelm Genn (GER) & Dirocco Blue – 0 | 0 | 38.255
5) Lisa Goldman-Smolen (USA) & Nike – 0 | 0 | 39.128
6) Summer Hill (USA) & Lasco 29 – 4 | 73.779
7) Wilhelm Genn (GER) & Van Gogh – 4 | 74.133
8) Kevin McCarthy (USA) & Catch A Star HSS – 4 | 77.174
9) Lisa Goldman-Smolen (USA) & Sovereign – 4 | 77.890
10) Jacqueline Steffens (USA) & Freaky Liefhebber – 4 | 78.664
Source: News release by World Equestrian Center (WEC)
Photos: © Andrew Ryback Photography