Wellington, Florida, USA – February 2, 2020 – Swiss rider Martin Fuchs (SUI) showed why he is ranked number two in the world with a win aboard Stalando 2 in Thursday’s $137,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 7 CSI 5* during the seventh week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).
Fuchs and Stalando 2 were one of 49 entries to contest Thursday’s featured class, and the duo was one of 13 combinations to jump the first-round track without fault to qualify for the Santiago Varela (ESP) designed short course.
Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) & Luibanta BH
When Fuchs entered the ring as the penultimate rider, the time to beat had been set at 40.75 seconds by Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) and Luibanta BH, owned by Gochman Sport Horses LLC.
With his spot in the order on his side and with strides left out throughout the course aboard Stalando 2, Fuchs shot straight to the top of the leaderboard with a double-clear time of 40.69 seconds.
Martin Fuchs (SUI) & Stalando 2
“I watched all the riders before me,” said Fuchs. “I planned to do a stride less from one to two, which I did, and then also through the double, I saw Daniel Bluman leave out a stride. I tried to do the same as he did. Everything worked out very well. To the last fence, I pulled once and it scared me a bit that I wouldn’t have the time! I’m very happy with this.”
Mario Deslauriers (CAN) & Stalando 2
Fuchs’s time with Stalando 2 ended up relegating Derbyshire to second, while third place with a time of 41.28 seconds went to the final rider to return, Canada’s Mario Deslauriers (CAN) riding Amsterdam 27, owned by Deslauriers and Wishing Well Farm, LLC.
The class marked only the fourth or fifth show for Fuchs and Stalando 2, who Fuchs is riding at WEF for owner Andrzej Oplatek.
Martin Fuchs (SUI) & Stalando 2 in their winning presentation with Laura Fetterman of Champion Equine Insurance and ringmaster Steve Rector.
“He’s a great horse, a real trier,” said Fuchs of the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Stakkatol x Lando) “He isn’t the prettiest, but he’s such a good guy. He gives his best. He’s very careful.”
In addition to his win, Fuchs was awarded the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award for week 7 from Champion Equine Insurance’s Laura Fetterman. He aims to show Stalando 2 at additional four- or five-star competition throughout the WEF season, but for Saturday night’s featured $401,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI 5*, Fuchs will ride his proven grand prix partner, Silver Shine.
WEF continues at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) through March 29, 2020, 12 consecutive weeks of world-class competition and $13 million dollars on offer. The seventh week of competition, sponsored by Lugano Diamonds, runs February 19-23 and is recognized as a CSI 5* and CSI 2* by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI). The featured event of the week is the $401,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI 5* during “Saturday Night Lights”.
For full results, please click here.
Source: Press release by for ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions
Photos: © Sportfot