Wellington, Florida, USA – March 4, 2021 – As the week eight CSIO4* gets underway at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), it was Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) and Lafayette Van Overis, owned by Starlight Farms 1, LLC, who scored a victory in the $5,000 Premier Equestrian Welcome Stake CSIO 4* daytime class on Wednesday, March 3, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).
A total of 65 combinations challenged the 1.40m track set by Steve Stephens (USA) and Nick Granat (USA), which featured 13 jumping efforts in a speed format. Sternlicht and the 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Kashmir Van Schuttershof x Tauber van het Kapelhof), made swift work of the course, with a double-clear effort in 58.54 seconds. The pair has only been together for five months, but the partnership is progressing well.
“Lafyette is a very competitive horse,” said Sternlicht. “Bertram Allen won a ton on him before, so I think immediately when you have a horse like that, you feel a bit of pressure for it to go well right off the bat. It has been a little bit up and down; he’s quite a different ride. Bertram has quite a different riding style than I do but I have to give credit to him; he has helped me within the past week, and everything seemed very easy today, so I was happy.”
It was an all-female podium as Jessica Mendoza (GBR) and Windsor Farms’ Dublin, a 14-year-old German Sport Horse gelding (Cobra x Calido), stopped the clock just behind the American rider in 58.75 seconds.
Megan McDermott (USA) and Entano, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Namelus R x Numero Uno), owned by Over The Top Stables, LLC, took home third place in a time of 58.78 seconds.
Sternlicht’s plan heading into the ring was just to jump a smooth round and rely on her horse’s natural speed to do the rest.
“By nature, myself and my coach McLain Ward (USA) are real planners,” said Sternlicht. “Bertram told me the less I counted [strides], the better. It’s definitely an adjustment but everything came up really nicely today, and we’re all scratching our heads because it seemed very easy.”
Sternlicht, who made her Nations Cup debut for the United States in Xalapa, Mexico, in 2017, is looking forward to watching her fellow American riders when they jump on Friday night under the lights in the International Arena in the $150,000 Nations Cup.
“I think that competing on a CSIO team is very prestigious and an honor,” she said. “Because we’re at a home venue for the United States and you have so many of your peers here, the experience of riding amongst your peers and the feeling that you have the whole Wellington community behind you is a special feeling. I’m excited to watch the team.”
WEF 8 sponsored by Premier Equestrian, continues through March 7 and features the $150,000 Nations Cup, presented by Premier Equestrian on Friday, March 5, the $50,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m National Grand Prix and $37,000 Hermès Under 25 Semi-Final Grand Prix under the lights on Saturday, March 6, and the $214,000 Grand Prix CSIO4*, presented by JTWG, Inc., on Sunday, February 7. All feature classes will be available live and on-demand on the livestream.
Final Results: $5,000 Premier Equestrian Welcome Stake CSIO 4*
1)Adrienne Sterlincht (USA) & Lafayette Van Overis – 0 – 58.54
2) Jessica Mendonza (GBR) & Dublin – 0 – 58.75
3) Megan McDermoti (USA) & Entano – 0 – 58.78
Source: Press release by Kate Pettersen & Sabrina Bashares / Jennifer Wood Media Inc. for ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions / PBIEC – Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
Photos: © Sportfot