Wellington, Florida, USA – March 27 , 2021 – The two-star division continued on Friday in the Global International Arena with the $37,000 CabanaCoast CSI2* Qualifier with 55 entries. There were seven that found the key to a clear round and advanced to the jump-off as riders were aiming to qualify for Sunday’s $50,000 CabanaCoast Grand Prix CSI2*.
Riding second to last in the jump-off, Ellen Whitaker (GBR) and Atevla, owned by Maggie Kehring, brought in a quick time of 34.17 seconds for victory.
They were chasing a time of 35.39 seconds, set by Johan Kachelhoffer (RSA) and Cosmona, a 2011 DWB mare (Cosmeo x Bogegardens) Apollo owned by Anton Marano, who would eventually finish in second place. Third place went to Matthew Boddy (GBR) and Balotelli 5, an 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Balou du Rouet x Contendro I) owned by Purple Road, LLC. They finished clear in a time of 36.08 seconds.
This marks a return to the winner’s circle at WEF for the 35-year-old Whitaker, who has not competed at WEF since she was 19 years old. “The last time I was here, I won loads of classes!” she laughed.
It was also a return for Whitaker with Atevla, a horse she started showing at the FEI level in February 2018. Her brother, Donald Whitaker, took over the ride in 2019 and competed the stallion through November of 2020, after which it was purchased by amateur rider Maggie Kehring.
“I brought him over here before Christmas and sold him to Maggie Kehring,” explained Whitaker. “Maggie asked me to ride him again this week for her, so this is the first week I’ve ridden him in quite a long time. The relationship is as good as it was before! Before he came to America, I had lent him to my brother, who is working for Darragh [Kenny], who’s my boyfriend. He needed a horse to show in the bigger classes. He was jumping and doing well and got sold, and now he’s back.”
The course, designed by Mauricio Garcia (PUR), offered a challenge for riders.
Whitaker agreed, “I thought it was quite technical everywhere, and the time was quite tight. It was a really careful course. I just tried to make sure I had really good control and hit everything exactly like I wanted to, because I don’t think it was a course that allowed you to make too many mistakes today. It helped that he was feeling fantastic. He jumped amazing. I was really pleased with him.”
Whitaker plans to show Atevla in Sunday’s grand prix. She remarked, “I’m really looking forward to it; it’s good to have him back, and I’m enjoying it.”
Final Results – $37,000 CabanaCoast CSI 2* 1.45m
1) Ellen Whitaker (GBR) & Atevla – 0 / 0 – 34.172
2) Johan Kachelhoffer (RSA) & Cosmona – 0 / 0 – 35.393
3) Matthew Boddy (GBR) & Balotelli 5 – 0 / 0 – 36.085
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