Ocala, Florida, USA – December 11, 2021 – An international list of competitors from 10 different countries took to the WEC Grand Arena under the lights on Saturday to contest the $75,000 Ethel M. Chocolates® Grand Prix. FEI Level IV course designer Bernardo Costa Cabral of Portugal designed the technical tracks that featured a difficult triple and double combination that tested many riders throughout the night. Sixteen horse-and-rider combinations managed a clean first round and six jumped double clear, but it was Samantha Shaefer and Bonne Vie LLC’s Frasier (Carambole x Bloem) that took home the top prize.
Schaefer and Bonne Vie LLC’s Frasier entered the class toward the end of the order, delivering a perfect first round easily jumping to the top of each standard to stop the clock at 81.897 seconds.
Schaefer (USA) and Frasier have created an amazing partnership, “I have had Frasier for almost a year now. My first horse show with him was here at World Equestrian Center – Ocala during the Winter Series. He came to me through McLain Ward. I actually went there to try him as a sales prospect and fell in love with him right away. I ended up getting really lucky at the end of season last year when he didn’t sell. I have the most amazing group of owners that stepped up to the plate to buy him for me to ride.”
Schaefer (USA) and the incredible 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding returned for the jump-off. “This was a great jump-off for Frasier. I thought the first eight suited him well. I could get there easy and slow him down. I was able to turn back to get the eight done to the next fence. My goal was to land and get there as fast as I could. Then I was able to curl right around to the combination. That was the one place that I thought we might have problems because he has a slight right drift. Then, I did seven strides back to the white vertical. He was right on cue with me for that one. I ended up a bit quiet to the pink, but he picked right back up and marched home.”
Schafer (USA) and Frasier landed and flew through the timers stopping the jump-off clock at 38.071 seconds for the win.
“This show is truly like no other. The atmosphere is incredible, the jumps are gorgeous, and the crowd is so much fun. Every night is spectacular. The prizes are amazing, like the fastest four-faulter award and random draw, it really makes it exciting. I think that WEC is bringing life back to the sport and showing people how to enjoy it again,” said Schaefer.
Just behind Schaefer (USA) and Frasier were Armando Hassey (MEX) and his own Lomax (Lord Pezi x Queen). Mexico’s Hassey and 11-year-old Westphalian gelding navigated a smooth first round stopping the clock at 81.897 seconds. The pair returned to the jump off, walking down the first line in eight strides to quickly turn back to the orange oxer in ten strides. Hassey and Lomax galloped to the double combination, leaving all rails up to slice the white vertical. The duo then flew to the pink oxer to gallop to the last fence in eleven strides to stop the clock at 39.566 seconds.
Third place was taken by Dorothy Douglas (USA) and MTM Through The Looking Glass (Arkan x Roshai’s Last Tango). Douglas earned top honors earlier this week in the $12,500 3’6”-3’9” Hunter Derby. Douglas and MTM Through The Looking Glass produced a flawless first round easily jumping each fence to stop the first round clock at 83.043 seconds, just under the time allowed of 84 seconds. Dorothy Douglas (USA) and the 13-year-old KWPN mare returned to the jump-off, soaring from fence one to two, to turn back to fence three in ten strides. The pair soared to the double combination and flew through the remainder of the course stopping the clock at 41.208 seconds, to round out the top three.
An additional $5,000 was awarded to the fastest four-faulter of the $75,000 Ethel M. Chocolates® Grand Prix. Will Simpson and Coxe Horses LLC’s Whoop De Doo received the award with an incredibly fast time of 75.422 seconds with one down.
Tom Foley and Idalgo received the $5,000 ‘Luck of the Draw’ award.
Final Results – $75,000 Ethel M. Chocolates® Grand Prix
1) Samantha Schaefer (USA) & Frasier – 0 / 0 – 38.071
2) Armando Hassey (MEX) & Lomax – 0 / 0 – 39.566
3) Dorothy Douglas (USA) & MTM Through The Looking Glass – 0 / 0 – 41.208
4) Tricia O’Connor (USA) & KT Adonis – 0 / 0 – 41.844
5) Bryn Sadler (USA) & Catch The Dollar – 0 / 0 – 43.528
6) Victoria Ketchum (USA) & Isaac 22 – 0 / 0 – 43.846
7) Sharn Wordley (NZL) & Valentine Car – 0 / 4 – 37.820
8) Santiago Lambre (BRA) & The Diamant Rose Z – 0 / 4 – 38.494
Source: Press Release from WEC – World Equestrian Center
Photos: © Andrew Ryback Photography