Wellington, Florida, USA – January 08, 2022 – The first Saturday of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) kicked off on January 8, running for 13 weeks through April 3 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), . The CaptiveOne Advisors Championship series kicked off on Saturday as well. Germany’s young talent, Richard Vogel (GER), and his horse Darius de Kezeg Z sped to the win in the $25,000 CaptiveOne Advisors Championship Jumper Classic. In a field of 26 riders, Vogel was one of 12 who jumped clear over Eric Hasbrouck’s (USA) delicate first track.
In the jump-off, Vogel’s blistering pace could not be beat as he crossed the timers in 33.011 seconds. Right behind him was Vanessa Hood (USA) who finished the short course in 33.392 seconds with Take Two LLC’s Cascalretto. Grant Seger (USA), who had won the $8,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m class earlier in the week, jumped to third place with Plot Z owned by Grey Fox Crossing in 33.707 seconds.
Not only are Vogel and his horse Darius de Kezeg Z making their WEF debut this year, but it is also their first time ever competing in the United States. Vogel, who is based in Germany, is delighted by what he’s seen so far at WEF.
“I’m so impressed by the facilities here,” he said. “It’s amazing for our horses, for the whole team. We can produce our horses. We have a few sales horses, so we are very excited to be here, and with such a start, even better.”
He continued, “It’s amazing to ride in that big ring. It’s massive, and you can really canter. The horses get a bigger stride, and it feels just super. It was a very nice course, and it was nice to get started.”
Vogel has been riding Darius de Kezeg Z, which he owns with his business partner David Will, for about a year. He describes the 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Darco x Widona De Kezeg) as “very easy going, and as soon as he gets into the ring, he gets motivated and he gives his best. He tries his best. He’s a super cool horse.”
Over the fall, the pair competed in Mexico, which was highlighted by a sixth place finish in the CSI 5* Grand Prix in Monterrey. Now they’re gearing up for a winning season at WEF.
“[Darius de Kezeg Z] didn’t jump all December, so we thought it’s a nice class to start,” said Vogel. “He’s fresh, he’s motivated, and he feels super.”
As for the rest of the circuit, Vogel is taking it one week at a time.
“Next week I do the three star and then see how that goes. I don’t have a fixed plan, so I plan a little from show to show, see how the horses are feeling, and go from there,” he concluded.
Final Results – $25,000 CaptiveOne Advisors Championship Jumper Classic
1) Richard Vegel (GER) & Darius de Kezeg – 0 / 0 – 33.011
2) Vanessa Hood (USA) & Cascalretto – 0 / 0 – 33.392
3) Grant Seger (USA) & Plot Z – 0 / 0 – 33.707
Source: Press Release from Jennifer Wood Media Inc. for ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions
Photos: © Sportfot