Wellington, Florida – February 9, 2022 – The 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) launched into an exciting week of international and national jumping action on Wednesday, February 9, 2022. Week 5, sponsored by Fidelity Investments®, is the biggest yet of the circuit as it boasts a full schedule of five-star and two-star level international events alongside national hunter, jumper, and equitation classes. The highlight of the day was the $37,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m CSI5* with speed queens Sydney Shulman-Desiderio (ISR) and Villamoura, owned by Jill Shulman, emerging victorious.
Kelvin Bywater’s (IRL) two-phase course faced 59 entries from 11 different nations against each other as some of the world’s best athletes geared up for the week ahead. Nineteen members of the starting field were able to produce a fault-free effort, two competitors finished up with only several time penalties, and an additional 13 combinations landed only with an unlucky rail.
Shulman-Desiderio (ISR) and her long-time partner Villamoura proved that they are still at the top of their game as the duo laid down a flawless performance and an unbeatable time of 29.89 seconds.
“She just loves these kinds of classes, and I honestly don’t know which one of us has more fun,” said Shulman-Desiderio of the 13-year-old Selle Francais mare by Diamant De Semilly. “At the age she is now, the less we do at home the happier she is, and I use the shock factor a bit to my advantage and just put her right in the ring after several weeks of not jumping.”
The pair has been dominating speed classes of various levels since the inception of their partnership more than six years ago, but with the mare being Shulman-Desiderio’s current lead FEI mount they have shifted their focus a bit.
“I have been competing with her in the grands prix more than the speed classes at the moment, and she has been jumping unbelievable rounds,” explained Shulman-Desiderio. “We are going to compete for Israel during the upcoming Nations Cup, so this week I just wanted her to have fun and to make it an easy week for her.
Final Results – $37,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate CSI 5*
1) Sydney Shulman-Desiderio (ISR) & Villamoura – 0 / 0 – 29.89
2) McLain Ward (USA) & Catoki – 0 / 0 – 30.62
3) Jordan Coyle (IRL) & Boston ASK – 0 / 0 – 31.88
Source: Press Release by Summer Grace / Jennifer Wood Media, Inc for ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions / WEF – Winter Equestrian Festival
Photos: © Sportfot