Jos Verlooy & Luciano van het Geinsteinde Light Up to Win $37,000 Adequan WEF Challenge Cup CSIO 4*

Wellington, Florida, USA – March 03, 2022 – The eighth week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), sponsored by Premier Equestrian, wasted no time delving straight into international competition on Thursday, March 3. Riders from across the globe will attend throughout the week in preparation for the $150,000 Nations Cup CSIO 4* on Saturday night, followed by the $216,000 Grand Prix CSIO 4*, presented by JTWG, Inc. on Sunday. The 13-week series offers a wide variety of international jumper competition alongside national hunter, jumper, and equitation divisions through April 3, 2022. Thursday morning kicked off with a win for Belgium’s Jos Verlooy in the $37,000 Adequan WEF Challenge Cup Round VIII CSIO 4* with Luciano Van Het Geinsteinde.

A large field of 71 horse-and-rider combinations representing 24 nations during Nations Cup week made their bid to win the single round speed class. Nick Granat (USA) and Steve Stephens (USA) created a challenging task for the entries, and only 13 managed to produce fault-free efforts. Carlos Hank Guerreiro (MEX) led the charge for the majority of the class with H5 Sunshine but slipped from the lead when Jos Verlooy (BEL) shaved off two whole seconds from his time and finished in 71.28 seconds with Luciano Van Het Geinsteinde.

“I’ve had this horse for the past year and a half, and it has been great to see him getting more experience at this level; it feels like everything is finally coming together,” said Verlooy of Eurohorse’s 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Quinn Van De Heffinck x Air Jordan). “He really tries and wants to get better, and I love that about him.

“Today’s course was ideal for my horse; it was big enough that it could have been a jump-off class,” continued Verlooy. “I didn’t have to go too fast but my horse has incredible scope so I was able to turn very short. The track today would’ve been difficult for a horse truly best suited to speed classes, because it seemed today that scope outweighed speed as a determining factor.”

Guerreiro’s efforts with the H5 Sport Horses LLC’s 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Diamant De Semilly x Hardi) couldn’t quite hold the lead but were solid enough to earn the pair the second-place finish with the time of 73.03 seconds.

Jessica Mendoza (GBR) and her own I-Cap CL Z rounded out the top three placings with their time of 74.91 seconds. She and the 10-year-old Zangersheide gelding (I’m Special De Muze x Air Jordan) have already had a top week having placed second in the $5,000 Premier Equestrian Welcome CSIO4* on Wednesday evening.

Jos Verlooy (BEL) & Luciano van het Geinsteinde

Verlooy is one of many Europeans to have traveled to the South Florida circuit for the winter and is excited to represent his nation during this specific week.

“I am not sure Belgium has ever had a team compete here in Wellington before so needless to say I am very much looking forward to the Nations Cup,” he stated. “A start like this is a great boost and has given me a lot of confidence going into the weekend.”

Final Results – $37,000 Adequan WEF Challenge 

1) Jos Verlooy (BEL) & Luciano Van Het Geinsteinde – 0 / 71.28

2) Carlos Hank Guerreiro (MEX) & H5 Sunshine – 0 / 73.03

3) Jessica Mendoza (GBR) & I-cap Cl Z – 0 / 74.91

Source: Press Release by Summer Grace / Jennifer Wood Media, Inc. for ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions / WEF – Winter Equestrian Festival

Photo: © Sportfot