Wellington, Florida, USA – March 18, 2022 – Another picturesque morning at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) set the stage for a day full of competition during the Horseware Ireland-sponsored week 10 of the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Alongside its FEI-rated four-star jumper classes and variety of national divisions, the week featured the rising stars of show jumping. Five-, six-, and seven-year-old future stars took center stage throughout the week in the International Arena leading up to the finals of the Developing Jumper Series held on Friday, March 18. The $25,000 Lövsta Future Challenge 7-Year-Old Developing Jumper Series Classic kicked off the busy day with a win for Beat Mändli (SUI) and Cinderella 770.
Forty-five of the sport’s best upcoming young horses put forward their best against Michel Vaillancourt’s (CAN) opening track with hopes of advancing to the jump-off for the top prize. Vaillancourt challenged them with several wide oxers and a triple combination that proved tricky for several. Still, an impressive total of 16 horse-and-rider combinations ultimately qualified for the short track. The field had representatives from nine individual nations in the jump-off. The group proved to be quick from the start, and the lead changed hands several times early on before settling with Mändli, who stopped the timers in 30.942 seconds.
“Today we had a very fast jump-off and a large one,” explained Mändli. “I was early in the returning order, but she had given me a good feeling in the first round so I just gave it my best shot.”
Luis Fernando Larrazabal (VEN) produced a solid performance with Leeann Ablin’s Baroness to take the second-place position. He and the Westphalian mare Baroness (Balous Bellini x Polydor) inched just over Mändli’s time after stopping the clock in 31.183 seconds.
Great Britain’s Matthew Sampson (GBR) and Cumberland Acres LLC’s KWPN gelding King Lepatino (Arezzo x Lord Z) earned the final victory gallop position with their clear-round time of 31.786 seconds.
Bringing the young mare to this season of WEF was not originally in Mändli’s plans, but he now feels it has been beneficial for her.
“The plan was not originally to have her come, but I was a bit short on horses when I came over here and I had an extra stall, so I figured why not and shipped her over from Europe,” he stated. “I just wanted to play around with her a bit, but she has had a great season so far with a handful of double-clear rounds, and then obviously winning the final today. I didn’t have much of a plan for the jump-off; I just rode as neat and fast across the ground as I could without pushing her too hard.”
Final Results – $25,000 Lovsta Future Challenge 7 YO
1) Beat Mandli (SUI) & Cinderella 770 – 0 / 0 – 30.942
2) Luis Fernando Larrazabal (VEN) & Baroness – 0 / 0 – 31.183
3) Matthew Sampson (GBR) & King Lepantino – 0 / 0 – 31.786
Source: Press Release from Jennifer Wood Media Inc. for ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions / WEF – Winter Equestrian Festival
Photos: © Sportfot