Wellington, Florida, USA – March 20, 2022 – The $75,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI 4* rounded out show jumping in the International Arena on Sunday of WEF 10. Vaillancourt’s final design of the week was an unbeatable challenge for many, and the class saw only eight combinations advance to the jump-off track. The large starting field included 58 horse-and-rider pairings from 15 nations, but only three of those countries would be represented in the jump-off. Challengers accrued faults in various areas throughout the tough track with the time-allowed of 76 seconds dashing the hopes of three entries and a combination of downed rails alongside additional time penalties disappointing the rest.
Ever the dominating force, McLain Ward (USA) was the first double clear with his newer mount, Kasper Van Het Hellehof. The lead would be short-lived however, as Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam (IRL) upped the ante aboard the Triple S Group’s 10-year-old KWPN mare Holliewood (Nabab De Reve x Diva). Sweetnam however, would hold the title for mere minutes as his fellow countryman, Darragh Kenny (IRL), once again rode to the fastest time as he blazed forward into the lead with a time of 36.64 seconds.
“I thought today’s course was brilliant,” said Kenny. “Michel did a great job, and to be able to end up with only eight clear out of that large of a field was pretty impressive. The jump-off was always going to be quick, but I know he is a naturally fast horse. I just had to do my own plan and it worked out for us today.
Volnay Du Boisdeville, a 13-year-old Selle Francais stallion (Winningmood x Jalisco B), is yet another mount acquired through the Vlock Show Stables LLC for the Irishman.
“I took over the ride on this horse in the middle of the summer and just took it slow to build up a partnership with him,” he finished. “He was brilliant for Teddy [Vlock] when he had him, and it’s starting to go well for us. He jumped clear in the WEF Challenge this week, and he was just fantastic today so I am very happy with him.”
The victory gallop was poised to be all-Irish until the USA’s Lillie Keenan (USA) battled her way into the boys club as the final contender on course. Keenan piloted her highly-successful partner Skyhorse, a 15-year-old BWP gelding (Calvaro F.C. x Quidam de Revel), to the spot directly behind Kenny with a tight time of 37.20 seconds. Daniel Coyle (IRL) bookended the Irish podium as he stepped into the third-place position aboard Ariel Grange’s 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding Oak Grove’s Carlyle (Casall x San Patrignano Corrado).
Final Results – $75,000 CaptiveOne Advisors Classic CSI 4*
1) Darragh Kenny (IRL) & Volnay Du Boisdeville – 0 / 0 – 36.64
2) Lillie Keenan (USA) & Skyhorse – 0 / 0 – 37.2
3) Daniel Coyle (IRL) & Oak Grove’s Carlyle – 0 / 0 – 37.61
Source: Press Release by Jennifer Wood Media, Inc. for ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions / WEF – Winter Equestrian Festival
Photos: © Sportfot