Wilmington, Ohio – March 19, 2022 – Week XIV of the Winter Classic series closed out with the $30,000 World Equestrian Center Grand Prix. It was a full house for tonight’s event as the crowd cheered excitedly for their favorite athletes.
The tracks were built by Michael Pegg of Ontario, Canada, and featured a triple combination, a liverpool and a long approach to the final fence of the jump-off.Five riders made it out of the qualifying round and just two went double clear in the $30,000 WEC Grand Prix. As the last fence proved difficult for many, none could best Richard Rinehart and Vincent’s winning efforts.
We chatted ringside with tonight’s $30,000 Grand Prix champion. “Vincent is an extremely careful horse and that paid off for us today. I enjoyed the jump-off and the final jump was difficult. We slowed down for it, but thankfully we were fast enough earlier in the round so it didn’t cost us the win. Owner Ron Caraway is so supportive of this horse. He enjoys watching his show and is here to support him.”
Rinehart of Rinehart Farm in Westfield, Indiana, and Ron Caraway’s Vincent covered ground quickly throughout each course while remaining careful throughout. They posted a clear time of 79.384 seconds in round one, advancing them onto the short course. During their final round, Richard (USA) piloted the 10-year-old gelding precisely to cross the timers in 40.814 seconds, to ultimately win the class.
Rinehart went on to commemorate his dear friend, David Beisel, who was injured during last week’s competition. “Vincent has been second place in the WEC Grand Prix twice now. Both times Mr. Beisel was ahead of us. We are all devastated to not have David here with us and we miss him greatly. We can’t wait to have him back riding at WEC.”
Skylar Wireman (USA) claimed the next two placings aboard her stunning rides. She and Coolio 23 (Contendro I x Saphhira), a fifteen-year-old Oldenburg gelding dashed to second place, securing times of 80.197 seconds in round one and 41.810 seconds in the jump-off to take home red ribbon honors.
She hung the third place ribbon on King’s Ruby (Che Guevara van Paemel Z x Landfriese I). Wireman (USA) and the twelve-year-old Belgian Warmblood went clear in the first round, stopping the timers in only 79.734. They later returned to the jump-off, but caught an unlucky for a 4-fault 39.490-second finish.
Final Results – $30,000 WEC Grand Prix
1) Richard L. Rinehart (USA) & Vincent – 0 / 0 – 40.814
2) Skylar Wireman (USA) & Coolio 23 – 0 / 0 – 41.810
3) Skylar Wireman (USA) & King’s Ruby – 0 / 4 – 39.490
Source: Press Release from WEC – World Equestrian Center
Photo: © Winslow Photography