Wellington, Florida, USA – March 10, 2023 – Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Alejandro made easy work of Friday’s $39,000 Bainbridge CSI 5* 1.45m as they cruised around the International Arena during the ninth week of the Inter Equestrian Festival (WEF), sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty.
Sixty-one hopeful entries set forth around Alan Wade’s (IRL) speed track. Ultimately, Sweetnam and Alejandro, a 14-year-old gelding (Acorado’s Ass x Continue), owned by Sweet Oak Farm, Spy Coast Farm and Seabrook, LLC, clocked in at 57.20 seconds for the win.
Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili (Berlin x Darco) claimed second place after a penalty-free performance in 58.55 seconds,
The third spot on the podium was also conquered by the host nation as Tanner Korotkin (USA) guided Quinn 33 in flawless fashion across the timers, stopping them in 59.53 seconds.
While Sweetnam’s round did go to plan, it came as a slight surprise that his early leading time held on for the victory in a large and competitive class. “Alejandro jumped great; I was early in the class and in such a big class I was surprised I held out till the end, but I thought he was pretty quick. He was meant to show last week in a grand prix but he got a little sick, so he had a couple days off, but this week he’s been feeling great and I’m super happy with the result.”
When asked what Alejandro is like to ride, Sweetnam noted, “he’s always eager, so he can get a little strong but that also helps us to be fast in these classes. He really tries hard and has a huge heart, so you always feel like he’s giving you one hundred percent.”
Final Results – $39,000 Bainbridge Speed Challenge CSI 5* 1.45m
1) Shane Sweetnam (IRL) & Alejandro – 0 – 57.20
2) Kristen Vanderveen (USA) & Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili – 0 – 58.55
3) Tanner Korotkin (USA) & Quinn 33 – 0 – 59.53
Source: Press Release (edited) from ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions
Photos: © Sportfot