Articles: Press Release
Three Wins in a Row for Great Britain as Tim Gredley Takes $50,000 1.50m Jump for A Just World Classic at Winter Equestrian Festival
Kenneth Kraus of Phelps Media Group, Inc.
at (561) 753-3389 or at email@example.com
Wellington, FL - March 4, 2006 - It was an American writer who penned "A Long Day's Journey into Night," but it was a Brit that once again authored the final show jumping chapter in tonight's drama that played out in the early morning hours at the 2006 Winter Equestrian Festival. Twenty year old Tim Gredley extended Great Britain's winning streak to three major victories in a row with an amazing second round speed ride to capture the top prize in the $50,000 1.50m Jump For A Just World Classic.
Fifty-five starters went to the post in tonight's main event. Because of a heavy daytime schedule and a large Amateur Owner Jumper class just prior, the festivities for tonight's feature didn't get underway until 9:30 p.m., and it was well past midnight before the tale was completely told.
Tonight's $50,000 1.50m Jump for A Just World Classic, presented by Chesapeake Petroleum, was scored under FEI Table A, over two rounds with the second round against the clock. Marco Cortinovis of Italy designed the challenge for tonight's contest. Seventeen competitors with clean rounds were up to the first round test. Two riders had a single time fault, while nineteen riders had a single knockdown. A number of those riders also exceeded the adjusted, but still snug time allowed. Seven riders had two knockdowns, six had more than eight and four were eliminated or retired.
McLain Ward and Sapphire, owned by the Double H Farm, returned first in the second round. Ward and his 2004 Athens Olympic partner laid down an efficient and speedy go, putting the pressure on with a clean round in 49.38 seconds.
Great Britain's Nick Skelton, a winner on Thursday with Lisa Hale's Russel, couldn't duplicate his efforts tonight. He chased after Ward's time, caught it, but pulled a rail along the way. Skelton finished with four faults in 48.97 seconds.
A slow clear round with two time faults from Australia's Edwina Alexander on True Illusion, owned by Stal Tops, was followed by a stellar performance from Germany's Tim Hoster. On Ger Poeis Horses' Maddock, Hoster jumped to the top of the leader board with a clear go in an very fast time of 48.47 seconds, 9/10ths of a second faster than Ward.
Schuyler Riley and Opus Sept, from the South Beach Stables, picked up a single time fault in route to a clear jumping effort. She was followed by the Ukraine's Jean-Claude Van Geenberge on Arnold de Brabandere's Osta Rugs Tresor. They had a single rail and finished in 51.52 seconds. Next, Emile Tacken of the Netherlands came home with eight faults on his Miss Montana.
It was then time for the ride of the evening. Riding Omelli, Tim Gredley of Great Britain produced a jump-off ride that had the crowd gasping for air when he was done. Flying from start to finish, Gredley met every fence in perfect stride and flew through the finish line in an incredible 47.24 seconds, 1.23 seconds faster than the Hoster.
Gredley's amazing run forced the balance of the class to chase and chase they did, but most at the expense of a rail or other error.
Markus Beerbaum of Germany just missed Gredley's time and lowered the height of a single fence on Bertram and Diana Firestone's Constantin 24, scoring four, and clocking in at 47.32 seconds.
McLain Ward, on his second ride of the second round, Oasis, also owned by the Double H Farm, had a memorable speed ride going, but, making a dramatic hairpin cut to the final fence with a bead on the Gredley's lead, Oasis ducked out at the last minute. Ward finished with five faults in 55.54 seconds.
Ian Millar of Canada pulled the last fence in the tiebreaker on Susan Grange's In Style and France's Philippe Rozier also collected a knockdown before the Ukraine's Gregory Wathelet was clear on Loriot, owned by Alexander Onyshcheko. Wathelet's time however, was 1.72 seconds short of the mark at 48.96 seconds.
Schuyler Riley of the United States, on her long time partner Ilian came oh so close, as did Samantha McIntosh of Bulgaria. They would finish second and third respectively. Riley flat out flew, crossing the finish line clean, but just off the mark in 47.93 seconds. McIntosh, on Loxley from Horst Jaeggle and G. Orschel slipped in just behind Riley in 48.39 seconds.
Gredley talked about his winning ride following the presentation. "My trainer, Robert Smith told me to just go out there and do everything. He told me not to wimp out at anything," he laughed. "And it came off well. I didn't wimp on anything. The only place I really adjusted was to fence five across the middle. I really didn't have any other distances to worry about."
Riley knew going in for her ride that it was going to be tough catching the Brit. "Conrad (Homfeld) told me that Tim was blazing fast. There were three clear when I went in the ring, so my plan was to go along and see how he was feeling. If he felt like he wasn't really ready to go fast, then I was just going to go for a smooth clear, because that would have been a good finish," she said. "But as soon as I asked him to go, he felt like he was ready, so I let him go. He was incredible. He was unbelievable."
"The first course wasn't quite as difficult as yesterday, but I didn't think there would be that many clear," Gredley admitted. "I had a bit of good luck in the first round, I hit a fence pretty hard out there."
Riley spoke of her eighteen year old partner. "He's amazing. He had a real hard year last year. He did some wonderful things but they really took their toll on him physically and mentally, so we just took some down time with him from the fall till now," she said. "He's just coming back into work and he feels like he's eleven or twelve again."
"This is my first time in America," revealed Gredley. "It's great. I didn't realize how many horses there were here. I've never seen so many horses in a single class before. But you know, to be honest, it really makes you competitive with all those people in the classes."
Then he added with a laugh, "I'm not that crazy about jumping at midnight though."
It was the third major victory in a row for Great Britain. Robert Smith, Gredley's trainer won the $100,000 Zada Masters Cup last Sunday and fellow countryman Nick Skelton rode to victory in Thursday's $35,000 WEF Challenge Cup, Round Six.
At WEF on Saturday, the $25,000 1.45m Amateur Special Invitation (GCT) Show Jumping Hall of Fame event starts out the day, and the $25,000 Global Champions Tour 1.50m Classic wraps it up.
Sunday's star studded day begins with the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior Jumper Classic and the Senior Classic. On Sunday afternoon at 2p.m., the $150,000 CN Worldwide Florida Open, presented by Cosequin marks the debut of the Global Champions Tour. Sunday's main event is also the fifth stop on the year long American Grand Prix Association (AGA) Tour.
Next week, the final week in Wellington, features the $75,000 Nations' Cup presented by CN, CSIO 5*, a competition that pits teams of show jumpers from multiple countries against each other in two rounds of competition. The 2006 Nations' Cup, presented by CN on Friday, March 10th, marks the fifth time that the Winter Equestrian Festival will host this prestigious international event. Making the competition especially exciting, the Nations' Cup will once again be held at night under lights in the Internationale Arena.
The richest show jumping event of the seven weeks in Wellington will take center stage on Sunday, March 12th. The $150,000 US Open Jumper Championship, presented by CN, CSIO 5*, brings the WEF Wellington series to a close.
Results of Class 103 $59,300 1.50m Jump For A Just World - Wellington Open CSI 5* - Internationale Arena - 3/3/06
1 3498 TIM GREDLEY GBR OMELLI 0.00 82.62 0.00 47.24 $1850
2 2291 SCHUYLER RILEY USA ILIAN 0.00 82.00 0.00 47.93 $1200
SOUTH BEACH STABLE
3 3133 SAMANTHA MCINTOSH BUL LOXLEY 0.00 82.98 0.00 48.39 $635
4 3373 TIM HOSTER GER MADDOCK 0.00 83.60 0.00 48.47 $400
GER POEIS HORSES
5 3123 GREGORY WATHELET UKR LORIOT 0.00 80.77 0.00 48.96 $325
6 562 MCLAIN WARD USA SAPPHIRE 0.00 83.76 0.00 49.38 $275
DOUBLE H FARM
7 3181 FRANCOIS MATHY BEL IVOIRE DU ROUET 0.00 82.55 0.00 49.69 $275
8 2293 SCHUYLER RILEY OPUS SEPT 0.00 84.20 1.00 54.56 $250
SOUTH BEACH STABLES
9 3281 EDWINA ALEXANDER AUS TRUE ILLUSION 0.00 83.56 2.00 58.23 $250
10 964 IAN MILLAR CAN IN STYLE 0.00 83.19 4.00 47.84 $180
11 3362 NICK SKELTON GBR RUSSEL 0.00 83.22 4.00 48.97 $180
12 3141 PHILIPPE ROZIER FRA HERITIERE D'ADRIERS 0.00 81.76 4.00 49.85 $180
13 3136 JEAN-CLAUDE VAN GEEN UKR OSTA RUGS TRESOR 0.00 84.41 4.00 51.52 $180
ARNOLD DE BRABANDERE
14 563 MCLAIN WARD USA OASIS 0.00 80.56 5.00 55.54
DOUBLE H FARM
15 1493 MARKUS BEERBAUM GER CONSTANTIN 24 0.00 81.65 8.00 47.32
16 3122 EMILE TACKEN NED MISS MONTANA 0.00 84.11 8.00 51.45
17 3299 TINA LUND DEN CAROLA 0.00 84.47 8.00 51.82
T18 1530 MEGAN LAMAZE USA OLLANDAISE 1.00 85.89
T18 3137 HERVE GODIGNON FRA OBELIX 1.00 85.33