Articles: Press Release
Canadian Eric Lamaze Wins $100,000 in FTI Rider Challenge at Winter Equestrian Festival; Ward, Silverman and Madden Round Out Top Four
Jennifer Wood of
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
at (561) 753-3389 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wellington, FL - March 19, 2007 - The 2007 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF)
wrapped up competition in Wellington yesterday and two of the most
prestigious rider awards were given. Eric Lamaze of Canada won the second
annual FTI Rider Challenge and a bonus of $100,000, while Scott Stewart of
New Jersey led the way in the inaugural Golden Horse Jewelry Hunter Rider
The FTI Rider Challenge took place during the 2007 WEF, from January 24 to
March 18 at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club in Wellington, FL. The FTI
Rider Challenge is a rider bonus pool for $200,000 in which the riders
accumulated points in the eight WEF Challenge Cups, the CN Jumper Classic
and the Sunday grand prix events that were all part of WEF in Wellington.
McLain Ward of Brewster, NY, vaulted up the standings after his win in
Saturday's $300,000 CN Worldwide Florida Open Grand Prix. He
finished in second place and pocketed $50,000. Lisa Silverman, an amateur
rider from New York City, had consistent placings throughout the eight weeks
of competition to finish third and picked up $30,000. Last year's
winner, Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, NY, finished fourth and took home
The top check went to Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, Ontario, Canada. Lamaze won
the WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 on Lorrain Z and had four other top five
finishes in the Thursday and Sunday grand prix events. Lamaze was fourth in
the $300,000 CN Worldwide Florida Open Grand Prix with Hickstead. He also
had great showings with Ronaldo, Narcotique de Muze II and Why Not.
"We have a lot of nice horses," Lamaze affirmed. "We tried to use them well
and when the classes suited them. I think that's how you get to this
result. I had some good luck, but so did a lot of other riders. There were a
lot of classes, so you have to show consistency throughout the circuit."
When asked how he would spend his bonus check, Lamaze laughed, "I don't
know, to be honest. The cost of traveling, competing and operating a
business is very high in this industry, so it will probably go back into the
pot for future competitions."
"It means a lot to me to win," he went on to say. "I think the FTI Rider
Challenge is good for the sport, and it's a nice way to end the circuit. It
goes a long way with the riders and makes everyone compete hard on the
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Scott Stewart of Flemington, NJ, was the victor in this year's Golden Horse
Jewelry Hunter Rider Challenge with Molly Ohrstom's Ovation, a 7-year-old
German Warmblood gelding. The Golden Horse Jewelry Hunter Rider Challenge is
an added bonus to the festival and is awarded to the horse-and-rider
combination that earns the most points from the following hunter divisions
during WEF: First Year Green Hunter, Second Year Green Hunter, Green
Conformation Hunter, Regular Working Hunter and Regular Working Conformation
The award, which counted points until March 16, 2007, is a custom made,
18-karat gold ring set with precious stones from Golden Horse Jewelry. The
Golden Horse Jewelry Hunter Rider Challenge winner was honored with a
ceremony during the Parade of Champions yesterday afternoon in the
Internationale Arena before the start of the grand prix.
Stewart and Ovation blew the field away and earned a total of 631 points for
the award. The pair took the championship in the First Year Green Hunters
during the second week of WEF and never looked back. Stewart also earned the
second spot in the rider challenge with West Point, a Green Conformation
Hunter, with a total of 503 points.
Both third and fourth places went to Tim Goguen on Boulevard Deir and
Africa, respectively. Havens Schatt ended up in fifth place partnered with
Glass Castle, and James Toon rounded out the top six placings in the
challenge with Avalon.
Winter Equestrian Festival circuit champion awards will be presented after
the final two weeks of competition in Tampa, FL, at the $200,000 Budweiser
American Invitational, presented by the Tampa Tribune and Sweetbay
Supermarkets on Saturday, April 7, 2007.
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For more information on the Winter Equestrian Festival, please visit:
For more information on Golden Horse Jewelry, please visit