Articles: Press Release
Eric Lamaze and Narcotique de Muze II Win Wire to Wire in $25,000 WEF
Challenge Cup Round 9 at Tampa Bay Classic
Photo Credit: Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Narcotique de Muze II, winners of
the $25,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 9 at the Tampa Bay Classic, CSI-W.
Photo (c) 2007 Randi Muster.
Jennifer Wood of
Phelps Media Group, Inc.
at (561) 753-3389 or at email@example.com
Tampa, FL - March 29, 2007 - The ninth edition of this year's $25,000
WEF Challenge Cup Series was held this afternoon at the Bob Thomas
Equestrian Center during the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Canada's
Eric Lamaze and Narcotique de Muze II, owned by Ashland Stables, were
the first to go in the jump-off and set an unbeatable time. Kate Levy
(USA) and Vent du Nord were quick enough for second, while Lisa Jacquin
(USA) and Obourg finished third.
Today's course was designed by Robert Ellis of Great Britain and
featured 13 numbered obstacles, including a tricky triple combination
and a skinny vertical as the last jump, which caught a number of horses.
Nine horse-and-rider combinations of the 55 entries advanced to the
jump-off, which had two opportunities for inside turns in the covered
The first to go clear in the first round and the first to return for the
jump-off was Lamaze. He set a good pace and made both inside turns. The
big, ten-year-old, Belgian Warmblood mare by Darco galloped handily
around and finished in 41.29 seconds. "I was very quick from one to two,
had a nice turn inside at the top of the ring and then again to number
one," Lamaze explained. "She jumped a little right at the second to last
jump, the oxer, which I could have been quicker to coming in, but she
William Lowry (USA) and Rio Corde, owned by Winsor Farm Sales, were next
into the ring and had a refusal at fence six. Lowry then took his time
through the rest of the course and finished with four jumping and seven
time faults in 63.68 seconds.
Jacquin and Flintwoode Farms LLC's Obourg tackled the jump-off next.
They made the inside turn back to 4a-b, a two stride, but went around an
oxer to jump number one. Their nice pace carried them clear through the
course in a time of 45.05 seconds. "He's just getting started at this
level," Jacquin said of the nine-year-old Belgian stallion. "I was very
pleased with how he went today. I wanted to go medium because I haven't
ridden him that much. I try to be double clean as much as I can, and
when I get to know him a little bit better, I'll be braver about making
some inside turns. I made that one hard turn, but I took the option to
go around on the other one. I know he's going to be really fast."
On Darvin Garbo, Henrik Gundersen (DEN) went for the win, but three
rails fell on course for 12 faults in 48.03 seconds. Darragh Kerins
(IRE) and Hot Wheels, owned by Miranda Fischer and SeaJay Performance,
galloped out of the corner for a bid to fence six, but at a cost of four
faults. They finished with a time of 51.01 seconds for sixth place.
Levy and Vent du Nord, owned by Levy and Emile Tacken, made both inside
turns well at a strong gallop, but were unable to catch Lamaze's time in
42.88 seconds. Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA) and Double H Farm's Oasis had a
blistering pace going until an error from the inside turn to fence one
left them unable to jump. Pessoa circled and finished the course with
eight faults in 55.34 seconds.
Next to challenge was California's Richard Spooner on Apache, owned by
S&B LLC Corporation. Spooner had an amazing effort in the first round
when Apache trotted in the approach to the triple combination and made
it through clear. They were not so lucky in the jump-off when fence 4a
fell. Spooner almost caught Lamaze's time in 41.85 seconds, but had to
settle for fourth place.
The last in the jump-off was Graf Lando, owned by Meghan Moran and
ridden by Robert Kraut. After a hard rub at jump two, Kraut pushed Graf
Lando. The huge bay galloped and made the inside turns, but a
heartbreaking rail at the last jump left them with four faults in 44.58
seconds and fifth place.
"It was fast enough to make them try," Lamaze said afterwards. "It was a
good position to be in. There was good competition behind me, so you
can't just take it for granted. They could go fast and faster, so you
have to go fast enough."
It was a solid win for Lamaze, who has notched four top three
performances in WEF grand prix competition so far this year. This is his
third year with Narcotique de Muze II, who has stepped up and performed
well for him every time he asked. "She just started the big classes last
year and got some great mileage in Europe," he noted. "I use her in big
classes when I need to. I step her down, and she's a great speed horse
to have. At the million dollar class in Calgary last year, she only had
a foot in the water. She has such a good heart, so it's a great back-up
Lamaze smiled when he spoke of the striking bay mare, with whom he will
show again on Sunday in the World Cup qualifier. "It's my last chance to
qualify for the World Cup final on Sunday; that's why I'm here.
Hopefully, she goes as well," he said. "I love riding her. She's got a
great temperament and is really a trier. She's always there."
The Tampa Bay Classic, CSI-W continues tomorrow with plenty of jumper
action in the covered arena, including classes for the Young Jumpers,
High Junior and Amateur-Owners and the Acorn Hill 1.40m Speed Challenge.
Sunday's grand prix is the final qualifying class for the East Coast
riders for the 2007 Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Finals in Las Vegas this
April. The main event of the Winter Equestrian Festival, the $200,000
Budweiser American Invitational, will be on Saturday, April 7, at 7 p.m.
in Raymond James Stadium.
CLASS: $25,000 WEF CHALLENGE CUPSERIES ROUND 9 CSI FEI ART238.2.2,
1. 924, NARCOTIQUE DE MUZE II, ERIC LAMAZE, ASHLAND STABLES, 0, 0,
2. 495, VENT DU NORD, KATE LEVY, KATE LEVY LLC EMILE TACKEN, 0, 0,
3. 29, OBOURG, LISA JACQUIN, FLINTWOODE FMS LLC, 0, 0, 45.050
4. 9, APACHE, RICHARD SPOONER, S & B LLC CORP., 0, 4, 41.850
5. 353, GRAF LANDO, ROBERT KRAUT, MEGHAN MORAN, 0, 4, 44.580
6. 651, HOT WHEELS, DARRAGH KERINS, MIRANDA FISCHER SEAJAY PERFORMANCE
0, 4, 51.010
7. 426, OASIS, RODRIGO PESSOA, DOUBLE H FARM, 0, 8, 55.340
8. 705, RIO CORDE, WILLIAM LOWRY, WINSOR FARM SALES, 0, 10, 79.680
9. 930, DARVIN GARBO, HENRIK S. GUNDERSEN, HENRIK S. GUNDERSEN, 0, 12,
10. 944, SPITFIRE, KYLE KING, LINDA OPDYCKE, 4, 75.360
11. 214, NADIA, GEORGINA BLOOMBERG, GOTHAM ENTERPRIZES, 4, 77.140
12. 945, FINNETE, KYLE KING, ROBIN COX, 4, 77.350