Articles: Press Release
Wrap Up For Winter Equestrian Festival Week 7, March 10-14,
CSIO**** United States, Cosequin Finale
Mason Phelps, Jr. of Phelps Media Group, Inc. at (561)753-3389 or at
WELLINGTON, FL - March 15, 2004 - The seventh week of the 32nd Winter
Equestrian Festival entitled CSIO**** United States, Cosequin Finale was
held March 10-14 at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club in Wellington,
Florida. Jose Gamarra of Ellenton, FL, was the course designer in the
The Finale wrapped up show jumping action in Wellington for the 2004
Winter Equestrian Festival. The WEF competition continues in Wellington
March 18-21 with the Zada Enterprises WEF Dressage Classic CDI***/Y, a
qualifying competition for the Dressage Olympic Selection Trials. Show
jumping moves to Tampa for two weeks at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center
kicking off with the Tampa Bay Classic CSI-W, March 24-28 and wrapping
up with the Tournament of Champions CSI-W, March 30-April 3. Capping
off the 2004 Winter Equestrian Festival is the $200,000 Budweiser
American Invitational Presented by Publix and The Tampa Tribune on April
3 at the Raymond James Stadium. Total prize money for the 2004 WEF is
three-million-dollars. Produced by founder Eugene R. Mische and Stadium
Jumping, Inc., the Winter Equestrian Festival is the largest and longest
consecutively running equestrian sporting event in the world.
Mr. Mische said the Wellington circuit went very well. "We saw an
increase in horses, we saw an increase in foreign participation, which
was very delightful, we had 33 foreign countries represented here, and
we saw an increase in the teams for the Nations' Cup, which we were very
happy with. In a way I was happy for Canada to win. It encourages more
teams to come back when they do have a chance. I was pleased with the
spectator participation - not only with the fact that they're here but
the fact that they participated." He also pointed out that Stadium
Jumping sets the stage for competitions but the success of the event is
really the horse and the rider. "It's their talent that really makes the
show. We do the production, but they do the competing and when you have
good competitors you have a good show - and they are great."
Kevin Babington And Carling King Win $100,000 Cosequin US Open Jumper
Marking the final Grand Prix of the Wellington circuit, Kevin Babington,
35, of Tipperary, Ireland, rode Carling King owned by Kindle Hill Farm
to victory in the $100,000 Cosequin US Open Jumper Championship. The duo
bested an international field of 31 riders. Babington was the faster of
two clear rounds in a three-horse jump-off. Currently a resident of
Gwynedd Valley, PA, Babington earned $30,000 for the victory. In second
place, Ian Millar, 57, of Perth, Ontario, riding Promise Me for The
Baker's Dozen pocketed $22,000. Finishing third, McLain Ward, 28, of
Brewster, NY, riding Sapphire, a mare he owns in partnership with Double
H Farm and Missy Clark, earned $13,000.
Babington pumped his fist, galloping in the victory lap. "It's the
second grand prix here that the horse jumped brilliant in. I just feel
like he's trying his heart out. It's more for the horse than anything.
He loves it down here." Babington is the only rider to win two Grand
Prix classes during the seven-week Wellington WEF. He and Carling King
won the $75,000 PDP Capital Masters Cup, CSI*** two weeks ago.
Babington also noted that he felt he owed it to the fans, clients, and
customers that were in the stands. "It's the last grand prix of the
circuit, there's a huge Irish crowd here. We try to stick together.
They're so supportive. They were excited to come and watch the class and
I was happy for them."
The 13-jump Round One course took its toll with a tight Time Allowed of
83 seconds. Sixteen riders incurred time faults. The rails fell at
nearly every fence, but the two bogey jumps were the triple and the
water, which each penalized nine riders. It was not until the 24th rider
on course, Millar on Promise Me, that a clear trip was posted. Five
rides later, the crowd was assured of a jump-off when Babington and
Carling King went clean. The last rider on course, Ward with Sapphire,
made it a three-way tie for the jump-off.
Going first on the short course, Millar set the pace with a clear round
in 47.62 seconds over the seven-effort track with Time Allowed set at 50
Babington and Carling King went next and snatched the lead with a clear
trip in a blazing 42.70. "I saw Ian's round and I thought if I gave it a
shot I could beat him. McLain was coming behind me so I knew if I went
for a slow clear, I was definitely going to end up third, so I might as
well give it a shot and it paid off. That's the fastest I've ever gone
on him," said Babington.
Ward had a rail at the fourth fence and clocked in at 44.19 for third.
He admitted that he made a mistake at the oxer. "I got there a little
bit quicker than I thought I was going to. She put in a good effort -
it's a big jump. My horse was a little out of breath when she cantered
into the ring for the jump-off. I don't think she had gotten her breath
back (from Round One). She's a young mare - she's only nine years old,
so to jump around a course like that with her experience it takes a lot
out of her mentally. She probably could have benefited from a moment,
but she was in good company. I was thrilled with the result."
Ward, a three-time AGA Rider of the Year, won 13 classes in the
Internationale Arena at the 2004 WEF in Wellington including four of the
seven Thursday $25,000 WEF Challenge Cup Grand Prix. He now tops the
list of money-earners headed for the $200,000 Budweiser American
Invitational Presented by Publix and The Tampa Tribune.
Highlights Monday Through Saturday
Beezie Madden Tops Class Of Nations' Cup Veterans To Win $25,000 Equus
Beezie Madden, 40, of Cazenovia, New York, topped a class of 24 veterans
of Nations' Cup competitions to win the 2nd Annual $25,000 Wellington
Equus Medal on Monday, March 8. The two-round night class was held under
the lights in the Internationale Arena. Only riders who had represented
their country in a Nations' Cup were eligible to compete.
"It's judged on the style of the rider and the performance that night,"
explained Madden. "It was fun. I had a great horse both rounds."
Madden's mounts were borrowed from Frank and Stacia Madden's Beacon
Demonstrating their equitation skills over a First Round course designed
by Philip De Vita, riders jumped a course of 13 fences, the tallest
being 3' 6", and were required to hand gallop to the final fence.
Officiating were Norman Dello Joio, Ellen Lordi and Leo Conroy who
individually scored the rider's performance over each fence and then
averaged the marks for a total score. Madden received the highest score,
92.00, for her trip.
The judges selected their top six riders from the First Round to return
for a Second Round. Going in reverse order were Shane Carey of Ireland
(85.50); Kim Frey of Hume, VA (86.50); Molly Ashe of Wellington, FL
(88.75); Eric Navet of France (89.75); Hap Hansen of Encinitas, CA
(90.50); and Madden (92.00). The riders switched horses (places one and
two, three and four, and five and six switched) and jumped the Second
Round of nine fences, which included a trot jump followed by a counter
canter to the last fence.
Numerical scores were not given for the Second Round, but the judges'
commentary and assessments produced the final placements. Beezie Madden,
aboard Cino maintained her first place slot. Molly Ashe moved up from
fourth to second place. Shane Carey shot up from sixth to finish third.
Hap Hansen dropped from second to fourth. Kim Frey remained in fifth
place. Eric Navet dropped from third to sixth.
The $25,000 Wellington Equus Medal class was created by Mason Phelps,
Jr. as a fundraiser for the Wellington Equestrian Alliance, an
organization established by principals within the equestrian community
to protect the equestrian preserve in Wellington.
McLain Ward And Goldika 559 Win $7,500 1.45m
McLain Ward, 28, of Brewster, NY, topped a 57-horse field in the CSIO's
1.45m class riding Goldika 559, owned by Double H Farm on Wednesday,
March 10, to open the CSIO U.S. Cosequin Finale. Ward was the first to
try the 14-effort, one-round course. He finished fault-free in a time
of 60.63 seconds. None of the remaining 56 entries could match the
performance of the three-time American Grandprix Association (AGA) Rider
of the Year. Ten others did match his fault-free ride, but none could
catch his time. Coming closest was Chapot, who rode 33rd in the order
and finished in 61.22 seconds for a second-place finish. Sydney Olympic
veteran Lauren Hough of Wellington, FL, finished third with a clean ride
in 64.08 seconds on Merlin.
McLain Ward And LaBelle Win $5,000 Acorn Hill Farm Challenge
McLain Ward rode LaBelle owned by Sarah Willeman and Turnabout Farm to
victory in the $5,000 Acorn Hill Farm Challenge. Ward was the 42nd of 90
entries to try the 14-effort, one-round course. He completed the course
fault-free in 55.420 seconds to take over the lead from Chris Pratt of
Canada who had held the lead with a clean ride in 57.472 seconds on
Markant. Of the remaining entries, none could catch Ward. The closest
challenge to Ward came from Laura Chapot of Neshanic Station, NJ, who
turned in a clean ride in 58.263 seconds on Three Coins to finish third
behind Ward and Pratt. The 1.40m speed class was a member event of the
North American League (NAL) Open Speed Series.
Laura Chapot Win And Little Big Man $25,000 Ariat WEF Challenge Cup
Laura Chapot, 30, of Neshanic Station, NJ, rode Little Big Man to
victory in the $25,000 Ariat WEF Challenge Cup Round VII on Thursday,
March 11. Chapot was one of nine entries from the starting field of 40
to qualify for the tie-breaking jump-off by riding fault-free over the
16-effort, first-round course. Chris Pratt of Canada was the first to
return to try the eight-effort jump-off course and he set the time to
beat by finishing fault-free in 39.38 seconds on Rivendell. The next
five entries failed to catch Pratt until Chapot took the ring. She
blazed over the course fault-free in 37.55 to claim the win. Pratt held
on for second place while third place went to Alison Firestone of
Upperville, VA, who was the only other rider to finish the jump-off with
no knockdowns, although her conservative time of 42.55 seconds on
Sansierra left her with one time fault.
Canada Wins $50,000 Samsung Nations' Cup, presented by CN, CSIO****
"I've spent a bit of time in Palm Beach over the last few years and this
was the greatest event I've ever been involved with here," said Eric
Lamaze, 36,of Schomberg, Ontario. "What was so unbelievable tonight is
that everybody who came to support their country, whether they had a
great day or a bad day, they were cheering just as loud." Indeed a
standing-room-only throng of 13,000 cheered for every rider in an
electric two-rounds of show jumping contested by six international
squads on Friday night, March 12. The Canadian Team of Lamaze, Ainsley
Vince, Harold Chopping, and Ian Millar claimed victory in the $50,000
Samsung Nations' Cup, presented by CN, CSIO****.
The United States team of Beezie Madden, Laura Kraut, McLain Ward, and
Norman Dello Joio placed second. Argentina was third, Mexico and France
tied for fourth, and Ireland finished fifth.
After completing the standard First Round Nations' Cup course of 12
fences, each team was allowed to drop the score of the rider earning the
most faults and tally up. Going into the Second Round, the US and Canada
were tied at eight faults each. France had 12 faults. Mexico and
Argentina were tied at 16. Ireland racked up 34 faults.
After two rotations of the teams, the scores were: Canada-12; US-16;
France-20; Mexico-24; Argentina-24; Ireland-50.
Each team then sent in their anchor rider to determine the final
results. Ireland's Kevin Babington aboard Sydney jumped clean but had a
time fault, securing his team's last place finish with a total of 51.
Federico Sztyrle riding Who Knows Lily for Argentina went clear, which
bumped his team up to third. Antonio Chedraui on L.G. Xallapam had a
rail down giving Mexico a total of 28 faults and Eric Navet had two
knockdowns for eight, also giving France 28, tying with Mexico for
fourth. Norman Dello Joio aboard Glasgow went clear leaving the US with
16 total faults. Ian Millar riding Promise Me was the last to go and
went clean, which clinched the Nations' Cup title for Canada with 12
Canada's Chef d'Equipe Danny Foster said, "There were slow years lately,
waiting to rebuild, and now we feel we're on a roll. This is what we
needed to get some proof to keep our confidence up."
Capping off the evening, Tom Wenham, the Mayor of Wellington stopped by
to congratulate the Canadian team. "We're proud of you. We were all up
here rooting for you and we're really proud of what you did. You're
always welcome. I'm proud to be the mayor of this community and proud to
have you all here."
Brianne Goutal Wins The WEF Equitation Championship For The R.W.
'Ronnie' Mutch Trophy
Brianne Goutal, 15, of New York, NY, won the Winter Equestrian Festival
Equitation Championship for the R.W. 'Ronnie' Mutch Trophy on Saturday,
March 13. Goutal topped a class of 23 junior riders, aged 18 and under,
who qualified to compete. "It's a prestigious class," said Goutal. "He
was a really talented rider. He was an amazing person all around and
it's a really great feeling to win this." Riders competed in three
rounds and Goutal led all the way. Charlie Jayne, 18, of Elgin, IL, was
Riders were responsible for the management and schooling of their own
horse. Trainers were not allowed to enter the designated schooling,
rider seating or holding areas during the competition and riders were
not allowed to leave those areas. The course walk and schooling were the
sole responsibilities of the rider. Goutal trains with Frank and Stacia
Madden at Beacon Hill in Colts Neck, New Jersey, and called on her
schooling sessions with them to help her in the warm-up.
Round 1 was judged using an open numerical system. Goutal riding Logan
owned by her family's Cloverleaf Farm earned 88.50, the high score of
The top 10 riders were asked to return for Round II. Goutal earned 87.50
for Round II, which gave her a total of 176.00 and again put her at the
top of the class.
The judges called for a Round III test in which the top six riders were
asked back and switched horses. Goutal switched with Josephine Nash of
New York, NY, who was in second place with Oakwood; Tania Hack of
Riverdale, NY, was in third aboard Otter, and switched with Kristen
Terebesi of Glenmoore, PA, who was in fourth place with Pilot; Charlie
Jayne of Elgin, IL, was in fifth place with Manhattan, and switched with
Blythe Marano of Denville, NJ, who was in sixth place with Moon Dance.
Goutal held onto her top-ranked status and won the Championship with
88.500. Jayne moved up to the Reserve spot with a final score of 87.00.
Marano moved up to third with 86. Nash dropped to fourth with 85.50.
Hack dropped to fifth with 82.00. Terebesi dropped to sixth, with a
final tally of 68.50.
For complete results visit www.stadiumjumping.com
2004 WINTER EQUESTRIAN FESTIVAL TICKET INFORMATION
Show days for the 2004 Winter Equestrian Festival are Wednesday through
Sunday. Gates open at 8:00 am. Ticket Prices: Wednesdays are free to
everyone; Children 12 and under are admitted free every day; Young
Adults 13 to 18 and Seniors are $5 on Thursday through Sunday; Adults
are $5 on Thursday and Friday, $10 on Saturday, and $15 on Sunday. The
Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club is located on Pierson Road off South
Shore Boulevard. For additional information, visit
www.stadiumjumping.com or call
2004 WEF SCHEDULE OF COMPETITIONS
March 10 - 14 CSIO United States Cosequin Finale CSIO***
March 18 - 21 Zada Enterprises WEF Dressage Classic
(Qualifier for Olympic Selection
March 24 - 28 Tampa Bay Classic CSI-W (Bob Thomas
March 30 - April 3 Tournament of Champions CSI-W (Bob Thomas
April 3 Budweiser American Invitational
(Raymond James Stadium)
WEF 2004 MILLION DOLLAR GRAND PRIX SERIES
March 12 $50,000 Samsung Nations' Cup, presented by CN, CSIO****
March 14 $100,000 Cosequin U.S. Open Jumper Championship,
March 28 $75,000 Grand Prix of Tampa, presented by Kilkenny/ICH,
April 3 $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, Presented
by Publix and The Tampa Tribune
CHARLOTTE JUMPER CLASSIC CSI****, Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC
April 9 -11 Charlotte Jumper Classic CSI****
April 11 $150,000 Grand Prix of Charlotte For the Charlotte