Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival Ends Second Weekwith Bayer/USET Wellington Cup Presented by Fleet

Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival Ends Second Weekwith Bayer/USET Wellington Cup Presented by Fleet
Marty Bauman (508) 698-6810
Caren Hunter (561) 793-5867

Wellington, Florida?February 7, 2001?In his first visit to the CosequinWinter Equestrian Festival since 1986, 32-year-old Aaron Vale of Rembert,SC, proved up to the task, winning the $50,000 Bayer/U.S. Equestrian Team(USET) Wellington Cup presented by Fleet with Elan Coriana, a 12-year-oldHolsteiner gray mare. With a double-clear round and jump-off time of 36.86seconds, Vale earned $15,000 for his win.

Gabriella Salick of Thousand Oaks, CA, finished second by eight-tenths of asecond and earned $11,000 aboard her 16-year-old Dutch-bred gray mare,Sandstone Dorina. Third place went to McLain Ward of Brewster, NY, aboardCrazy U with a jump-off time of 34.80 seconds. Only five riders out of afield of 47 advanced to the jump-off.

This was Vale?s second week of competition at the Cosequin Winter EquestrianWinter Festival. ?We only planned to be here for the first two weeks,? saidVale. ?We wanted to use this to learn where everything is, sort of atwo-week spy mission. We got the job done in the ring.? Vale said he plansto rejoin the circuit in Tampa and hopefully compete in the BudweiserAmerican Invitational before hopefully returning to Wellington in April forthe American Grandprix Association (AGA) Championships.

Earlier in the week, three-time AGA Rider of the Year and U.S. EquestrianTeam veteran Katie Prudent of Middleburg, VA, bested a field of 60 startersto place first and second in the second round of the $25,000 WEF ChallengeCup Series. Prudent turned in a winning ride aboard Landato, an 11-year-oldOldenburg mare, with a time of 37.89 seconds in the jump-off, and was just asplit second behind with a finishing time of 38.40 to place second aboardMr. Blue, a 13-year-old Dutch-bred gelding. Prudent also placed first andsecond in the $35,000 Farr Legacy Grand Prix on the opening weekend of theCosequin Winter Equestrian Festival. Third place went to 1996 Olympic teamSilver Medalist Leslie Howard of Westport, CT, on S?Blieft, who crossed thetimers in 39.23 seconds.

Salick won the Bayer/USET Gold Coast Classic Modified Jumper, aboard12-year-old German stallion Sandstone Laurin. Christine Tribble ofSheffield, CT, finished second and third aboard her 10 year-old German mareGraefin Du Barry, and After Eight, an 11 year-old Swedish Warmblood, withclean jump-off rounds of 38.79 and 41.36 seconds, respectively.

Amateur rider, Colin Syquia of Forrest Hills, IL, captured the Bayer/USETGold Coast Classic with his 9-year-old gelding, Dumbo De Chapelle. From afield of 60 starters, only three horse and rider combinations went doubleclear. Syquia and Dumbo De Chapelle crossed the timers in 41.60 seconds,edging out Canadian, Yann Candele aboard Kartouche, with a jump-off time of41.86 seconds. Third place went to Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum of Germany,on the German-bred horse, Perina, with a finishing time of 45.47 seconds.

U.S. Equestrian Team veteran Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, FL, shut out lastweek?s first and second place winners, McLain Ward and Margie Engle, tocapture the AmeriChoice Open Speed on the 14-year-old Oldenburg mare,Pandora. Minikus bested a starting field of 35 by turning in a fast, cleanride of 56.23 seconds. Laura Chapot of Neshanic Station, NJ, and the16-year-old Thorougbred, Star Twist, finished less than one second behindMinikus, turning in the second fastest time of 56.96 seconds.

The 2001 Cosequin Winter Equestrian Festival offers $3 millionin total prizes during a ten-week series which runs in Wellington, FL(January 24 - March 18) and Tampa, FL (March 21 - March 31). The Festivalhosts the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational at Raymond James Stadiumin Tampa on Saturday evening, March 31. The series then returns toWellington for the culminating event?the American Grandprix AssociationChampionship?April 4-8.

$50,000 Bayer/USET Wellington Cup
Wellington, Florida ? February 4, 2001
Course Designer: Guilherme Nogueira-Jorge, Brazil

1. Elan CorianaAaron ValeRembert, SC0-0-36.86$15,000
2. Sandstone DorinaGabriella SalickThousand Oaks, CA0-0-37.66$11,000
3. Crazy UMcLain WardBrewster, NY0-4-37.80$6,500
4. RosinaEric LamazeOntario, Canada0-4-37.51$4,000
5. CasinoMark LeoneFranklin Lakes, NJ0-VW$3,000