Rapunzel and Katherine Strauss Earn Championship in Greenspoon Marder Law Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under

Wellington, FL – February 22, 2014 – Due to inclement weather, Saturday night’s $280,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 4* at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) has been postponed and rescheduled for Sunday morning with a 10:30 a.m. start. The $84,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic will begin at 1 p.m. The revised Sunday schedule can be found at http://showgroundslive.com/esp/showschedule/List/showid/15711/date/2014-02-23.

Sponsored by Adequan®, week seven of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival concludes on Sunday. The FTI WEF, held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, features 12 weeks of world-class competition through March 30, awarding $8 million in prize money.

The day’s competition on Saturday ran as planned with a full schedule of hunter, jumper and equitation classes. The Greenspoon Marder Law Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division crowned its champion for week seven in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring, presenting the winning tricolor to Katherine Strauss and her 13-year-old Hanoverian mare Rapunzel (by Rotspon). It was a very close race for top honors between Strauss and Rapunzel and Jake Wasson aboard his horse, Imagine, as the two pairs earned the same number of points over fences. The under saddle class was the deciding factor.

Strauss and Rapunzel placed second in both classes over fences on Friday and went on to win both jumping classes and the under saddle on Saturday to earn the division championship. Wasson and Imagine won both jumping classes on Friday, then finished second in the two classes over fences on Saturday and placed third under saddle to earn the reserve championship.

Rapunzel and Katherine Strauss

Rapunzel and Katherine Strauss

Strauss and Rapunzel were also presented with the championship owner/rider award with Wasson and Imagine in reserve. The special award is given to junior riders that compete on their own horses. Strauss has owned Rapunzel for two years. The mare had previously shown successfully with professional rider Jennifer Alfano.

“She is so fun,” Strauss smiled. “She is such an easy horse to get to the ring. We really don’t do anything; we don’t even jump oxers in the schooling ring. She’s so relaxed and she has been going really well this circuit, so I am really happy.”

“She felt great both days,” the rider praised. “I think she was a little more settled in today, but she was jumping well both days, so I could not have been happier with her. I just try to stay really relaxed and calm on her and keep her straight, and I can trust that she is going to give me a really good jump.”

Strauss spoke about Rapunzel’s personality, noting that the big chestnut mare definitely has her own character. “She’s definitely a chestnut mare,” the rider admitted. “She knows she’s amazing at what she does, so she lets everyone know. She doesn’t like people too close to her. She really just likes to do her job.”

“I don’t know if she likes me that much,” Strauss laughed, “but she is a really funny horse. She is kind of quirky. If I go to give her a treat she will take it out of my hand and then go to the other side of her stall. She doesn’t like being around people that much, but I think she kind of just knows she’s good at what she does and expects people to treat her like she’s amazing.”

Strauss has been competing in the jumpers much more this year, but still loves her hunter and hopes to qualify the mare for the Devon Horse Show this spring. Rapunzel will then have some time off over the summer while Strauss shows at Spruce Meadows.

Rapunzel and Katherine Strauss in their championship presentation with ringmaster Gustavo Murcia

Rapunzel and Katherine Strauss in their championship presentation with ringmaster Gustavo Murcia

Hunter competition for week seven will conclude on Sunday with the Equestrian Sotheby’s International Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under championships in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring. For full results, go to www.showgroundslive.com.

Photo Credit: Photos © Sportfot, An Official Photographer of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, us.sportfot.com. This photo may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.