Wellington, FL – February 9, 2017 – Canadian Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze topped the $130,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 5 riding Fine Lady 5 on Thursday at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

WEF 5, sponsored by Fidelity Investments®, features CSI 5* competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) through Sunday, February 12, 2017. Highlights include the $380,000 Fidelity Investments® Grand Prix CSI 5* on Saturday, as well as the $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic and the $50,000 Equo Grand Prix CSI 2* on Sunday. Live streaming for the week is available HERE. The 12-week WEF circuit continues through April 2, 2017, awarding over $9 million in prize money.

Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5

Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5

2012 London Olympic course designer Robert Ellis (GBR) built the track for 55 competitors in Thursday’s class. Fourteen horses advanced to the jump-off with Lamaze and Fine Lady 5, owned by Artisan Farms, LLC and Torrey Pines Stable, returning third to post a fault-free round in 41.23 seconds. His time could not be beat and gave Lamaze his second WEF Challenge Cup Series victory of the 2017 season after also winning round 3 with Houston.

Hardin Towell (USA) came the closest to bumping Lamaze from the top, but finished double clear in 43.72 seconds for second place riding Lucifer V, owned by Evergate Stables, LLC. From the lead-off position in the jump-off, Margie Engle (USA) settled for third with a double-clear effort in 45.27 seconds aboard Royce for owner Gladewinds Partners, LLC.

Mexico’s Alberto Michan stopped the clock clear in 45.69 seconds for fourth riding GC Chopin’s Bushi, owned by Iron Horse Farm, and Ben Maher (GBR) rounded out the top five with a double-clear finish in 45.80 seconds aboard Don Vito for Poden Farms.

“She is really an unbelievable horse,” said Lamaze of Fine Lady 5, the mount he piloted to an individual bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. “I have said it before; no one wants to compare anyone to Hickstead, but she is getting there slowly. For me, it is going to be the second horse of a lifetime.”

Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 in their winning presentation with ringmaster Steve Rector.

Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 in their winning presentation with ringmaster Steve Rector.

Thursday’s victory marked Lamaze’s 25th WEF Challenge Cup win in his career, four of which were in the irons of Fine Lady 5, a 14-year-old Hanoverian mare (Forsyth FRH x Drosselklang II).

“I have been doing [the WEF Challenge Cup Series] for quite some time,” he said. “I think for [Fine Lady 5], she suits every sort of competition.”

Second place rider, Hardin Towell, was pleased with Lucifer V’s performance saying, “We were riding for second today. I knew I wasn’t going to catch [Eric]. Fine Lady is fast, and they looked fast today. I set my plan and went as quickly as I felt I could to leave up the jumps.”

Also competing in the International Arena on Thursday, Luis Larrazabal (VEN) won the $8,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m CSI 2* speed class riding Atlodetto FZ, owned by San Francisco Stables, LLC.

Luis Larrazabal and Atlodetto FZ

Luis Larrazabal and Atlodetto FZ

The $2,500 Engel & Völkers High Amateur-Owner Jumper speed class saw a win for Cristobal Collado (MEX) riding Creativo, owned by E2 Stables, while Emma Heise (USA) riding Broekie claimed the $1,500 Sleepy P Ranch High Junior Jumper speed class for Old Willow Farm.

Scott Stewart and Fun Named Champion Shapley’s Grooming Products High Performance Conformation Hunters

Scott Stewart of Wellington, FL, rode Fun, owned by Gochman Sport Horses, LLC, to win the championship in the Shapley’s Grooming Products High Performance Conformation Hunters during WEF 5. The pair won the model, the stake, and an over fences class, earned second place in the handy, and third place under saddle for an impressive total of 35 points.

Scott Stewart and Fun 201_2303 Sportfot LO

Scott Stewart and Fun

“He is really fun,” said Stewart. “He was a little tired yesterday because the weather was so hot. Yesterday wasn’t his best day, but today he was a little bit fresher and jumped better. He is a blast to ride and really sweet.”

Fun is a coming seven-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Chello III VDL. Stewart has campaigned the gelding since 2015 and the pair also claimed the championship in the High Performance Conformation Hunters during week one and week three of WEF.

“We did him in the Pre-Greens a couple years ago,” said Stewart. “Last year he did the Green Conformation Hunters and Becky [Gochman] also shows him in the 3’3” Amateurs.”

Havens Schatt of Georgetown, KY, and Custom Made settled for the reserve champion title with a total of 29 points. The pair won the handy and the under saddle, earned third place in the model and an over fences class, fourth place in the stake, and fifth place in another over fences class. Custom Made, owned by Shaw Johnson Price, is a 2005 Mecklenburg gelding by Chambertin that Price also shows in the Amateur-Owner division.

Fun in his championship presentation with ringmaster Steve Rector, __________, and Sally Stith Burdette of Shapley's Grooming Products.

Fun in his championship presentation with ringmaster Steve Rector, Richard Slocum, and Sally Stith-Burdette of Shapley’s Grooming Products.

The fifth week of WEF continues on Friday featuring the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m CSI 5* and the $35,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m CSI 2* in the International Arena. Also on Friday, the Ariat National Adult Medal will decide a winner. For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Final Results: $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 5

1. FINE LADY 5: 2003 Hanoverian mare by Forsyth FRH x Drosselklang II
ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Artisan Farms LLC & Torrey Pines Stable: 0/0/41.23

2. LUCIFER V: 2006 Westphalian gelding by Lord Dezi x Grandeur
HARDIN TOWELL (USA), Evergate Stables LLC: 0/0/43.72

3. ROYCE: 2004 Oldenburg stallion by Café au Lait x Grandilot
MARGIE ENGLE (USA), Gladewinds Partners LLC: 0/0/45.27

4. GC CHOPIN’S BUSHI: 2006 KWPN gelding by Contendro II x Nairobi
ALBERTO MICHAN (MEX), Iron Horse Farm: 0/0/45.69

5. DON VITO: 2008 KWPN gelding by Quaprice Z x Jus de Pomme
BEN MAHER (GBR), Poden Farms: 0/0/45.80

6. ENJOY LOUIS: 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Coriano x Kannan
CATHERINE TYREE (USA), Mary & Joe Tyree: 0/0/48.05

7. CARRABIS Z: 2003 Zangersheide stallion by Canabis Z x Grannusso
RICHIE MOLONEY (IRL), Equinimity LLC: 0/0/57.20

8. CORNET 39: 2004 Oldenburg gelding by Cornet Obolensky x Caletto I
LAUREN HOUGH (USA), Willow Grace Farm: 0/4/46.82

9. SFN ZENITH: 2004 KWPN gelding by Rash x Fuego du Prelet
JEROEN DUBBELDAM (NED), Springpaarden Fonds Nederland & W. van der Ham: 0/4/46.96

10. VICTOR: 2002 KWPN gelding by Elmshorn x Grandeur
TIFFANY FOSTER (CAN), Artisan Farms LLC & Torrey Pines Stable: 0/8/47.60

11. CORETTE: 2007 KWPN mare by Lupicor x Clinton
KEEAN WHITE (CAN), Angelstone Farms, Salvador Stables & Diamante Atelier: 0/8/52.16

12. QUINTOL: 2005 Oldenburg gelding by Quintender x Cento
EDUARDO MENEZES (BRA), Eduardo Menezes: 0/12/50.98

Photo Credit: Photos © Sportfot. Photos may only be used in relation to this press release and must include credit.