Wellington, FL – February 28, 2013 – Week eight of the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), sponsored by G&C Farm, continued on Thursday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, with the $43,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 8. The win went to U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist McLain Ward aboard Grant Road Partners’ Super Trooper de Ness.

Week eight CSIO competition runs February 27-March 3, 2013. The week will highlight the $75,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ presented by G&C Farm on Friday, March 1. The Hollow Creek Farm FEI Children’s, Junior, and Young Rider Nations Cups will be held on Saturday, March 2. The $150,000 CSIO 4* Grand Prix, presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty, will be held on Sunday afternoon. The 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival features 12 weeks of competition running from January 9-March 31, 2013, and will be awarding almost $7 million in prize money throughout the circuit.

Anthony D’Ambrosio of Red Hook, NY, is the course designer in the International Arena at PBIEC for the week. On Thursday, 64 entries showed over D’Ambrosio’s speed track for the eighth installment of the Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Series with 17 clear rounds over the course. McLain Ward and Super Trooper de Ness, an eleven-year-old Belgian Sport Horse stallion by Vigo d’Arsouilles x Polydor, had the fastest time of 59.12 seconds.

McLain Ward and Super Trooper de Ness
McLain Ward and Super Trooper de Ness. Photo © Sportfot.

Second place went to Kent Farrington (USA) and Robin Parsky’s Blue Angel with a time of 61.46 seconds. Lauren Hough (USA) and Laura Mateo’s Quick Study were third in 61.83 seconds, and Beezie Madden (USA) placed fourth with a time of 62.53 seconds aboard Abigail Wexner’s Cortes C’.

Commenting on his winning round aboard Super Trooper, Ward noted, “He is a very fast horse. I had the luxury of going on Zander first and had a good round. I actually wasn’t thinking to beat Kent when I went in the ring. I was thinking fast, but kind of right behind them is what I was hoping.”

“It was a good day,” Ward smiled. “The class had a lot of participation and a lot of entries, which is a good thing. The sport is strong. These classes are hard to win, but both of my horses went phenomenal and I was really happy with them. Anthony built a nice course. It was difficult, but it wasn’t unfair or trappy. It was a good class I think.”

Ward has had a lot of great horses over the years and although they are still building their partnership, he already counts Super Trooper among the top. “I think he is one of the best horses I have ever sat on,” he stated candidly. “He is an unbelievably careful horse. He had a colic last year and lost some time and we started back this year in Florida and built up. He won a 1.50m and he almost won a WEF (Challenge Cup), but had the last fence down in the jump-off. I think the sky is the limit for him, but he is so careful that I have to be very correct in how I bring him up to that level.”

McLain Ward and Super Trooper de Ness
McLain Ward and Super Trooper de Ness in their winning presentation with ringmaster Cliff Haines. Photo © Sportfot.

Also showing on Thursday, Marilyn Little (USA) began the day with a win in the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m jump-off class riding Raylyn Farms’ Venus. The $5,000 Hollow Creek Farm Young Rider Classic was held next with a win for Catherine Pasmore (USA) and Pasmore Stables’ Z Canta. The $2,500 Hollow Creek Farm Junior Classic saw victory for Gustavo Machado (VEN) and Copernicus Stables’ Credit Cruise. In the $2,500 Hollow Creek Farm Children’s Classic, the win went to Vittorio Burger (BRA) and Yves Sportiello’s Cheese Z.

Final Results: $43,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 8

1. SUPER TROOPER DE NESS: 2002 Belgian Sport Horse stallion by Vigo d’Arsouilles x Polydor
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Grant Road Partners: 0/59.12

2. BLUE ANGEL: 2002 AES mare by Luidam x Ascendant
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Robin Parsky: 0/61.46

3. QUICK STUDY:  1999 SFA gelding by Quick Star x What a Joy
LAUREN HOUGH (USA), Laura Mateo: 0/61.83

4. CORTES C’: 2002 BWP gelding by Randel Z x Darco
BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Abigail Wexner: 0/62.53

5. BIG STAR: 2003 KWPN stallion by Quick Star x Nimmerdor
NICK SKELTON (GBR), Beverly Widdowson: 0/62.63

6. LEWIN 5: 2002 Sochsisches Reitpferd gelding by Lewinski x Fidelio
PETER WYLDE (USA), Societe Civile de l’Ecurie Meautry: 0/63.61

7. UNEX OMELLI: 1996 KWPN gelding by Burggraaf x Equador
TIM GREDLEY    (GBR), Unex Competition Yard: 0/63.97

8. BELMONT: 2001 Canadian Warmblood gelding by Ahorn OT x Landfriese II
LAURA KRAUT (USA), Beverly Widdowson: 0/64.05

9. LIGIST: 2000 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Levantos II x Robin Z
REED KESSLER (USA), Reed Kessler: 0/64.17

10. CATHARINA 9: 2004 Mecklenburg mare by Cellestial x Monsum
ANDRE THIEME (GER), Seth Vallhonrat: 0/64.33

11. NOUGAT DU VALLET: 2001 Selle Francais gelding by Scherif D’elle
KATHERINE DINAN (USA), Grant Road Partners: 0/65.92

12. LANSDOWNE: 2003 KWPN stallion by Guidam x Wolfgang
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Ariel & Susan Grange: 0/65.94

Carento and Louise Serio Top Equine Tack and Nutritionals First Year Green Working Hunters

Louise Serio and Carento made their debut in the Equine Tack and Nutritionals First Year Green Working Hunters to much success during week eight of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF), sponsored by G&C Farm.  Serio piloted the seven-year-old Holsteiner gelding, owned by Sherri Crawford, to a division championship after placing sixth under saddle and jumping to third and first places over fences on day one of competition. On day two, Carento and Serio solidified their victory with third and fourth place finishes over fences.

Reserve championship honors went to Artisan Farms’ Antwerp and Cookie Beck. Beck and Antwerp, a seven-year-old Oldenburg gelding, were fourth under saddle day one and jumped to a blue ribbon finish over fences on day two.

Carento and Louise Serio
Carento and Louise Serio. Photo © Anne Gittins Photography.

Week eight of the FTI WEF was Serio and Carento’s first week showing the First Year Green Hunt division. The pair previously competed in the Perfect Products Pre-Green Hunter Level 1 division during weeks two and five of the FTI WEF. Serio was very pleased with the gelding’s performance over higher fences. “He was exceptional. He felt great yesterday and he was great again today. We’re thrilled to keep going,” Serio commented.

Carento is trained by Kitty and John Barker, who recruited Serio to ride him at the beginning of this year. “I just started riding him in Florida this winter. He’s been wonderful. He’s really straightforward and very brave. Yesterday was hard out here for his first time doing First Years. He was excellent,” Serio described.

A combination of inclement weather and a bogey corner in the ring challenged many of the horses during day one of competition.  “Yesterday was a tough day for all of us. The horses got a little weird about a corner, I’m not sure why. There wasn’t anything there! I think today was a nice day to finish up,” Serio stated.

Serio credited Carento’s success to his own internal desire to win. “One of the things you find with these horses [that are successful] is that they always really go in and try to do well. He feels like he’s got that. He doesn’t go in and try to lose, he really tries to win every time,” Serio explained.

Serio expects to continue to compete with Carento in the First Year Green Hunters, but is unsure of their future together past the FTI WEF. “It will be up to his trainers to decide what he does, but I certainly hope to continue riding him,” Serio concluded.

Hunter competition for week eight of the FTI WEF, sponsored by G&C Farm, continues Friday, March 1, with the Low Adult Hunter 2’6″ Section A division, hosted in the Rost Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The International Arena will feature the $10,000 G&C Farm Speed Stake during the day session followed by the $75,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ presented by G&C Farm at 7 p.m. For full results, please visit www.showgroundslive.com.

To view the CSIO Wellington Media Guide for the U.S. Teams, click here.

A section dedicated to the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping is now available on the FEI website here. News from the series are being posted on a regular basis on the FEI’s social media platforms Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/the.fei), Twitter (https://twitter.com/myfei_home) using the hashtag #Furusiyya, and YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/user/feichannel/videos?view=0).
Photo Credit: Photos © Sportfot, An Official Photographer of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, us.sportfot.com, and Anne Gittins Photography, An Official Photographer of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, www.annegittins.com. These photos may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.