Wellington, FL – February 12, 2016 – Week five of the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) continued at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Friday with a win for Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083 in the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m Classic. Cyklon made Friday’s class his comeback to the winner’s circle after suffering a difficult year with illness and multiple surgeries.

WEF 5, sponsored by Fidelity Investments®, runs February 10-14, 2016. The week will feature the $380,000 Fidelity Investments® Grand Prix CSI 5* on Saturday, February 13. The $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic will conclude the week’s competition on Sunday. The 12-week WEF circuit runs through April 3 offering more than $9 million in prize money.

Shane Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083

Shane Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083

Bob Ellis (GBR) set the course for Friday’s 1.45m speed competition with 71 entries and 21 clear rounds. Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083, owned by Spy Coast Farm LLC, were the winners with an impressive round in 55.76 seconds. The 15-year-old Swedish Warmblood stallion (Cardento x Cortus) is a master of the speed rounds and has won in competitions all around the world, but this summer Cyklon had two close calls with his health.

“Cyklon had a tough year,” Sweetnam stated. “He nearly died twice in June. We went to Europe, and just before we were to go to Mannheim, he colicked and he had to go for surgery. Then a week later, he got an infection in the guttural pouch. It was totally not linked to the colic, but it is very serious and a lot of horses start to bleed out and can die from it. He was in the stall, and he was lucky that it was during the day because if it were during the night, he could have just bled out. We were in Belgium, and the clinic was only ten minutes away, so he got straight to the clinic. A specialist came in from France and did a couple of surgeries, and with the help of everyone there, he recovered. It is very rare. They do not know how it happens, but some horses just get it and a lot of horses do die from it.”

“Between the surgeries and everything, it took a long time for him to come back,” Sweetnam continued. “He could not travel back to the U.S. for a while. He was there in the clinic for three or four months – nearly the whole summer. Then he came back and did quarantine in October. Lucky enough, Spy Coast can do their own quarantine, so he did quarantine there. I started riding him again there towards the end of October and then I started showing him again the first week of December.”

“He feels great,” the rider declared. “He is only back properly in the ring since December. I did a couple of smaller shows, and this is his second week at WEF and he has been placed in all four classes, so I think he is happy to be back. He is an unbelievable horse, but that just shows you how much of a winner he is and what a horse of a lifetime he is, especially in these divisions. He is just a great horse.”

Sweetnam and Cyklon went 66th in the order to take over the lead. The pair’s time of 55.76 seconds pushed Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Stone Hill Farm’s Davendy S into second place on their round in 55.95 seconds. Adam Prudent (FRA), who took an early lead in 56.78 seconds, settled for third with Plain Bay Sales’ Vasco. Conor Swail (IRL) finished fourth aboard Ariel and Susan Grange’s Cita with a time of 57.03 seconds, and Reed Kessler (USA) and Kessler Show Stables’ Ligist finished fifth in 57.71 seconds.

“I saw Adam Prudent go, and I said after that, I did not think he would be beat,” Sweetnam admitted. “I had a plan to see where I would finish up; I thought I could be top four maybe. Then everything just came up really nice, and he is such a quick horse. I did the inside turn at the top of the ring. I do not know if Adam did that, but I saw Conor Swail do it. When I walked the course originally, I was thinking of doing the inside turn, and then I saw that nobody was doing it. Then I walked in with the horse and looked at it, and I thought, ‘Okay, he can do that.’ And I think that is what made the difference.”

Shane Sweetnam in his winning presentation with Natasha Dominguez, Rodolfo Maya, and Waverly Ernst for The Maya Group at Illustrated Properties, and ringmaster Christian Craig.

Shane Sweetnam in his winning presentation with Natasha Dominguez, Rodolfo Maya, and Waverly Ernst for The Maya Group at Illustrated Properties, and ringmaster Christian Craig.

In addition to their winning prize money, Sweetnam and Cyklon 1083 were presented with the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award for week five, a special award presented by Laura Fetterman of Champion Equine Insurance. Speaking of the honor, Sweetnam agreed, “Cyklon has great style. He has great conformation, and he is a great horse. His technique is very good and obviously he is a beautiful looking horse when he is going around.”

Sweetnam is still deciding whether he will jump Cyklon again in Sunday’s $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic, but the horse will definitely have a couple of weeks off after this week. “He deserves them, but he does not really like time off,” Sweetnam laughed. “He likes to be in the ring.”

Also competing in the International Ring on Friday, Jacob Pope and Zilvana won the $2,500 MAYBACH – ICONS OF LUXURY High Amateur-Owner jump-off, and McKayla Langmeier topped the $1,500 Sleepy P Ranch High Junior Jumper jump-off class riding Jane Clark’s Whistler. The $6,000 Illustrated Properties 1.40m Speed Challenge concluded competition in the International Ring for the day. The class was held in a California Split with a win for Richard Spooner and MH Warbucks LLC’s MH Wardance in Section A and Georgina Bloomberg aboard Gotham Enterprizes LLC’s South Street in Section B.

Leslie Campbell Captures Camping World Adult Amateur Hunter 50 & Over Section A Championship

Leslie Campbell rode her own E.L. Raymond to the Camping World Adult Amateur Hunter 50 & Over Section A championship. Campbell, who is from Arkansas, topped the under saddle and placed first, second, third, and fifth over fences over the two days of competition. Reserve honors went to Lynn Rogers and her nine-year-old Selle Luxembourgeois gelding Blue Point. The pair earned fourth in the under saddle and first and second over fences.

Campbell began riding as a child on Quarter Horses and Saddlebreds, but started showing hunters following her college graduation. “When I finished college and started paying my own way for horses I rode with John French for a few years, and then I took 16 years off to work on my career,” Campbell explained.

Leslie Campbell and E.L. Raymond

Leslie Campbell and E.L. Raymond

When Campbell began competing again four years ago, she teamed up with Bill Schaub. “It was just a perfect fit, and we found Raymond. I leased him first. Then I decided I was ready to buy a horse, and made a list of all the things I wanted in a horse, and looked down and realized I was sitting on it. So I bought him,” she detailed. “It’s been wonderful since then. He’s a fantastic horse.”

E.L. Raymond has had an illustrious career, beginning as Hardin Towell’s first junior hunter. Since then many riders have showed the Warmblood gelding to great success. “His name is E.L. Raymond and it stands for Everybody Loves Raymond, which everybody does,” Campbell laughed. “He’s had a long, long career and now he’s with me for life. It’s a really good partnership, and I feel very privileged,” she stated.

Despite Raymond’s age at 18 years old, Campbell insists, “he shows no signs of slowing down.” “He feels great physically. We take really good care of him,” she said. “He’s our precious Raymond, so whatever he wants he gets.”

Campbell has battled some health issues, which made competing difficult. “This is kind of a comeback year for me. I had heart surgery, so I’m so grateful I can have a horse like Raymond that I can trust and know is going to help me get back in the saddle in the right way,” she stated.

Leslie Campbell and E.L. Raymond in their championship presentation with ringmaster Christian Craig.

Leslie Campbell and E.L. Raymond in their championship presentation with ringmaster Christian Craig.

Campbell enjoys showing in the competitive Adult Amateur division. “It’s fun to have lots of friends riding with you that are rooting for you, so this is a really nice division,” she explained. “I was just happy to put in two consistent rounds. I think as adult amateurs that is a really important piece of this whole thing, just to be consistent.”

Campbell lives in Wellington for the entirety of the WEF circuit. Each year she sets a goal to be champion at least once, which she has accomplished each year. “I’m delighted because this is really good company. These horses are good, these riders are good, and so it’s an honor to be champion ever in this division,” she said.

Hunter action continues on Saturday morning with the Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3” 18-35 division presented by Osphos. Jumper action resumes in the International Arena as well, featuring the $380,000 Fidelity Investments® Grand Prix CSI 5*. For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.

Final Results: $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m Classic

1. CYKLON 1083: 2001 Swedish Warmblood stallion by Cardento x Cortus
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm LLC: 0/55.76

2. DAVENDY S: 2003 Belgian Warmblood mare by Kashmir van Schuttershof x Pachat II
JESSICA SPRINGSTEEN (USA), Stone Hill Farm: 0/55.95

3. VASCO: 2002 KWPN gelding by Andiamo x Clinton
ADAM PRUDENT (FRA), Plain Bay Sales: 0/56.78

4. CITA: 2006 Holsteiner mare by Casall x Pik Ramiro
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Ariel and Susan Grange: 0/57.03

5. LIGIST: 2000 Swedish Warmblood gelding Levantos II x Robin Z
REED KESSLER (USA), Kessler Show Stables: 0/57.71

6. CAYA: 2006 Holsteiner mare by Carolus I x Lancer II
ALI WOLFF (USA), John C. Wolff: 0/58.31

7. CARUSCHKA 2: 2004 Oldenburg mare by Caspar x Continue
EDUARDO MENEZES (BRA), Eduardo Menezes: 0/58.77

8. NEW YORK: 2006 KWPN gelding by Verdi x Watzmann
HARDIN TOWELL (USA), Jennifer Gates LLC: 0/58.86

9. GLASGOW DE MUZE: 2006 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Andiamo x Parco
RAMIRO QUINTANA (ARG), Michael Smith: 0/59.75

10. BIJOU DE BALOU: 2006 Rheinlander mare by Balou du Rouet x Graf Grannus
KATIE DINAN (USA), Grant Road Partners LLC: 0/61.63

11. TEDDY DU BOSQUETIAU: 2003 Belgian Sport Horse gelding by Ogano Sitte x Albion du Chene Brule
IAN MILLAR (CAN), Emily Kinch: 0/62.61

12. CICERO II: 2007 KWPN gelding by Cicero Z x Guidam
HARRIE SMOLDERS (NED), Axel Verlooy: 0/63.66

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