Wellington, FL – January 19, 2018 – In Friday’s $6,000 Bainbridge 1.40m Jumpers CSI 2* at the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), it was Olympian Sharn Wordley (NZL) who sped to the top of the results with Rye Val de Mai. WEF is a 12-week circuit of hunter, jumper, and equitation competition, held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL, through April 1, 2018, and offers more than $9 million in prize money.

Sharn Wordley and Rye Val de Mai.
Photo by Sportfot

Week 2, sponsored by Marshall & Sterling Insurance, features the $70,000 Marshall & Sterling Insurance Grand Prix CSI 2* on Saturday, January 20, at 7 p.m. The $25,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix and $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.45m Classic will be held on Sunday, January 21.

One of the most popular jumper divisions at WEF, the 1.40m Jumpers have a new sponsor this year in The Bainbridge Companies. But, they are no stranger to WEF, having been a sponsor for 17 years. In 2018, The Bainbridge Companies are celebrating their 20th anniversary.

The Bainbridge Companies’ Chairman and CEO, Richard Schechter, stated, “I’m very excited about [sponsoring the 1.40m division] because the class runs over multiple days and multiple rings, although usually in the International Arena, every week of WEF. It’s exciting for us, and I think what I liked about the 1.40m is that you get a very broad cross-section of people competing in it.

“We do this because we’re very dedicated to supporting the sport,” he continued.

“I have my own farm, my own hunter/jumper program, so I think that Bainbridge is dedicated to helping support the sport and, particularly in Wellington, to help the sport grow.”

There were 15 clear out of 36 entries over Oscar Soberon’s (MEX) course design in Friday’s Bainbridge 1.40m Jumpers. It was a speed format, and the fastest round was recorded by Sharn Wordley riding his own Rye Val de Mai, a 13-year-old Selle Francais stallion by Helios de la Cour II. They crossed the timers in 55.29 seconds.

Sharn Wordley and Rye Val de Mai in their presentation with ringmaster Steve Rector.
Photo by Sportfot

Wordley stated, “I think the course builder is doing a fantastic job. With the way the footing is now, I can plan what is best for my horses and not necessarily how the footing is going to be. The footing is great, and I wanted to say that because they’ve put a lot of effort into it.”

Second place went to Erynn Ballard (CAN) on Sagamore Farms’ Bella Donna with a time of 56.12 seconds. Jonathan Corrigan (IRL) and Steven Klein’s Javas Keltic Mist were third in 59.01 seconds.

Wordley, who is based in Lexington, KY, and Wellington, FL, uses Rye Val de Mai primarily for FEI ranking classes and an occasional two-star grand prix. The stallion is back in the ring after an extended vacation.

“He’s a great horse,” said Wordley, who represented New Zealand at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. “He won me the rider bonus in Kentucky last summer. I gave him quite a good break over the Christmas period, so he hasn’t shown for about three and a half months. This is his first show back, and he felt fantastic.

“He’s French, so he’s got a very downhill balance and he’s very stiff,” he continued. “But if you just let him go around with his nose on the ground, he’s such a careful jumper and he’s so smart, that he’s really easy. You can pull him out after three and a half months, go show, and win a class. That’s his mentality every day. He’s a brilliant horse to have on the team.”

Wordley plans to bring his stallion back out for Sunday’s $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.45m Classic, also an FEI ranking class.

In the $6,000 Bainbridge 1.40m Speed Challenge, Laura Chapot (USA) scored the top two spots out of 79 entries with Zealous and Quointreau Un Prince. Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Jewel 8 placed third.

Melissandre Lincourt and City Lights Claim Championship Title in WEF 2 Young Hunter 3’-3’6” Division

Melissandre Lincourt, from Montreal, QB, and City Lights, owned by Darprin Enterprises LLC, set a high bar to beat Friday afternoon with one of the highest scores to be seen at the second week of the Winter Equestrian Festival. The pair were sixth under saddle, and third, fourth, first, and first over fences, topping the last two with an impressive 87 and a 90 from the judges in the Young Hunter 3’-3’6” division.

Melissandre Lincourt and City Lights.
Photo by Sportfot

City Lights, a seven-year-old chestnut gelding, was recently leased by one of Lincourt’s clients, Candice Wagner, a young rider from Westmont, QC, and has made himself right at home in Lincourt’s program. WEF 2 marks his first time competing in the Young Hunter division.

“What he did today was beyond expectation,” said Lincourt. “We can’t ask for him to be much better than that.”

The Quebec native added that, in spite of his recent big win, “City” is still very green and will need some more mileage before doing anything more serious. For now, she hopes to continue showing him in the Young Hunter 3’-3’6” division while Wagner competes with him in the Adult Hunter Younger 18-35 division.

“Considering how green he is, we are going to focus on consistency,” said Lincourt. “Candice is going to hopefully try to qualify for the [$5,000 WCHR Peggy Cone] Adult Hunter Classic [during] WEF 6 and then we hope to move [City] into the [Green Hunter division] so that maybe he can eventually qualify for the [Green Hunter] Incentive Program.”

City Lights in his championship presentation with Sarah Beaudry Campeau (left) and Candice Wagner (right).
Photo by Sportfot

Reserve honors went to Hunter Kay, from Charlotte, NC, aboard Fearless, owned by Emily Durlatch. The duo took a first, fifth, and seventh over fences with a first under saddle in the Young Hunter 3’-3’6” division.

The 2018 WEF continues on Saturday with the highlight event of the week, the $70,000 Marshall & Sterling Grand Prix CSI 2*, at 7 p.m., as well as the championship for the Hunt Ltd. Amateur-Owner 2’6” 36+ Hunter division.

Final Results: $6,000 Bainbridge 1.40m Jumpers CSI 2*
1   RYE VAL DE MAI: 2005 Selle Francais stallion by Helios de la Cour II x Type d’Elle
SHARN WORDLEY (NZL), Sharn Wordley: 0/55.29
2   BELLA DONNA: 2006 KWPN mare by Gentleman x Latano
ERYNN BALLARD (CAN), Sagamore Farms: 0/56.12
3   JAVAS KELTIC MIST: 2006 Irish Sport Horse gelding by ARD VDL Douglas x Clover Hill
JONATHAN CORRIGAN (IRL), Steven Klein: 0/59.01
4   BACHELOR 4: 2002 Rheinlander gelding by Baloubet du Rouet x Grosso Z
FREDDIE VAZQUEZ (PUR), Messenger Hill: 0/59.39
5   COLORA: 2009 Holsteiner mare by Contendro I x Lord
THEO GENN (USA), Bridlebourne Stables LLC: 0/60.31
6   BALOU’S CAPTAIN: 2009 Oldenburg stallion by Baloubet du Rouet x Captain Paul I
EDUARDO MENEZES (BRA), H5 Stables: 0/61.44
7   SAM 1091: 2009 Rhinelander gelding by Stakkatol x Spartan
PETER LUTZ (USA), QBS Equestrian LLC: 0/61.90
8   URUS 2: 2005 Oldenburg gelding by Canturo x Cento
LIUBOV KOCHETOVA (RUS), Liubov Kochetova: 0/62.92
9   GLOBAL VAN’T  BRAUNERTHOF: 2006 BWP gelding by Vigo d’Arsouilles x Landetto
JORGE MATTE CAPDEVILA (CHI), Jorge Matte Capdevila: 0/63.05
10  JARCOBOND VAN DEN OUDE EIK: 2009 BWP gelding by Vagabond de la Pomme x Darco
CHRISTINE MCCREA (USA), Candy Tribble: 0/64.09
11  CYPRESS VF: 2009 Holsteiner mare by Chepetto x Classido
SÖHNKE THEYMANN (GER), Morgan Evans: 0/67.14
12  BALOU DU REVENTON: 2006 Oldenburg stallion by Cornet Obolensky x Continue
JORGE MATTE CAPDEVILA (CHI), Jorge Matte Capdevila: 0/67.44