Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 21, 2018 – Week Seven of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) saw the return of CSI5* recognized competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Showing resumed on Wednesday and competition in the International Arena wrapped up with the $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m Classic CSI5*. A field of close to 70 entries were lined up for the 2 p.m. start time with veteran athletes such as McLain Ward and Eric Lamaze Danielle Goldstein vying for the win. Close to the end of the three-hour class, Ecuador’s Diego Vivero took the lead, by clearing the final Douglas Elliman vertical in a blazing 30.356 seconds.
The 1.45m classic once again opted for a longer course in a power and speed format over a jump-off. The first set of six fences represented the power portion and the remaining six were reserved for the speed round. Jump and time faults were combined at the finale of each course, and riders were ranked after only one round based on their overall faults and time. In the end, the course saw a surprising 24 entries execute faultless performances, while a handful of athletes saw issues with the time-allowed.
Vivero and his partner, a 12-year-old KWPN mare, Bijoux, owned by Javier Estrada, piloted around the power and speed course in an effortless and swift manner, setting a time that bumped Kristen Vanderveen (USA) down from her previous top spot with Bull Run’s Divine Fortune, and securing him the lead for the remainder of the class. Following Vivero, Ward (USA) and Andy Kocher (USA) did their best to overtake Vivero but both fell just short.
Ward expertly executed the two-part course aboard the 10-year-old Sagamore Farms-owned Belgian Warmblood mare, Cerise, but fell behind Vivero by a little more than half a second as he cleared the final obstacle in a time of 30.927 seconds, which would garner him third place. New Jersey native, Kocher, was quick to split the difference between the two, landing in a time of 30.741 seconds for second place honors. Kocher piloted the Top Line Sporthorse International, LLC’s 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, Kahlua, with whom he has had many previous successes.
CSI5* jumper competition will return bright and early to the PBIEC with the $132,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round VII CSI5* highlighting Thursday’s schedule of events, leading up to the $384,000 Grand Prix CSI5*, sponsored by Rolex, on Saturday evening.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE:
Diego Vivero — $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m Classic Winner
On how he managed to have the best time:
“My mare is very fast and she doesn’t lose time over the jumps because she is very flat over the fences and in her canter. We took the liverpool in a very good turn and then I think that after the double we had excellent time to the last line.”
On how it felt to win for Ecuador:
“For me and for my country it’s very special because my country is very small in this sport. We don’t have many International riders so it’s very important. I was so proud and moved to be able to hear our national anthem and see our flag at the end of the class.”
“I’ve had her for a little over two years. She’s very fast and she has a very big heart. she wins a lot of speed classes and she’s been very consistent over the WEF season so far.”
$35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m Classic
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1.Bijoux / Diego Vivero / ECU / 0 | 52.6 / 0 | 30.356
2.Kahlua / Andrew Kocher / USA / 0 | 52.94 / 0 | 30.741
3.Cerise / Mclain Ward / USA / 0 | 53.62 / 0 | 30.927
4.Caruschka 2 / Eduardo Menezes /BRA / 0 | 54.08 / 0 | 31.345
5.Bull Run’s Divine Fortune / USA / Kristen Vanderveen / 0 | 54.91 / 0 | 31.714
6.Eclatant / Petronella Andersson / SWE / 0 | 55.02 / 0 | 31.717
7.Little Lord 90 / Karen Polle / JPN / 0 | 55.58 / 0 | 32.007
8.Chapilot / Rodrigo Lambre / BRA / 0 | 52.73 / 0 | 32.087
9.Manodie II H / Georgina Bloomberg / USA / 0 | 54.95 / 0 | 32.383
10.Jiva / Beezie Madden / USA / 0 | 54.77 / 0 | 33.405
11. Burburry R / Petronella Andersson / SWE / 0 | 55.31 / 0 | 33.476
12.Galan S / Beat Mandli / SUI / 0 | 56.59 / 0 | 33.553
For a full list of results, click here.