Wellington, Fla. – March 21, 2019 – Round Eleven of the $72,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup kicked off Thursday afternoon in the International Arena of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. A popular weekly attraction of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), Thursday marked the second to last round of the Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup series. Out of 72 contenders, it was Amanda Derbyshire aboard Luibanta BH that once again rode her way to first place honors.
Course designer Olaf Peterson (GER) challenged riders with a 13-obstacle first round course that included a triple combination, triple bar, and liverpool. The change of venue proved difficult for some as they had to navigate their way around a tight track. The first clear effort was seen early on the line-up by 22-year-old Lucas Porter (USA) riding Sleepy P Ranch LLC’s Diamonte Darco.
Following Porter’s clear effort, 11 other horse-and-rider combinations would produce clear rounds to compete for the top prize in the jump-off. Of the 12 riders contenders, only 10 elected to return, including Alise Oken (USA), Martin Fuchs (SUI), Beat Mandli (SUI), McLain Ward (USA), Juan Manuel Gallego (COL), Alejandro Karolyi (VEN), Susan Horn (CAN), and Amanda Derbyshire (GBR).
As the pathfinder, Porter put down a quick effort in 40.287 seconds, but had an unfortunate rail at the second to last fence to finish on four faults. Third to contest the jump-off was Fuchs aboard Chica BZ, owned by Juri Adolfo. The pair left all of the rails up and finished in 42.72 seconds. Though two seconds slower than Porter, Fuchs’ clear effort was enough to take over the first place position.
Competitors that followed attempted to ride their way into first, but none could catch Fuchs’ quick time. The final athlete to enter the ring was last week’s $134,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI3* winner, Derbyshire, riding Gochman Sport Horses LLC’s Luibanta BH. Derbyshire was quick and careful over the seven-effort jump-off, shaving one second off of Fuchs’ time to finish in 41.818 seconds, enough to take over the lead.
Thursday’s competition marked the first 2019 win for Derbyshire and the 11-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare. After competing at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Tryon, North Carolina, Derbyshire has been saving the mare to compete in the final weeks of competition at WEF, with plans to travel to compete in Nations Cup classes over the summer.
Derbyshire was ultimately awarded first place for her efforts, while Fuchs and the 10-year-old Zangersheide mare would receive second. Horn and Balintore, owned by Kingsfield Farm, rounded out the top three after their fault-free jump-off finish in 49.787 seconds.
The twelfth and final round of the Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup series will conclude Thursday, March 28 with the $134,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup CSI5* back at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). Competition for Week Eleven of WEF continues through Sunday, March 24, featuring the $209,000 Wellington Agricultural Services Grand Prix CSI4* taking place at Adequan Global Dressage Festival’s Derby Field on Saturday morning at 11:00 a.m.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Amanda Derbyshire – $72,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round XI winner
On her win:
“It feels incredible [to win last Saturday and today.] We haven’t shown this horse too much. We’ve kind of been waiting to not do too much this WEF. I was missing out on showing a little bit and finally it paid off that I saved them for the right classes and the horses feel great. They jumped absolutely fantastic.”
On her plan in the jump-off:
“With [Luibanta BH], she’s always going to jump the jumps and she’s so agile and light that I knew I could spin her right back up to that double combination. She’s always going to want to look for the next jump and she’s always going to back herself off – that’s the beauty of her. Again, I had the advantage of going last knowing there was only two clear, I thought I should go fast just in case I have one [rail] down and that paid off. I actually didn’t think I was faster than Martin [Fuchs] because I did 10 [strides] in the last line and he did 9. I was clear up until that point so I tried not to get too greedy and do the number I planned.”
On Luibanta BH:
“She is simply the nicest horse you could ever be around or work around. She’s very happy-go-lucky. She was my mount for [the FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG)] last year and after WEG she got to take it easy. We have big plans for the summer – hopefully some Nations Cup classes.”
On riding in the Global Dressage Festival International Ring:
“I wasn’t that bothered [by riding in the smaller ring] because my horse is good anywhere. I did walk the course thinking that it was big today but it rode nice for everyone. Obviously in a tighter ring it’s pretty important to stick to the plan and the track. There’s a lot of options on the bending lines to do different numbers so I just walked my plan this morning and went away to do some stuff at [the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center]. I came back about 20 [trips] out to watch a couple and rode the track I walked this morning and it happened to work out well.”
$72,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round XI
Place / Horse / RIder / Owner / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Luibanta BH / Amanda Derbyshire / GBR / 0 | 73.03 / 0 | 41.818
2. Chica BZ / Martin Fuchs / SUI / 0 | 73.3 / 0 | 42.72
3. Balintore / Susan Horn / CAN / 0 | 74.9 / 0 | 49.787
4. Diamonte Darco / Lucas Porter / USA / 0 | 74.38 4 | 40.287
5. Tradition De La Roque / McLain Ward / USA / 0 | 71.3 / 4 | 40.429
6. Simba / Beat Mandli / SUI / 0 | 72.77 / 4 | 43.263
7. Hitchcock Vd Broekkant / Alise Oken / 0 | 71.85 / 4 | 48.6
8. Lincourt Gino / Alejandro Karolyi / 0 | 71.67 / 4 | 51.204
9. H5 Chaganus / Eduardo Menezes / 0 | 73.93 / 12 | 45.018
10. Fleur De L’aube / Jessica Springsteen / USA / 0 | 71.52 / WD
11. Luis P / Chloe Reid / 0 | 74.78 / WD
12. Coulash Van De Broy Z / Juan Manuel Gallego / 0 | 75.31 / RT