Wellington, Fla. – Jan. 19, 2020 – The second week of the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival continued on Sunday, January 19 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center with the FEI CSI2* $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.45m Classic. A total of 67 competitors were seen over the timed course where the United States’ Andrew Welles rode Brindis Bogibo to the winner’s circle.
Oscar Soberon (USA) set the International Arena with a challenging 13 obstacle course in a Table A format. A tight time allowed forced competitors to hustle through the course to avoid time faults, still requiring riders to take care over the delicate fences. Thirteen horses finished their rides with no faults on the scoreboard, making a competitive jump-off stacked with talented combinations
The contingency of riders who moved onto the jump-off included Capt. Brian Cournane, Tomas Yofre, Bliss Heers, Schuyler Riley, Natalie Dean, Celso Ariani, Chris Ewanouski, Sydney Shulman, Daniel Coyle, Adrienne Sternlicht and Erynn Ballard. The time allowed of 55 seconds was no problem for riders, all completing the seven-fence jump-off in less than 40 seconds. However, a more difficult course led four riders to faults, shortening the list of double clear rides to nine in the final result. In the end, a matter of 1.13 seconds pushed Welles to the top while Cournane followed swiftly behind.
Welles’ win aboard Brindis Bogibo (Grand Pilot I x Pacific), a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Itasca Group LLC, marked their first win together of the winter season. Coming off of a successful fall season of competition, Welles recently logged an incredible second place finish in the $136,300 Longines FEI World Cup™ Washington for the President’s Cup aboard the Itasca Group’s Primo Troy. With “Brindis”, Welles earned a top-three finish at Spruce Meadows in the 2018 Queen Elizabeth II Cup, one of their most notable wins together. The 33-year-old athlete currently has an up-and-coming string of six horses that he will continue to campaign throughout the remainder of the season in a variety of divisions while also running his training operation, Team Welles.
Thirty-eight-year-old Cournane and Penelope Cruz took the reserve title for Ireland after their double-clear and quick ride with a time of 37.71 seconds. Penelope Cruz is a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare owned by Cournane & M/M Robert Stiller. The pair have been competing together since July of 2018 when Cournane took over the ride from Irish rider Darragh Kerins Cournane is currently ranked 26th in the FEI Jumping World Cup™ Standings.
With a time of 37.95 seconds, Yofre rounded out the top three with a third-place aboard Peacock Ridge LLC’s Dasino, an 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding. The Argentinian rider has been riding Dasino for only a few months now, but has found great success with him early on.
Week 2 of the Winter Equestrian Festival has now concluded. Week 3 of the Winter Equestrian Festival will begin its competition in the International Arena on Wednesday, January 22, with the FEI $37,000 1.45m Classic in the International Arena.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Andrew Welles – FEI CSI2* $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.45m Classic Winner
On his strategy:
“This was my horse’s first week competing this year, and I wanted to make it a point to improve on jump-offs coming into the season. My plan was to ride with him myself but also give it our best shot. He was really in tune with the course today and I give him a lot of credit, he felt great out there. For me, I love the feeling of my horse going from jumps two to three in the jump-off. I left out a stride there and I really felt him so in tune and gauging the fence off of that lead – that felt great.”
On his partnership with Brindis Bogibo:
“He is actually a horse that has been in our lives for four and a half years. He was owned for me to ride but then he was sold. Then, thanks to the amazing support of the Razbeck and Hogan families, we were able to buy him back for me to ride. It is certainly a unique story but it has been really special to have him back in our lives. A horse like Brindis makes everything else in a program improved. With the Itasca Group we have a great string of young horses that are coming up, but it is a little hard to stay competitive at the top level of the sport when you are riding younger horses that are doing this for the first time. To have a horse that not only can go out and qualify for the grand prix, but can be a good grand prix horse, takes a little bit of pressure off of the younger horses. It keeps the whole team relevant at the highest level of the sport. Brindis is a season veteran so it felt great to have him out there.”
On his plans for the rest of season:
“Our next goal is the World Cup Qualifier at Deeridge. This was kind of his warm-up week for that, so it was nice to end on a good note! The plan is to shoot for the World Cup Qualifier because we are in the hunt for World Cup Finals, so that would be the goal beyond that. We will see how we do!”
On the footing improvements:
“Hats off to the whole team for putting the new footing in! I think it was for sure a topic of conversation for a long time here and I think the team really stepped up to the plate when it came to replacing the footing. The footing feels great, and the horses are jumping really well off of it. I can only hope that they do the same for the other arenas soon! They have done some nice improvements here and my whole team at Team Welles is looking forward to a big season ahead!”
FEI CSI2* CaptiveOne Advisors 1.45m Classic:
Place / Athlete / Horse / Country / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Andrew Welles / Brindis Bogibo / USA / 0 / 0 / 36.58
2. Capt. Brian Cournane / Penelope Cruz / IRL / 0 / 0 / 37.71
3. Tomas Yofre / Dasino / ARG / 0 / 0 / 37.95
4. Bliss Heers / Catani SN / USA / 0 / 0 / 38.04
5. Schuyler Riley / Iceman De Muze / USA / 0 / 0 / 38.76
6. Natalie Dean / Don’s Diamant / USA / 0 / 0 / 38.77
7. Celso Ariani / Ukulman De La Nutria / BRA / 0 / 0 / 38.88
8. Chris Ewanouski / Vagabon De La Vallee / USA / 0 / 0 / 39.78
9. Sydney Shulman / J-Boston S.E / ISR / 0 / 0 / 42.74
10. Daniel Coyle / CHS Krooze / IRL / 0 / 4 / 35.25
11. Adrienne Sternlicht / Cadans Z / USA / 0 / 4 / 36.39
12. Erynn Ballard / Jewel LVP / CAN / 0 / 4 / 38.14