Wellington, Fla. – Jan. 13, 2019 – The first Sunday afternoon of the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) drew top talents to the International Arena for the $75,000 Rosenbaum PLLC Grand Prix as riders vied for a spot on the leaderboard. Closing out the first week of WEF and besting the playing field of 37 entries, Beat Mandli of Switzerland navigated Grant Road Partners LLC’s 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding Simba to the win.
The first round featured 13 fences and proved difficult for riders as rails came down in various places on course, which quickly edged out the competition. Going into the class, Mandli’s plan was simple: give Simba a solid ride as the gelding made his return to the show ring following a three-month long rest in a field.
Mandli has had the ride on Simba for three years and their strong partnership was evident as they laid down a fault-free first round, proving that Simba is up to speed and ready for this season. Mandli returned to the International Arena for the jump-off against five other contenders including Ireland’s Daniel Coyle and Kevin Babington, Canada’s Tiffany Foster and the USA’s Adrienne Sternlicht and Kristen Vanderveen.
Mandli’s partner once again demonstrated that he was back to his winning ways as he executed a seemingly effortless jump-off round to stop the timers in a quick 37.539 seconds. As the first pair to tackle the jump-off, Mandli and Simba set the pace for the class. Riders who followed attempted to beat their fast time, but Mandli and Simba ultimately held their lead to earn first place honors.
Finishing just behind Mandli in second place in a time of 37.769 seconds was Coyle riding Farrel, owned by Ariel Grange. Foster rounded out the top three spots in 44.64 seconds aboard Donjo, whom she co-owns with Grange.
Looking ahead to the rest of the season, Mandli is confident that he and Simba, as well as the rest of his string, will continue their success. Mandli is also hoping to qualify for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Gothenburg, Sweden which will take place in April.
At the conclusion of the class, Foster was presented with the Martha W. Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award. The award is given each week of WEF to the highest-scoring female rider based on results in the weekly WEF Challenge Cup and various grand prix events.
Highlight events for the second week of WEF include the $36,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round II, the $72,000 NetJets Grand Prix CSI2*, the $25,000 Hermes Under-25 Grand Prix and the $36,000 CaptiveOne Advisors Championship Classic.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Beat Mandli – $75,000 Rosenbaum LLC Grand Prix winner
“This is my third season riding him and he’s 13 years old already, but he still feels very young and fresh. He had quite a long break. He did a lot of work through the summer so he didn’t show any indoors and he rested for the last three months. It’s his first time coming out this week and he actually surprised me a little bit because we weren’t sure if he really wanted to do it. He made my job really easy today. It wasn’t the goal to win today. I just tried to have a good round or two good rounds, and it turned out like this, which makes me very happy. It is a good start for the season.”
On the jump-off:
“I think he’s naturally a fast horse. He’s a really good horse and he wants to go, so we don’t need to force him to go forward. It’s basically just braking. He did the two turns very well to the wall and everything came together.”
On his plans for this season:
“This year, I’m in a good position where I have two or three more horses that can go, hopefully in the Saturday night classes. So I keep them all fit and fresh and bring the ones to the show that are in good shape and happy. So I can really plan a little bit. My plan was to use [Simba] next week but one of my other horses is fresh, [Dibatsja], the one that won in Harrisburg, so [Simba] already has a week off next week, which I didn’t plan so it’s quite nice.”
Daniel Coyle – $75,000 Rosenbaum LLC Grand Prix second place finisher
“I’ve had Farrel since he was 6 years old and he’s really only starting to jump this level. He’s just turned 9. Last year, we moved him up a little bit and he’s really proven to me, and everybody else, that he deserves to be jumping this level because he can. I think after today especially there are good things to come from him.”
Tiffany Foster – $75,000 Rosenbaum LLC Grand Prix third-place finisher and Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award recipient
On the jump-off:
“After I watched Beat’s round I knew I had no chance, so I decided at that point there had been a few people with a pole down, and I knew Daniel was coming behind me on a super fast horse and he’s a super fast rider. So I thought I would hedge my bets on a double-clear. My horse is very careful, so it’s usually a pretty good gamble to try and go that way, and I can use his stride in a few places.”
“It was a nice day for Ariel Grange who also owns Daniel [Coyle’s] horse along with my horse, [Donjo]. We bought him last year and I started riding him here last year. Ariel and I bought him in the middle of the summer. He’s a very careful horse, but he’s kind of a horse who is better the more comfortable he is and the more he’s been in the ring. I actually did pre-circuit showing and I’m really looking forward to riding him here and being able to go into the same stadium a few times because he seems to get better the more he goes in.”
$75,000 Rosenbaum PLLC Grand Prix
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Simba / Beat Mandli / SUI / 0 / 0 / 37.539
2. Farrel / Daniel Coyle / IRL / 0 / 0 / 37.769
3. Donjo / Tiffany Foster / CAN / 0 / 0 / 44.64
4. Quidam MB / Adrienne Sternlicht / USA / 0 / 4/ 39.122
5. Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / 0 / 14 / 52.012
6. Mark Q / Kevin Babington / IRL / 0 / 15 / 49.803
7. Jarcobond van Den Oude Eik / Christine McCrea / USA / 1 / 79.009
8. Farona / Daniel Coyle / IRL / 1 / 79.031
9. Quality Girl / Todd Minikus / USA / 4 / 73.714
10. Eyecatcher / Mattias Tromp / USA / 4 / 73.753
11. Clearwater / Marilyn Little / USA / 4 / 74.523
12. USA Normande / Margie Engle / USA / 4 / 75.244