Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 13, 2020 – Held in the International Arena at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) facility, the $37,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round VI CSI3* saw 44 entries compete for a slice of the prize money and qualification for the $137,000 Grand Prix CSI3* taking place Friday, February 14. In the end, it was Yuri Mansur (BRA) on his own 11-year-old KPWN gelding, Everglade Santo Antonio, who claimed the top prize besting a five horse jump-off.
The 13-obstacle course set by Catsy Cruise (MEX) was a technical ride featuring a number of jumps and combinations that were made even more challenging due to the smaller arena at Equestrian Village. A triple bar set off of a tight corner and a triple combination proved difficult for even the most experienced riders. While the technicality of the course bested many of the horse-and-rider combinations today, the time allowed only barred a few from the jump-off.
Early in the order, Richard Fellers (USA) aboard Kimberly Bruce’s twelve-year-old Oldenburg gelding Ninou 2 was the first to make it to the jump-off. Another clear contender was not seen until Ireland’s Billy Twomey on his and Sue Davis’ co-owned twelve-year-old Zangersheide stallion, Chat Botte E.D. Following Twomey, four more riders turned in a successful effort to advance to the jump-off including Irish riders Conor Swail, Darragh Kenny, Darragh Kerins, and Brazil’s Mansur.
Only five of the original 44 pairs elected to return for a shot at the win. Four of Ireland’s riders nearly shut all of the other nations out of the jump-off, but the lone Brazilian wedged his way to contend for top honors. Cruise’s demanding second round course probed both horses and riders with arduous questions about rideability and control while also focusing on making it around with the fastest time. Twomey and Chat Botte E.D, laid down the initial track around the shortened course setting the pace at 39.34 seconds, turning in an impressive double-clear performance. The pair held their lead for two more trips, but it was fellow countryman Kerins and Carlos JD Z who overtook the lead, turning in another speedy clear trip with a time of 37.76 seconds.
The pressure was on for Mansur who was last in the order of go. Mansur and Everglade Santo Antonio have only been competing together for 8 months, coming together after British rider, Jamie Marsh, approached Mansur asking him to help sell the headstrong gelding. Mansur recognized the horse’s potential and decided to keep him for himself and develop the horse, now his number two in his string of internationally competitive mounts.
Prior to coming to Wellington for the winter season, the pair had solely shown in Europe and worked their way up from CSI1* classes to their first CSI5*-W class last October. But, the Brazilian rider and his grey gelding were fully in sync during Thursday’s class. Mansur opened up the feisty gelding’s stride between fences only to have him easily come back in his hands to tackle the combinations and delicate fences, highlighting the pair’s compatibility and fast blooming relationship. Thursday’s victory with a time of 37.036 marked the first win for the recently coupled pair on U.S. soil.
Show jumping competition during Week Six of WEF will continue throughout the weekend, with the $137,000 Grand Prix CSI3* bringing qualified grand prix horses and riders back to the Global Dressage International Arena Friday night. Hunter competitors will take the spotlight Saturday evening under the lights for the $100,000 WCHR Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular as the highlight of World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) week.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Yuri Mansur – $37,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round VI CSI3* winner
On Everglade Santo Antonio:
“I have not had him for long and he just started jumping the1.25m to 1.35m classes in Europe at the beginning of September. He was quickly going in the right direction and competing in the bigger classes during indoor season. He was jumping great in Europe at all those big shows. When I arrived in the United States he was a bit surprised, but he was perfect! He was sent to me to try and sell, and straight away I realized that he was a nice horse. I never imagined that he would be as good as he is.”
On the course:
“The first round was really technical. I think the advantage for me is that I came from Europe, so I am more at home in this arena than when I was in the International Arena [at WEF]. The jump-off is the kind of pressure that is not too hard because it was not a quick jump-off, so the strategy was really fun. I tried to do the same strides as [Darrage Kerins] because he was quick, then I tried to go quicker than him just before the last fence.”
On his plans for WEF:
“I have been [to WEF] three times already and this is my fourth time. At the moment, I am going to use Everglade Santo Antonio as a second horse for the big shows, but the way he is showing, it looks like in the future he will be able to do the big stuff. At the moment though, as he is, he is a fun horse!”
$37,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round VI CSI3*
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults | R1 Time / R2 Faults | R2 Time
1. Everglade Santo Antonio / BRA / Yuri Mansur / BRA / 0 | 75.05 / 0 | 37.036
2. Carlos JD Z / Darragh Kerins / IRL / 0 | 76.15 / 0 | 37.769
3. Chat Botte E.D / Billy Twomay / IRL / 0 | 75.9 / 0 |39.345
4. Scarlett Du Sart Z / Darragh Kenny / IRL / 0 | 72.67 / 4 | 35.454
5. GK Coco Chanel / Conor Swail / IRL / 0 | 74.98 / 4 | 36.949
6. Ninou 2 / Richard Fellers / USA / 0 | 76.65 / –
7. Catinka 25 / Vanessa Mannix / CAN / 1 | 77.25
8. Van De Emma / Molly Ashe Cawley / USA / 1 | 77.39
9. Callas / Annabel Revers / USA / 1 | 77.5
10. Amarit D’Amour / Lorenzo De Luca / ITA / 4 | 73.5
11. Cayani SN / Bliss Heers / USA / 4 | 73.69
12. Tulara Colmine / Georgina Bloomberg / USA / 4 | 74.02