Riders Accept their Awards for the Hollow Creek Farm U25 Grand Prix Series Team Event
Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 3, 2017 – Friday night of Week Four at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) marked the start of the $25,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series Team Event held at The Stadium at Equestrian Village, home of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival.
The class was run in a Nations Cup format with each of the 14 competing teams consisting of four riders and a chef d’équipe. Teams were ranked based on the number of faults they acquired. Each team was also granted one dropped score, unless the team consisted of only three members. Only three teams were comprised of three riders, while the other 11 teams had four members.
The challenging course was set at 1.45m in height and was designed by Richard Jeffery of Bournemouth, England. Only one team finished the first round with a perfect score of zero. Team USA/ Ireland lead the competition into round two sitting in first place. Its members included Oliver McCarthy, Alish Cunniffe, Wilton Porter and Lucas Porter.
Round two was held in the same format as round one, with each member of the returning teams completing the course in reverse order of their standings from round one. A tie in round one allowed seven total teams the chance at winning the competition.
After many great efforts over the challenging course, round two ended with a 4-fault tie between Team USA/Ireland and Team Sweet Oak/Vlock. Team Sweet Oak/Vlock was comprised of Kaley Tomeu, Lacey Gilbertson, Teddy Vlock and Brett Burlington.
In the jump-off tiebreaking round, each team had to choose a single rider to either make or break the team’s chances at winning the blue ribbon.
Brett Burlington and Bluff
Team Sweet Oak/Vlock chose Brett Burlington and Bluff, who set the standard with an effortless, fast and clear round.
Brette Burlington and Bluff
“I’ve had Bluff for almost two years so I know him pretty well,” said Burlington. “I was pretty confident on him. We decided to have me do it because I’ve known him for so long and I’ve ridden him in many jump-offs.”
Lucas Porter and Diamonte Darco
Lucas Porter and Diamonte Darco of Team USA/Ireland soon followed, but hit a rail at the second fence. The competition ended with Team Sweet Oak/Vlock’s choice paying off, earning each of their riders a blue ribbon and a pair of Equiline stirrups.
Vlock, Gilbertson, and Tomeu share a laugh on their way to the awards presentation
“I really like the team mentality of this class,” said Kaley Tomeu. “We are all in the same barn and train together so we are all friends and it makes it extra special.”
Tomeu has only been riding the 11-year-old Westphilian mare, Contenance 15, since December.
Kaley Tomeu and Contenance 15
“I am still figuring her out, but I think tonight proved that we are a pretty good match,” Tomeu noted. “I was pretty excited for tonight. We won this event two years ago, and last year we ended up third. Lacey, Brett and I are normally on the same team with one extra person, which Teddy was lucky enough to be this year. We are always really excited for this. It is just neat that it is a team, and we are all in the same barn. We are all friends, which makes it fun.”
Lacey Gilbertson purchased Baloppi, a 10-year-old Danish Warmblood mare, only two weeks ago.
Lacey Gilbertson and Baloppi
“I wanted to go in tonight and have some pretty confident rounds, but I’m still figuring her out,” Gilbertson said. “I am very grateful to her, and I am very excited for what is to come with her.”
For Teddy Vlock, this was only his second U25 class, and the first U25 aboard his mount Cristobar, an 11-year-old Westphalian gelding.
“He jumped super,” said Vlock. “He is kind of everything you could want in a horse, which I love.”
Brett Burlington talking with Chef d’Équipe, Michael DelFiandra
“As a developing program, it has really helped them,” said Chef d’Équipe of Team Sweet Oak/Vlock, Michael DelFiandra. “It helps riders get to grand prix level while also giving them confidence. This program allows riders to gain valuable experience at a lower level before they step up and compete with the professionals.”
Second place was awarded to Team USA/Ireland.
Coming in third place was Team Blue Trees made up of riders Lilli Hymowitz, Mackenzie Drazan, Jennifer Gates and Cloe Hymowitz.
Final Results: $25,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series Team Event, presented by Equiline
1. Team Sweet Oak/Vlock: 4
Kaely Tomeu, Contenance 15: 0/0
Lacey Gilbertson, Baloppi: 0/4
Teddy Vlock, Cristobar: 4/0
Brett Burlington, Bluf: 4/0/0/41.52 seconds
2. Team USA/Ireland: 4
Oliver McCarthy, Double Deuce Retto: 8/Elim.
Ailish Cunniffe, Casper: 0/0
Wilton Porter, Patriot: 0/4
Lucas Porter, Diamonte Darco: 0/0/Ret.
3. Team Blue Trees: 10
Lilli Hymowitz, Zernike K: 5/1
Mackenzie Drazan, Waliba VDL: 4/0
Jennifer Gates, Cadence: 4/Ret.
Cloe Hymowitz, Cylana: 0/1
4. Team 4: 12
Alexandra Crown, Aron S: 4/12
McKayla Langmeier, Iliano van d’Abelendreef: 4/4
Jessica Mendoza, Horst van de Mispeleare: 0/0
Emily Moffitt, Zagahorn: 4/0
5. Team Amexico: 13
Sydney Schulman, Toscane de l’Isle: 4/4
Eve Jobs, Calizz: 4/4
Alexandra Welles, Maraca LS La Silla: 0/4
Eugenio Garza, Armani SL Z: 0/1
6. Team Canada: 21
Bretton Chad, Cornishman: 0/0
Kathryn Dafoe, EOS van de Donkhoeve: 0/9
Nicole Walker, Chaloubet: 9/8
Kara Chad, Ideal de la Hasse: 8/5