Wellington, Fla. – March 7, 2019 – Week Nine of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) once again welcomes some of the world’s top horses and athletes for the third CSI5* week of the 2019 season. The $134,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round Nine CSI5* saw 52 combinations come forth to challenge Irish course designer Alan Wade’s technical track, but it was Brazil’s Eduardo Menezes who ultimately captured the win aboard his longtime partner H5 Quintol, owned by H5 Stables.
Only seven were able to jump fault-free over the 13-obstacle first round course, five of which went on to finish double-clear.
Jessica Springsteen (USA) and Stone Hill Farm’s Fleur De L’Aube were the first pair to return in the jump-off and were the early clear pathfinders in 37.159 seconds.
Kevin Babington (IRL) and Shorapur, owned by Shorapur LLC, followed suit, crossing the finish line just five-hundredths of a second faster in 37.106 seconds.
Menezes and the 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding went third in the order and stopped the timers in 36.667 seconds to takeover the lead, which would hold throughout the remaining four rounds featuring Canada’s Tiffany Foster, Mexico’s Enrique Gonzalez and Fernando Martinez and the USA’s Andrew Welles.
In the end, Babington and Shorapur took home reserve honors, while Springsteen and Fleur De L’Aube rounded out the top three.
Menezes and H5 Quintol have been partnered together for eight years and helped Team Brazil claim the gold medal in the 2015 BMO Nations Cup at Spruce Meadows. After WEF, Menezes has his sights set on competing at the upcoming 2019 Pan American Games to be held in Lima, Peru, July 26–Aug. 11 to help Team Brazil qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Week Nine at WEF features the highly anticipated $391,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix CSI5* on Saturday evening at 7 p.m. in the International Arena. CSI5* competition will resume during Week Twelve, the final week of the circuit, March 27–31.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Eduardo Menezes – $134,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round Nine CSI5*
On H5 Quintol:
“I bought him as a young horse and we’ve come a long way. We’ve been partners for eight years now. [I started riding him] when he was 6 coming 7 and he’s 13 now. He’s a very special horse. He’s afraid of everything outside of the ring, but not inside the ring. When I rode him I had this special feeling and I always will. I chose to ride him this week because of Alan Wade, the course designer — he’s one of the best out there. I know he builds big enough and tough enough. It suits [H5 Quintol] when it’s very big and very tough. He can go over any course.”
On his plan for the jump-off:
“[My plan was to go] as fast as I could and clear. He has a huge stride and over the years he’s learned how to go fast in the turns. If I can turn once or twice then just open his stride, he gets really fast.”
On Thursday’s win:
“It means everything. My parents and my owners are here — everybody is happy and I’m happy for the horse. He deserves it.”
On his upcoming plans:
“We have the Pan American Games coming up. I have H5 Quintol and this horse named [H5] Chaganus. I’ll leave it to the chef d’équipe to call me if he wants and with whatever horse he wants. That’s the aim of my two good horses. We need to qualify [for the Olympics].”
$134,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round Nine CSI5*:
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. H5 Quintol / Eduardo Menezes / BRA / 0 | 70.32 / 0 | 36.667
2. Shorapur / Kevin Babington / IRL / 0 | 70.55 / 0 | 37.106
3. Fleur De L’Aube / Jessica Springsteen / USA / 0 | 71.52 / 0 | 37.159
4. Chacna / Enrique Gonzalez / MEX / 0 | 69.81 / 0 | 37.356
5. Brighton / Tiffany Foster / CAN / 0 | 69.89 / 0 | 37.893
6. Cor Bakker / Fernando Martinez Sommer / MEX / 0 | 71.81 / 4 | 40.318
7. Brindis Bogibo / Andrew Welles / USA / 0 | 68.96 / 4 | 41.859
8. Sari / Karen Polle / JPN / 1 | 72.52
9. Chameur 137 / Georgina Bloomberg / USA / 1 | 73.11
10. Carollo / Andrew Kocher / USA / 1 | 73.53
11. Royce / Margie Engle / USA / 1 | 73.9
12. Skyhorse / Lillie Keenan / USA / 1 | 74.59