Wellington, Fla – Mar. 15, 2018 – Spectators at the tenth week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) looked on as Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Chesney outperformed the large playing field of 85 entries to capture yet another win in the ever-popular $35,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round X CSI3*. Thursday’s victory officially marked Lamaze’s 28th WEF Challenge Cup win of his illustrious career. Prior to that, he was tied with fellow Olympian McLain Ward (USA).
Featuring names of legends in the sport such as “Captain Canada” Ian Millar, Beezie Madden (USA), Margie Engle (USA), and Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA), the title was up for grabs and it would be no easy feat to earn a spot in the winner’s circle. Lamaze proved his consistency to carve his name on the trophy and earn a spot in Saturday’s grand prix once again.
Thursday’s tough track was built by FEI Level 4 course designer Michel Vaillancourt, of Canada, who is known for creating challenging courses around the globe at some of the finest international shows. The technical course consisted of 13 fences set at 1.50m in height for the first round, which saw only nine athletes jump fault-free to advance to the short course.
Lamaze was number 65 in the order to try his hand over the first round course with Chesney, owned by Artisan Farms, LLC. The athlete was pleasantly surprised with the gelding’s brilliant performance. The pair has only showed a few other times together this season in both Wellington, Fla. and Ocala, Fla.
Lamaze left no stone unturned in the jump-off, breezing through the timers in just 36.597 seconds. The 2007 Dutch Warmblood was one of only four horses who were able to produce a double-clear performance.
Amber Harte (USA) secured the second place position aboard Take The High Road, LLC’s Austria 2, but fell short behind Lamaze, galloping through the timers in 37.078 seconds. Georgina Bloomberg (USA) stopped the timers in 37.501 seconds piloting Gotham Enterprize’s Manodie II H to finish in the third place position.
Competition will resume in the International Arena on Friday morning beginning at 8 a.m. with the 5 Year Old DJS Young Jumper 1.10m class. Week Ten of WEF will showcase more top show jumping talent in the $132,000 Horseware Ireland Grand Prix CSI3* on Saturday evening at 7 p.m. Riders will hope that luck is on their side as they try to vie for top results and a spot in the winner’s circle this St. Patrick’s Day.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Eric Lamaze – $35,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round X CSI3* winner
“It was a good jump off. I started the year with Chesney and he had a good Spruce Meadows. He is 99% careful and he really takes care of the jumps. It took me a little while to get used to him. He is the kind of horse that you don’t overly run to give him the scope, you let him kind of figure it out on his own. He started to believe in me and now we click well together. I must say that today’s win is a big step up for us. I didn’t have any plans for him on this circuit to be honest. I have a lot of respect for how careful he is, but we’re coming down to the end and we have horses in Europe, we’re going to Mexico next week so some of my horse have to step up.”
On his future plans for Chesney:
“I’m happy that Chesney responded well to that; I love careful horses and he sure is a catty one that I think has quite a bit of jump in him. I really believe in him. I think that he is a first class horse and if I can manage to bring him up to that last level I think he is the real deal and high quality. At the moment I’m planning big with him, I click very well with him. I think these days it’s very important to click with your horse. It’s not only about what they can do, it’s the horse-rider team together that can somehow make things happen. It’s also great to have an Artisan Farms horse to finish first, it’s a privilege to ride their horses.”
On Michel Vaillancourt’s course:
“Michel is such a technical course builder. The time allowed was right on and the open five strides to the triple combination caused all kinds of trouble, but lucky enough I have a horse that could make six strides. All of the lines offered a chance for a horse to learn with good riding capability. He is one of the best course designers in the world. I recommend him to some of my friends in Europe. He did a show in Switzerland a few years ago, a 5*, and he did a fantastic job. I think he is one of the best. The Pan-Am Games in Toronto was a great success too. He really knows what he is doing and he takes care of the horses and the riders.”
$35,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round X CSI3*, sponsored by Equinimity:
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Chesney / Eric Lamaze / CAN / Artisan Farms, LLC / 0 / 0 / 36.597
2. Austria 2 / Amber Harte / USA / Take The High Road, LLC / 0 / 0 / 37.078
3. Manodie II H / Georgina Bloomberg / USA / Gotham Enterprizes, LLC / 0 / 0 / 37.501
4. Dixson / Ian Millar / CAN / Ariel Grange / 0 / 0 / 38.577
5. Cherokee / Jennifer Mattell / CAN / Joe Matell / 0 / 4 / 38.243
6. Columbcille De Reve / Nicholas Dello Joio / USA / Crooks Show Jumping / 0 / 4 / 41.391
7. Gasper Van Den Doorn / Teddy Vlock / USA / Vlock Show Stables / 0 / 4 / 43.096
8. Randon Pleasure / Stephanie Macieira / BRA / Bonne Chance Farm LLC / 0 / 8 / 44.033
9. Carna Z / Gustavo Prato / ARG / Equus Forte LLC / 0 / 12 / 37.557
10. Cacharel / Kelly Soleau / USA / Bridge Brook Farms / 1 / 75.1
11. Skyhorse / Lillie Keenan / USA / Chansonette Farm LLC / 1 / 75.65
12. Christos / Tiffany Foster / CAN / 1 / 76.6
For full results, click here.