Wellington, Fla. — Feb. 7, 2018 — The fifth week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) kicked off on Wednesday with the season’s first CSI5*. The $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m Classic was the first highlight event, with a total of 61 entries vying for the win, including veterans such as McLain Ward, Kent Farrington, and Todd Minikus.
United States athlete Kristen Vanderveen with Bull Run’s Divine Fortune, one of two of Vanderveen’s mounts in the class, swept the rest of the competition. Vanderveen and the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood (Padinus x Amhilavasca Fortuna) mare owned by Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC had a blazing fast time over the first set of fences and carried their pace into the speed round. Vanderveen also secured the twelfth place position with Bull Run’s Testify, a 14-year-old Selle Francais gelding owned by Bull Run Jumpers, Inc.
Athletes were tested as the Classic differentiated from the usual first round and jump-off format and was instead held as a power & speed class with the timers resetting to zero after the 6th obstacle. Even competitors with faults coming from the power portion were allowed to continue into the speed and any faults accumulated were combined at the end of the round. Overall almost one-third of the 61-horse lineup would come away with no jumping or time faults but their position in the overall rankings were determined immediately with no chance to return for a second round.
With a time of 29.91 coming out of the power portion of the trip, Vanderveen kept pace and ended her speed round on a tidy 38.407 seconds, narrowly beating out Ben Maher of Great Britain. Maher was overtaken by Vanderveen only minutes after he had successfully managed to capture the lead with the Poden Farm’s-owned Quilata nearing the end of the class. With less than ten to follow her performance, Vanderveen held onto her lead of half a second over Maher’s time of 38.432. Great Britain held onto two of the top three placings as Zoe Conter and the Stephex Stables’ 12-year-old Selle Francais mare Soory De L’Hallali rounded out the top three with no jumping faults and a speed round time of 39.518 seconds.
Jumper competition at Fidelity Investment’s Week 5 of the Winter Equestrian Festival will continue tomorrow with the weekly WEF Challenge and will culminate in Saturday night’s $384,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix CSI5*.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Kristen Vanderveen— $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m Classic CSI5* Winner
On Bull Run’s Divine Fortune:
“ [Fortuna] is really new to me because I just got her over the summer and she’s now only 9 this year. She’s a cool story because at this time last year an amateur rider had her and she had only ever jumped up to 1.10m. We ended up finding her through Yuri [Mansur] after he had bought her and brought her along a little bit and we’ve just matched really well since she came in. Her heart and her mind are just amazing for such a young and inexperienced horse; she goes into the ring every time ready to win and looking for the jumps, so she’s a special ride. She got thrown into this 5* a little bit because one of the other horses that would’ve been jumping this week acted up last week, so I told her it was her turn to step up and she did. She really believes that she can do anything, which is her strongest point right now.”
On the course:
“ Especially since I don’t know this horse that well the hardest part of the course today was figuring out how risky I could be on the turns because they were very open-ended turns. There was nothing to get inside of so whoever wanted to dare the most paid off today. I was pretty daring and she really was great.”
On the Power & Speed format:
“ It worked for me today, but I personally don’t love it because of the concept from a training mentality. I personally like one speed round so you can just start fast and everyone knows what’s going on.”
$35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m Classic CSI5*
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults | Time / JO Faults | Time
1.Bull Run’s Divine Fortune / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / 0 | 29.91/ 0 | 38.407
2.Quilata / Ben Maher / GBR / 0 | 30.44 / 0 | 38.432
3.Soory De L’hallali / Zoe Conter/ GBR / 0 | 30.62 / 0 | 39.518
4.D’artagnan / Santiago Lambre / MEX / 0 | 30.03 / 0 | 39.544
5.Rye Val De Mai / Sharn Wordley / NZL / 0 | 31.43 / 0 | 39.815
6.Chapilot / Rodrigo Lambre / BRA / 0 | 30.4 / 0 | 39.993
7.Sharapova Imperio Egipcio / Francisco Jose Mesquita Musa / BRA / 0 | 30.84 / 0 |40.051
8.Sherkan D’amaury / Kent Farrington / USA / 0 | 31.05 / 0 | 40.27
9.Bokai / Catherine Tyree / USA / 0 | 31.6 / 0 | 40.478
10.Charmed / Markus Beerbaum / GER / 0 | 30.1 / 0 | 40.562
11.Rocksy Music / Richie Moloney / IRL / 0 | 32.53 / 0 | 41.172
12.Bull Run’s Testify / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / 0 | 30.51 / 0 | 41.713
For a full list of results, click here.