Wellington, Fla. – March 27, 2019 – As competition at the 2019 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) begins to wind down in its final week at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, the International Arena saw the beginning of yet another 2* and 5* week on Wednesday morning. Fifty-five exhibitors put forth their best efforts in the $36,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m CSI5*, where Lucas Porter (USA) and Diamonte Darco emerged victorious.
Brazilian course designer Guilherme Jorge set the 1.45m two-phase speed class. The format of the course meant that competitors had their sights set on a clear ride within the time-allowed over obstacles one through seven before continuing on to fences eight through 12 for the speed portion of the course. A total of 23 horse-and-athlete combinations completed the course with no faults to their name throughout the two phases.
Juan Jose Zendejas Salgado (MEX) was the first of the 55 to produce a faultless ride, jumping phase one in a time of 43.58 seconds and phase two in 26.156 seconds. This held the lead until Porter’s fast time of 25.795 seconds took over as only the 10th rider to enter the arena. Throughout the remainder of the class not a single pair of the remaining 45 could top Porter’s swift time.
Twenty-two-year-old Porter and Diamonte Darco have been competitive partners for four years now, moving up through the ranks together. The Porter family’s Sleepy P Ranch LLC owns the 14-year-old Great Britain Sport Horse mare by Unbelievable Darco and have had great success with her throughout their six years of owning her. The 2014 North American Youth Championships junior individual gold medalist will be finishing his sophomore year at Vanderbilt University before moving on to Hagen, Germany, for his summer competition tour in Europe.
Taking the second place position was Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Prince of Peace. The pair have been consistently showing in CSI5* competition throughout the season, most notably winning the Week Five $72,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI5*. Vanderveen has owned and showed the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Cardeino since 2016 when she began their careers together in the 1.20m jumpers.
Following behind in a tie for third place was Danile Coyle (IRL) and Salgado. Twenty-five-year-old Coyle began his partnership with Farrel, a 9-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Ariel Grange, in 2017 and has since continued to ride the gelding under the instruction of Lori Green.
Sharing the third place ribbon, 26-year-old Salgado and Artillero, the 12-year-old gelding by Cabdula Du Tillard owned by Enny Salgado Negrete, have their sights set on representing Mexico in the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The final week of WEF will continue with more CSI5* competition in the International Arena on Thursday with the 12th and final round of the Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup. The $50,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m National Grand Prix will serve as the final class on Sunday to wrap up the 2019 season.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Lucas Porter – $36,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m CSI5* winner
On his win:
“It feels great to close out WEF with a win with my good horse Diamonte Darco. It was a great season and it is nice to cap it off with a win in the 5* especially, the highest level of our sport.”
On Diamonte Darco:
“Bridget, as she is known in the barn, has been with us for six years now. My brother [Wilton Porter] rode her before and then I have now had her for a little over four years. She won a lot with my brother and we have had a lot of success together over the last few years. She is a fighter and she has a big heart. I started with her in the High Amateurs and then we moved up together to the U25. She has jumped all of the way up to the 5* level. I can put her in a speed class but then also jump a grand prix.”
On the course:
“I thought Guilherme [Jorge] had a great course for an opening two-phase speed class. The speed phase had some parts where you could run but also some sharp turns. I was really quick to the double and then the last couple of fences I really shaved the turns and did as few strides as possible. She is so careful that I know I can take a bit of a risk on the fence and know that she will keep it up.”
On his plans for the remainder of the week:
“I will do the WEF tomorrow with my other horse, C Hunter, and we will do her in the grand prix as well if I qualify.”
On his plans for after WEF:
“My horses fly to Europe after WEF. I have to finish up school [at Vanderbilt University], which I will be done with at the end of April. Then I will go over for my first show, which will be a 4* over in Hagen, Germany.”
$36,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m CSI5*:
Place / Horse / Athlete / Country / R1 Faults / R1 Time / R2 Faults / Time
1. Diamonte Darco / Lucas Porter / USA / 0 / 46.63 / 0 / 25.795
2. Bull Run’s Prince of Peace / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / 0 / 43.19 / 0 / 25.977
3. Farrel / Daniel Coyle / IRL / 0 / 46.87 / 0 / 26.15
3. Artillero / Juan Jose Zendejas Salgad / MEX / 0 / 43.58 / 0 / 26.156
5. Fine Lady 5 / Eric Lamaze / CAN / 0 / 45.94 / 0 / 26.227
6. Alma Z / Cormac Hanley / IRL / 0 / 47.67 / 0 / 26.409
7. Entano / Daniel Bluman / ISR / 0 / 43.85 / 0 / 26.769
8. Super Chilled / Kevin Babington / IRL / 0 / 46.62 / 0 / 26.957
9. BEC Lorenzo / Catherine Tyree / USA / 0 / 45.52 / 0 / 27
10. Dolitaire Chavannaise / Zoe Conter / BEL / 0 / 48.56 / 0 / 27.024
11. Squirt Gun / Andrew Kocher / USA / 0 / 44.91 / 0 / 27.435
12. Deleyn / Shane Sweetnam / IRL / 0 / 46.49 / 0 / 27.445