Wellington, Fla. – Mar. 9, 2018 – McLain Ward and Bellefleur PS Z topped the $35,000 Bainbridge 1.45m Classic CSI 5* on Friday, March 9, during week nine of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), marking the reigning FEI World Cup champion’s second CSI5* victory in as many days at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. In the $35,000 Rose Hill Farm 1.45m Jumpers CSI 2*, Yuri Mansur (BRA) and Babylotte were victorious.
The ninth week of competition at WEF runs March 7-11. Jumper highlights include the $384,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate Grand Prix CSI 5* beginning at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 10, and the $50,000 Rose Hill Farm Grand Prix CSI 2* on Sunday, March 11. The remaining hunter highlight on the schedule is the $10,000 USHJA National Derby on Saturday, March 10, held on the grass derby field at Equestrian Village (home of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival – 13500 South Shore Blvd.). WEF hosts hunter, jumper, and equitation competition until April 1 and offers more than $9 million in prize money.
Fresh off a win in Thursday’s $132,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge CSI5* aboard Hija van Strokapelleken, owned by Evergate Stables LLC, Ward (USA) returned to the International Arena at PBIEC to take the win aboard another gray mare, Bellefleur PS Z, a nine-year-old Zangersheide owned by Susan Heller and Ward’s daughter, Lilly Ward.
When Ward entered the ring in the 54-entry speed class, Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and her mount Bull Run’s Faustino de Tili, owned by Bull Run Jumpers Five, had set a quick time to beat of 56.19 seconds over the Alan Wade-designed course.
“I didn’t think Kristen was actually beatable to be honest. She has a much bigger stride on that horse than I have on mine,” said Ward, who was ultimately able to shave more than a second off of Vanderveen’s time, finishing on 54.80 seconds.
“My mare is very fast though, and with today’s course, the numbers allowed her to keep going where a lot of the horses had to slow down,” said Ward. “I was able to catch the second to last fence very well to do the leave out, which I normally probably wouldn’t do with her. I got such a nice jump that I thought I was okay to do it, and she made a great effort.”
Friday’s victory marked Bellefleur’s second win in the $35,000 Bainbridge 1.45m Classic CSI5*, having previously won the class on February 9, during WEF 5. That same week, the mare also claimed victory in the $70,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.50m Classic CSI5*, before enjoying a few weeks off from the show ring.
“She’s been great down here,” said Ward of the mare that he will now point toward the $132,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Final CSI 4* during WEF 11.
“She’s a blood mare, so we don’t work her too hard because we want to watch that she doesn’t get sort of ‘race horse fit,’ so to speak. She keeps herself fit anyway. Owen Rogers who actually takes care of her does a lot of the flatwork with her. He does a beautiful job. We try to keep it really low-stress because the horse is super competitive and super ready.
“I’d say my ideal plan for her is coming to fruition,” concluded Ward. “I think she’s stepping up beautifully.”
$35,000 Bainbridge 1.45m Classic CSI5*
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Faults | Time
1. Bellefleur PS Z / McLain Ward / USA / 0 | 54.8
2. Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / 0 | 56.19
3. Tienna / Daniel Coyle / IRL / 0 | 58.3
4. Chacciama / Rodrigo Lambre / BRA / 0 | 61.57
5. Darko’s Promise / Alberto Michan / ISR / 0 | 61.92
6. Cybel II / Laura Chapot / USA / 0 | 62.02
7. Collin / Luiz Francisco De Azevedo / BRA / 0 | 62.09
8. GK Coco Chanel / Conor Swail / IRL / 0 | 62.62
9. Curious George / Laura Kraut / USA / 0 | 63.58
10. Cula Lou V / Wilton Porter / USA / 0 | 65.05
11. Edison P / Erynn Ballard / CAN / 0 | 65.23
12. Alex / Jennifer Gates / USA / 0 | 66.88
For full results, click here.
Yuri Mansur and Babylotte Win $35,000 Rose Hill Farm 1.45m Classic CSI2*
Brazil’s Yuri Mansur and Babylotte topped 82 additional entries to win the $35,000 Rose Hill Farm 1.45m Classic CSI2* on Friday, March 9.
Mansur and the 12-year-old KWPN mare owned by Mansur and Euro Stables tripped the jump-off timers in 35.11 seconds to take the victory over fellow Brazilian Pedro Muylaert who finished in 36.05 seconds riding C’est Dorijke, owned by Ricardo Facchini.
Third place with a time of 36.33 seconds went to the USA’s Hunter Holloway riding Eastern Jam for owner Hays Investment Corp.
While it did not work out for Mansur to compete in the five-star competition this week, it ended up being a good way for him to work on things with Babylotte.
“It was good in the end, because for a long time I was thinking of trying to find another bit,” he said. “The last few jump-offs we’ve done, I’ve always had one mistake here or there, so I thought I should try to change the bit. And that was the answer. This was perfect. She won, and I found a new bit!”
While Mansur initially purchased Babylotte three years ago as a 1.40m speed horse, the mare has continued to step up the ranks, proving successfully in CSI5* competition, and he has his sights set on big goals for 2018.
“This year, the plan is hopefully the [World Equestrian Games] and CHIO Aachen,” said Mansur.
$35,000 Rose Hill Farm 1.45m Classic CSI2*
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Babylotte / Yuri Mansur / BRA / 0 | 70.8 / 0 | 35.111
2. C’est Dorijke / Pedro Junqueira Muylaert / BRA / 0 | 72.8 / 0 | 36.05
3. Eastern Jam / Hunter Holloway / USA / 0 | 72.59 / 0 | 36.331
4. Quintender LS / Carlos Myrrha / BRA / 0 | 71.14 / 0 | 37.283
5. Columbcille De Reve / Nicholas Dello Joio / USA / 0 | 72.53 / 0 | 38.27
6. Cassinja S / Charles Jacobs / USA / 0 | 72.37 / 0 | 40.264
7. Salitos 8 / Rebecca Conway / USA / 0 | 73.08 / 4 | 34.512
8. Hitchcock Vd Broekkant / Alise Oken / USA / 0 | 70.45 / 4 | 38.04
9. Grand Cru Vd Vijf Eiken / Vanessa Mannix / CAN / 0 | 73.6 / 4 | 40.03
10. Cherokee / Jennifer Mattell / CAN / 0 | 72.37 / 8 | 36.876
11. Itty Bitty / Kelly Soleau-Millar / USA / 0 | 71.98 / 8 | 37.728
12. Fire And Ice J / Leonie Bockmann / GER / 1 | 74.13
For full results, click here.