Wellington, Fla. – Jan. 17, 2018 – The second week of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) began on Wednesday, January 17, with the opening class, the $8,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Jumpers. Repeating his first week win, Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward (USA) took the top spot, this time riding Bellefleur PS Z for Susan Heller and Lilly Ward. Week two of WEF continues through Sunday, January 21, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.
Week 2, sponsored by Marshall & Sterling Insurance, features the $70,000 Marshall & Sterling Insurance Grand Prix CSI 2* on Saturday, January 20, at 7 p.m. The $25,000 Hermès Under 25 Grand Prix and $35,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.45m Classic will be held on Sunday, January 21.
There were 15 entries in the 1.45m Jumper class, which was held in a speed format. The course designer for the International Arena this week is Oscar Soberon of Mexico.
Nine of the 15 entries were clear, but it was Ward and Bellefleur PS Z, an eight-year-old Zangersheide mare by Berlin x Quidam de Revel, who were fastest around the course in 60.497 seconds. Laura Chapot (USA) took the next two spots in the results with Chandon Blue, owned by Mary Chapot, close behind in 60.606 seconds, and Out of Ireland, owned by The Edge, in 60.925 seconds.
Ward has been developing Bellefleur PS Z since she was six years old, and owns the mare with his godmother, Susan Heller.
“Well actually, Lilly owns her with [Susan],” he said. “The deal was Lilly had to be my owner so that I wouldn’t sell her. She’s a phenomenal mare. She’s super careful, brave, really game, and she’s stepping up the levels nicely.
“She’s kind of suited to everything,” continued Ward. “She’s naturally fast, and she’s very careful. It’ll be interesting to see how far she goes because she’s very game and everything we ask her to do, she seems to do really well.”
Ward plans to keep building up Bellefleur’s experience, with the goal of competing in the 1.50m classes.
“It was a nice galloping course which was nice for the opening day,” said Ward. “I thought she handled it really well. They had difficult double verticals at the end, which probably last season would have been a challenge for her, but she handled it beautifully today.”
The second week of competition at WEF continues on Thursday, January 18, with the $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 and the Equine Tack & Nutritionals Green Hunter 3’9” in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Field.
Due to the expected cold temperatures and wind chill of 34 degrees on Wednesday night into Thursday morning, the start time of all competition arenas, with the exception of the International Arena, on Thursday, January 18, will be 8:30 a.m. The International Arena will start at 9 a.m. with the $8,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Jumpers. The $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 will start at 12:30 p.m.
$8,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Jumpers
Place / Horse / Rider / Faults | Time
1. Bellefleur Ps Z / McLain Ward / 0 | 60.497
2. Chandon Blue / Laura Chapot / 0 | 60.606
3. Out Of Ireland / Laura Chapot / 0 | 60.925
4. Cheri De Papignies / Peter Lutz / 0 | 63.671
5. Finisterra / Gustavo Prato / 0 | 63.932
6. Imogen De Regor / Callan Solem / 0 | 64.82
7. C’est Dorijke / Pedro Junqueira Muylaert / 0 | 65.477
8. Cybel II / Laura Chapot / 0 | 67.209
9. Go Easy De Muze / Darragh Kenny / 0 | 69.593
10. Ibabco / Santiago Lambre / 4 | 63.926
11. Jasper Van’t Gestelhof / Kent Farrington / 4 | 72.418
12. Premiere Carthoes BZ / Felipe Amaral / 4 | 72.559
For full results, click here.