Wellington, Fla. – March 6, 2019 – Competition on Wednesday wrapped up in the International Arena during Week Nine with the $36,000 Douglas Elliman Classic 1.45m CSI5*. Fifty-eight athletes and their mounts took to the ring to try and put together a clean and clear round to take home the day’s top prize. As the last to go in the class, it was ultimately McLain Ward (USA) and Kessler Show Stables Europe BV’s Tradition de la Roque who walked away victorious.
Alan Wade’s (IRL) course challenged horses and athletes over 13 obstacles in the power and speed format. For the first six fences, the time allowed was set at 39 seconds. Beginning at fence seven, athletes vied for more speed over the remaining seven obstacles. The course, which highlighted a number of rollbacks and two double combinations utilizing oxers and verticals, did not pose any major issues for athletes. A total of 20 riders finished the course with double-clear rounds.
William Whitaker (GBR) took the early lead with one of two mounts in the class, Rushy Marsh Farms LLC’s RMF Echo. The pair’s time of 35.328 seconds held up for the majority of the class with a handful of combinations coming within .5 seconds of his quick time but were ultimately unable to beat him. After competing both mounts, RMF Echo and RMF Chacco Top, Whitaker ended the day in third place aboard RMF Echo.
Forty trips after producing their leading time, Whitaker and RMF Echo, a 15-year-old Belgian Warmblood that was previously ridden by top Irish show jumper Denis Lynch, were overtaken by Diego Vivero (ECU). Vivero, aboard Javier Estrada’s Capiche ‘Ter Elzen’, sealed their second place finish with a time of 34.967 seconds. Vivero and the 10-year-old Belgian Sport Horse mare found success together in pre-season competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), placing third in the $25,000 Vita Flex® Grand Prix.
Last to go in the class, Ward and the 12-year-old Selle Français mare knew the track they needed to take to shave seconds off of Vivero’s time. Ward, utilizing both the mare’s ability to turn tightly and leave out strides to the last double combination, was able to finish on a time of 33.274 seconds, almost two seconds faster than third place finisher Whitaker, who’s time held up for the majority of the class. Ward and Tradition de la Roque, who have been partnered together since September 2018, have been finishing on the podium throughout the entirety of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), including winning the $72,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI5* during Week Seven.
CSI5* competition will return to the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center on Thursday with the running of the $134,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round IX CSI5* in preparation for Saturday night’s $391,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix CSI5* at 7 p.m.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
McLain Ward – $36,000 1.45m Douglas Elliman Classic CSI5* winner
On Tradition de la Roque:
“Tradition has been great for us. We’re very lucky to have her in our stables from Reed Kessler and her family. The horse is for sale, but until she’s sold I get to enjoy competing her and she’s been a real star down here in Florida. She’s won a few classes and has had other top placings so we’re really thrilled with her. I’ve been riding her since September of 2018.”
On Wednesday’s course:
“Alan Wade is my favorite course designer in the world so I always enjoy his tracks. They just always make sense to me. It was the first big class of the week so I thought the route was a bit friendly but with the level of competition in Wellington, especially in a 5* week, these classes are very fast. I got to go at the end so I saw what the smart risks and what the not so smart risks were. I had considered doing five [strides] to the liverpool, and I probably could have done it, but thought it was better to do in a steady six. I knew I wanted to do one less stride than most had done to the double [combination] and I actually almost did two less and the horse really helped me out there.”
$36,000 Douglas Elliman Classic 1.45m CSI5*
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Tradition De La Roque / McLain Ward / USA / 0 | 33.83 / 0 | 33.274
2. Capiche ‘ter Elzen’ / Diego Vivero / ECU / 0 | 35.64 / 0 | 34.976
3. RMF Echo / William Whitaker / GBR / 0 | 33.16 / 0 | 35.328
4. Ceitasi / Erynn Ballard / CAN / 0 | 32.99 / 0 | 35.542
5. Little Lord 90 / Karen Polle / JPN / 0 | 35.93 / 0 | 35.592
6. Chacanno / Rodrigo Lambre / BRA / 0 | 33.98 / 0 | 35.869
7. Just Nice Van Het Indihof / Juan Jose Zendejas Salgado / MEX / 0 | 35.22 / 0 |35.954
8. Bull Run’s Prince Of Peace / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / 0 | 33.92 / 0 | 35.981
9. Karel VDB / Martin Fuchs / SUI / 0 | 34.99 / 0 | 36.003
10. HH Venice Beach / Ali Wolff / USA / 0 | 36.08 / 0 | 36.028
11. C-Valentijn / John Perez / COL / 0 | 34.56 / 0 | 36.262
12. Diamonte Darco / Lucas Porter / USA / 0 | 33.74 / 0 | 36.548