Wellington, Fla. – Jan. 25, 2018 – Thursday of Week Three at the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, concluded with the $35,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round III CSI3* with Canadian Eric Lamaze and Chacco Kid, owned by the Chacco Kid Group, coming out on top of the pack for the second week in a row.
A total of 84 horse-and-rider combinations started the class with 26 faultless rounds set to advance to the second phase, designed by Canadian course designer Peter Grant, but only 17 of those combinations elected to return for the jump-off. Lamaze, also known as “Mr. Challenge Cup,” rode the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding to an unbeatable time of 40.027 seconds. Lamaze decided to finish the class in order to give Chacco Kid experience at taking risks at a higher level, something he hasn’t always chosen to do in past competitions.
Lamaze has claimed a total of 25 WEF Challenge Cup wins, tying with that of the current world No. 3 ranked show jumping rider, McLain Ward. The pair have been successful worldwide, taking top placings throughout 2017 on the Longines Global Champions Tour in Rome, Italy, and Barcelona, Spain, and at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ CSIO5* in September.
Taking second to Lamaze in 41.372 seconds was Marilyn Little (USA) with Clearwater, owned by Karen O’Connor of Ocala, Florida.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Beezie Madden (USA) took home third place aboard Abigail Wexner’s HHS Hercules in a time of 42.288 seconds.
Jumper competition at WEF continues Friday morning in the International Arena at 8 a.m., while Week Three will highlight the $132,000 Adequan Grand Prix CSI3* on Saturday at 7 p.m.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Eric Lamaze – $35,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round III CSI3* winner
On electing to return to the jump-off with Chacco Kid:
“My theory is that if you enter in a competition, you finish the competition. Chacco Kid is learning to go faster. This was a good 1.50m class. Last year, I didn’t really take any chances with him in the jump-off. You have to take the time to get to know your horse before taking those chances. If you’re ever in a situation where you’re competing for the largest prize money at the biggest competition in the world, you’re going to feel better taking some risks knowing that you’ve done it before. It’s the beginning of the season and the horses are fresh. He feels really good; he’s jumping well. Nothing was telling me that I should’ve saved him for Saturday. I have a superstition about that anyways. I feel it’s bad luck.”
On Thursday’s jump-off round:
“I knew that I had to do everything I could. If you leave anything on the table, you know someone is going to get you with the quality of riders that are here. This horse has a really good heart and he’s learning and is so careful. This was a situation where you could’ve either looked like a hero or an idiot. These jump-offs with so many entries, that’s what it comes down to. Nobody wins this taking no risks. That’s the way it is. I’m really happy with Chacco Kid and his wonderful owners who are so supportive of me. I couldn’t be happier for them. This is a horse that I believed in from the beginning so it’s very nice.”
$35,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round III CSI3*, sponsored by Equinimity:
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Chacco Kid / Eric Lamaze / CAN / Chacco Kid Group / 0 / 0 / 40.027
2. Clearwater / Marilyn Little / USA / Karen O’Connor / 0 / 0 / 41.372
3. HHS Hercules / Beezie Madden / USA / Abigail Wexner / 0 / 0 / 42.288
4. Brighton / Tiffany Foster / CAN / Artisan Farms, LLC / 0 / 0 / 42.465
5. Indra Van De Oude Heihoef / Shane Sweetnam / IRL / The Blue Buckle Group / 0 / 0 / 42.808
6. Chacna / Enrique Gonzalez / MEX / Enrique Gonzalez / 0 / 0 / 44.258
7. Daisy / Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum / GER / Artemis Equestrian Farm LLC / 0 / 0 / 48.698
8. Thriller P / Samuel Parot / CHI / Parot Horses LLC / 0 / 4 / 40.567
9. Victorio 5 / Todd Minikus / USA / Plain Bay Sales / 0 / 4 / 41.064
10. Rivale Du Barquet / Spencer Smith / USA / Ashland Farms / 0 / 4 / 41.613
11. California 62 / Andrew Ramsay / USA / The California Group / 0 / 4 / 42.224
12. Cor Bakker / Fernando Martinez Sommer / MEX / Fernando Martinez Sommer / 0 / 4 / 42.879
For full results, click here.