Wellington, Fla. — Feb. 2, 2018 — The $25,000 Hermes Under 25 Team Event kicked off weekend festivities at Week 4 of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) on Friday evening. Shaking things up, the class took to a new location this week as it was held in the International Ring at the Global Dressage Festival. The unique event which features international, FEI level competition only for riders under 25 years old, saw a competitive field of over 60 athletes attempting to make the second round.
Friday’s competition differentiated from the norm as it was formatted as a Nations Cup team event and saw the athletes divided into 16 teams total with only the top six advancing to round two. Formatted into groups of three or four athletes, each team raced to have the least total points in order to have a shot at making the second round. At the final round for each team, only the three best scores were tallied which gave teams with four riders instead of three the opportunity to advance even if an individual rider hadn’t had the best round. After a series of downed rails and more than several issues with the time allowed, six teams stood out from the rest.
Team Canada “A” came out of the first round with nine total points, Team Ireland/Norway with six, Team Gold Diggers with six, as well as JR Show Stables with six. While none of the teams from the first round advanced with a perfect score, Team Sweet Oak/Vlock and Team USA/Ireland leapt to the lead with only one point counting against each. The course layout for the second round was identical to the first and athlete’s returned in reverse order of their round-one standings.
The six returning teams saw many more successful rounds than before but at the final fault tally Team USA/Ireland secured third place with a total of 13 faults and Team Sweet Oak/Vlock held the reserve with a total of 11. Team Ireland/Norway which consisted of young American professional Victoria Colvin, Johan Sebastian Gulliksen, William Hickey, and Viggo Bjorklund captured the win with only a 9 fault tally much in part to Colvin’s double clear rounds.
Colvin had the only double-clear round of the evening aboard John and Stephanie Ingram’s 13-year-old Warmblood mare I Love Lucy. Her teammate Hickey was aboard then 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding Balvino. Bjorklund was on his family-owned Vincero, a 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding, while Gulliksen piloted the 10-year-old KWPN gelding, David Guetta.
Show Jumping competition at the Winter Equestrian Festival will once again kick off early Saturday morning and jumping competition at Equestrian Village will return with the $205,000 NetJets Grand Prix CSI4* on the Stadium Derby Field.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE:
Team Ireland/Norway (Victoria Colvin, Johan Sebastian Gulliksen, William Hickey, and Viggo Bjorklund) — $25,000 Hermes U25 Team Event winners
On their horses:
Hickey —“I only got my horse two or three weeks ago, so he’s a new horse for me. This was the biggest I’ve ever jumped on him. I had a rough first round. Thankfully my team carried me, and we got in for the second round. Then he started jumping good, and we had a good second round, so I was really happy with him. It’s a really cool event.”
Gulliksen — “I’ve had my horse for almost a year now. We were doing a few bigger shows in Europe, and I brought him over here to possibly start the season a little bit earlier. In Norway there’s snow, and it’s not so easy to practice in the same way and get experience. He’s a very good jumper, but I’ve never jumped him under lights before, so he’s still a bit green.”
Colvin — “I just started riding her this year, so I don’t know her that well. This was our first class under the lights, so I didn’t really know what to expect. We are a good match though because she just goes around like a hunter.”
Bjorklund— “I actually got my horse the beginning of last summer. I rode for two months, and then I actually quit riding in August last summer. So this is my first show in seven months and he’s just been hanging out here. My sister has been riding him a little bit. I was asked if I could be on a team, so I decided to come out and try to do it and it worked out well.”
On the Nations Cup Team Event format:
Bjorklund — “I’ve done quite a lot of team events with Sweden because I’ve been showing in things like the Nations Cups and the European Championships and things like that. This is really like great experience, especially for a lot of American riders, because they don’t have that sort of Nations Cup scene that we have in Europe as a junior and young rider. I think for them especially it’s good to experience the two rounds back-to-back like that and the pressure that comes from being on a team.”
Gulliksen — “I have a little bit of experience with this format. I was jumping last year the five-star in Falsterbo and in the Nations Cup team there. I was also doing the Global Champions Tour last year.”
Hickey — “This is actually my first ever team event, and it’s my first Under 25s.
Thankfully my team carried me, and we got in for the second round. We all just kind of came together as people that didn’t have a team, and it worked out well and we ended up being a really good team.”
$25,000 Hermes Under 25 Team Event
Place / Team: Total Faults
Horse / Rider / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Team Ireland/Norway: 9
I Love Lucy / Victoria Colvin / 0 | 74.02 / 0 | 73.29
David Guetta / Johan Sebastian Gulliksen / 1 | 77.61 / 1 | 78.73
Balvino / William Hickey / 21 | 94.79 / 2 | 82.20
Vincero / Viggo Bjorklund / 5 | 79.21 / 5 | 78.73
2. Team Sweet Oak/Vlock: 11
Gentille / Kaely Tomeu / 0 | 74.08
Baloopi / Lacey Gilbertson / 0 | 75.83 / 5 |77.42
Cantero Da Lagoa / Anna Beth Athey / 9 | 77.75 / 5 | 76.73
Cristobar / Teddy Vlock / 1 | 78.62 / 13 | 76.4
3. Team USA/Ireland: 13
Cula Lou V / Wilton Porter / 22 | 83.32 / 0 | 75.09
Tienna / Daniel Coyle / 0 | 74.8 / 4 | 74.4
B Once Z / Lucas Porter / 1 | 76.54 / 8 |74.42
Crespo PKZ / Jordan Coyle / 0 | 74.61 / EL |EL
For a full list of results, click here.