|Enrique Gonzalez and Katina won the $31,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers during week seven at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, www.sportfot.com|
There were 55 entries in today's class, and it was run as a speed class. The course, designed by Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany, featured 12 numbered obstacles with three double combinations. The early leader in the class was G&C Sinatra (owned by Barrios and Gustavo Mirabal) and Pablo Barrios (VEN), who went first and set a time of 67.76 seconds. They would finish in fifth place.
Thirteen horses later, the lead changed hands when Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Coriana van Klapscheut, owned by Artisan Farms LLC, finished the course. The little mare sped around the course and crossed the timers in 66.47 seconds. They would finish in second place.
McLain Ward (USA) and Rothchild, owned by Sagamore Farm, placed third in 67.16 seconds, while Brianne Goutal (USA) and Ballade van het Indihof were just behind in 67.17 seconds for fourth place.
As the second to last horse in the ring, Gonzalez of Mexico City, Mexico, set a blistering pace to win in 64.09 seconds. "She's really fast," Gonzalez said. "The combination of verticals that was giving a lot of trouble, was the best for her. You can get there and just let her do it, and she will figure it out. Many people had faults there, but that gave me a chance. She's always really competitive and really fast. If everything goes right, normally she's there."
Gonzalez has had Katina, a 10-year-old KWPN mare by Iroko x Ahorn, since she was five years old. While she sold to his client as a six-year-old, he traded back for her when she was seven. Last year, they won three classes at Spruce Meadows as well as the Mexican Grand Prix Championship. "She's so careful that I had to take my time with her to show her in the bigger classes," he explained. Gonzalez plans to show her in next week's $75,000 FEI Nations Cup, presented by G&C Farm.
Gonzalez is no stranger to top show jumping competition - he has ridden at the Olympic Games, the World Equestrian Games, and the World Cup Finals. He also served as Mexico's Chef d'Equipe in two Olympic Games and two World Equestrian Games. "I've been around," he said with a smile. "The best thing about this sport is that it gives you a chance with age to learn and learn, and be able to keep doing it even when you are a little bit older."
Competing at the top level, Gonzalez feels that the addition of more FEI ROLEX ranking classes is "very important." He continued, "We're at a big disadvantage to European riders because they have so many classes that count for ranking. For us to go up in the world ranking, it's almost impossible. Every time they do something like this, it's super important for us. I really think we should have more like this."
This is the first time that Gonzalez has competed at the FTI WEF in 10 years. "I came last year to help some of my students and then I decided that this year that I had good enough horses to be competitive. You need to have competitive horses to be able to do something here. For me, it is very important to be here competing with all of these fantastic riders."
|Enrique Gonzalez and Katina with ringmaster Cliff Haines and Gustavo Mirabal of G&C Farm Photo © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, www.sportfot.com|
Final Results: $31,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumpers
1. KATINA: 2001 KWPN mare by Iroko x Ahorn
ENRIQUE GONZALEZ (MEX), Enrique Gonzalez: 0/64.09
2. CORIANA VAN KLAPSCHEUT: 2002 BWP mare by Darco x Heartbreaker
ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Artisan Farms LLC: 0/66.47
3. ROTHCHILD: 2001 SBS gelding by Artos x Elegant De L'Ile
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Sagamore Farms: 0/67.16
4. BALLADE VAN HET INDIHOF: 2001 BWP mare by Thunder Van de Zuuthoeve x Heartbreaker
BRIANNE GOUTAL (USA), Remarkable Farms LP: 0/67.17
5. G&C SINATRA: 1999 KWPN gelding by Epilot x Libero H
PABLO BARRIOS (VEN), G&C Farm: 0/67.76
6. COCO 135: 2001 Mecklenberg gelding by Elite P.B. Cellestial x Monsum
ANDRE THIEME (GER), Seth Vallhonrat: 0/68.58
7. SELECT: 1999 KWPN gelding by Damiro x Voltaire
PETER LEONE (USA), Lionshare Farm: 0/69.31
8. UNICA VAN DE ROSHOEVE: 1997 BWP mare by Quickfeuer Van Koekshof x GuildfordÆs Comm Decision
ANGELA COVERT-LAWRENCE (CAN), Eastwood Group: 0/70.63
9. DONA EVITA: 2003 BWP mare by Darco x Fleuri Du Manoir
LAURA KRAUT (USA), Brutsaert Trading: 0/71.67
10. LAPSUS DU LAVOIR: 1999 Selle Francais Gelding by Animo x Vol d'Amour
LJUBOV KOCHETOVA (RUS), Ljubov Kochetova: 0/74.63
11. VIGGO: 2002 KWPN gelding by Quick Star x Cantus
BETH UNDERHILL (CAN), Beth Underhill: 0/76.73
12. VOCAS: 2002 KWPN gelding by Hors La Loi II x Voltaire
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Louisburg Farm: 4/67.58
The seventh week of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival will continue tomorrow with the highlight class of the week, the $78,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix, CSI 2* at 7 p.m. in the International Arena.
For full results please visit www.showgroundslive.com and for more information, visit www.equestriansport.com.