Sunday, March 6, 2011

Jumping: Wellington: WEF: Lauren Hough Rides Quick Study to Win $150,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix, CSIO 4*

For Immediate Release
Jennifer Wood and Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Wellington, FL - March 6, 2011 - Week 8 of the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival came to a close today with a highlight event, the $150,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix, CSIO 4*. Out of the strong field of competitors, it was Lauren Hough (USA) who rode to victory on Quick Study, owned by Laura Mateo.

Lauren Hough talks about her winning jump-off ride in the $150,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix, CSIO 4*

The FTI WEF's ninth week of competition, sponsored by Bainbridge, will run from March 9-13, 2011. The 2011 WEF will continue through April 3 and award more than $6 million in prize money.

There were 47 entries in today's grand prix class, and they rode over a track designed by Steve Stephens of Palmetto, FL. Twelve found the way to a clear round and advanced to the jump-off. Hough said of the course, "There were a lot of difficulties in the triple combination. You don't very often see a one (stride) to a one (stride) vertical - oxer - oxer, and that proved to be quite difficult. I wouldn't say in general the course was too super technical except for that last line."

The pathfinder in the jump-off was Gemma Paternoster (GBR) on her own Osiris. They set a solid time of 48.49 seconds with a clear round, which would hold up for fifth place in the class.

The next two riders would fault at one jump: Christine McCrea (USA) and Romantovich Take One, owned by Candy Tribble, had a rail at the second jump and stopped the timers in 43.99 seconds. They would finish in 11th place. Andre Thieme (GER) and his own Caesar 322 had a rail in the trouble spot, the one stride combination at fence 12. They took down the "b" portion and finished in 42.91 seconds for 10th place.

The lead changed hands with the next rider, Amy Millar of Canada on Costa Rica Z, owned by Millar Brooke and Ann Matthews. They were careful throughout the course and with speed to the last jump, they finished clear in 44.40 seconds for third place.

Millar said, "I was really pleased with my horse. I know my horse pretty well and I know I couldn't go crazy fast, so I did what I could. I'm pretty happy with how I ended up with the field of riders I was competing against."

Candice King (USA) and Skara Glen's Davos were the first of two horses in a row to have a rail at fence 12a. Their time of 42.88 seconds placed them ninth. Rodrigo Pessoa and Let's Fly, owned by Double H Farm, finished in 41.54 seconds for eighth place.

The next rider in would find a way to shave off four second from the previous leading time, and with his experience and his talented horse, it was no surprise. Nick Skelton (GBR) and Carlo 273, owned by Beverly Widdowson, galloped through jump-off with ease and had a time of 40.61 seconds to take the lead.

Although Skelton didn't win, he noted that he was very pleased with his horse. "I was pleased with my horse. He's doing great. I couldn't have been happier. I lost it going to the last. I had a really good shot going forward and then two to three strides out, he jumped over the tractor wheels tracks and I had to pull back afterwards and lost a stride there. But I'm still pleased with how he jumped."

Beezie Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo were victim to fence 12a, but with their time of 40.73, they finished in sixth place. Pablo Barrios and G&C Quick Star faulted at fences 15 and 4 for eight faults in 40.10 seconds for 12th place.

Ben Maher (GBR) and the stunning black stallion Tripple X 111 put in a solid clear round in 45.99 seconds for fourth place.

Hough and Quick Study were next in, and the speedy bay gelding was very quick through the double combination and across the ground to set the winning pace at 40.18 seconds. 

Lauren Hough and Quick Study

"I had my work cut out for me," Hough said about her jump-off ride. "Nick's horse is very, very fast. Obviously the trick was the double a and b (12) of what was the triple. I took a bit of a risk there and he jumped it really, really well. I'm thrilled to have won. I was quite fast going in and he really backed up really well at 'a' and jumped out unbelievable."

She went on to say, "I don't know where I was quicker. My horse really covers a lot of ground. He just was on everywhere today. The first to the second jump of the jump-off, I was really quick. It was not by much so it is hard to say exactly where. But he was in top form today."

Finishing up the jump-off was Margie Engle and Indigo, owned by Griese, Garber, Hidden Creek, and Gladewinds. They had a rail at fence 15 and with a time of 41.48 seconds, finished in seventh place.

Hough was very pleased with Quick Study, who has come out very well this winter. They won the WEF Challenge Cup Round 4 and were third in this week's Round 8 grand prix class.

Lauren Hough and Quick Study with Equestrian Sport Productions' Michael Stone, Chris Desino and Matt Varney of Wellington Equestrian Realty, and ringmaster Cliff Haines

Hough noted, "He has had a really good season so far. I want him to peak for the $500,000 here. He's 12 this year and has a lot of mileage, and he's my only one at the moment so I'm going to try and pick and choose the right classes for him without doing too much."

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Final Results: $150,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty CSIO 4* Grand Prix

 1 QUICK STUDY: 1999 SFA gelding by Quick Star x What a Joy
LAUREN HOUGH (USA), Laura Mateo: 0/0/40.18

2 CARLO 273: 2001 Holsteiner gelding by Contender x Cascavelle
NICK SKELTON (GBR), Beverly Widdowson: 0/0/40.61

3 COSTA RICA Z: 1995 Holsteiner mare by Carthago x Lacapo   
AMY MILLAR (CAN) Millar Brooke Farm & Ann Matthews: 0/0/44.40

4 TRIPPLE-X III: 2002 Holsteiner stallion by Unknown
BEN MAHER (GBR), Ben Maher: 0/0/45.99

5 OSIRIS: 1996 KWPN gelding by Polydox x Lucky Boy
GEMMA PATERNOSTER (GBR), Gemma Paternoster: 0/0/48.49

6 CORAL REEF VIA VOLO: 1998 BWP mare by Clinton x Heartbreaker
BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Coral Reef Ranch: 0/4/40.73

7 INDIGO: 2000 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Indoctro x Unknown
MARGIE ENGLE (USA), Griese, Garber, Hidden Creek & Gladewinds: 0/4/41.48

8 HH LET'S FLY: 1999 Hanoverian gelding by Lordanos x Forrest
RODRIGO PESSOA (BRA), Double H Farm: 0/4/41.54

9 SKARA GLEN'S DAVOS: 2000 Zangersheide gelding by Carthago Z x Pericles XX

10 CAESAR 322: 2002 Zangersheide gelding by Canabis Z x Eros Platiere
ANDRE THIEME (GER), Andre Thieme: 0/4/42.91

11 ROMANTOVICH TAKE ONE: 2000 KWPN gelding by Numero Uno x Karandasj CHRISTINE MCCREA (USA), Candy Tribble: 0/4/43.99

12 G&C QUICK STAR 11: 2000 KWPN mare by Quick Star x Grannus
PABLO BARRIOS (VEN), Gustavo Mirabal: 0/8/40.10 

Photo Credit: Photos © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival,

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