Twenty-two-year-old Daniel Bluman, of Colombia, jumped to an exciting victory on Saturday night in the $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix, CSI 5* at the 2012 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF).
Daniel Bluman and Sancha LS by Sportfot
Over 7,000 fans filled the stands to see the best of the best from the winter circuit compete under the lights in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Bluman and his mount Sancha LS earned the top prize in a three-horse jump-off over Canada’s Ian Millar and Star Power and USA’s Lauren Hough and Quick Study.
Alan Wade, of Ireland, designed the course for tonight’s grand prix and set a challenging track for the 45 qualified entries. Only three were able to jump the first round course entirely without fault to advance to the jump-off, and all three had single rails through the short course, making time the deciding factor.
An impressive cheering section exploded with applause as Daniel Bluman and Sancha LS completed the first perfect trip through round one’s course. The pair then returned first for the jump-off and had four faults, but when the following two riders also had rails, Bluman’s time of 48.97 seconds made him the victor.
Ian Millar was the second rider to clear the first round course without fault aboard Team Works’ Star Power. The duo returned for the jump-off and also had a rail on course, and their time of 49.30 seconds placed second.
Lauren Hough and Laura Mateo’s Quick Study were the final pair to put their name on the jump-off list and immediately followed Millar’s round over the short course. Hough took her time, attempting to have the only clear round, but met heartbreak as Quick Study dropped a rail at the last fence. Their slower time of 55.97 seconds finished in third.
Twenty-seven-year-old Lauren Tisbo (USA) and her mount King Kolibri, owned by Tequestrian Farms LLC, showed their cool under pressure in front of the huge crowd in round one. The duo completed the first clear round over the course, but incurred a single time fault for exceeding the time allowed.
Eighteen-year-old Katie Dinan (USA) also cleared the course, but finished with one time fault aboard Nougat Du Vallet, owned by Grant Road Partners LLC. Dinan was the faster of the two, completing the course in 88.56 seconds to earn the fourth place prize. Tisbo and King Kolibri’s time of 91.91 seconds placed fifth.
Third place finisher Lauren Hough came very close tonight, but had an unfortunate rail at the last fence in the jump-off. Hough and Quick Study also finished second in this same class last year. On her finish tonight, Hough declared, “My word tonight is heartbreak. We just needed to jump a clear round. My horse jumped a great first round and I was really thrilled; he felt on tonight. As the jump-off progressed I started to protect and with only one fence left, I let go of the reins to clear it. I congratulate Daniel and Ian. I’m proud of my horse and grateful to my owners and the sponsors.”
Dennis Shaughnessy, Chairman of the Board of FTI Consulting, Inc., was in the front row for tonight’s festivities and was thrilled with the event. Shaughnessy commented, “It was very important for me to sponsor. We had 150 guests and 32 CEOs from around the world. Half of them had never been to a grand prix event and they were mesmerized by it. Most people were just saying how unbelievable this is.”
“We appreciated the riders acknowledgment; it was definitely noticed,” Shaughnessy said of the riders saluting the sponsor tent. “We clearly believe is the greatest horse event in the world.”
The $100,000 FTI Consulting Rider Challenge concluded tonight after twelve weeks of jumper competition at the 2012 FTI WEF. Laura Kraut led the standings and earned a $50,000 cut of the bonus money for her success during the circuit. Kent Farrington finished in second place ($25,000), Eric Lamaze third ($15,000), and Ben Maher fourth ($10,000).
“It was completely unexpected and it’s completely appreciated,” Kraut said. “I was just hoping to hang onto second, (and) miraculously I won. Unfortunately Nick (Skelton) didn’t have a good night tonight. He did deserve to win the Leading Rider because he won more than anybody.”
$32,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Classic
The popular series hosted 12 events, seven of which were FEI ROLEX world ranking points classes. The class had 40 entries, five of which were able to proceed to the jump-off after a clear round.
Eric Lamaze and Coriana van Klapscheut by Sportfot
First to go in the opening round and the jump-off was series leader Nick Skelton (GBR) and Unique, owned by Beverley Widdowson. They put down a fast, clear round in 37.64 seconds to make the rest of the field chase them. Their round would hold up for second place.
Catherine Pasmore and Pasmore Stables, LLC’s My Boy were next in and while they had the winning time in hand (36.61 seconds), a rail relegated them to fourth place.
Lamaze and his first mount in the jump-off, Hunter’s Scendix, were next in. After a miscommunication at the first jump, Lamaze jumped one more fence and then chose to retire in the jump-off, putting them in fifth place.
Lamaze said afterward, “He jumped a beautiful first round. He left a stride too early at the first fence. I don’t know what happened to be honest. I don’t know if there was a shadow there. He’s such a careful horse. I’m not sure if he turned the corner and didn’t quite have his eye on the fence and then saw it and left. But it’s a super star of a horse that is going to take time to know.”
Tina Fletcher (GBR) was next in on Lady Harris’ Hello Sailor. They went for the slow, easy clear round in 47.39 seconds to finish in fourth place.
Knowing the time to beat after watching Skelton, Lamaze was ready to go with Coriana van Klapscheut, his mount owned by Artisan Farms, LLC. With ease and speed, the pair slipped over the jumps and through the timers in 35.930 seconds for the win.
With Coriana, Lamaze has taken it slow this winter and worked on preparing her for the summer circuit in Europe. They won the WEF Challenge Cup Round 8 and Lamaze believes she is just coming into her peak fitness. “She jumped a great round. I wanted to give her this class today because a, it’s a ranking class, and b, her season is beginning now. It was to give her a little bit more fitness.”
The $50,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series bonus awards were presented today, with Nick Skelton taking home the top prize of $25,000 for his consistent success in the division. Ben Maher won $15,000 for second place, while Cian O’Connor finished third and won $10,000.
Saturday Hunter Champs Finish Strong
Cathy Blundell of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, captured the championship tricolor in this week’s FarmVet Amateur-Owner 3’3″ 36 & Older division atop her mount, Troubadour. The pair scored two firsts and a fifth over fences and finished third in the under saddle, claiming victory with 25 points. Reserve honors went to World Time, an eleven-year-old Oldenburg ridden by Becky Gochman. Gochman and her mount collected a first and two thirds over fences, bringing home the reserve tricolor with 18 points.
Cathy Blundell and Troubadour by Sportfot
The winning mount, Troubadour, is a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood imported by Angela Covert-Lawrence and Jeff Rundle. Affectionately known as Walnut in the barn, the bay gelding has had a successful show jumping career to date, winning champion and reserve honors in the First Year Green and Amateur-Owner Hunter divisions.
Following today’s victory, Blundell commented on Walnut’s performance this season. “I’m so pleased with this year,” Blundell said. “We’ve showed five times and were reserve champion week eight and I couldn’t be happier with him. He has such a fantastic attitude.” Blundell feels grateful to be able to head back to Montreal on such a positive note. In the coming months, she plans to pursue a light show schedule with Walnut, and enjoy the summer.
Additional Hunter Champs this week include Lacey Gilberston and McKayla Langmeier. Gilbertson topped the Bainbridge Amateur-Owner Hunter 18-35 division with 30.5 points atop her ten-year-old Mecklenberg, Condanas. In the Marley Goodman Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under division, Langmeier captured the championship tricolor with 22 points atop her mount, Czar-Z, a nine-year-old Warmblood owned by Linda Langmeier.
For full results, please visit http://www.showgroundslive.com
Final Results: $500,000 FTI Consulting CSI 5* Finale Grand Prix
1. SANCHA LS: 2003 SLS mare by Chin Chin x Polydor,
DANIEL BLUMAN (COL), Daniel Bluman, LLC: 0/4/48.97
2. STAR POWER: 2001 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Quick Star,
IAN MILLAR (CAN), Team Works: 0/4/49.30
3. QUICK STUDY: 1999 SFA gelding by Quick Star x What a Joy,
LAUREN HOUGH (USA), Laura Mateo: 0/4/55.97
4. NOUGAT DU VALLET: 2001 Selle Francais gelding by Scherif D’elle,
KATHERINE DINAN (USA), Grant Road Partners: 1/88.56
5. KING KOLIBRI: 2002 Hanoverian stallion by Kolibri x Achill-Libero H,
LAUREN TISBO (USA), Tequestrian Farms LLC: 1/91.91
6. OCEANE DE NANTUEL: 2002 SFA mare by Diamant de Semilly x Quidam de Revel,
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Ecurie Michel Hecart: 4/85.14
7. BLUE LOYD 12: 2000 Oldenburg gelding by Landor S x Hadj Ax,
CIAN O’CONNOR (IRL), Ashkirk Ltd. & Cian O’Connor: 4/85.49
8. TEIRRA: 2000 KWPN mare by Tolano Van Het Riethof x Aldatus,
LAURA KRAUT (USA), Stars & Stripes: 4/85.57
9. DERLY CHIN DE MUZE: 2003 BWP mare by For Pleasure x Nebab de Reve,
ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Torrey Pines & Ashland Stables: 4/86.38
10. VANDAVID: 2002 KWPN stallion by Madison x Voltaire,
CATHERINE PASMORE (USA), Pasmore Stables: 4/87.85
11. LISONA: 2001 Irish Sporthorse mare OBOS Quality 004 x Porsch,
DARRAGH KERINS (IRL), Kevin Babington: 5/88.06
12. URBANUS: 1997 BWP gelding by Heartbreaker x Ramiro,
CHARLIE JAYNE (USA), Alex Jayne: 5/88.25
Final Results: $32,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Final
1 CORIANA VAN KLAPSCHEUT: 2002 BWP mare by Darco x Heartbreaker,
ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Artisan Farms LLC: 0/0/35.93
2 UNIQUE: 2001 KWPN gelding by Indoctro x Voltaire,
NICK SKELTON (GBR), Beverly Widdowson: 0/0/37.64
3 HELLO SAILOR: 1999 KWPN gelding by Kigali x Indoctro,
TINA FLETCHER (GBR), Lady P. Harris & Lady P. Kirkham: 0/0/47.39
4 MY BOY: 1996 Belgian Warmblood gelding by unknown,
CATHERINE PASMORE (USA), Pasmore Stables: 0/4/36.61
5 HUNTER’S SCENDIX: 2003 Hanoverian stallion by Stakkato x Dinar,
ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), LVS Hunters/ Torrey Pine Stables: 0/RT
6 KEC ALLIGATOR ALLEY: 2002 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Aldatus Z x Clover Hill,
CIAN O’CONNOR (IRL), Sinead & Oonagh Kennedy: 1/80.05
7 LORDAN: 2004 Hanoverian gelding by Lordanos x Landor,
NAYEL NASSAR (EGY), NAYEL & SHARAFF NASSAR: 1/81.57
8 TOSCANE: 2000 KWPN stallion by Lux x Joost,
HENRIK GUNDERSEN (DEN), Emilie Martinsen: 1/83.25
9 CLYDE: 2004 Holsteiner stallion by Clearway x Coronado,
DANIEL BLUMAN (COL), Daniel Bluman, LLC: 1/83.28
10 FLAMING STAR:1999 AES gelding by Fairman x Unknown,
CHARLIE JACOBS SR., CMJ Sporthorse LLC: 4/75.96
11 V: 2002 KWPN gelding by Landstreicher Lennard,
KATIE PRUDENT (USA), Michael Smith: 4/77.40
12 QUIET EASY 4: 2004 Oldenburg gelding by Quidams Rubin x Zapateado,
BEN MAHER (GBR), Mrs. Phillips: 4/78.04