For the second time this season, Venezuela’s Emanuel Andrade won the $15,000 High Amateur-Owner Classic during the 12-week Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL. And for the second time, Andrade was wearing SSG ‘Digital’ riding gloves to claim a $1,000 bonus in the SSG Gloves “Go Clean for the Green” promotion.
Ireland’s Alan Wade set a challenging track in the International Arena for the 59-horse starting field. Riders were given the option of jumping off immediately if they went clear or waiting until the end of the first round as per the traditional jump-off format. While seven riders jumped clear in total, only Andrade and Danielle Torano elected to return at the end, giving the class a thrilling finale.
“I always like to watch how fast the jump-off is going to be,” explained Andrade of his decision to wait until the end of the first round to return. “They always come faster, faster, faster; you never know how fast you have to go. I like to have a reference in my mind of what I have to do.”
With only one rider coming after him, Andrade had a clear picture of what was required to win. Setting out aboard Fananka A, a 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Chin Chin x Kannan) owned by Hollow Creek Farm, Andrade flew around the shortened course, stopping the clock in 35.63 seconds. Torano gave chase with her mount, Grand, but fell short of Andrade’s time, crossing the timers in 37.04 seconds.
“I am very happy,” said Andrade, who also topped $2,500 High Amateur-Owner class with Fananka A. “I bought her last year in the season and then she was hurt for a little bit, but now she is coming back so well. She is amazing. She is very difficult; when I got her, it was difficult for me at first. Now I know her very well and I love her. She is one of my favourites.”
The win marked Andrade’s second victory of the season in the weekly $15,000 High Amateur-Owner Classic. During week two, he won riding Sothis D Ouilly, a nine-year-old grey selle francais mare (Cheers Cassini x Narcos II) also owned by Hollow Creek Farm.
It was also Andrade’s second win in the SSG Gloves “Go Clean for the Green” promotion. As Andrade was wearing SSG ‘Digital’ style riding gloves on his way to victory, he was awarded a $1,000 bonus in recognition of his loyalty to the SSG Gloves brand.
“I am very happy for the one thousand dollars,” said Andrade of the SSG bonus money. “I am going to give it to my grooms. They work very hard for me and my horses and for the team. They deserve it.”
Andrade was named the Leading Jumper Rider at both the 2013 and 2014 Winter Equestrian Festival, a feat made even more impressive considering he was competing in the Junior divisions. Now 18, Andrade has stepped up to the Amateur-Owner divisions, and is also a regular competitor in the weekly grand prix events. During the CSIO4* Nations’ Cup week, held February 25 through March 1 in Wellington, FL, Andrade competed as a member of the senior Venezuelan Team.
SSG Gloves will continue to offer a $3,000 bonus in each of the weekly Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Series events, as well as a $1,000 bonus in the High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic and the Sleepy P Ranch High Junior Jumper Classic competitions. If the winning rider in any of these three competitions is wearing SSG ‘Digital’ style gloves with the SSG horse head logo clearly visible, they will be presented with the SSG Gloves bonus during the awards presentation. A total of $60,000 in bonus money is on offer from SSG Gloves at the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival.
SSG ‘Digital’ riding gloves are available for purchase at numerous Wellington locations including Tackeria and Dover Saddlery, as well as on-site at the Winter Equestrian Festival show grounds at various retailers including Running Fox and Hadfield’s Saddlery.
Please refer to the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival Prize List for complete promotion details on the SSG Gloves “Go Clean for the Green” promotion. For further information, please contact promotion manager Jennifer Ward, Starting Gate Communications Inc., at cell: 613 292-5439 or [email protected].
Photo by Starting Gate Communications