January 16, 2014--Week two of the 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) kicked off at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Wednesday morning with a win for Laura Kraut (USA) and Bonito R in the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.40m speed class. Jack Hardin Towell, Shane Sweetnam, and Samuel Parot also got wins on the first day of week two competition.
FTI WEF week two, sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty, will run Wednesday, January 15 through Sunday, January 19. The week will feature the $34,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 on Thursday afternoon, the $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix CSI 2* on Saturday night, and the $10,000 Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix Series Speed Class, Presented by The Dutta Corp. in association with Guido Klatte, as well as the $34,000 Suncast? 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic, during the day on Sunday. The FTI WEF, held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Fla., features 12 weeks of world-class competition through March 30, awarding $8 million in prize money.
Luc Musette of Belgium is the course designer in the International Arena at PBIEC for week two competition. Wednesday morning kicked off with 28 entries in the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m speed class with nine clear rounds and a win for Laura Kraut and Stars and Stripes' Bonito R with the fastest time of 65.653 seconds.
Lauren Tisbo (USA) and Tequestrian Farms LLC's La Centa finished second in 67.918 seconds. Jennifer Goddard (USA) and Stateside Farm LLC's Ungaro de la Hot Couture placed third in 69.260 seconds.
Laura Kraut continued a successful beginning to her FTI WEF circuit with Wednesday's win on Bonito R, a nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding by El Bonito x Rhytmo. This was the gelding's first class of the circuit and a great start to his winter season as well. Kraut got the ride on Bonito R one year ago as he was turning eight years old and showed in the Adequan Eight-Year-Old Young Jumper classes throughout the 2013 FTI WEF circuit, earning many top ribbons and finishing a very close second in the circuit's championship classic.
"We found him in England through our friends, Graham and Tina Fletcher," Kraut explained. "They told us about him when we were at the Olympia horse show and so we went in the driving rain and freezing cold of England and tried him. Then I think by the time we got him paid for, and he got over here, he didn't arrive until maybe mid-February."
"We brought him to Florida last year, and he won a ribbon in every class he entered, which is pretty remarkable," Kraut acknowledged. "He is just a wonderful horse. He's brave and fun. This is his first time out and he just walks right in and owns the place, which is nice. I am excited for him for this year because I am planning to move him up and maybe do some of the 'WEFs' (grand prix) and the 1.50m Classics and see where we go from there."
Commenting on Wednesday's speed track, Kraut noted, "I really liked the course. I think Luc is a fantastic course builder. We are very lucky down here to get all of these wonderful course designers. My horse handled it really well. I cut in and sort of sliced the last double (combination), which would be hard for a lot of horses, and he did it brilliantly. I could not have been happier with him. He was like a windup toy today."
"He does not take a lot of anything," Kraut said of the ride. "He is what I would call 'point and shoot.' He waits when you want to wait, he goes when you want to go. He never spooks at anything. He is careful. He is beautiful. He is one of the nicer, easier rides I have. He will do anything, and he is very versatile. We love that about him."
The International Arena at PBIEC had a very full schedule of competition on Wednesday as the FTI WEF gets underway with its first week of FEI classes, the first one being tomorrow's $34,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup. In today's $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class, there were 100 entries, and it was held in a "California Split," awarding two sets of placings.
All together, 20 entries jumped clear over the course and there were nine double clear rounds. The top finishers were Jack Hardin Towell (USA) aboard Jennifer Gates' Cadence and Shane Sweetnam (IRL) riding Alden Burlington's Catch Me T.
A $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m speed class was also held with 72 entries competing with 18 clear rounds and a win for Samuel Parot (CHI) and Carla TM. Laura Chapot (USA) and Bradberry finished second. Ronan McGuigan (IRL) and Capall Zidane placed third.
Finals Results: $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m
1. BONITO R LAURA KRAUT STARS AND STRIPES: 0/65.653
2. LA CENTA LAUREN TISBO TEQUESTRIAN FARMS LLC: 0/67.918
3. UNGARO DE LA HOT COUTURE JENNIFER GODDARD STATESIDE FARM LLC: 0/69.260
4. CARAMELLO Z RAMIRO QUINTANA ST. BRIDE'S FARM: 0/69.502
5. QUIDAM MB ADRIENNE STERNLICHT ADRIENNE STERNLICHT: 0/71.062
6. VICTOR TIFFANY FOSTER ARTISAN FARMS LLC: 0/72.673
7. MONKEY DU PARC DIANNA RODOLPHO DIANNE RODOLPHO: 0/73.096
8. CARLOS V.H.P.Z. NICHOLAS DELLO JOIO THE CARLOS GROUP: 0/73.941
9. IV EVER MICHAEL DORMAN WYNDMONT: 0/74.142
10. WOKLAHOMA ROBERTO TERAN ARK PARTNERS LLC: 4/70.961
11. ATANJA PAULO SANTANA SANTANA STABLES LLC: 4/71.936
12. CAMBITO PAIGE JOHNSON SALAMANDER FARM : 4/72.368