March 3, 2016 - Week eight of the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) continued on Thursday at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) with a win for Canada's Tiffany Foster and Brighton, owned by Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable, in the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 8. The Hollow Creek Farm Children's, Junior, and Young Rider divisions also hosted the first of their classes for the week with wins for Juana Trosch (ARG), Gabriela Rodriguez (ECU), and Victoria Colvin (USA) respectively.
WEF 8 features CSIO 4* jumper and "AA" rated hunter divisions running March 2-6, 2016. The week will highlight the $150,000 Nations' Cup on the evening of Friday, March 4. The $150,000 Nations' Cup will have free general admission and free seating this year. Everyone is welcome to attend! Gates open at 6 pm. For a hospitality seating package on Friday through Sunday, please firstname.lastname@example.org or call 561-784-1125. Availability is limited so book your VIP weekend soon!
The Hollow Creek Farm FEI Children's, Junior, and Young Rider Nations' Cups will be featured on Saturday, March 5. The $216,000 Lugano Diamonds CSIO 4* Grand Prix will conclude the feature events of the week on Sunday, March 6. The 12-week WEF circuit runs through April 3 offering more than $9 million in prize money.
USA's Steve Stephens and Ken Krome are co-course designers in the International Ring for week eight's jumper competition. For Thursday's WEF Challenge Cup, the pair set a speed track for 58 competitors, with 20 clear rounds. Tiffany Foster and Brighton were the winners in a time of 61.26 seconds. Beezie Madden (USA) and Abigail Wexner's Vanilla followed close behind in a time of 61.36 seconds. Todd Minikus (USA) and Two Swans Farm's Babalou 41 finished third in 61.91 seconds. Juan Jose Zendejas Salgado (MEX) placed fourth in 62.81 seconds riding Alejandro Zendejas' Tino la Chapelle, and Jessica Springsteen took fifth place honors aboard Stone Hill Farm's Tiger Lily with a time of 62.94 seconds.
Foster and Brighton, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Contender II x Quick Star), also won Wednesday night's $5,000 Carolex Stables CSIO Welcome Stake.
"He is a really cool horse because he has no idea what it means to go into the ring to school. He only likes to go at speed," Foster said of her winning mount. "Last night I was not really even trying to go fast. I just went along at his speed and that was enough to win, which was cool, but this was a little bit more what I was trying to do. I was at speed, and he was just awesome."
Artisan Farms purchased Brighton as a seven-year-old, and Foster has been slowly producing the gelding over the last three years.
"He has always been a very competitive horse," she noted. "This is his first big class that he has won, but he is always up there. He is very consistent, and he goes clear very often. This is the first time I have really put the jets on, and he really rose to the occasion, so it is very exciting for the future."
Foster also detailed her winning round, explaining that the course suited Brighton's style quite well.
"He actually does not have a huge stride, so for me to do the leave-out numbers is very fast and that, in a class like this, is really beneficial because there were not a lot of turns or short options," Foster explained. "It was more just the numbers, and who had a lot of ground speed, and who could cover those numbers going fast. Having a stride where you could push for those lines was really helpful, but you need to have a careful horse that will also leave the rails up and luckily, I have one."
Foster is on the Canadian team for Friday night's $150,000 Nations' Cup and feels good with her back-to-back wins to open up this week's CSIO competition. She also had the added bonus of getting her name on a WEF Challenge Cup win this circuit, as the series has been dominated by teammate Eric Lamaze, who has won four of the eight classes so far.
"Normally the 'WEF' is Eric's class, so at least we are keeping it in the Artisan family," Foster smiled.
In addition to the winning prize money, Foster earned a $3,000 bonus for wearing her SSG 'Digital' style riding gloves as part of the SSG Gloves 'Go Clean for the Green' promotion. She was also presented with the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award for week eight.
Also competing in the International Ring on Thursday, the Douglas Elliman 1.45m speed class saw a win for Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Susan Grange's Tennyson.
The Hollow Creek Farm Children's, Junior, and Young Rider divisions then hosted their Welcome classes to kick off their week. The win in the $1,500 Hollow Creek Farm Young Rider Welcome went to USA's Victoria Colvin aboard Springfield Showjumpers' Zidane. The $1,000 Hollow Creek Farm Junior Welcome saw a win for Ecuador's Gabriela Rodriguez and Creamy Z, owned by Xavier Rodriguez, Vicki Briones, and Accell. Argentina's Juana Trosch rode Emanuel Andrade's Black Pearl to victory in the Hollow Creek Farm Children's Welcome.
Victoria Colvin Pilots Style to the Equine Tack and Nutritionals First Year Green Hunter Championship. The First Year Green Hunter division, presented by Equine Tack and Nutritionals, crowned Victoria Colvin and Take The High Road LLC's Style with the championship title this morning in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring. Seventeen horses competed for the tricolor honors this week, but it was Style, a seven-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, that stole the show.
Colvin topped two of the four over fences classes and placed third and seventh over jumps on Thursday morning. Scott Stewart settled for the reserve championship title aboard Frontman. The duo earned two second place ribbons, a fourth, and a sixth over fences. They also took home the blue ribbon in the under saddle class. Frontman is a six-year-old German Sporthorse gelding owned by Rivers Edge Farm.
Colvin, of Loxahatchee, FL, is making quite a mark in her first winter as a young professional. She and Style already have a few tricolors under their belt. "I've shown him four times. He was champion three times and reserve once," Colvin commented.
Style is a relatively new mount for Colvin. "We got him at Capital Challenge last year from Russell Frey," she explained. "I showed him in the Pre-Greens twice and I've been showing him here at WEF in the First Years. He's been so lovely, really a dream. Karen Long Dwight bought him for me. I'm really appreciative of that."
Colvin loved the gelding from the moment she first rode him. "When I got on him for the first time he was so nice. He felt so rangy and really comfortable. He was very easy and jumped really great, so I kind of fell in love with him the first time I rode him," she recalled.
The First Year Green division saw a smaller field of horses this week, which Colvin took advantage of. "There weren't as many as usual this week in the First Years, but the course was nice and they brought in the hay bales and some nice jumps, which I liked," Colvin stated.
Colvin plans to continue showing Style in the First Year Green division this year, with the hopes of qualifying him for the indoor shows in the fall. "I think he is fancy enough to do the divisions, but he's really, really brave and super scopey, so I think next year he will be one to do in the derby classes," Colvin said.
The eighth week of competition at the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival continues on Friday featuring the $150,000 FEI Nations' Cup in the International Ring in the evening. The Ariat National Adult Medal will be the highlight class in the Rost Arena in the morning. For more information and full results, please visitwww.PBIEC.com.