Wellington, Fla. – Jan. 28, 2023 – Show jumping competition at the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) continued Saturday, January 28, at Wellington International. Featuring another rendition of the fan-favorite Saturday Night Lights, the $216,000 NetJets Grand Prix CSI4* was highlighted in the International Arena. A field of 45 horse-and-rider combinations put their names forward for the winning title and the lion’s share of the money, but at the end of the night, it was Britain’s Ben Maher and Dallas Vegas Batilly who bested the rest to take home the top prize. Second-place honors went to Shane Sweetnam aboard Namaste Van Het Eyckeveld and third was Kent Farrington and Toulayna.
Canada’s Peter Grant set the first-round course fit for the CSI4* occasion. Starting the class strong Eduardo Pereira De Menezes (BRA) and H5 Chaganus delivered a clear effort as the fourth pair to challenge the 1.60m track.
Immediately following, Natalie Dean (USA) and Acota M put forth a clear effort, forcing a jump-off at the conclusion of round one. Fourteen combinations would add their names to the jump-off roster representing a total of six countries consisting of the USA, Brazil, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, and Britain.
Grant’s shortened track of seven jumping efforts featured the first jump from round one, the orange 1.60m wall originally seen fifth on course, the second element of the combination at fence 4, the NetJets oxer, and vertical of 9ab, fence 10, and two fences not included in round one. Returning in the order in which they jumped clear in round one, Menezes and H5 Chaganus re-entered the International Arena. The pair set the pace strong, but an unfortunate four faults picked up on course kept them out of top contention. Natalie Dean and Acota M took to the track jumping the first double clear round of the night at 41.60 seconds.
Farrington and the Kent Farrington LLC & Rabbit Root Stables LLC eight-year-old Zangersheide mare were next to challenge Grant’s jump-off course. Moving quickly across the large arena, he and Toulayna overtook the lead posting a time of 38.77 seconds. Mclain and Kasper Van Het Hellehof challenged their fellow teammate’s time by taking tight rollback turns, but four faults left them to finish just out of the top ten at the end of the class.
Richard Vogel and United Touch S were next under the lights and galloped into second place with a time of 39.75 seconds to ultimately take fourth at the end of the night. Sweetnam and the nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood Gelding owned by Shane Sweetnam and Voquest Inc. showed they were a force to be reckoned with, taking out strides in the last line and posting a double clear effort of 38.46 seconds to overtake the lead. Laura Kraut and Calgary Tame, and Todd Minikus, and Amex Z finished each with four faults to land them in tenth and twelfth respectively. Maher and Charlotte Rossetter & Pamela Wright’s 9-year-old Selle Francais mare were next to enter under the Wellington International archway. The pair was quick and clear, shooting them straight to the top of the leaderboard with a time of 38.35 seconds, about a tenth of a second faster than Sweetnam.
Mimi Gochman and Celena BH and Lillie Keenan and Argan De Beliard tried their hand at the shortened course but concluded the evening outside of the ribbons. Jos Verlooy and Igor, Lacey Gilbertson and Karlin Van’t Vennehof, and Jordan Coyle aboard Centriko Volo all jumped clear rounds, but none could overtake Maher at the top of the podium.
CSI4* competition at Week Three of the Winter Equestrian Festival will continue Sunday, January 29, with the $75,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic at 10 a.m. in the International Arena. Preceding the $75,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic will be the $10,000 SJHOF High Junior Jumper Classic, starting at 8:00 a.m. in the International Arena.
$216,000 NetJets Grand Prix CSI4*:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / Country / R1 Time | R1 Faults / R2 Time | R2 Faults
1. Dallas Vegas Batilly / Ben Maher / Charlotte Rossetter & Pamela Wright’s / GBR / 79.2 | 0 / 38.35 | 0
2. Namaste Van Het Eyckeveld / Shane Sweetnam / Shane Sweetnam and Voquest Inc./ IRL / 79.23 | 0 / 38.46 | 0
3. Toulayna / Kent Farrington / Kent Farrington LLC & Rabbit Root Stables LLC / 79.74 | 0 / 38.77 | 0
4. United Touch Z / Richard Vogel / Dietmar Gugler / GER / 79.63 | 0 / 39.75 | 0
5. Karlin Van’T Vennehof / Lacey Gilbertson / Allison Sweetnam / USA / 78.09 | 0 / 40.21 | 0
6. Igor / Jos Verlooy / Matteo Del Ry / BEL / 80.44 | 0 / 40.54 | 0
7. Acota M / Natalie Dean / Marie Latourelle / USA / 80. 28 | 0 / 41.6 | 0
8. Centriko Volo / Jordan Coyle / Stella Manship / IRL / 75.62 / 0 | 38.06 | 4
9. H5 Chaganus / Eduardo Pereira De Menezes / H5 Sport Horses LLC / BRA / 75.88 | 0 / 39.47 | 4
10. Calgary Time / Laura Kraut / Stars and Stripes / USA / 77.52 / 0 / 39.78 | 4