Wellington, Fla. – March 7, 2021 – A bright and sunny day played host to the $214,0000 Grand Prix CSIO4* at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The picturesque class featured 50 horse-and-rider combinations, with both young and veteran athletes hailing from around the globe. Concluding Week 8 of the Winter Equestrian Festival’s (WEF) esteemed Nation’s Cup week, the class proved to be challenging as many competitors struggled to master the course during the first round of competition. After a nail-biting jump-off, it was Germany’s Daniel Deusser who came out victorious yet again aboard Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z, owned by Stephex Stables and Scuderia 1918.
United States’ Steve Stephens and Nick Garant set forth a challenging 13-obstacle track fit for the occasion. The strenuous first-round track was built to a 1.60m specification holding a 78 second time limit. With its challenging combinations throughout, the course effectively separated the top-tier performers from the group. Roberto Teran Tafur (COL) was first to master a clear course of the eight pairs that added their names to the jump-off roster. With rails falling around the ring and several athletes retiring before completing their run, only five pairs went clear during the first half of the class, including Teddy Vlock (ISR), Greece’s Ioli Mytilineou, United States’ Maria Costa and Germany’s Andre Thieme. After the drag break, 10 competitors attempted to add their name to the jump-off roster before Daniel Deusser (GER) posted the first fault-free run. As the class progressed, only two additional competitors, Margie Engle (USA) and Bertram Allen (IRL), would add their name to the line-up.
A total of eight horse-and-rider combinations returned to the final phase of the competition with the hopes of mastering the shortened course within the 45-second time limit. First to tackle the jump off courses was Teran Tafur aboard his own Dez Ooktoff, who posted a fault free round in a time of 39.878 seconds. His early lead was quickly taken over by Vlock riding Amsterdam 27, owned by Vlock Show Stables, LLC. Newly partnered, the pair put down an impressive clear ride, stopping the clocks in 37.917 seconds. In an attempt to unseat Vlock, Mytilineou and Levis De Muz, owned by Elia Construction SA, left all of the rails intact but were not quite quick enough to move into the top position, finishing in 40.805 seconds. Costa took her shot for the lion’s share of the prize money with Presence, owned by Ravello Farms, LLC, and though the pair seemed to be the new front runner with a time of 36.721 seconds, they had an unfortunate rail down on the final fence of the course.
The lead would ultimately change hands as Germany’s Thieme and Chakira, owned by Pferdemanagement and Marketing GMBH, attacked the course with rapid speed, finishing just three-tenths of a second faster than Vlock and his in 37.491 seconds. Immediately after, fellow German teammate Deusser swept across the course with ease aboard his talented 13-year-old Zangersheide gelding, producing the quickest fault free round in 36.459 seconds to move into the first place position. Veteran United States competitors Engle and Dicas, owned by Storm Ridge Capital LLC, Show Horses Inc, Selma Garber and Gladewinds Partners LLC, completed the course without adding any faults to the scoreboard, but finishing just out of the top three in 38.843 seconds. As the final competitor and no stranger to the winner’s circle at WEF, Allen and Martin Egan’s Castlefield Vegas produced the quickest time of the competition, but fell short of a top placing after knocking two rails on course.
In the end, Deusser would notch another WEF victory aboard Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z, claiming the leading title in the $214,000 FEI Grand Prix CSIO4*. The pair is coming off of a previously successful week after winning the $73,000 Adequan WEF Challenge Cup Round VII. Second place was ultimately awarded to Thieme and Chakria, with rising talent Vlock and Amsterdam 27 rounding out the top three.
Competition at the Winter Equestrian Festival will continue with Week 9, kicking off Wednesday, March 10 at 8am and culminating in the $401,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix CSI5*.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Daniel Deusser – $214,000 FEI Grand Prix CSIO4* winner
On his longtime partner Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z:
“I’ve been spoiled by him. He had some time off last year and came back at the end of last season, which was not great timing because of [COVID-19]. But to be honest, after every competition since he has come home with good results. He did his last show in December and I think he enjoyed the time not having me at home. It’s difficult to describe – he’s my number one horse and he knows exactly when he has to show his power in the ring. He’s quiet in the warm-up and then when he goes in the ring, he knows what to do.“
On his strategy in the jump-off:
“I know [Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z] is very good in short lines to a vertical, like to jump 3, so I left one stride out there. I had a really good turn into the double combination as well and he was quite smooth on the straight lines, so overall it was a very good jump-off.“
Andre Thieme – second place
On partnership with Chakaria:
“Like Daniel and [Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z], she is also my number one horse. I’ve taken my time with her over the past few years because I realized pretty early on what I have with her. She is special in every way. Now slowly we are getting faster. That was always my problem with her, getting cranky during the turns, but now I have had good results over the past year. We’ve been getting quicker and quicker and I thought it would be enough today, but then I realized at the last jump I had to do one more stride. So while I’m not that happy with myself, I am very happy with my mare.“
On Chakaria’s training:
“We are going up step by step and it took a lot to get us in the bigger classes, but I did many smaller shows and once in a while I would go to bigger ones. Now we will compete in the bigger shows and I think she is saying thank you to me every time!“
Teddy Vlock – third place
On his new partner Amsterdam 27:
“I couldn’t possibly be more excited. He is an amazing horse and I’ve only ridden him at about four shows now, so every time I get him in the ring I learn more about him. I’m ecstatic, I couldn’t possibly be happier. Every horse I’ve had in this caliber have all gone a little bit differently, so I’m just learning what place to put him in and learning how to ride the horse in the best way to give him the best chance at going clear.“
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / Country / R1 Faults | R1 Time / R2 Faults | R2 Time
1. Scuderia Tobago Z / Daniel Deusser / Stephex and SCU / GER / 0 | 72.54 / 0 | 36.45
2. Chakaria / Andre Thieme / PferdeManagement & Marketing GMBH / GER / 0 | 71.77 / 0 | 37.49
3. Amsterdam 27 / Teddy Vlock / Vlock Show Stables LLC / ISR / 0 | 75.51 / 0 | 37.91
4. Dicas / Margie Engle / Storm Rider Capital LLC, Show Horses, Garber & Gladewinds, Inc. / USA / 0 | 74.60 / 0 | 38.84
5. Dez Ooktoff / Roberto Teran Tafur / Roberto Teran Tafur / COL / 0 | 76.04 / 0 | 39.87
6. Levis De Muze / Ioli Mytilineou / Elia Construction SA / GRE / 0 | 74.66 / 0 | 40.80
7. Presences / Maria Costa / Ravello Farms LLC / USA / 0 | 73.63 / 4 | 36.72
8. Castlefield Vegas / Bertram Allen / Martin Egan / IRL / 0 | 71.73 / 8 | 35.57
9. Vinci De Beaufour / Darragh Kenny / Devon Macneil / IRL / 4 | 71.83
10. Leone Jei / Martin Fuchs / Adolfo Jui / SUI / 4 | 72.34
11. Arpege Du Ru / Abdel Said / Abdel Said / EGY / 4 | 73.06
12. Villamoura / Sydney Shulman / Jill Shulman / ISR / 4 | 73.36