Wellington, Fla. – Mar. 22, 2018 – Ninety-two contenders battled it out in the $70,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round XI CSI4* on Thursday afternoon, which marked their second to last chance to earn valuable points, generous prize money, and a spot in Saturday’s grand prix as the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) nears its close. Great Britain’s Emily Moffitt emerged victorious aboard Tipsy Du Terral, owned by Poden Farms.
Held at the Stadium Derby Field, the class offered horses and riders a welcome change of scenery from the International Ring, and it also allowed renowned course designer, Olaf Petersen, Jr., of Germany, to build a track that encouraged riders to pick up the pace and gallop around the expansive field.
Moffitt and Tipsy Du Terral were 54th to go in the first round of the class, which attracted a large crowd that watched from the hill overlooking the picturesque field. The talented pair also picked up the $75,000 Rosenbaum PLLC Grand Prix during the initial week of WEF.
An astounding 33 riders were able to keep all rails intact to advance to the jump-off, but only 25 of them elected to try their efforts over the short course, which was altered slightly before the jump-off began to allow for minor adjustments, and re-walked by riders and trainers.
Moffitt planned to utilize her mare’s natural speed in the jump-off to her advantage and it paid off. Landing off of the final fence, they tripped the timers in 42.468 seconds which took them to the top of the leaderboard.
The talented young athlete rides with Olympian Ben Maher, and started training with him two years ago. Maher, who is also from Great Britain, competed in the class and finished in eighth place with Jane Forbes Clark’s Sarena.
At only 20 years old, Moffitt is making herself known at the highest levels of the sport. Presently, her main focus is working hard to earn a spot in the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. She will be on the road this summer training and competing with Maher.
Winn Alden (USA) was 14th to go in the order, where she jumped clean and returned to take the lead in the jump-off after executing a speedy round in 43.048 seconds riding Southern Arches, LLC’s Charlie. However, she was unable to maintain her top position after Moffitt entered the ring.
Veteran rider McLain Ward (USA) rounded out the top three spots in the class with a double-clear performance with Double H Farm’s HH Callas, passing through the finish line with 43.234 seconds on the clock.
Moffitt will try her hand once more in Saturday’s feature class, the $205,000 CaptiveOne Grand Prix CSI4*, and is looking forward to continuing her success this season as she travels to her next stop in Shanghai, China where she will compete in the third leg of the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) with her team, the London Knights.
Week Eleven of WEF will showcase more top show jumping talent over the weekend in the $205,000 CaptiveOne Grand Prix CSI4*, which will take place Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. at the Stadium Derby Field. Competition will continue Saturday evening as riders vie for a spot in the winner’s circle in the $132,000 Hollow Creek 1.50m Classic Final starting at 6:30 p.m. in the International Ring.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Emily Moffitt – $70,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round XI CSI4* winner
On her 2018 season so far:
“I won the grand prix the first week with Tipsy Du Terral and this is our last week [competing here], so winning the first and last weeks is a good way to finish.”
On Tipsy Du Terral:
“We don’t really have much of a history together. We jumped a few 1.40m classes in Europe before coming to WEF, and Ben [Maher] said I should go in the grand prix here. I had had a month off and we kind of just went for it, and I won it. Then, she went to her stable for a little bit so I could get used to my newer ones. We pulled her out for this because she is really good on the grass. She is a gigantic horse, so we find that the grass just backs her off a little bit more. She’s obviously a careful horse. There were so many clear that I was kind of on the fence about if I wanted to save her for the grand prix or not, but because the season hasn’t gone as well as we would have liked and we were clear, we thought that I should just go for it. It ended up working in my favor.”
On her plan going into the jump-off:
“I said to Ben, ‘If I’m going to do the jump-off, I’m going to really go for it. There is no point in trying to be in the medium ground.’ She is actually my fastest horse, I think. I just let her go and I sit and hold against her and she does it. We work really well together. She is most similar to my favorite horse, Hilfiger van de Olmenhoeve, so I think that’s why we clicked so well, so fast.”
On their partnership:
“We got her maybe a month or two after she jumped the Saut Hermes Grand Prix in Paris. That is where we first saw her last year and liked her. Ben rode her for a little while and she won classes with him right away. I got her at home for a bit and then we took her to Valence and did a couple 1.40m classes, and she won pretty much every class. She’s been awesome.”
On her string of horses:
“Between me and Ben, I would say we have 20 horses here that are all for me, but Ben obviously helps. It’s hard. It’s actually really difficult for me and Ben because we sit down before the season starts and make a plan. Things change often, but we make a plan and it’s very difficult to make a plan with this many horses. We pick a certain event and work backwards from that. It is hard to do that when you have 10 grand prix horses and you don’t know which one to choose.”
On her goals:
“I want to go to the Olympics and that’s all my mind is set on right now. I didn’t see how I could balance the two [school and riding]. I had to be kind of fast-tracked and I started riding not so early like everyone else does. I had a pony when I was little, but I began riding competitively and bigger than 1.30m about five years ago. I woke up one day and I decided I wanted to go to the Olympics, so my dad, Ben and I have really had to step up our game. Before Ben, I trained with Nick [Skelton] and Laura [Kraut] and they were great. I got my whole foundation from them, so I obviously have them to thank.”
$70,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round XI CSI4*, sponsored by Equinimity:
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults / Time
1. Tipsy Du Terral / Emily Moffitt / GBR / Poden Farms / 0 / 0 / 42.468
2. Charlie / Winn Alden / USA / Southern Arches, LLC / 0 / 0 / 43.048
3. HH Callas / McLain Ward / USA / Double H Farm / 0 / 0 / 43.234
4. Eclatant / Petronella Andersson / SWE / Stephan Conter / 0 / 0 / 43.425
5. Bacara D’Archonfosse / Daniel Bluman / ISR / Over The Top Stables / 0 / 0 / 43.693
6. VDL Cortello / Cormac Hanley / IRL / Heathman Farm LLC / 0 / 0 / 43.746
7. Simba / Beat Mandli / SUI / Grant Road Partners, LLC / 0 / 0 / 44.026
8. Sarena / Ben Maher / GBR / Jane Forbes Clark / 0 / 0 / 46.419
9. Colorado 210 / Luis Pedro Biraben / ARG / Miguel Madero / 0 / 0 / 46.760
10. Daveau / Jonathan Millar / CAN / Millar Brook Farm Ltd. / 0 / 0 / 47.996
11. Hitchcock VD Broekkant / Alise Oken / USA / Hi Hopes Farm LLC / 0 / 0 / 49.142
12. Eristov / Jordan Coyle / IRL / Elan Farm / 0 / 0 / 43.108
For full results, click here.