Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 won the WEF Challenge Cup during Week Five.
Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 9, 2017 – Eric Lamaze of Canada piloted Fine Lady 5 to the win in Thursday’s $130,000 WEF Challenge Cup CSI5* during Week Five of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). No stranger to winning on Thursdays, Lamaze marked his25th career WEF Challenge Cup win and his second series win of the year with his victory aboard the 13-year-old Hannoverian mare, owned by Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable.
Out of 56 starters, 14 combinations managed to clear the first-round track to advance to the short course, with only 12 electing to compete over the tiebreaking track. The first faultless performance of the day was delivered by Margie Engle (USA) with Gladewinds Farm Inc.’s Royce. The duo returned as the early clear pathfinders once again in the jump-off, where they turned in a clear round in a time of 45.27 seconds to eventually finish in third.
Margie Engle and Royce
A notoriously fast combination, Lamaze stepped up to the plate with Fine Lady 5 to shave an impressive 4 seconds off of Engle’s leading time, finishing on 41.233 seconds to take over the top spot.
Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5
“To go from the Olympics to this, Fine Lady is just really an incredible horse; easily the best horse of my lifetime,” Lamaze said. “After the Olympics, she got two months off. Then we went to Paris and Geneva, and our plan was to start WEF with that momentum. Now we plan to leave her alone for the next few weeks in preparation for the European season.”
Another jump-off challenger, Hardin Towell (USA) and Evergate Stable LLC’s Lucifer V, came close to the win, yet settled for second place honors after delivering a clear round in 43.721 seconds.
Hardin Towell and Lucifer V
“We were riding for second today,” Towell said. “Fine Lady is fast, and they looked fast today. Lucifer V had a little time off so we were happy with how he went today. I thought the course went quite well, with 14 clean and 12 into the jump-off, Bob Ellis always does a great job and he did a great job today.”
Rounding out the top six were Mexico’s Alberto Michan and Iron Horse Farm’s GC Chopins Bushi, who took home fourth place with their faultless 45.699-second effort. Bringing home fifth place were Ben Maher and Poden Farms’ Don Vito, who also went clear with a time of 45.806 seconds. Catherine Tyree and her family’s Enjoy Louis claimed sixth place after finishing their clear round in 48.057 seconds.
This week marks the first CSI5* show jumping competition at WEF. This Saturday, the International Arena will hold the $380,000 Fidelity Investments® Grand Prix CSI5* at 7 p.m., where Lamaze, Towell and Engle will once again go head-to-head, along with other top show jumping athletes from around the world, to vie for top honors in the week’s highlight event.
Alberto Michan and GC Chopins Bushi
Ben Maher and Don Vito
Catherine Tyree and Enjoy Louis
1, 2130, FINE LADY 5, ERIC LAMAZE, CAN, 73.500, 0, 41.230, 0 2, 1726, LUCIFER V ,HARDIN TOWELL, USA, 73.770, 0, 43.720, 0 3, 3031, ROYCE, MARGIE ENGLE, USA, 72.080, 0, 45.270, 0 4, 1046, GC CHOPINS BUSHI, ALBERTO MICHAN, MEX, 73.160, 0, 45.690, 0 5, 1170, DON VITO, BEN MAHER, GBR, 71.800, 0, 45.800, 0 6, 826, ENJOY LOUIS, CATHERINE TYREE, USA, 74.600, 0, 48.050, 0 7, 88, CARRABIS Z, RICHIE MOLONEY, IRL, 71.310, 0, 57.200, 0 8, 3105, CORNET 39, LAUREN HOUGH, USA, 74.910, 0, 46.820, 4 9, 4454, SFN ZENITH, JEROEN DUBBELDAM, NLD, 73.080, 0, 46.960, 4 10, 109, VICTOR, TIFFANY FOSTER, CAN, 72.170, 0, 47.600, 8 11, 3753, CORETTE, KEEAN WHITE, CAN, 74.290, 0, 52.160, 8 12, 4452, QUINTOL, EDUARDO MENEZES, BRA, 75.210, 0, 50.980, 12