Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 6, 2020 – Returning for its fifth installment during the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) circuit, the $73,000 FEI CSI 5* Adequan WEF Challenge Round V drew a lineup of 57 elite horse-and-rider pairs to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s International Arena Thursday morning. In the end, the pair that prevailed after topping a competitive field of 15 partnerships in the jump-off, was Lucy Deslauriers (USA) aboard longtime partner Hester.
Great Britain’s Kelvin Bywater challenged the field of seasoned international competitors over a 16-obstacle first-round course with a time allowed of 80 seconds. First to master the course was Eduardo Menezes (BRA) and the 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by H5 Stables, H5 Quintol.
Seven more horse-and-rider combinations produced a fault-free round and secured their place in the jump-off prior to the drag break. Following the brief intermission, Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts set off a trifecta of double clears after issuing his own clean round aboard Katanga V/H Dingeshof. His efforts were immediately followed by clear rounds from both Capt. Briane Cournane (IRL) and McLain Ward (USA). At the close of the second half, seven more athletes would produce rounds without adding any faults to the scoreboard, resulting in a field of 18 qualified for the jump-off.
With three qualifiers electing not to return for the international stand-off, Menezes and H5 Quintol were the first to try their hand at Bywater’s shortened seven obstacle track. The pair produced a clear round with a strong, leading time of 33.20 seconds. His lead didn’t last long, however, as Nicole Shahinian-Simpson (USA) took over the pole position with a time of 32.89 seconds aboard Silver Raven Farms’ 13-year-old Holsteiner mare, Akuna Mattata.
Riding for the USA, both Devin Ryan and Laura Kraut left the course intact but weren’t quite quick enough to catch Shahinian-Simpson’s leading time. It was Deslauriers and Lisa Deslauriers’s 16-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, Hester, who shaved off a stride between the last two fences and tripped the timers at 31.97 seconds to take the lead. Putting their best foot forward, none of the remaining competitors, including Deslauriers’ father, Mario Deslaurier (USA), could beat the dynamic duo’s leading time.
Show jumping action will continue at the Winter Equestrian Festival Friday, February 12th, in the International Arena with the $2,500 High Amateur Owner Jumper 1.40m starting at 8:00 a.m., followed by the $37,000 FEI CSI 5* Bainbridge 1.45m class and the $37,000 FEI CSI 2* Restylane 1.45m Qualifier.
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Lucy Deslauriers – winner of the $73,000 FEI CSI5* Adequan WEF Challenge Round 5
On the jump-off:
“There weren’t too many places to change the strides between the jumps, so I knew I had to be very prompt everywhere and not waste half a second anywhere. He was really right with me today. I felt like I would just look and he knew exactly what I was going to ask him to do anyway.”
“I’ve been riding him for 8 years now. Like I said, he feels what I’m going to do before I do it. In a class like this and especially for a class like on Saturday night when it’s going to be big and technical and the competition is as tough as it ever has been, in my opinion, that’s always an advantage. I go into the jump-off and know it’s going to be fun and all I have to do is stick to my plan.”
On how she rode the last line to win the class:
“I did eight [strides] between the last two. I made a pretty short turn the second to last, but I know his stride opens up quite a bit in the jump-off, so I just had to let him fly and not worry about it or have the last one down.”
$73,000 FEI CSI5* Adequan WEF Challenge Round 5
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / Country / R1 Time | R1 Faults / R2 Time | R2 Faults
1. Hester / Lucy Deslauriers / Lisa Deslauriers / USA / 77.92 | 0 / 31.97 | 0
2. Akuna Mattata / Nicole Shahinian-Simpson / Silver Raven Farms / USA / 79.04 | 0 / 32.90 | 0
3. H5 Quintol / Eduardo Menezes / H5 Stables / BRA / 77.4 | 0 / 33.20 | 0
4. Kaspar Van Het Hellehof / McLain Ward / Poden Farms / USA / 74.75 | 0 / 33.44 | 0
5. Figor / Tiffany Foster / Artisan Farms, LL / CAN / 78.29 | 0 / 33.50 | 0
6. Eddie Blue / Devin Ryan / LL Show Jumpers, LLC / USA / 79.43 | 0 / 33.58 | 0
7. Chacna / Enrique Gonzalez / Alice Lawaetz and Enrique Gonzalez / MEX / 77.17 | 0 / 33.59 | 0
8. Explosion W / Ben Maher / Pamela Wright, Charlotte Rossetter, & Ben Maher / GBR / 80.50 | 0 / 33.97 | 0
9. Carlito’s Way 6 / Rodrigo Pessoa / Artemis Equestrian Farm LLC / BRA / 76.58 | 0 / 34.50 | 0
10. Bardolina 2 / Mario Deslauirers / Wishing Well Farm LLC / CAN / 79.28 | 0 / 35.09 | 0
11. Confu / Laura Kraut / St. Bride’s Farm / USA / 78.28 | 0 / 35.49 | 0
12. Quibelle / Spencer Smith / Gotham Enterprizes, LLC / USA / 76.72 | 0 / 34.74 | 4