Wellington, Fla. – Jan. 18, 2018 – Eric Lamaze of Canada took home the win in the $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round II during Week Two of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in an exciting jump-off aboard Chacco Kid, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by the Chacco Kid Group. Lamaze is no stranger to winning the WEF Challenge Cup, with Thursday’s win adding yet another to his long list of victories.
The class began with a total of 109 entries navigating Oscar Soberon’s technical course, which originally allowed for a time of 74 seconds, but ultimately was shortened to a quicker time of 72 seconds. The difficult time resulted in only nine horses qualifying to tackle the equally challenging and quick jump-off course.
Lamaze and Chacco Kid claimed the victory with a swift time of 34.68 seconds, a full two seconds faster than the reserve champions. The pair have had a successful career together, claiming victory in Rome, Italy, during the Longines Global Champions Tour CSI5* and finishing third in the €153,700 Longines Cup of the City of Barcelona in November 2017.
In an exciting twist, Emanuele Camilli (IT), Paul O’Shea (IRL) and Cian O’Connor (IRL) all tied for second place, sharing a jump-off time of 36.76 seconds. O’Shea finished aboard Imerald Van’T Voorhof for Tequestrian Farms, LLC, while O’Connor rode Under Fire Du Lozon for Ronnoco Jump LTD. Camilli piloted Alexandra Crown’s Emperio Van’T Roosakker to finish out the jump-off, resulting in a surprising three-way tie that shocked crowds.
Finishing behind the unexpected three-way tie for second place was Margie Engle and Dicas, a 9-year-old gelding owned by Storm Ridge Capital LLC, Show Horses and Garber and Gladewinds, Inc.
Jumper competition at WEF continues Friday in the International Arena at 8 a.m. with the $2,500 High Amateur-Owner Jumpers. WEF Week Two will highlight the $70,000 Marshall & Sterling Grand Prix CSI2* on Saturday, Jan. 20, beginning at 7 p.m.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Eric Lamaze – $35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round II winner
On the course:
“Over 100 started in what I think was a brilliant course. It is very difficult to build these early weeks of WEF. You have a mix-match of seasoned competitors with some younger riders and some younger horses so to not have 25 in a jump-off is already an accomplishment. I think the time-allowed made the difference. It was a very technical course that had rails everywhere. The course designer did a fantastic job on what I think is sometimes the most difficult course of the season to build — the early weeks — because you want everybody to have a good experience and you’re trying to build up the horses.”
On Chacco Kid:
“Chacco Kid competed at [the Longines Masters of] Paris and [CHI] Geneva, and he had never really been indoors before so it was a hard two weeks for him but he learned about the indoors. I always start WEF with horses that I finish the season in Europe with so I like to keep them going because I feel that my horses were on form in Paris and Geneva and I arrive here and continue with those horses. I have a bit of an advantage because most of these horses here have been on a lay-off and mine are coming off some big shows. It’s nice to give him a little 2* height at 1.45m and let the horse relax a little bit. I think it was something that was needed for him. I’ve gotten to know Chacco Kid quite well. He came to me as a quite inexperienced horse and had a hard year the year of Rio as I gave Fine Lady time to rest. He did some classes that were actually too difficult for him so that’s why dropping him down and doing this level is good for him.”
On his jump-off round:
“My horse jumped very well. Some of these lines were steady for the big movers and mine doesn’t have the biggest stride. I think in this jump-off, I had that advantage and took a short turn to the double, which I could really trust him there so I think that made the difference.”
On his string of horses:
“[My string of horses] is very strong. We’re adding a few really good horses to our string thanks to some wonderful owners that I have, and Artisan Farms continues to support me. I think I have a strong string to compete and change around and not depend on Fine Lady quite as much. I think today I rode a little bit of an overqualified horse for a 2* but nevertheless the jump-off was fast and I’m lucky enough to have Henry and Katie Prudent in my corner always helping me and giving me advice. They gave me great strategy for the jump-off. I really appreciate them and they’re really helpful to me. Katie and Henry are very technical people. I respect their opinion when they watch my horses jump. You couldn’t have better people than them giving you advice so I’m a good listener when it comes to that.”
$35,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 2
Place / Horse / Rider / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Chacco Kid / Eric Lamaze / 0 | 68.76 / 0 | 34.68
2. Emperio Van ‘T Roosakker / Emanuele Camilli / 0 | 69.14 / 0 | 36.76
2. Imerald Van’t Voorhof / Paul O’Shea / 0 | 69.7 / 0 | 36.76
2. Under Fire Du Lozon / Cian O’Connor / 0 | 70.94 / 0 | 36.76
5. Dicas / Margie Engle / 0 | 69.91 / 0 | 36.84
6. Explosion W / Emily Mason / 0 | 68.81 / 0 | 37.12
7. Barnetta / Sharn Wordley / 0 | 69.16 / 0 | 39.65
8. TNT Explosive / Chloe Reid / 0 | 69.92 / 4 | 38.9
9. Gentille / Kaely Tomeu / 0 | 71.18
10. Galan S / Beat Mandli / 1 | 72.3
11. Bugatti / Wilhelm Genn / 1 | 72.47
12.Happy Wandor Vant Roosakker / Carlos Ramirez / 1 | 72.5