Wellington, Fla. – March 3, 2019 – Nations Cup week at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded Sunday afternoon with the $209,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSIO4*. Out of a field of 43 competitors, only two cleared their way over a challenging course to advance to the jump-off. In the end, it was Chile’s Samuel Parot aboard his own Atlantis that ultimately rode away with the win.
Steve Stephen’s (USA) 14-obstacle course incorporated many technical aspects that proved challenging for competitors. Horses and athletes had to tackle open water, a triple bar fence, and three different double combinations, with no spot proving more difficult than the next. It seemed that top honors would be decided by a battle between the four-fault rounds as rails fell in various spots around the course.
Breaking the cycle, United States’ Eve Jobs and her own Venue D’Fees Des Hazalles, a 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, came in strong and navigated the first clear round of the afternoon. Many riders that followed would attempt to join Jobs for a jump-off, but none could manage a fault-free finish over the taxing course.
Later in the line-up, veteran grand prix competitor from Chile, Parot, would give spectators a jump-off to cheer about as he finished clear aboard Atlantis, a 16-year-old Zangersheide gelding. Jobs and Parot prevailed as the only clear finishers for the remainder of the first round, leaving the jump-off to be a head-to-head race to first place.
As the early pathfinder, Jobs took to the International Arena with the hopes of putting down a double-clear effort. She finished on a time of 48.84 seconds with seven total faults after a rail came down at the second to last fence in addition to three time faults.
No stranger to the winner’s circle, Parot and Atlantis have already seen success during this year’s WEF, claiming first place during Week Six in the $36,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m class. The pair entered the jump-off determined to add another win under their belt. Despite having one rail on course, Parot’s time of 43.37 seconds was fast enough to secure first place despite the four faults.
Jobs and Venue D’Fees Des Hazalles were ultimately awarded second place, while the fastest four-fault competitor, Juan Manuel Gallego (COL), secured the third place spot aboard his own Coulash Van De Broy Z. Adding to her accolades, Jobs also received the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider award for her performance during Week Eight.
Week Nine of WEF will get underway Wednesday, March 6. With a CSI5* and CSI2* rating from FEI, the week will feature the $36,000 Equinimity CSIO WEF Challenge Cup Round Eight Thursday afternoon, as well as the FEI $391,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix CSI5* Saturday, March 9.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Samuel Parot – $209,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSIO4* winner
On his win:
“There’s no easy win, and here it’s more difficult. There’s no explanation when you win – it’s a marvelous feeling.”
“I’ve had this horse for a long time – about 4 years. It’s a horse that I have won a lot of grand prix classes with. It’s our second win of the circuit – we won the [$36,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m] earlier. It’s a horse that has given me a lot of happiness.”
On the course:
“There were only two clear and it was not easy. You had many options from fences 3 to 4 and 5 to 6. All of the lines were very tricky in regards to determining the number of strides. For example, after the water jump you had to do 6 or 7 strides. You need to be very clear in the beginning because there were a lot of half strides. The jumps were very big and wide.”
Eve Jobs – second place
On Venue D’Fees Des Hazalles:
“I got her about two years and she’s just a really phenomenal animal. She’s so sweet and she really fights for you. She really has helped me in my career, especially being a young rider with not that much experience. I make a lot of mistakes and she’s very forgiving and she’s taught me an immense amount about the top level of the sport and I’m really lucky to have her.”
On the jump-off:
“I have competed against Samuel [Parot] for a few years and he’s always extremely fast. You can always count on him to try his hardest and go as fast as he can so I knew that there was no way I was going to beat him on foot speed so I was trying to leave all of the jumps up and unfortunately I had the last rail. I pushed a little bit too hard. As always [Samuel] was very fast and very deserving of this win. It was a phenomenal round and I’m lucky to be in this company.”
On her second place finish:
“It means a lot to be in the top three. I’ve actually never been in the top three in a CSI4* grand prix. It’s the best finish I’ve had and that’s really exciting for me and my whole team. My family actually was here today which was really fun for the first time in a while so I was really happy that they got to see the horses going so well.”
On the course:
“I thought the entire class was really strong – the horsepower, the quality of riders that were entered was exceptional – so I thought there was going to be 5 or 6 clear. I think a lot of riders had an unlucky rail here or there and I think there could have easily been more clear. I thought it was a really tricky course. I thought it required the riders to really have a plan and execute it. There was a lot of choices on course – after the water was one. I think the whole last line was really tricky depending on what your horse was like. You choose to either add one to the double [combination] or hold on the four [strides] which was a bit open – it was quite tight inside. It was definitely a technical course.”
On training with Eddie Macken:
“Eddie is probably the perfect person to help me get to where I really want to go. This is my third year training with him. He is obviously a legend in the sport and exceptionally experienced and talented. I do really well with people who give me a lot of confidence, and he really believes in me when I go in the ring and he believes in the horses. He’s really helped me develop my own confidence that I can do it myself and that I’m a good rider and I can execute a plan – that has been the most helpful thing that I have learned over the three years is that comfortability in my ability to ride my line of track and my relationship with the horses and just trust that. I can’t thank him enough, I’m so incredibly lucky to have the team that I do.”
Juan Manuel Gallego – third place
On competing at WEF:
“It is very important to be here in Wellington. It is also important to earn a top place because the best in the world are here. [Coulash Van De Broy Z] and I had an excellent result at the Palm Beach Masters in the [$210,000 Longines Grand Prix of the Palm Beach Masters CSIO5*] – we were also third place there. Last night I had a very good result in the nations cup and the horses have been coming along very well.”
On Coulash Van De Broy Z:
“I’ve had him for three years. I got him in 2016. He had very good results in the past few years. Last year he was off six months and I think he’s coming along better and better. Now you can see that result.”
On the course:
“I agree with Samuel [Parot] and Eve [Jobs], but I had a plan. The only big doubt was between the triple bar and the double verticals because when you walked the line, the triple to the first vertical, you thought there was five [strides], but when you walked the distance between the verticals it looked like maybe you have to do six. My horse has a huge stride so the 6 would be too tight so at the end I decided to ride the triple forward and then balance and wait to go clear. I had the rail down at the second jump, so that helped me immediately think to go fast and that’s the reason why I’m sitting [in third place]. I made my plan to be clear, but the rail came really fast so I started to go forward and I did one stride less everywhere else and I think that helped me a lot to get in the top three.”
On his plans for Coulash Van De Broy Z:
“His next show will be the CSI4* at the field. With him, I prefer to jump during the day and not at night. He already jumped many classes at night but for him it’s not the best scenario. He’s always a little bit sharp. He really likes to jump on the grass so that’s the next step with him.”
$209,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSIO4*
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / Country / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Atlantis / Samuel Parot / Samuel Parot / CHI / 0 | 76.97 / 4 | 43.37
2. Venue D’Fees Des Hazalles / Eve Jobs / Eve Jobs / USA / 0 | 78.15 / 7 | 48.84
3. Coulash Van De Broy Z / Juan Manuel Gallego / Juan Manuel Gallego / COL / 4 | 77.46
4. Hester / Lucy Deslauriers / Lisa Deslauriers / USA / 4 | 77.55
5. H 5 Sunshine / Carlos Hank Guerreiro / H5 Stables / MEX / 4 | 77.97
6. Chacciama / Rodrigo Lambre / Rodrigo Lambre / BRA / 4 | 78.78
7. Davidoff De Lassus / Zoe Conter / Stephex Stables LLC / BEL / 4 | 79.44
8. MTM Vivre Le Reve / Brian Moggre / Major Wager LLC / USA / 8 | 76.63
9. Fellini S / Erynn Ballard / Ilan Ferder / CAN / 8 | 77.23
10. Catungee / Catherine Tyree / Mary & Joe Tyree / USA / 8 | 77.51
11. Alejandro / Shane Sweetnam / Sweet Oak, Spy Coast, & Seabrook LLC / IRL / 8 | 77.64
12. Coach / Beezie Madden / Abigail Wexner / USA / 8 | 78.28