BY KIM BEAUDOIN AND SABRINA BRASHARES FOR JENNIFER WOOD MEDIA, INC.
January 23, 2021 – Wellington, FL – It was an action-packed afternoon on the Derby Field at Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, with McLain Ward (USA) and Contagious climbing to the top of the leaderboard in the $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI3* on Saturday, January 23.
WEF 2 CSI3* competition concludes on Sunday, January 24, on the Derby Field at Equestrian Village at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The feature class on Sunday is the $137,000 Restylane Grand Prix CSI3* followed by the $25,000 Hermès U25 Grand Prix. All feature classes will be available to watch for free on the livestream.
Over a course designed by Oscar Soberon (USA), 12 horse and rider combinations returned to contest the jump-off, but it was Ward and Beechwood Stables, LLC’s 2009 German Sport Horse gelding Contagious (Contagio x For Mary) that gave a clear, quick performance to solidify the victory in a time of 36.83 seconds.
“My plan got a little screwed up this week. It was this horse’s first time back in FEI [competition], and I didn’t want to jump two big classes so I tried to use a younger horse in the qualifier,” explained Ward. “Unfortunately, that horse got a little ‘big eyed’ and made some mistakes, so there was no grand prix for us this week.”
Ward continued, “For Contagious, that wasn’t the worst thing in the world, coming back to work with an important year ahead. It was a softer round for him today. I thought he was prepared well for the grand prix, which he proved today. He jumped a beautiful, easy first round, and I thought it was a nice jump-off for him. He’s a careful horse, and I’m just trying to be as efficient as possible, and that worked out well today.”
After this promising performance, the gelding will get a week off and will be back to work during WEF 4. “He gets a week off now,” said Ward, “and then we’ll do the four-star in two weeks. I won’t make the same mistake. He’ll be the one doing the qualifier and hopefully the grand prix, and then we’ll do the second big five-star. After that we’ll see where we are at and go from there.”
Second place in the $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI3* went to Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Ideal, a 2012 Swedish Warmblood gelding (Cardento x Paskitt) owned by Sweet Oak Farm and Seabrook LLC, who crossed through the timers in 37.26 seconds. Sweetnam also rounded out the top three aboard The Blue Buckle Group’s 2008 Belgian Warmblood mare Indra van de Oude Heihoef (Casantos x Favorite Van De Kapel). They completed their jump-off in 37.84 seconds.
Final Results: $37,000 FEI CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic
1. CONTAGIOUS: 2009 German Sport Horse gelding by Contagio x For Mary
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Beechwood Stables, LLC: 0/0/36.83
2. IDEAL: 2012 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Cardento x Paskitt
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Sweet Oak Farm and Seabrook LLC: 0/0/37.26
3. INDRA VAN DE OUDE HEIHOEF: 2008 Belgian Warmblood mare by Casantos x Favorite Van De Kapel
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), The Blue Buckle Group: 0/0/37.84
4. GIOLITA: 2011 KWPN mare by C-Ingmar x Briolita
BERTRAM ALLEN (IRL), Ballywalter Stables: 0/0/37.88
5. VINCI DE BEAUFORT: 2009 Selle Francais gelding by Diamante de Semilly x Uvelle
DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), Devon Macneil: 0/0/37.91
6. URIS DE LA ROQUE: 2008 Selle Francais gelding by Capital x Medine D’Amaury
MARIO DESLAURIERS (CAN), Aram Ampagoumian LLC: 0/0/38.76
7. BERDIEN: 2011 KWPN mare by Bustique x Queen Z
MOLLY ASHE CAWLEY (USA), Louisburg Farm: 0/4/38.93
8. PALOMA: 2006 Holsteiner mare by Canaletto S x H Lila M
LAUREN HOUGH (USA), Kathleen Kamine: 0/4/39.06
9. HOPE STREET: 2009 Holsteiner mare by Casall x Quick Nick
LUCAS PORTER (USA), SPR Fund One: 0/0/39.46
10. FREAKY LIEFHEBBER: 2010 KWPN gelding by Darco x Unisound
JACQUELINE STEFFENS (CAN), Jacqueline Steffens: 0/4/40.00
11. CHUCK 27: 2007 Hanoverian gelding by Cassus x Ravenna
HILARY MCNERNEY (USA), Hilary McNerney: 0/4/40.78
12. CON PLEASURE 5: 2009 Westfalen gelding by Contendro x Funny Fashion
FLO NORRIS (GBR), Cisca Norris:0/0/77.17 RT
12. DARRY LOU: 2008 KWPN stallion by Tangelo Van de Zuuthoeve x Venus
NAYEL NASSAR (EGY), Evergate Stables, LLC: 0/0/78.88 WD