By Kate Pettersen for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
January 27, 2021 – Wellington, FL – In a California split, Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Ben Maher (GBR) took home blue ribbons after topping a field of 121 entries in the $6,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Jumpers as week three of competition got underway at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Wednesday, January 27.
Competition continues throughout the week as part of NetJets CSI3* show jumping with an action-packed schedule that features the Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Jumpers on Thursday, Friday’s $37,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round 3, the CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic on Saturday, and the $137,000 NetJets Grand Prix CSI3* Sunday afternoon. Don’t miss a minute of the action and tune in the free livestream for all feature classes.
Just seventh to go in the starting order, Kenny and Cicomein VDL, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by HCK Collection, LLC, navigated all eight obstacles in the jump-off without fault for a double clear effort in a time of 36.036 seconds, quick enough to hold the lead right through to the finish.
“I’ve had her in my string since the end of WEF last year,” said Kenny of the mare by Chacco-Blue x Jus de Pomme. “She’s super, super competitive, really careful, really easy, and I really enjoy riding her.”
Kenny, currently ranked eighth in the world, is already off to a hot start at WEF jumping to an eighth-place finish in the $137,000 Restylane Grand Prix CSI3*. This week, he’ll have eight horses to campaign on the PBIEC grounds, making for another busy week of competition.
“I’m very lucky. I have a great team of staff to help get the horses ready, so it makes my life a lot easier,” he said. “It’s always nice to have lots of horses to show because you don’t have to jump them too much or overuse them. You can just show them when you need to, and obviously with the schedule at WEF, it’s always good to have a lot of horses because you have a lot of great classes every single week with a lot of good prize money.”
Over the course designed by Peter Grant (CAN) and Joey Rycroft (CAN), Maher and Jane Forbes Clark’s 10-year-old mare Ginger-Blue also put forth a double clear effort, stopping the timers at 37.329 seconds to capture the win in Section B.
“It’s hard to build for these types of classes when there are over 100 riders in them, so I thought it was a good course,” said Maher, currently ranked sixth in the world rankings. “Personally, I use those classes to help produce the horses that aren’t quite ready to go to the FEI classes, so it was enough course, technical enough, but at the same time, they didn’t get too many clear rounds.”
Like Kenny, Maher will be campaigning multiple horses this week and is coming off an exciting victory in Sunday’s $137,000 Restylane Grand Prix CSI3*. As a true horseman, Maher has adjusted his plan for WEF with the talented mare by Plot Blue x Royal Bravour, noting that her long-term development is his top priority.
“I think she has a huge heart, and she’s very, very careful,” he said. “My initial plan setting out for WEF was to probably have her already jumping in one or two of the bigger FEI classes like the CSI3* Grand Prix classes, but I just feel that she needs a little bit more time to develop. I think I only competed on her twice the whole of last year, and I just feel like she’s lacking a little bit of experience. I want to take just a bit more time to produce her in the right way, so that when I’m ready to go for the bigger classes, that she’s been well enough educated and I don’t push her before she’s ready.”
Final Results: $6,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Jumpers Section A
1. CICOMEIN VDL: 2007 KWPN mare by Chacco-Blue x Jus de Pomme
DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), HKC Collection LLC: 0/0/36.036
2. NEWTON VAN HET KREKELHOF: 2013 BWP gelding by Diamant De Semilly x Hacienda D’eversem
DANIEL DEUSSER (GER), Stephex Stables: 0/0/37.834
3. SLIGO BALOU BOY: 2009 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Balou Du Rouet x Catiana
BEN MAHER (GBR), Michael Kearins: 0/0/39.124
4. BALOTELLI 5: 2010 Hanoverian gelding by Balou du Rouet x Contendro I
MATTHEW BODDY (GBR), Purple Road, LLC: 0/0/39.714
5. ENTANO: 2009 KWPN gelding by Namelus R x Numero Uno
MEGAN MCDERMOTT (USA), Over the Top Stables LLC: 0/0/40.870
6. RONJA: 2011 CH mare by Conteur x Ranga
ERYNN BALLARD (CAN), Ilan Ferder: 0/4/37.850
Final Results: $6,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Jumpers Section B
1. GINGER-BLUE: 2011 Dutch Warmblood mare by Plot Blue x Royal Bravour
BEN MAHER (GBR), Jane Forbes Clark: 0/0/37.329
2. CALAFORNIA: 2007 KWPN gelding by Ultimo x Lux
LAURA CHAPOT (USA), Laura & Mary Chapot: 0/0/38.860
3. DIADEM DU THOT: 2013 SF gelding by L’arc De Triomphe*bois Margot x Olympe Du Thot
LAURA KRAUT (USA), Stars and Stripes: 0/0/39.236
4. LEONE JEI: 2012 KWPN gelding by Baltic Vdl x Dara
MARTIN FUCHS (SUI), Adolfo Jui: 0/0/40.152
5. LANGLEY HX: 2012 KWPN mare by Carambole x Petroesca
ALISE OKEN (USA), Hi Hopes Farm, LLC: 0/0/41.081
6. CARDORA: 2006 Oldenburg mare by Cartogran x Grandora
TOMAS YOFRE (ARG), Paul Broder: 0/4/38.533