By Kate Pettersen and Sabrina Brashares for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Two-star competition began in the Global International Arena at Equestrian Village with a win for Gabriela Reutter (CHI) and Atticus Diamant, owned by Lumiere Horses Inc., in the $6,000 CabanaCoast 1.45m Jumpers CSI2*.
Reutter and the 12-year-old Selle Français gelding by Diamant De Semilly x Vas Y Donc Longane produced one of just 15 clear efforts of the 49 horse-and-rider combinations to start over the speed track designed by Mauricio Garcia Ballesteros (PUR). The winning pair produced the fastest round in a time of 68.59 seconds, nearly four seconds ahead of the next best finisher.
“He’s amazing; he’s my heart horse,” said Reutter of her winning partner “Monty.” “I’ve had him for over three years, and this is our second FEI win in the stadium in a speed class. He’s the horse that took me up to this level. It’s really exciting for me.”
Ireland’s Mark Reid rode Cinderella Z, an 11-year-old Zangersheide mare by Chacco-Blue x Julio Mariner Xx, owned by Caroline’s Kids, LLC, to a second-place finish with a clear effort in a time of 72.29 seconds. Karen Polle (JPN) and her own Baccarat Du Tertre, a 10-year-old Selle Français mare by Putch Des Isles x Indoctro, rounded out the top three, stopping the timers in 72.65 seconds to land in third.
The CSI2* division will jump throughout the week in the Global International Arena, giving competitors a change of scenery having jumped a majority of their classes in the International Arena at PBIEC and on the grass Derby Field at Equestrian Village.
“I like the stadium because it keeps big horses like him contained,” said Reutter. “He jumps rounder even though we’re going fast. For him, it’s really good to change venues because he gets bored really easily. He loves switching it up, and it’s great to have the advantage to show in other places.”
Having jumped up through the levels together, Reutter knows her horse quite well and came up with solid plan to prepare him for an exciting and competitive WEF 11. Her strategy worked out well, setting them up nicely for the rest of the week.
“He had three weeks off, so he was nice and fresh,” she said. “We schooled a little bit at home, but it was very small. Today, I just got on him early enough and rode him a little bit in the indoor arena to get him cantering and out in front of me because this ring tends to get them a little bit boxy. I wanted to make sure he was out in front of my leg today.”
Reutter will return to the ring with Monty for Saturday’s speed class and will also jump Maharees Rock in Friday’s CSI2* qualifier in hopes of punching her ticket into Sunday’s $50,000 CabanaCoast Grand Prix CSI2*.