Feature class action for Week I of the World Equestrian Center – Wilmington Fall Classic Series kicked off with the $15,000 WEC Wilmington Welcome Prix 1.35m. A playing field of 18 horse-and-rider combinations took to the WEC Sanctuary Arena to contest a technical track designed by Bobby Murphy of Lexington, Kentucky.
Eight competitors qualified for the jump-off with only five entries produced a clear jump-off round. Kristen Vanderveen of Bull Run Jumpers, Wellington, Florida and Bull Run’s Divine Fortune (Padinus x Amhilavsca Fortuna). This was Vanderveen’s first visit to World Equestrian Center – Wilmington. However, she is no stranger to the winner’s circle at World Equestrian Center. Earlier this year, Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Prince Of Peace secured two $75,000 Grands Prix wins in Ocala
“Tonight’s course was fair and inviting – but at the same time, there were many connected lines, which added some challenge. For my horse, this was her first indoor course,” Vanderveen said. “We have been showing outside mostly. I definitely had to push more going into the corner jumps but it was overall really fun!”
Vanderveen and the 12-year-old KWPN mare executed a flawless first round, soaring to the top of the standards to stop the clock at 70.338 seconds, well under the time allowed of 83 seconds. Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Divine Fortune went on to fly through the jump-off track, stopping the timers at 35.098 seconds.
“We are on the road showing a lot and we happened to be taking a week off this week… But another rider told me that this show was going on so we trailered up here – this was a last-minute thing!” Vanderveen explained. “As for my horse, she is a speed specialist! We mostly do speed classes and we are very comfortable going fast. This is our first time here and this class was a nice warm-up for her, as we are normally doing 1.45m.”
Though none were able to catch Kirsten Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Divine Fortune, Wilhelm Genn and Van Gogh were just behind the winning pair. Genn of Rheinland Farm, Lebanon, OH, and Van Gogh (Valentino x Calina Z), a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding, delivered a clear and fast first round, stopping the timers at 75.977 seconds. The pair advanced straight to the jump-off, to stop the clock at 37.938 seconds to earn second place. Veteran pair Van Gogh and Genn have won countless titles at World Equestrian Center and have an established fan base on the circuit.
Nicole Loochtan of Stone Creek Stables in Lexington, Kentucky and her own Caiman des Sequoias (Radco d’ Houtveld x Sublime de la Cour), rounded out the top three. Loochtan and the 112-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding produced a clean and fast first-round time of 73.457 seconds, qualifying the pair to advance straight to the jump-off. The team then executed a speedy jump-off, stopping the timers at 38.214 seconds to earn third place in this afternoon’s $15,000 WEC Wilmington Welcome Prix.
$15,000 WEC Wilmington Welcome Prix Results:
1. Bull Run’s Divine Fortune, Kristen B. Vanderveen: 0 | 0 | 35.098
2. Van Gogh, Wilhelm Genn.: 0 | 0 | 37.938
3. Caiman des Sequoias, Nicole Loochtan: 0 | 0 | 38.214
4. Bugatti, Wilhelm Genn.: 0 | 0 | 39.648
5. Limerick, Kady Abrahamson: 0 | 0 | 40.734
6. Strawberry, Molly Kindness: 0 | 4 | 39.179
7. Snow White, Natalie Thornell: 0 | 0 | 41.129
8.VDL Gerinus T, Ryan Michael Genn: 0 | EL
9. Catch A Star HSS, Kevin Mc Carthy: 4 | 72.279
10. Taco, Kristen B. Vanderveen: 4 | 73.871
Photos courtesy of Winslow Photography.