Edited Press Release
Feature jumper action began Thursday at the fifth and final week of the World Equestrian Center Fall Classic with the $15,000 WEC Welcome Prix 1.35m in the Sanctuary arena. This elite class saw a field of nineteen international exhibitors contest the technical course designed by FEI Level III course designer Anderson Lima of Brazil.
Seventeen horse and rider combinations delivered fault free first rounds, advancing them straight to the jump off. Of those who returned, only seven managed double clear rounds. Competitors battled neck-and-neck to finish the short course clean and clear in the fastest time, but it was Argentina’s Gustavo Prato and King Van Het Keyzerhof (Clearway x Werry Van Het Keizershof) who ultimately topped the class.
Prato was in it to win it, piloting the 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding through a clear first round of 71.765 seconds. It took only 33.656 seconds seconds for this duo to fly through the timers in the jump-off. They earned the class lead early and finished nearly two whole seconds faster than the second place finisher.
“This gelding is originally from the Netherlands. I’ve had him for only six months and bought him to compete in the 1.40m,” Prato said. “He has done some FEI classes and is starting to move up! He is extremely fast and just a very cool horse. This course was very smooth and was a great way to begin the week if you are thinking of competing in the Grand Prix.”
Taylor Land of Pinetree Stables in Newnan, Georgia and Falco V (Bustique x Watina V) jumped double clear to take the second place spot. Land and the careful 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding wrapped up the first round in 73.897 seconds, advancing straight to the jump-off; where they completed the short course in 35.866 seconds with all rails up.
Claiming the third place spot was Ireland’s Kevin Mealiff and A D Reed (A Big Boy, Pennsylvania), a 9-year-old European Sport Horse gelding. This duo managed clear in round one, finishing in 75.109 seconds and earning a spot in the jump-off. They caught their breath and then took on the short course, where they jumped clear and crossed the timers in only 36.104 seconds.
$15,000 World Equestrian Center Welcome Prix 1.35m
- King Van Het Keyzerhof, Gustavo Prato – 0 | 0 | 33.656
- Falco V, Taylor Land – 0 | 0 | 35.866
- A D Reed, Kevin Mealiff – 0 | 0 | 36.104
- Get Go, Taylor Land – 0 | 0 | 36.445
- Maraca LS La Silla, Kady M. Abrahamson – 0 | 0 | 36.503
- Nazarine Van De Axelhoeve, Sabine Cooper – 0 | 0 | 39.222
- Fiper, Colin Syquia – 0 | 0 | 39.501
- Chagrand, Michael D. Burnett – 0 | 4 | 34.472
- Caiman des Sequoias, Nicole Loochtan – 0 | 4 | 35.226
- Ecuador W, Logan Taylor – 0 | 4 | 35.622