WEF First Timer Richard Vogel Makes His Debut a Winning One

Richard Vogel and Darius de Kezeg Z. Photo by SportFot

By Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

The CaptiveOne Advisors Championship series kicked off on Saturday at the 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Germany’s young talent, Richard Vogel, and his horse Darius de Kezeg Z sped to the win in the $25,000 CaptiveOne Advisors Championship Jumper Classic. In a field of 26 riders, Vogel was one of 12 who jumped clear over Eric Hasbrouck’s (USA) delicate first track.

In the jump-off, Vogel’s blistering pace could not be beat as he crossed the timers in 33.011 seconds. Right behind him was Vanessa Hood (USA) who finished the short course in 33.392 seconds with Take Two LLC’s Cascalretto. Grant Seger (USA), who won the $8,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m class earlier in the week, jumped to third place with Plot Z owned by Grey Fox Crossing in 33.707 seconds.

Not only are Vogel and his horse Darius de Kezeg Z making their WEF debut this year, but it is also their first time ever competing in the United States. Vogel, who is based in Germany, is delighted by what he’s seen so far at WEF.

“I’m so impressed by the facilities here,” he said. “It’s amazing for our horses, for the whole team. We can produce our horses. We have a few sales horses, so we are very excited to be here, and with such a start, even better.”

He continued, “It’s amazing to ride in that big ring. It’s massive, and you can really canter. The horses get a bigger stride, and it feels just super. It was a very nice course, and it was nice to get started.”

Vogel has been riding Darius de Kezeg Z (Darco x Widona De Kezeg), which he owns with his business partner David Will, for about a year. He describes the 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding as “very easy going, and as soon as he gets into the ring, he gets motivated and he gives his best. He tries his best. He’s a super cool horse.”

Richard Vogel and Darius de Kezeg pres 714_1843 Sportfot
Olga Hartsock of CaptiveOne Advisors with Richard Vogel and Darius de Kezeg Z. © Sportfot

Over the fall, the pair competed in Mexico, which was highlighted by a sixth place finish in the CSI5* Grand Prix in Monterrey. Now they’re gearing up for a winning season at WEF.

“[Darius de Kezeg Z] didn’t jump all December, so we thought it’s a nice class to start,” said Vogel. “He’s fresh, he’s motivated, and he feels super.”

As for the rest of the circuit, Vogel is taking it one week at a time.

“Next week I do the three star and then see how that goes. I don’t have a fixed plan, so I plan a little from show to show, see how the horses are feeling, and go from there,” he concluded.

Hayley Hewitt Holds Top Spot in THIS National Children’s Medal 14 & Under

Saturday in the FarmVet Ring 7 began with 25 horse and rider pairs vying for a top spot in the THIS National Children’s Medal 14 & Under. The course required riders to be deliberate in setting their pace, finding their line, and sticking to a plan.

Less than half of the entries had scores 80 or above and of those, only five were called back to test with only three points separating the first from the fifth spot.

After a challenging work-off which included a halt mid-line, counter canter, and trot jump, Hayley Hewitt and Harper Phipps remained unchanged in their positions securing the first and second place finishes respectively.

05/01/2022 ; Wellington FL ; Winter Equestrian Festival - Premiere
Hayley Hewitt and Martel VDL © Sportfot

Of the test, Hewitt commented, “It was tricky, but it was fun. I enjoy counter cantering a lot, so the counter canter jump was nice.”

Hewitt, of New Canaan, CT, rode to victory (with a score of 88) aboard Martel VDL, an 11-year-old KWPN gelding by Quidam de Revel owned by Eva Mackenzie.

“I’ve had him for about six months now,” said Hewitt. “We recently moved to the 3’3” Junior Hunters, and he’s been really good. He’s just a great horse.”

This win is just the most recent in a string of successes for the pair.

In 2021 they performed well in the Children’s Hunters 14 & Under at Capital Challenge Horse Show, placing third in the WCHR Children’s Challenge. At the SFHJA 71st Annual Charity Show, the duo earned the Best Child Rider on a Horse 3’ and Grand Children’s Hunter titles.

As for the future, Hewitt is focused on more of the same.

“To stay consistent in the 3’3” Junior Hunters, the THIS, and maybe some 3’3” Medals,” she said when asked about her goals for the season.

The second-place ribbon in the class went to Harper Phipps and Showcase owned by Alexa Aureliano with a score of 87.

Third went to Claire Mullally and TW McCormick owned by Sara Nisbet. They earned an 85.5 and moved up from fourth with the test.

Final Results: $25,000 CaptiveOne Advisors Championship Jumper Classic

1 DARIUS DE KEZEG Z: 2011 Zangersheide gelding by Darco x Widona De Kezeg
RICHARD VOGEL (GER), Vogel and Will Equestrian GMBH: 0/0/33.011

2 CASCALRETTO: 2012 Holsteiner gelding by Casall x J-Ohara
VANESSA HOOD (USA), Take Two LLC: 0/0/33.392

3 PLOT Z: 2011 Warmblood gelding by Plot Blue x Salome
GRANT SEGER (USA), Grey Fox Crossing: 0/0/33.707

4 DIARADO’S FLYING DUTCHMAN: 2010 Oldenburg gelding by Diarado x Elfenland
LAURA CHAPOT (USA), Laura & Mary Chapot: 0/0/34.775

5 MARIE VD MESPEL Z: 2011 Zangersheide mare by Mylord Carthago x Hesta Van De Mespel
HEATHER CARISTO WILLIAMS (USA), Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Caristo: 0/0/35.174

6 MEADOW VALE CRUISE: 2011 Irish Sport Horse gelding by S. Creevagh Ferro Ex Siebe x Tullibards Pretty Young Thing
HECTOR FLORENTINO ROCA (DOM), Wyndmont: 0/0/35.914

7 FIREWALL: 2010 KWPN gelding by Numero Uno x Vekua
ALBERTO MICHAN (ISR), Eduardo Leon: 0/4/33.43

8 CONDOR DU VALDECIE: 2012 Selle Francais gelding by Quite Easy x Dorine Du Bel Air
CHRIS EWANOUSKI (USA), Polo Jump LLC: 0/4/36.136

9 FIRST LADY: 2013 Oldenburg mare by Don Diarado x Love Dream
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Robin C. Parsky: 0/4/38.021

10 DISCO SUPERFLY: 2012 Oldenburg gelding by Catoki x Libelle
ALEX GRANATO (USA), The Bright Lights Group: 0/15/58.349

11 SONIC BOOM: 2012 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Seacoast Wonderful x Toulouse VD Distelhoeve
HAILEY ROYCE (USA), Hailey Royce: 0/ELM

12 CAMARO: 2010 Holsteiner stallion by Cassini I x Virginia V
CAMILO RUEDA GIRALDO (COL), Camilo Rueda Giraldo: 0/RET