Edited Press Release
Twenty-seven elite competitors took to the Sanctuary Arena Saturday evening to contest the $75,000 WEC Grand Prix featuring an elaborate track courtesy of FEI Level IV course designer Alan Wade (IRL). Santiago Lambre of Brazil continues to prove unbeatable, as he rode his own Pampero (Chacco-blue x Nekton) to his third grand prix victory of the five-week indoor WEC Fall Classic series.
Wade’s challenging track consisted of 15 jumping efforts that included three formidable double combinations that caught numerous pairs throughout the class. Seven of the field managed to deliver a clean first round to qualify for the jump-off and ultimately five were able to navigate double clean efforts.
Sabine Cooper (USA) and her own Nazarine Vd Axelhoeve (Emerald Van’t Ruytershof x Camara Z) were the first pair to return to the jump-off. Copper and the nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare laid down a swift jump-off effort, rolling around the track to stop the clock at 41.878 seconds.
Loic Cannaert (BEL) followed hoping to beat Cooper and Nazarine Vd Axelhoeve’s speedy time aboard Orphen Horse’s G-star (Corland x CRI). Canneart and the 11-year-old KWPN gelding dashed around the jump-off track in an efficient 42.425 seconds, less than a second behind Cooper and Nazarine Vd Axelhoeve.
Lisa Goldman-Smolen (USA) and Sovereign were the next pair in to attempt to snatch the lead. The pair raced around the track but fell victim to two unfortunate rails. Simon McCarthy (IRL) was in next aboard Pine Hallow Farm’s Don’t Touch Du Bois. The pair galloped around the course, but had one rail along the way in 37.865 seconds.
Santiago Lambre and his own Pampero were next in to attempt a clear round over Wade’s winding tracks. Lambre and the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding kicked off on an immediate gallop after the tone, “There were a perfect number of clears in the first round, which led to a competitive jump-off. I was fifth to go, but I knew that the two clears were not so fast,” said Lambre.
“I wanted to be fast, but not go too quick to risk a rail,” Lambre said. “So, I stayed as tidy as I could in all the turns and Pampero is naturally quick off that ground, so that worked to my advantage.”
The pair flew around the course finding the last large oxer right out of stride in 38.388 seconds to seal an unbeatable time.
“Alan Wade always does a fantastic job. He set a course for 27 competitive riders, and he had the perfect number in the jump-off,” Lambre said. “The jumps were big, but it was technical enough to have rails down throughout the track.”
“This has been the perfect venue to prepare my horses for the National Horse Show in Kentucky. I think that this facility holds incredible shows. The jumps and the atmosphere are always welcoming.” Lambre expressed. “We will stay here for the final week of the series, then I will go to the World Cup™ in Kentucky. After that the horses will get a two-week break, then will be in Ocala for the WEC – Ocala Fall and Winter circuit shows.”
The Vitalize® Blazin’ Fastest Four-Faulter Award was secured by Mattias Ekeroth and his own Haydee M.
$75,000 WEC Grand Prix Results:
1 Pampero, Santiago Lambre, Santiago Lambre: 0 | 0 | 38.388
2 Nazarine Vd Axelhoeve, Sabine Cooper, Sabine Cooper: 0 | 0 | 41.878
3 G-star, Loic Cannaert, Orphen Horses: 0 | 0 | 42.425
4 Nightshade SCF, Sarah Meier, Sarah Meier: 0 | 0 | 42.511
5 Novastar Vd Berghoeve, Sabine Cooper, Sabine Cooper: 0 | 0 | 44.049
6 Don’t Touch Du Bois, Simon McCarthy, Pine Hollow Farm: 0 | 4 | 37.865
7 Sovereign, Lisa Goldman-Smolen, Barbara Disko: 0 | 8 | 38.201
8 Haydee M, Mattias Ekeroth, Mattias Ekeroth: 4 | 69.144
9 Gotcha, Simon McCarthy, Rock Ridge Farms: 4 | 70.514
10 Casido 2, Katherine Brewer, Katherine Brewer: 4 | 70.586