Edited Press Release
Week two of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) came to a peak on the Equestrian Village derby field on Sunday with the $140,000 Keyflow Feeds USA CSI3* Grand Prix. Germany’s Richard Vogel returned to familiar territory after a banner year at Wellington International in 2023, and stormed to victory once again aboard Cydello.
Sunday’s feature included forty-five riders contesting a course designed by Germany’s Olaf Petersen Jr. From the list of starters, nine returned for the short course, Vogel and Cydello (Cascadello x Forsyth FRH), owned by Coleridge Equestrian LLC, took the win by more than a second.
Vogel and the ten-year-old gelding left it all on the field, crossing the finish line at 36.32 seconds, taking over three seconds off the original time to beat, 39.17 seconds.
Cydello is a new addition to Vogel’s string and the Coleridge Equestrian team, “I had my eye on him [Cydello] for a few years before we got him,” said Vogel. “He was born half an hour from our base in Germany. I know his breeders pretty well, but he was never really for sale. Eventually, I was able to sit on him and it worked pretty well between the two of us.”
At the end of 2023, Vogel launched into the world’s top 10 after starting the year by winning last season’s Rolex Grand Prix in Wellington. Vogel has brought his top horses back in 2024, but is eager to bring up greener horses such as Cydello. “Since he became part of our team he has just been getting better. We jumped him in Mexico towards the end of last year where he really made great progress and now we’re excited for the season here,” said Vogel.
“I could go on and on about his great qualities. He truly wants to jump. He’s super careful with a lot of quality, but he’s also extremely brave,” said Vogel. “You could see it in the jump-off today coming to the final oxers. The distances were quite far but he never had a doubt. Cydello is quite new for us, and he’s ten but not so experienced for his age so classes like these are very important to fill in the gaps between National or 2* Grand Prixs and give him a chance to step up.”
A step down from Vogel on the podium was Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts and his own Derby de Riverland (Kannan x Utopie De Riverland). The pair jumped clear and trailed the winning time, stopping the clock at 37.69 seconds. Closing out the podium was USA’s Cathleen Driscoll and Idalgo (Catoki x Quidam De Revel), owned by Don Stewart, who completed the short course in 38.79 seconds.
Lillie Keenan’s (USA) fourth-place finish earned her the Martha Jolicoeur Leading International Rider Award, presented together with Dale and Wendy Smith, for her performance across the WEF Challenge Cup – where she finished sixth on Friday – and Sunday’s grand prix.
To close the day, winning groom and Cydello’s caretaker Felicia Wallen was honored with the $500 Grooms Award, presented by Double H Farm’s Hayley Mercer.