Kupardie and Nicole Loochtan Sail to $30,000 Grand Prix Win at WEC – Wilmington Winter Classic 12

Nicole Loochtan & Kupardie. Photo by Winslow Photography.

Edited Press Release

Wilmington, Ohio – The $30,000 Grand Prix of Winter Classic 12 saw a head-to-head jump-off between two of the winningest open jumper riders at World Equestrian Center – Wilmington, Nicole Loochtan (USA) and Izzy Beisel (USA).

Despite never having jumped at the 1.40m level, Joe Carnicom’s (USA) challenging tracks were no match for Loochtan’s nine-year-old KWPN gelding, Kupardie (Cidane x Akupardie).

Nicole Loochtan & Kupardie. Photo by Winslow Photography.

Not only was Birdie’s [Kupardie] victory special for Loochtan, marking his first grand prix debut, but it also echoed a similar triumph from her previous winter circuit.

“My really good horse, Marvin, has been top three in every grand prix that he has done this winter, and he didn’t jump tonight. Almost a year ago, I did my first grand prix with Marvin here and he won it. His little brother is following in his footsteps. Marvin has had quite the career, so I think Birdie is also going to follow that path. It was his first time stepping up and he blew it out of the water.”

Izzy Beisel & Diaz Barbotiere. Photo by Winslow Photography.

First to go, Beisel tacked an unfortunate four faults to her score at jump one with her speedy 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding, Diaz Barbotiere (Messire Ardent x Quambera Barbotiere), to secure second place in 40.485 seconds.

Nicole Loochtan & Kupardie. Photo by Winslow Photography.

Loochtan simply searched for a double clear as she entered with her mount and secured the win in 50.732 seconds with three time faults.

“It is funny because Birdie is a ridiculously fast horse. I didn’t actually know that I could go that slow,” shared Loochtan. “Izzy Beisel is such a fast rider. Since she had the one down, I wanted to take it nice and easy for a double clear, and I didn’t realize how nice and easy I took it until I saw the clock on the way to the last jump,” Loochtan laughed about her unexpected time faults.

Nicole Loochtan & Kupardie. Photo by Winslow Photography.

“I wanted to just give Birdie a good experience. I wanted to put him in the right places and be able to help him out. I didn’t realize how easily he would jump the track. Everything came up fast out of the turns and he is a cheeky horse, so sometimes those turns come up quite quickly, but he is so careful and understands that he has to jump across the oxers,” Loochtan shared.

Nicole Loochtan & Kupardie celebrating their win with Zoe Thomsen. Photo by Winslow Photography.

“I want to thank my sponsors Perfect Products, Natural Equine Essentials, Enviro Equine, Fabbri, and CWD for keeping us in top condition. And of course, thank you so much to my barn manager Zoe Thomsen! She is Birdie’s number one fan.”

Hanna Toering & Piranha SCF. Photo by Winslow Photography.

Hanna Toering (USA) and Spy Coast Farm’s nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, Piranha SCF (Diktator Van De Boslandhoeve x Beluga), rounded out the top three as the fastest four faulter.

$30,000 Grand Prix Results:

1 Kupardie, Nicole Loochtan, Nicole Loochtan | 3 | 50.732
2 Diaz Barbotiere, Izzy Beisel, Izzy Beisel | 4 | 40.485
3 Piranha SCF, Hanna Toering, Spy Coast Farm | 4 | 76.606
4 BSH Matinee, Shawn Butler, Shawn Butler | 4 | 77.121
5 Brook De Brekka, Sarah Meier, Sarah Meier | 4 | 77.613
6 Nightshade SCF, Sarah Meier, Sarah Meier | 4 | 78.377
7 Contigo, Izzy Beisel, David Beisel | 4 | 80.583
8 Aruba Van’t Eigenlo Z, Michael Janson, Kimberly Janson | 8 | 75.901
9 Ayrton Du Faurieu Z, Richard Cheska, Richard Cheska | 8 | 81.311
10 ESH Imagine, Katie Pelzel, Myrna Folsom | 26 | 101.543