Ocala, Florida – February 07, 2022 – Week V of the World Equestrian Center – Ocala 2022 Winter Spectacular Show Series closed out with fifteen horse-and-rider combinations vying for the win in the $15,000 WEC Ocala 1.45m Jumper Classic. Five entries managed clear first rounds over the track designed by Peter Grant (CAN). But it was Derek Petersen (USA) and his own Zechariah 3:9 (Zirocco Blue x Katrina) who prevailed to take the blue ribbon.
Petersen (USA) and Zechariah 3:9 are no strangers to the winner circle, having earned numerous features class wins. Today, Petersen and the eight-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding were the 10th pair down the ramp into the WEC Grand Arena, delivering a very fast first round in 74.055 seconds.
“The course was pretty technical. The triple combination asked a few questions. You either had to jump that a bit forward or sit up and get the nine done. Zechariah is so adjustable, that sometimes I end up doing a double add because he listens so well. But, the easiest place to ride him is in the show ring. I can’t ride one side of him at home,” Petersen joked.
Petersen (USA) and Zechariah 3:9 advanced to the jump-off, “I didn’t love the inside turn that Richard [Spooner] did for my horse. He’s still a little too young, to do something that technical. I watched Kristen [Vanderveen] go after him, and she went around with a faster time. I just figured if I ran faster than Kristen, I could win the jump-off.”
Petersen (USA) and Zechariah 3:9 flew through the jump-off on a flat gallop, to stop the timers at 36.460 seconds.
Vicente Guillen (VEN) and Rafael Celis’s Cornut GP (Cornet Obolensky x Baloudera) were the last pair to contest the $15,000 WEC Ocala 1.45m Jumper Classic. Guillen and the nine-year-old Oldenburg stallion delivered a smooth first round in 77.785 seconds and advanced to the jump-off, rolling through the course in 38.139 seconds, to earn second.
Rounding out the top three in the $15,000 WEC Ocala 1.45m Jumper Classic was Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and her own Bull Run’s Agape (Lavall I x Kenza B). Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Agape navigated a perfect first round in 76.365 seconds. Vanderveen (USA) and the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding went straight to the jump-off, soaring through the course to stop the clock at 39.287 seconds.
Final Results – $15,000 WEC Ocala Jumper Classic
1) Derek Petersen (USA) & Zechariah 3:9 – 0 / 0 – 36.460
2) Vicente Guillen (VEN) & Cornut GP – 0 / 0 – 38.139
3) Kristen Vanderveen (USA) & Bull Run’s Agape – 0 / 0 – 39.287
Source: Press Release from WEC – World Equestrian Center
Photos: © Andrew Ryback Photography