Wellington, Florida, USA – February 18, 2022 – The 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) continued on Friday, February 18, with international show jumping on the grass Derby Field at Equestrian Village. Out of field of 102 entries and in a California split, Ali Wolff (USA) with Blacklick Bend Farm’s Casall and Karl Cook (USA) riding Fecybelle, owned by Helen Signe Ostby, came away with victory in the $37,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round VI CSI 3*.
As the only class on the Derby Field on Friday, the Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round VI featured a challenging course from designer Ana Catalina Cruz Harris (MEX), who was able to narrow the field down to 16 for the jump-off with nine countries represented. Of those, three chose not to return.
In the fifth spot of 13 in the returning order, Cook and Fecybelle took to the field for their jump-off round. They were chasing a time of 40.52 with a clear round set by Samuel Hutton (GBR) on H&M Kirlo van den Bosrand, owned by Abdel Saïd. They finished second in Section B.
Cook was able to lower the leading time to 39.22 seconds, which would hold up for the Section B victory.
It was a welcome return to the show ring for Cook and Fecybelle, a horse he has ridden since May 2019. After the mare’s injury at her first show in the winter of 2021, Cook brought her back slowly and only competed in one 1.45m class in December 2021.
“It’s great to have her back,” said Cook of his 12-year-old KWPN mare (Carambole x Sjapoo). “It means a lot not only for her because of how long of time she’s been out, and it just feels great to have her back, but also last week with the mistake I made in the grand prix. Being able to come out this week and reset and just keep going feels good.”
Cook, who is from Rancho Santa Fe, CA, almost passed on Fecybelle after seeing her on video, but after examining her show record and seeing clear round after clear round, he made the decision to buy her.
“Very quickly it started to work,” he recalled. “She’s like a gamer-type horse. She’s not very flashy when she jumps, but she wants to go. She really understands it. It’s really fun to ride when the horse understands the job, and she’s so good at it.”
Hutton held onto second place in Section B, while fellow British rider Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) piloted Cornwall BH, owned by Gochman Sport Horses LLC, to third place in 45.86 seconds.
WEF 6, sponsored by IDA Development, features World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) competition as the main feature in the International Arena with the USHJA/WCHR Peter Wetherill Palm Beach Hunter Spectacular on Saturday, February 19, at 6:30 p.m.
Final Results – $37,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round VI CSI 3* – Section B
1) Karl Cook (USA) & Fecybelle – 0 / 0 – 39.22
2) Samuel Hutton (GBR) & H&M Kirlo van den Bosrand – 0 / 0 – 40.56
3) Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) & Cornwall BH – 0 / 0 -45.86
Source: Press Release from Jennifer Wood Media, Inc. for ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions
Photos: © Sportfot