Wilmington, Ohio, USA – February 09, 2023 – The ninth week of the Winter Classic during the Midwest Series kicked off in World Equestrian Center – Wilmington’s Sanctuary Arena with the $10,000 Welcome Stake. It was another strong showing by Darby Pease (USA) who piloted Carel Van Donderen (Acolino x Terania Die Hoeghte)to the win besting a field of 13 athletes over a track built by FEI III course designer Anderson Lima (BRA).
The exhilarating class saw many horse-and-rider combinations negotiate solid four-fault efforts over Lima’s 12-obstacle first-round course, with only five moving onto the short course.
Pease returned second to last in the posted order aboard her top mount, Carel Van Donderen. Pease needed to post a quick and clear jump-off phase to surpass Michael Janson (USA) and Caveman Z (Carthago x Amelia Z). Early in the order, Janson laid down a double clear effort aboard Kimberly Janson’s 15-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, Caveman Z. Their time of 39.42 seconds held the lead for a majority of the class and was enough to secure the second-place finish until ultimately surpassed by Pease.
Pease of Windcrest Farm, mastered the jump-off track making all of the inside turns aboard her 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding to post a winning time of 35.492 seconds.
“The course was really nice, I really liked it. I watched a lot of people have the last vertical down in the first-round so I rode super carefully to that. I didn’t see anyone else do the jump-off, but I walked all of the inside turns, so I thought I might as well go for it since Carl [Carel Van Donderen] is always game,” Pease shared of her winning performance.
Nicole Loochtan (USA) returned to the winner’s circle once again aboard her very own It’s Me Du Bosquetiau (Dayton Sitte x Mirette Du Bosqueatiau). The nine-year-old Belgian Sport Horse stallion returned to the Sanctuary in top form after his recent $30,000 Grand Prix win. Loochtan of Stone Creek Stables in Lexington, Kentucky, guided her talented young mount to an easy double clear and rounded out the podium in 42.152 seconds.
Final Results – $10,000 Welcome Stake
1) Darby Pease (USA) & Carel Van Dondere, Louisa Robb | 0 | 35.492
2) Michael Janson (USA) & Caveman Z, Kimberly Janson | 0 | 39.42
3) Nicole Loochtan (USA) & It’s Me Du Bosquetiau, Nicole Loochtan | 0 | 42.152
4) Luis F. Saenz (USA) & VDL Maverick, Amanda Harris | 4 | 37.24
5) Cooper Beisel (USA) & Azealia, David Beisel | 4 | 40.105
6) Devin Milan (USA) & Conquest, Garo Kazan | 4 | 60.619
7) Devin Milan (USA) & Karlina T,Garo Kazan | 4 | 64.512
8) Izzy Beisel (USA) & Diaz Barbotiere, Izzy Beisel | 4 | 65.382
9) Nicole Loochtan (USA) & Caiman Des Sequoias,Nicole Loochtan | 4 | 66.119
10) Drew Arnold (USA) & Chaccomo 11, Theresa Kraft | 4 | 66.341
Source: Press Release from World Equestrian Center
Photos: © Wisnlow Photography
Categories: USEF Rated, World Equestrian Center