Ocala, Florida, USA – March 02, 2023 – Fifty-one equestrian athletes representing ten nations took center stage this evening to compete in the $50,000 Wheels Up Welcome Prix CSI 3* over a track built by course designer Alan Wade of Ireland. Canada’s Jacqueline Steffens Daly (CAN) delivered a thrilling performance as she and Freaky (Darco x Litho X) owned by Eye Candy Jumpers flew through the timers besting second place by more than three seconds to secure the top spot on the leaderboard.
Nine pairs representing Ireland, Canada, United States and Spain successfully navigated the first-round track to qualify for the jump-off.
Conor O’Regan (IRL) and Dynomite Ranch, LLC’s Mendini DR led the charge in the jump-off, setting the time to beat at 46.18 seconds.
Sean Jobin (CAN) was quick to up the ante aboard his first mount Coquelicot VH Heuvelland Z (Catoki x Cassini II) owned by Foxridge Farms Stables with an even faster time of 45.08 seconds.
“I was lucky enough to have two rides tonight. ‘Coquelicot’ was jumping a bit high in the jump-off. He has been doing the three- and five-star competitions this past year and I feel like he’s still finding his footing. Tonight, I wanted to have a good smooth round and I feel like we accomplished that tonight,” shared Jobin.
Both Angela Covert (CAN) and Gonzalo Busca (ESP) put forth solid efforts, but fell victim to one rail each in the process.
Next was Chloe Reid (USA) and Team Reid LLC’s Crossover 4 (Cascadello x Chacco-blue). Reid and the ten-year-old Hanoverian gelding raced around the short course, leaving out strides to stop the clock at 44.28 seconds which took the lead.
Crossover 4 is a longtime partner for Reid, “I have had Crossover since he was six years old, and he is now ten. I know him like the back of my hand, we have done a lot together. We were able to compete at World Equestrian Center – Ocala two summers ago and again this past fall. So, he knows the arena well and always jumps super here.”
Reid’s lead didn’t last long, because Jaqueline Steffens Daly (CAN) entered the arena immediately following with Freaky. “I tweaked my plan after I watched Chloe do eight strides so nicely from one to two. I tentatively had nine planned, but watching the eight ride so well, I thought I better try to do that, and it actually showed up perfectly. Then I did seven down the middle and rode the final fence off my eye.”
Daly and the 13-year-old Royal Dutch Sport Horse / Dutch Warmblood gelding flew through the finish clear in just 40.97 seconds to ultimately secure top honors.
Sean Jobin returned aboard his second mount Darius, but had an unlucky rail with a time of 43.13 seconds. Aaron Vale (USA) and Cristo Beech were quick in 41.97 seconds, but had one fence down.
Alexa Pessoa (USA) was the final contender of the night with Artemis Equestrian Farm, LLC’s Carlito`s Way 6. The pair delivered a steady clean round in 46.73 seconds to secure fifth place.
John Odegard, Senior Vice President of Wheels Up spoke with enthusiasm about the event, “It’s an honor for us to be able to participate and have this competition as our first sponsored class. We are proud to be a part of it and support these tremendous world-class equestrian athletes.”
Final Results – $50,000 Wheels Up Welcome Prix CSI 3*
1) Jacqueline Steffens Daly (CAN) & Freaky: 2010 KWPN Gelding by Darco x Litho X, Eye Candy Jumpers: 0 | 0 | 40.97
2) Chloe Reid (USA) & Crossover 4: 2013 Hanoverian gelding by Cascadello x Chacco-blue, Team Reid, LLC: 0 | 0 | 44.28
3) Sean Jobin (CAN) & Coquelicot VH Heuvelland Z: 2012 Zangersheide stallion by Catoki x Cassini II, Foxridge Farms Stables: 0 | 0 | 45.08
4) Conor O’Regan (IRL) & Mendini Dr: 2012 Belgian Warmblood mare by Hunter’s Scendix x Cassini I, Dynomite Ranch, LLC: 0 | 0 | 46.18
5) Alexa Pessoa (USA) & Carlito’s Way 6: 2010 Holsteiner gelding by Casall x Lordanos, Artemis Equestrian Farm, LLC: 0 | 0 | 46.73
6) Aaron Vale (USA) & Cristo Beech: 2011 Warmblood gelding by Its The Business x Cantero, Alise Carrico & Thinks Like A Horse: 0 | 4 | 41.97
7) Sean Jobin (CAN) & Darius: 2008 KWPN gelding by Warrant x LBH Calvados, Foxridge Farms Stables: 0 | 4 | 43.13
8) Gonzalo Busca (ESP) & Classified: 2013 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Je T’aime Flamenco, Gonzalo Busca: 0 | 4 | 45.21
9) Angela Covert (CAN) & 12 Hollywood De Rase Z: 2012 Zangersheide gelding by Hoegie Van’t Bergske x Triomphe De Muze, Angela Covert: 0 | 4 | 46.86
10) Hallie Grimes (USA) & Malissa De Muze: 2012 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Nabab De Reve x Tornedo FCS, Can We Keep It LLC: 4 | 73.73
11) Hunter Holloway (USA) & Dana De Kerglenn: 2013 Selle Francais mare by Mylord Carthago x Diamant De Semilly, Sigma Stables, LLC: 4 | 74.54
12) Samantha Schaefer (USA) & James Bond HX: 2014 KWPN gelding by Douglas x Cash , Bonne Chance, LLC: 4 | 75.54
Source: Press Release from World Equestrian Center
Photos: © WEC – Andrew Ryback Photography
Categories: CSI 3*, World Equestrian Center