Wellington, Florida, USA – March 19, 2023 – Sweden stole the spotlight on super Sunday at the Wellington International equestrian venue as Petronella Andersson (SWE) and Odina van Klapscheut were supreme in the $78,000 CaptiveOne Advisors Classic CSI 4* to conclude the tenth week of competition during the 2023 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).
Fifty-eight out of the 62 original entries entered the International Arena for Sunday’s showdown. The odds favored the host nation as eight combinations representing the red, white and blue, managed to qualify for the decisive round meanwhile only three from from the rest of the world duplicated the feat. Contrary to this, the first two top placings were not claimed by any of the Americans.
In the end, it was Andersson who pulled out all the aces up her sleeve aboard the Stephex Stables’ 9-year-old bay Belgian Warmblood (I Am Moerhoeve’s Star x Landor S), blazing past the rest of the contestants in the tiebreaker. In fact, the dynamic left the rest in the dust being over than two seconds faster than their closest rivals, completing their jump-off performance in 37.21 seconds.
They say persistence pays off and Shane Sweetnam (IRL) showed plenty of it. After suffering a horrific fall last Sunday in the “same” class that seemed more like a stunt from a Hollywood action, it was a sweet return for the Irishman. More like the perfect ending of a movie script, Shane guided Holliewood (Nabab de Reve – Diva) in flawless fashion, recovering to earn silver honors in 39.28 seconds.
Despite having the odds in their favor and coming up empty in regards to the win, the host nation had something to cheer about. Lillie Keenan (USA) and Chilli Pepper H M Z (Cornet Obolensky x Caretano Z) secured bronze honors, registering no penalties while crossing the jump-off timers in 41. 22 seconds.
Andersson’s plan of execution certainly paid off considering they shaved off two seconds in the jump-off, landing them with a win. “This horse is only nine and this is her first time in America jumping this height, so the first round I was just looking for a clear and though she was feisty. I was very happy with her.
“I knew she could be very quick in the jump-off, but you never know with a competitive class like this,” said Andersson, who has been relying on the ringside help of four-time U.S. Olympian Beezie Madden this season. “We made a plan and it certainly worked out today.”
According to Andersson, there wasn’t one specific place the mare made up some time, but rather, “It’s never about how many strides you do because she’s such a quick mover, it’s more about finding a great pace where you don’t need to slow her down. I think we had quite a fluid jump-off and we probably made up some time a little bit everywhere because I never had to add or leave out.”
“She’s turning nine this year and she’s always been a great horse. The Belgian Championships was her first show with me which she also won, so expectations have always been quite high with this mare. It was a wonderful feeling today for my team to have this win.”
Final Results – $78,000 CaptiveOne Advisors Classic CSI 4* 1.50m
1) Petronella Andersson (SWE) & Odina van Klapscheut – 0 / 0 – 37.21
2) Shane Sweetnam (IRL) & Holliewood – 0 / 0 – 39.28
3) Lillie Keenan (USA) & Chilli Pepper H M Z – 0 / 0 – 41.22
Text: Jumper News, no reproduction without permission.
Source Interview: Press Release from ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions
Photos: © Snowmanview Magazine /Jeena Jah Photography
Categories: CSI 4*, Winter Equestrian Festival