Wellington, Florida, USA – March 24, 2023 – The penultimate week of jumper action at the 2023 WEF saw the $50,000 Adequan® CSI4* WEF Challenge Cup Round XI take place on Friday afternoon as riders vied for a spot in Sunday’s four-star grand prix. From 59 entries, young professional Spencer Smith (USA) rose to the top aboard his long-time partner, Theodore Manciais.
Smith was the contender in a ten horse-and-rider jump-off over Olaf Petersen Jr.’s (GER) track. The time allowed proved to be a sticking point for a little over a half-dozen competitors as only one or two penalties kept them from joining the jump-off ranks. Of the ten qualifiers, only nine elected to return as Ireland’s Darragh Kenny made the decision to save the jumps on his mount, Vancouver Dreams, for future classes. As the last to deliver a clear round, Smith shaved two seconds off the previous leading time to stop the clock in 36.73 seconds.
“This horse is for sure the best horse I’ve ever had,” Smith explained of Ashland Farms’ 16-year-old Selle Français gelding (Kashmir Van Schuttershof x Power Light). “His biggest strength is his heart; he will really do anything for me. I have been in a bit of a rut this season, so I pulled him out and he stepped up for me as always.”
The gelding has been Smith’s top mount over the past several years including giving him his first grand prix and first five-star grand prix wins.
“He is strong in every facet,” added Smith. “He’s super careful, has incredible scope, and can jump the biggest grand prix in the world. Today, I was lucky enough to go last so I was able to watch some of the other jump-off rounds to make my plan.”
Nayel Nassar (EGY) earned the runner-up honors with a flawless finish in 38.01 seconds aboard Evergate Stables LLC’s 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding Coronado (San Patrignano Cassini x Acord II).
Laura Kraut (USA) rounded out the top three finishing just slightly slower than Nassar with a time of 38.80 seconds aboard the St. Bride’s Farm’s 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding Dorado 212 (Tailormade Diarado’s Boy).
Jumper competition during WEF 11 will resume Saturday, March 24 and culminate in the $146,000 CaptiveOne Advisors CSI4* 1.50m Series Final Classic during Saturday Night Lights.
Final Results – $50,000 Adequan WEF Challenge Round XI CSI 4*
1) Spencer Smith (USA) & Theodore Manciais – 0 / 0 – 36.73
2) Nayel Nassar (EGY) & Coronado – 0 / 0 – 38.01
3) Laura Kraut (USA) & Dorado 212 – 0 / 0 – 38.80
Source: Press Release from ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions
Photos: © Sportfot
Categories: CSI 4*, Winter Equestrian Festival