Wellington, Fla.—Jan. 31
It’s a long trek from Switzerland to Wellington, so Martin Fuchs had his eyes set on getting the job done. Typically the 26-year-old contests the indoor winter circuit in Europe, but this year he crossed the Atlantic for the season in preparation for the Longines FEI World Cup Final in Sweden in April.
But in the opening Fédération Equestre Internationale class at the CP Palm Beach Masters, the $35,700 CP Welcome Stake, Fuchs nearly made a costly mistake.
“Actually, I walked it as a two-phase class,” Fuchs admitted in the press conference. “While Daniel [Coyle] was going I realized that it’s a normal speed class, which normally doesn’t happen to me, but somehow I missed that part.”
With his error realized in the nick of time, Fuchs was able to change tactics with Cristo, a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Cristo—Stakkata Gold, Stakkato).
“It was good for me to see a few riders,” Fuchs said. “I have a very fast and careful horse, so I knew I wouldn’t have to do something crazy to beat them.”
Cristo’s time of 71.37 seconds, slotted a full second ahead of Coyle and his 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood Quintin (72.34 seconds), to take top honors over the field of 67 that contested Alan Wade’s course.
Coyle finished second, while Israel’s Daniel Bluman and the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Entano closed out the top three with a time of 72.80 seconds.
We’re on site at the Longines Palm Beach Masters CSI4*-W all weekend to bring you news, photos and results. Check back all weekend for more!