Wellington, Fla.—Jan. 29
Week 3 of the Winter Equestrian Festival got off to a late start due to inclement weather at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center on Wednesday and Thursday, but competition was in full swing on Friday with another win for Eric Lamaze of Canada.
Lamaze and Rosana du Park took home the top prize in the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Series for the second week in a row.
Luc Musette of Belgium designed the course and saw 71 entries jump his first round course, with 15 qualifying for the jump-off. Thirteen chose to return for the second round, where 2008 individual Olympic gold medalist Lamaze took the win aboard Artisan Farms LLC and Torrey Pines Stable’s Rosana du Park.
Nick Skelton was the first rider to clear the short course aboard Niel Moffitt’s Untouched in a time of 46.45 seconds that eventually finished fourth. Lamaze and Rosana du Park blazed through the course next in the winning time of 38.57 seconds. Lacey Gilbertson and Seabrook LLC’s Echo D were next to clear the track in 43.65 seconds to finish third.
Last to go, Conor Swail of Ireland rode Ruben’s LS La Silla to second place honors for owner Vanessa Mannix with a clear jump-off in 42.12 seconds.
Lamaze continues his success with the 11-year-old Selle Francais mare, Rosana du Park (by Kannan), who also topped two Challenge Cup classes in a row in 2015. The rider followed that up with three more wins aboard Fine Lady 5 to total five victories in the series over the 2015 circuit. This year, he is off to another great start.
“It is always great to go in a jump-off knowing that you have one of the fastest horses in the class,” Lamaze proclaimed. “Nick was fast on his horse. He made seven strides from [jumps] 1 to 2, which I was hoping I could see somebody do before I did it. I saw everybody do eight strides, and I thought it could be seven, but it always makes you feel better when somebody does it before you. Once Nick did it, I said, ‘Okay, the door is open to make seven.’
“I did eight strides to the double, and then I had the skinny on a big stride and I turned to the other oxer on a big stride, and the last one came forward again. In these jump-offs, the distance has to be in front of you to take. If it is not, it makes a difference,” Lamaze said.
“She is really careful; she is made up,” Lamaze said of Rosana’s consistency. “She knows her job. There is nothing she does not know, and she fits in any distances. You are not going from 1 to 2 in seven strides thinking that she is going to have a chance to knock it down. If you get one little rub in the warm-up you have full confidence. Her technique is impeccable. Her front end is so quick, and she has a great desire to want to do it.”
Lamaze will compete with Rosana du Park again in Saturday night’s $130,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 3*. The mare will then have a well-deserved holiday for a week or two.
Final Results: $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 3
1. ROSANA DU PARK, 2005 Selle Francais mare by Kannan, ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Artisan Farms LLC & Torrey Pines Stable: 0/0/38.57
2. RUBENS LS LA SILLA, 2006 SLS stallion by Rebozo LS La Silla x Cash, CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Vanessa Mannix: 0/0/42.12
3. ECHO D, 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Orlando x Skippy II, LACEY GILBERTSON (USA), Seabrook LLC: 0/0/43.65
4. UNTOUCHED, 2007 Westphalian stallion by Untouchable x Capitol I, NICK SKELTON (GBR), Niel Moffitt: 0/0/46.45
5. GENTLEY, 2006 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Bentley vd Heffinck x Major de la Cour, FILIP DE WANDEL (BEL) Filip de Wandel: 0/4/40.20
6. CORIANDOLO DI RIBANI, 2007 ASSI stallion by Cassini II x Baldini, LUIS PEDRO BIRABEN (ARG), Miguel Madero: 0/4/41.85
7. FEDOR, 2005 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Kashmir van Schuttershof x Orkaan, SCOTT KEACH (AUS), Southern Cross Equestrian LLC: 0/4/42.84
8. CRESPO PKZ, 2006 Westphalian gelding by Cornet Obolensky x Landadel, CIAN O’CONNOR (IRL), Ronnoco Jump Ltd: 0/4/42.97
9. BABALOU 41, 2005 Oldenburg mare by Balou du Rouet x Silvio I, TODD MINIKUS (USA), Two Swans Farm: 0/4/44.23
10. PALOMA, 2006 Holsteiner mare by Canaletto S x Henzo de la Brasserie, PETER WYLDE (USA), Kathleen Kamine: 0/8/40.83
11. NEW YORK, 2006 KWPN gelding by Verdi x Watzmann, HARDIN TOWELL (USA), Jennifer Gates LLC: 0/8/48.90
12. FERRO CHIN VH LINDENHOF, 2005 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Chin Chin x Nimmerdor, RODRIGO PESSOA (BRA), Vanam Int’l Hamleoot & Rodrigo Pessoa: 0/9/53.38