Friday, May. 31, 2024

Fifty Fifty Gives 100 Percent To Win $34,000 Ruby Et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 8

Wellington, Fla.—Feb. 26   

For some riders, a blue ribbon in the $34,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 8 might be just another paycheck for a day at the office, or a checkmark on a horse’s progress report.

But for Andres Rodriguez, it meant much more. For Rodriguez, the win with Fifty Fifty 111 is the payoff of five years of work and dedication with the 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Action-Breaker x Major de La Cour).

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Wellington, Fla.—Feb. 26   

For some riders, a blue ribbon in the $34,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 8 might be just another paycheck for a day at the office, or a checkmark on a horse’s progress report.

But for Andres Rodriguez, it meant much more. For Rodriguez, the win with Fifty Fifty 111 is the payoff of five years of work and dedication with the 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Action-Breaker x Major de La Cour).

“She is a very special horse for me,” Rodriguez acknowledged. “The part that I enjoy the most in the sport is developing young horses. I got her at the end of 5 years old from Eric Lamaze. I brought her up all of the divisions. Last year in the summer I won my first international grand prix with her, and it was a very exciting moment.”

Adding to the accomplishment was the fact that Rodriguez and “Fifty” defeated one of the fastest and most successful horses and riders of the WEF circuit, Kent Farrington on Blue Angel.

“When you work a horse and you bring it to that level and then you end up winning, it is very satisfying,” Rodriguez said. “To win in a venue like this in such a big competition and have second place be one of the fastest riders of the circuit with the fastest horse is very special. For her to win this class really means more than just the victory itself to me.”

Third in the ring, Farrington and Robin Parsky’s Blue Angel set the leading time at 66.76 seconds, but were pushed to second place nine rounds later when Rodriguez and Arao Enterprises LLC’s Fifty Fifty 111 crossed the timers fractions faster in 66.50 seconds. The pair’s time held on through the end to win it.

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Eugenio Garza of Mexico and El Milagro’s Balloon placed third in 70.24 seconds. Kevin Babington of Ireland and Mark Q were fourth in 71.46 seconds.

“I did watch Kent go, and I knew it was going to be hard to beat,” Rodriguez detailed. “The only place that I thought I could be better was the last line. He did eight strides to the Rolex vertical, and I did the seven. That small difference I think was just there. I saw his round, and he was fast everywhere. The only place he left a little bit of a chance for someone to beat him was on the seven strides to the last.”

Rodriguez was named with is top horse, Caballito, to Venezuela’s team to jump in the $100,000 FEI Nations Cup on the evening of Feb. He has big plans for Fifty this summer as she gears up for the challenging jumper derbies in Spruce Meadows (Alberta).

“Luckily this year we have three horses going in the big circuit, so we can choose the classes better for the horses,” Rodriguez explained. “For her, I would really want to win the derby in [Spruce Meadows]; that would be my main goal and that is what I am going to train her for. Here she is going to do a couple more 1.50-meter classes and maybe some more WEF [Challenge Cups] and then I will prepare her for Calgary. I really want to train her to become a good derby horse.”

Also showing on Thursday, U.S. rider Laura Kraut dominated the competition in the morning’s 1.45-meter jump-off class. Sixty entries showed and only four were clear to advance to the jump-off. Kraut rode three of them, finishing first, second and third. Kraut’s winning ride was aboard Julius Peter Sinnack’s Deauville S. She placed second with the Evita Group’s Nouvelle, and took third place honors riding Stars and Stripes’ Andretti S.

The Hollow Creek Farm Children’s, Junior and Young Rider Welcome classes were also held in the afternoon. Spencer Smith of the United States and Wyndmont’s IV Ever won the Young Rider Welcome. Santiago Orifici of Argentina and Eduardo Monaco’s Dolce Vita de Longines were the winners in the $1,000 Junior Welcome, and Alejandra Godoy of Venezuela and Francis Clement’s Rhea de L’Ici topped the Children’s Welcome. The young rider, junior and children’s riders jump in their three Nations Cups on Satuday, Feb. 28.

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