In the United States, January is traditionally the start of the 12-week jumping program during Wellington Winter Equestrian Festival. We had to wait until this week for the start of the international program, but last week there was already some action at national level during the WEF Premiere to 'warm up'. It became a good start for the Zangersheide horses, who immediately managed to ensure a few victories and top placings.
For example, during the 1.50m high Grand Prix on Sunday we got two Zangersheide horses in the top 5 of the ranking. The Irish rider Michael Murphy managed to provide the best blue/yellow result with the 13-year-old gelding Catoki's Son Z, a son of Catoki Z and Aldo du Reverdy who was bred by Kurt Heinen. In a jump-off for which eight combinations were able to qualify, Murphy and Catoki's Son Z once again jumped a clear round and their time of 37,642 seconds was good for a second place in the ranking. Only the American rider McLain Ward managed to do even better with the stallion Catoki, also a descendant of Catoki Z.
In fourth place we saw the American lady rider Heather Caristo Williams and this with the 11-year-old gelding Marciano MVF, a son of Stakkato and Libero H who was born at Stud Farm Landetta as Swing de Landetta Z. Also Williams and Marciano MVF secured a clear jump-off, but they finished in 38,339 seconds.
In the 1.40m class, lady rider Stella Wasserman managed to put in a great performance with the 10-year-old gelding Eldorado WP Z (Eldorado van de Zeshoek x Calvados – B: Wim Putseys), who was to be seen under the saddle of Jérôme Guery till last year. With a time of 35,422 seconds she managed to set the second fastest time in the jump-off, but two jumping poles meant that she had to be satisfied with fifth place. On Friday they had already managed to secure a third place, also in a 1.40m class.
In the 1.35m class we did get a Zangersheide victory thanks to lady rider Josephine Nash with the 15-year-old stallion Luron S Z (Lord Z x Landetto – B: Sylvain De Wreede). She beat the competition with a clear jump-off in 28.907 seconds.
In the 1.45m main class on Saturday, it was the German rider Richard Vogel who took the victory with his 11-year-old gelding Darius de Kezeg Z (Darco x Heartbreaker – B: E.A.R.L. Elevage de Kezeg). In a 10 man-strong jump-off they finished just under half a second ahead of the competition. There was also a third place for Grans Seger with Plot Z (Plot Blue x Animo – B: W. Vestjens) and a fifth place for Heather Caristo Williams with Marie vd Mespel Z (Mylord Carthago x Ginus – B: Julien Veldeman). .
And on Friday there was also a Zangersheide victory, which was achieved by McLain Ward with the 13-year-old gelding Bonnie M Z (Bentley van de Heffinck x Berlin – B: Exelmans-Laevers). In the 1.40m high speed class they finished more than half a second ahead of the competition with a finish time of 60.78 seconds. For Molly Ashe Cawley there was a fifth place here with the 11-year-old mare Berdien Z (Bustique x Querlybet Hero – B: H.J. Lamers-Van Ingen) and in another 1.40m class there was also a fourth place for Molly Struve with the 9-year-old Dacota Du Buisson Z (Dutch Capitol x Wolfgang – B: Haras Du Buisson).