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Eric Lamaze And Tempete Win $35,000 Farr XTN Grand Prix of Palm Beach

Annie Starke And Boston Irish Win Children's Modified Jumper Championship

WELLINGTON, FL - February 1, 2004 - Eric Lamaze, 36, of Schomberg, Ontario, debuted his new Grand Prix horse and Olympic hopeful, Tempete, at the Winter Equestrian Festival today in Wellington, FL, topping a class of 32 entries to win the $35,000 Farr XTN Grand Prix of Palm Beach presented by Western Hay, CSI***.

Prior to the class, course designer Javier Fernandez of Guadalajara, Mexico, explained his plan for the airy course with its generous 114-second Time Allowed. "In this first week some horses are jumping well and some horses haven't jumped for the last three months. It's difficult to create courses for the average - not too hard, not too easy," Fernandez said. "This Grand Prix is very easy. The horses need to jump easy now so that they are better for the next week, better for the seventh week, and for some, the Invitational in Tampa."

Indeed, 11 horses went clear over the 14-fence Round One. In the eight-effort Jump-Off with Time Allowed at 56 seconds, Lamaze was the fastest of three clear rounds, clocking in at 45.17, which bested Georgina Bloomberg of New York, NY, aboard Mila by just 2/10ths of a second (45.75). Roberto Teran of Colombia riding Flubber Cocoy placed third (47.09).

"I didn't go in the jump-off thinking he was going to win because he is so young," said Lamaze of the eight-year-old bay gelding owned by Stacey Krembil that he imported from Steffex Stables in Belgium in December 2002. "I was not trying to win it. I was just trying to go double-clear and hopefully get fourth or fifth. I would have been thrilled with that." Tempete is new to the Grand Prix, having only competed in one World Cup qualifier as a seven-year-old. "He's a very talented horse," said Lamaze. "This is his first Grand Prix in Florida. This is by far the biggest class and with the most competition." Six riders in the jump-off went faster than Lamaze, but all had faults and one, Debbie Stephens aboard Cosequin's CEO, was eliminated in a fall at Fence 16. Because of his plans for the horse, Lamaze said he was careful over the short course, not wanting to risk running and confusing his mount. "It's a horse that we want to keep and try to capture the single spot that Canada will have at the Olympics this year."

Bloomberg, 21, who was returning to Grand Prix competition after being sidelined for a year after breaking her back, was riding Mila in only their second outing at this level. She also did not put the pedal to the metal over the short course, but knew where she could have made up the time to beat Lamaze. "It's a new ride with me so I wasn't about to go too fast," she said of the nine-year-old Dutch mare owned by Gotham Enterprizes that she's been partnered with since November 2003. "I think I could have taken a bit more of a shot at 16, but with a new horse, you never go flat out. She was great out there. If I had known her better I could have carried a bit more pace, made a little bit more of a slice at it, but she was great."

"The 'no-risk' riders won today!" joked Lamaze.

In earlier competition today, Annie Starke, 15, of Bedford, NY, was named the Children's Modified Jumper Champion after two days of competition in which 22 riders participated in three rounds of jumping in three different rings. Starke placed fourth, second, and second to earn the overall high score. "I have the most incredible horse," said Starke, a sophomore in high school who is commuting from New York to Wellington on Thursday through Sunday, with her mother, actress Glenn Close. "We just got him over the summer and I'm totally in love with him." Boston Irish is an 11-year-old, 16.3-hand white Irish sport horse. "He's the kind of horse that loves everyone, so his personality is amazing. He jumps every jump like it's a grand prix jump - huge. You can't really get four faults on him very easily. He is up for anything. He really showed what he could do."

Starke trains with Peter Lutz out of his Davenport in Bedford, NY. Lutz gave Starke her first lesson when she was four years old, and though she has trained with others, she returned to Lutz's barn four years ago. Lutz said he was especially pleased with Starke's speed. "She went fast," said Lutz. "She's learning how to go fast and she did it really well, but she was also really smooth - that's very important."

Today's victory was Starke's first-ever championship at WEF. "It's good, really nice. It's kind of a mucky day so I was really surprised. No horse likes traveling through the mud but he was fine. He was perfect." Starke said she would like to compete at Grand Prix in a few years, but will not pursue a career as a professional. She plans to follow in the footsteps of her mother. "I want to do acting like my mom," said Starke. "I haven't really done a lot. We're thinking about doing something this summer. But I'm definitely sticking to riding throughout my whole life. I don't think I could ever give it up." Glenn Close was constantly ringside with her daughter, actively pitching in with groom duties and fulfilling her role as proud 'show mom'.

For full results of today's classes, visit

Show days for the 2004 Winter Equestrian Festival are Wednesday through Sunday. Gates open at 8:00 am. Ticket Prices: Wednesdays are free to everyone; Children 12 and under are admitted free every day; Young Adults 13 to 18 and Seniors are $5 on Thursday through Sunday; Adults are $5 on Thursday and Friday, $10 on Saturday, and $15 on Sunday. The Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club is located on Pierson Road off South Shore Boulevard. For additional information, visit or call 561-793-5867.

January 28 - February 1 Nutrena/Western Hay Wellington Classic CSI***
February 4 - 8 Bayer/USET Gold Coast Jumper Classic CSI***
February 5 - 8 Wellington Dressage (Qualifier for Olympic Selection Trials)
February 11 - 15 Kilkenny/ICH Internationale CSI***
February 18 - 22 Florida Classic/WCHR Spectacular CSI-W/Y CSI-Ch
February 19 - 22 Zada Enterprises, LLC Florida Dressage Classic
February 25 - 29 PDP Capital Wellington Masters CSI***
March 3 - 7 CN Wellington Open CSI-W
March 10 - 14 CSIO United States Cosequin Finale CSIO***
March 18 - 21 Zada Enterprises WEF Dressage Classic CDI***/Y
(Qualifier for Olympic Selection Trials)
March 24 - 28 Tampa Bay Classic CSI-W (Bob Thomas Equestrian Center)
March 30 - April 3 Tournament of Champions CSI-W (Bob Thomas Equestrian Center)
April 3 Budweiser American Invitational (Raymond James Stadium)

February 1 $35,000 Farr XTN Grand Prix of Palm Beach, presented by Western Hay, CSI**
February 8 $50,000 Bayer/USET Wellington Cup, CSI***
February 15 $50,000 Kilkenny/ICH Internationale Cup, CSI***
February 22 $60,000 Idle Dice Classic, presented by Palm Beach Post, CSI-W
February 29 $75,000 PDP Capital Masters Cup, CSI***
March 7 $75,000 CN Wellington Open presented by Estates of Wellington Green, CDI-W
March 12 $50,000 Samsung Nations' Cup, presented by CN, CSIO****
March 14 $100,000 Cosequin U.S. Open Jumper Championship, CSIO****
March 28 $75,000 Grand Prix of Tampa, presented by Kilkenny/ICH, CSI-W
April 3 $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, presented by The Tampa Tribune


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