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$75,000 Tommy Bahama Florida Open Highlights
Week Six of Winter Equestrian Festival

Wellington, FL—March 5, 2003— Thirty-six horses competed in the $75,000 Tommy Bahama Florida Open, the highlight of week six at the Winter Equestrian Festival. This important competition was a qualifier for the Budweiser World Cup Final which will be held this April in Las Vegas, NV.

Seven horses qualified to return for the jump-off on the course designed by Prof. Arno Gego of Germany. Meredith Beerbaum, a rider representing Germany, won the class in the fastest time, with Shutterfly, owned by Hyperion Farm.

Three horses had clean jump-off rounds. McLain Ward of Brewster, NY, placed second on Onyx 66, owned by Harry Gill and McLain Ward. Third place went to Candice King of Wellington, FL, riding Caliskan for Louisburg Farm LLC. Norman Dello Joio also of Wellington, FL, and Quriel, owned by Belknap & Weight, came in fourth. Dello Joio and Quriel had won the previous week’s $75,000 Zada Enterprises Wellington Masters Grand Prix.

The $20,000 1.5 m Classic was the featured class in the Internationale Arena on March 1 and consisted of a large field of 55 competitors. Eighteen went clear in the first round and came back in the jump-off to race against the clock. Ward rode his Galant clear in a time of 33.459 seconds to win the class. Markus Beerbaum of Germany, and Royal Discovery, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Bertram R. Firestone, came in a close second. They were third to return in the jump-off and produced a clear round in a fast time of 34.191 seconds; their lead held throughout the class until Ward beat their time. Canadian Eric Lamaze and Millcreek’s Raphael were third.

That same day, Tani Zeidler Anderson performed a one-two punch in the $15,000 High Amateur-Owner Jumpers. She rode Illusion to the win and Van Holland to second place.

Ward and Jashar beat a field of 84 competitors to win the $5,000 NAL Americhoice Challenge on February 28. Jashar, owned by Double H Farm, glided around the course in 60.046 seconds. Peter Leone of Greenwich, CT, and Rastella, owned by Halifax Farm, was second with a time of 60.949 seconds. Meredith Beerbaum and Donnerlitchen were more than 2 seconds slower than Jashar for a third-place finish.

On February 27, Schuyler Riley of Wellington, FL, and Ilian, owned by South Beach Stables, won the $25,000 WEF Challenge Cup over a field of 41 competitors. Riley had 4 faults in the jump-off with a time of 37.02 seconds. Chris Kappler of Pittstown, NJ, and Profox, owned by Jorgen Winroth, also had 4 faults but a slower time of 37.73 seconds for a second-place finish.

That same day, Engle won the $2,500 1.35 m Time First Jump-off with Naram, owned by Shay Whitney Griese, over a field of 74 horses. The pair won the same class over a field of 88 horses just one day prior. Engle also won the 1.40 m Class with Nobility, owned by Robert Pergament.

Scott Stewart rode three horses to Hunter Championships: Chopard – Regular Conformation Hunter Champion with Stewart riding for Alexa Weisman. Prove It was Regular Working Hunter Champion for owner Mimi Tashjian. And Grace was named Champion Second Year Green Working Hunter for owner Sarah Alvarez.

Sachine Belle rode In Disguise to the Championship in the Green Conformation Hunters. He was Champion every week at Wellington except the one week he didn’t show. Ellen Toon had great success with In Disguise in the 35-50 Year Old Adult Amateur Hunters. Toon was champion in the division during the Kilkenny/ICH Internationale week.

The Young Jumpers 5-Year-Old Class was won by Lauren Bass and All Right. The $1,500 Young Jumper 6-Year-Old Class was won by Kent Farrington and Riane. Jeffrey Welles of Newtown, CT, was second riding Roberto Coins Appassionata, owned by Triton Ventures.

Following The Cosequin Wellington Finale, March 5–9, the Winter Equestrian Festival moves to Tampa and The Bob Thomas Equestrian Center for 3 weeks of competition from March 13 - 29. On Saturday, March 29, the Festival will come to an exciting conclusion with the 31st annual $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational at the Raymond James Stadium where presentations will also be made to the Festival’s division champions.

On April 2, the jumper horses and riders will return to Wellington and The Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club for 5 days of competition sponsored by The American Grandprix Association.

Admission to the Winter Equestrian Festival at Wellington is free every Wednesday, and children under 12 are always admitted free. Adult admission is $5.00 on Thursdays and Fridays, $10.00 on Saturdays, and $15.00 on Sundays. Senior citizens are $5.00 every Thursday through Sunday. All adults who attend the Festival any Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday will receive a coupon entitling them to a two-for-one admission on that weekend.

Winter Equestrian Festival Dates:

(Each week runs Wednesday through Sunday beginning at 8:00 AM daily)

Cosequin Wellington Finale – March 5 – 9
Zada Enterprises, LLC WEF Dressage Classic – March 13 – 16

After March 9, competitors move to Tampa to continue the Winter Equestrian Festival.

Dates for Tampa Winter Equestrian Festival

(Each week of competition runs Wed - Sun beginning at 8:00 AM)

Suncoast Internationale March 13-16
Tampa Bay Classic March 19-23 CSI***/W
Tournament of Champions March 25-29 CSI**/W

Budweiser American Invitational March 29 in Raymond James Stadium

Tickets for Winter Equestrian Festival at Tampa Fairgrounds are Wednesday through Friday $5. Children under 12 years are free. Saturday and Sunday Adult tickets are $10. Seniors and Students are $5 all days. For schedule, directions and information visit

Tickets for the Budweiser American Invitational, March 29 at Raymond James Stadium are available at Ticket Master (813) 287-8844 or at Stadium Jumping (877) 909-9436.


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