Cepano Baloubet and Richard Vogel Victorious at WEF
The 2024 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) once again saw Germany’s Richard Vogel leading a lap of honor in the International Ring as he won Friday’s $32,000 Dodd Technologies CSI4* 1.50m on Cepano Baloubet during Week 3 of competition. The win signaled the start of another successful weekend for Vogel, who was already the victor in the $140,000 Keyflow Feeds USA CSI3* Grand Prix at the culmination of WEF 2.
Just shy of sixty horse-and-rider combinations came to contest Peter Grant’s (CAN) speed track, but Vogel is a hard man to beat on any day and boasts an impressive string of horses. Cepano Baloubet was also the mount that carried Vogel to win last year’s $500,000 Rolex CSI5* Grand Prix.
“He’s a horse we’ve had some very good success on and I’m excited to have him back in the show ring,” Vogel commented of the Coleridge Equestrian, LLC’s 10-year-old Dutch Sport Horse gelding (Chaman x Stakkato’s Highlight). “I didn’t manage to qualify for the grand prix yesterday so I had to jump him in this class, but he will do tomorrow night’s grand prix and I hope he jumps the same tomorrow as he did today!”
With horses like Cepano, United Touch S and WEF 2’s winning mount, Cydello, the challenge for Vogel is determining who will be most successful in each class, but it’s a decision he says he gets help with from the horses themselves.
“While each of my horses is very nice, they also all have their strengths and weaknesses,” he explained. “This horse is one that needs to have some small classes before he can comfortably do a big grand prix, whereas United Touch S will go straight into a big class and be fine with it. Cydello is a horse that is just upcoming and not super experienced, so the main goal with him is to give him experience. They are all exceptional but also very different, so they almost pick the classes themselves based on their strengths.”
Clocking in just shy of Vogel’s time of 65.15 seconds with a time of 65.32, Brazil’s Eduardo Menezes piloted his own 12-year-old Selle Français gelding Calypso des Matis (Paddock du Plessis*hn x Tresor de Cheux) into the second-place position. Rounding out the international podium, Mario Deslauriers (CAN) and Aram Ampagoumian LLC’s 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding Costa Quick PS (Conthargos x Quick Star) were quick enough and took third with a time of 69.23 seconds.
Competition in the International Arena was capped off with a win from Alvaro Enrique Tejada Arriola (GUA) and Andrea Muller’s 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare One Eleven 111 (Joop 111 x Caleandro) in the $32,000 Florida Coast Equipment CSI2* 1.45m Qualifier. Arriola led the field by an impressive three seconds on a time of 41.50 seconds. Under the guidance of Lucas Porter (USA), Sleepy P Ranch BV’s nine-year-old KWPN gelding Kentucky N (Carrera VDL x Cassiano 3) was the closest contender with a time of 44.01 seconds while Canada’s Jay Hayes and Fenn Randazzo’s nine-year-old Holsteiner mare Hope VA (Cornet Obolensky x Casall) completed the podium.
Moreno E Shines as Lövsta Future Challenge 7-Year-Old Young Jumper Winner
Earning wins in two of the three Lövsta Future Challenge 7-Year-Old Young Jumper classes throughout Week 3 of WEF, Moreno E donned the tricolor ribbon with Brittni Raflowitz (ISR) in the irons. The pair completed their show week taking top call once again in Friday’s class with a double-clean effort and efficient jump-off time of 28.96 seconds.
The class saw 32 of show jumping’s best and brightest upcoming stars competing for the title but the Jennifer Wentzo-owned Dutch Warmblood gelding by Malibu TN put forth another top round to win both the class and the division championship.
“This horse is absolutely incredible and he’s such a joy to ride,” Raflowitz gushed. “I’ve only had the ride on him since October; he actually came to me a week before the 6-Year-Old Championships in Tryon and we ended up winning that.”
While Raflowitz has a diverse string, she echoed sentiment on the importance of young horse championships in North America.
“I think it is really cool and special that you have to have a certain qualification to get into the championships,” she stated. “They are something we all look forward to and it gives us as riders a real chance to test [our horses] and see where they are at now that they are getting older.”
McLain Ward (USA) piloted his own Irish Sport Horse mare by Stakkato Gold, Laurina into a close second by producing a fault-free jump off in a time of 29.78 seconds. The Olympic veteran also secured the third place ribbon, this time with his own Dutch Warmblood mare It Girl by Skellorn Bronze Soldier after stopping the clock in 31.30 seconds.
Hunter Kay Sweeps Both Tricolors in 3’3” Young Hunter Division
Friday’s hunter action during WEF 3 rounded out in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Arena with the conclusion of the Brianne Goutal, LLC 3’3” 7 & Under Young Hunter Division. Riders competed their green mounts across four over-fences classes and one under saddle over two days.
Taking home both tricolors was Hunter Kay of Charlotte, NC, with Champion Cool Lane, owned by Noel Fauntleroy, and Reserve Champions Unsaid, owned by Daniel Robertshaw of Danny and Ron’s Rescue. Cool Lane, a seven year-old gelding, and Kay placed top-three in three of their four over-fences, their highest score sitting at an 85.
“Cool Lane is a seven-year-old gelding that we got last April. He was actually a dressage horse before we got him and hadn’t done much jumping,” said Kay. “A friend of mine’s client is the one who purchased him and when she sent me a video of him, I wanted the horse right away. He’s a super cool horse; he has a great color that makes him stand out, and I really saw talent in him.”
Kay followed up his own standing on the seven-year-old gelding, Unsaid. The pair also had a high score of 85, winning one of their over-fences. The gelding has been a part of Kay’s string for several years as he brought him up alongside owner Daniel Robertshaw and trainer Ron Danta since he was three years old.
“It’s been special to see him come up to this point,” said Kay. “As for the rest of his season, we will continue in the 3’3” divisions and then hopefully the 3’6”.
“The Young Hunter division has been great for these horses to develop,” continued Kay. “The Green Hunters have always been great but definitely a bigger division, so it’s nice to have this class where you know the horses are all around the same age and less experienced.”
Hunter action will continue throughout the weekend with Amatuer and Junior divisions to round out Week 3 of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF).
Press release WEF 3 Photo Sportfot (c)