Karen Polle and With Wings Victorious in $130,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 9
Karen Polle and veteran partner With Wings earned a big win in Thursday’s $130,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 9 at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.
Round 9 of the Challenge Cup series saw 51 starters over Alan Wade’s first round course. Twelve entries advanced to the jump-off, and six completed double clear rounds. Polle and With Wings took the win in 36.71 seconds. Lillie Keenan and Chansonette Farm’s Skyhorse finished second in 38.14 seconds. Lauren Hough aboard Willow Grace Farm’s Cornet 39 placed third in 38.53 seconds, and Lucy Davis riding Old Oak Farm’s Cassis 54 finished fourth in 38.95 seconds.
“I thought the first round was actually pretty tricky. At the beginning we didn’t see so many clears,” Polle said after her win. “The jump-off was really fun. For Wings, it really suited him well because you could get a gallop and try to cruise through, and just watch the verticals. There were two places where I was able to leave out strides, which I think really helped me.” “I was a little long at the last fence, but I went for it,” Polle continued. “Wings has so much range that he can do that. That is where I have to be a little quicker sometimes because he has a big stride, but he is not a quick, quick horse, so to make up that time I need to do the leave outs.”
Polle began training with Olympic gold medalist Rodrigo Pessoa in October, but also had her longtime experience riding With Wings to her advantage. “Last month was seven years that I have had him,” Polle noted. “I think that is one of the most special things, to have a horse that you start really young. I started in the Low Junior Jumpers with him, and then we worked our way up to the five-star level. I think that makes our partnership even more special because we have known each other for so long. We trust each other a lot because we have been through everything together. It is very rare, so I am really lucky.”
Eduardo Menezes and Quintol finished fifth in 39.30 seconds, and Pablo Barrios riding A S D Farfala placed sixth in 39.54. Kent Farrington completed the fastest time in 35.54 seconds with his own and Robin Parksy’s Gazelle, but had a rail at the final fence to place seventh.
Jimmy Torano Forms New Partnership to Win Pre-Green Three & Four-Year-Old Hunters
Jimmy Torano of Wellington, FL, rode More Than Words, owned by Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Caristo, for the first time at WEF 9 to win the Pre-Green Three & Four-Year-Old Hunter division championship. The pair won the under saddle, an over fences round, and placed third in another over fences class to secure the title. “He went great,” said Torano. “He is owned in a partnership with Ralph Caristo, Emil Spadone, and myself. We bought him at an auction back in the fall. We were all at the same auction together and we all really liked the horse, so we decided to form a group and buy him.”
More Than Words is a 2012 Holsteiner gelding by Cancara. Earlier in the winter circuit, Heather Caristo-Williams showed the gelding in the USHJA Hunter 2’6″ division, sponsored by Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, LLP. “I think he’s going to be a really fancy horse,” Torano continued. “He’s just four years old, but this is the first time I’ve ridden him and he went great. He’s really straightforward, a beautiful horse, and a beautiful jumper.”
Heather Hayes of Cumming, GA, and Mind’s Eye, an entry owned by River Run Farm, LLC, settled for reserve honors. The pair earned second place ribbons in the under saddle and two over fences classes, as well as placing sixth in another over fences class. Mind’s Eye is a four-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Spartacus.