Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) won the $5,000 Premier Equestrian Welcome Stake CSIO4* riding Cadans Z to open week eight of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL, on Wednesday, February 26.
A member of the U.S. Nations Cup team, Sternlicht had the accuracy and speed to top a field of 65 over tracks set by course designer Ken Krome (USA). She and Cadans Z, owned by Starlight Farms 1, LLC, stopped the clock at 62.59 seconds over second-place finisher Todd Minikus (USA) and his own Calvalou in a time of 64.02 seconds. Great Britain’s Ben Maher rounded out the podium finishes with Ginger-Blue, owned by Jane Forbes Clark, stopping the clock in 67.78 seconds.
“It’s always nice to start the week off with a win,” said Sternlicht, who piloted the 11-year-old Zangersheide mare (Corosso VDL x Navarone), Cadans Z. “I knew many riders would be using this class to train, so I tried to take advantage of that with this horse. She has a very big stride, so I was able to cover a lot of ground. There were places to really gallop and do leave-outs in the lines, and she performed beautifully.”
Sternlicht was a member of the U.S. Nations Cup team during the 2019 WEF season after helping to guide the U.S. to a gold medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018.
“I haven’t been on a Nations Cup team since this week last year, and I felt like I was the weaker link on that team, so it was definitely a goal of mine to jump on the team this winter,” said Sternlicht. “This week feels like a bit of redemption. I definitely want to put my best foot forward. It’s a horse that I have gained a lot of confidence on in the last few months, and I’m hoping for a great personal and team result this week.”
Riding for the United States, Andrew Ramsay took fourth aboard Stranger 30, owned by The Stranger Group, with a time of 67.86 seconds, while fellow U.S. rider Abigail McArdle capped the top five riding I&H Boogy Woogy, owned by Parot Horses LLC, in a final time of 68.59 seconds.