Brazil’s Yuri Mansur bested four Irish jump-off contenders to take the top spot in the $37,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 6 CSI3* during week six at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) on Thursday, February 13.
From a starting field of 44, six horses advanced from a technical first round to the tie-breaking jump-off built by course designer Ana Catalina “Catsy” Cruz Harris (MEX). It was a face-off between Irish riders for the top call before Mansur and his mount Everglade Santo Antonio saved the best for last, breaking the timers in 37.03 seconds to win by fractions of a second over Darragh Kerins (IRL) riding Carlos JD Z. Kerins set the pace as the trailblazer in the jump-off with a time of 37.76 seconds.
Billy Twomey (IRL) took third riding Chat Botte E.D., owned in partnership with Sue Davis, with a time of 39.34 seconds, while Darragh Kenny (IRL) finished fourth on a single rail in 35.45 seconds. Conor Swail (IRL) rounded out the top five riding GK Coco Chanel with a four-fault performance over the short course in 36.94 seconds for owner Vanessa Mannix. Wednesday’s victor and 2012 U.S. World Cup champion Rich Fellers qualified Kimberly Bruce’s Ninou 2 for the jump-off but elected not to return and settled for sixth place.
Mansur began his partnership with Everglade Santo Antonio, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Clinton x Voltaire) in August 2019. They got to know each other in the 1.20m and 1.25m ranks before quickly stepping up to the international scene.
“I have not had him that long, and he was sent to me by an English rider to sell,” said Mansur of how he got the ride. “Straight away I realized that he is a nice horse. I never imagined he would be as good as he is, but I knew he was going to be good. He was quickly going in the right direction, and already in the indoor season [this fall] he was jumping fantastic.”
Over the past several months, Mansur and Everglade Santo Antonio picked up top placings at CSI5* competitions in Oslo, Norway, Lyon, France, and Stuttgart, Germany.
“When I arrived here, he was a bit surprised coming from the indoor circuit, but today he was perfect again,” noted Mansur. “I think in the future he can do some really big classes!”
Of his plan for the jump-off track in the Global Ring and Equestrian Village, Mansur noted, “For me, this ring was an advantage because I am coming off the indoor circuit so I was at home here. It was not a speed jump-off, so the strategy was to do the same strides as the rider before me but try to go quicker to the last fence and that’s what we were able to do.”