Over at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s International Arena, 59 of the highest-level show jumpers in the world prepared to vie for the top title in the $50,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round XI. Following a 10-horse jump-off, Sergio Alvarez Moya (ESP) emerged victorious aboard his 10-year-old BWP gelding entry, Malibu De Muze (Nabab De Reve x Tornedo FCS).
Top course designer Olaf Petersen, Jr. (GER) gave the field 77 seconds on the clock to navigate the long track, which included a double combination, triple combination, and multiple related distances. As the first round concluded, 14 entries created their plan for the jump-off. The returning number of contenders dropped to 10 when Ioli Mytilineou (GRE), Daniel Bluman (ISR), Emanuele Camilli (ITA), and Shane Sweetnam (IRL) elected to save their efforts for another day.
Ireland’s Brian Cournane and Armik were the first of seven nations represented to return, but it was Margie Engle for the USA who would be the pathfinder to the first clear round. Engle ultimately settled for fifth place as the time to beat continued to increase in speed. Despite top efforts by Ireland’s Darragh Kenny and Mark McAuley, Sergio Alvarez Moya produced the leading round as he flew through the timers with a time of 35.36 seconds.
“He has a huge stride and a ton of blood,” said Alvarez Moya. “It is funny because I don’t have the best control with him, but when I am going fast I don’t need as much, so I guess that helps. The first few fences of the jump-off I really had to make a plan and ride, but then I just let him go a bit and followed him for the rest.”
The gelding originally appeared on Alvarez Moya’s radar as a prospect for a client, but when the two were not found to be a good match, he pursued the horse.
“We have only been paired for roughly five months,” he explained. “Control was a bit of an issue for me at first, but we have been working hard at getting to know each other and I think we are starting to get there. I always say the horses will find you, and it is true because I was not looking for another horse but now, I have him. He doesn’t have much experience at this level, but I have been very pleased with him throughout the majority of the season.”
Irishmen Kenny and McAuley settled for second and third place, respectively. Kenny produced one of the final efforts on course with Vlock Show Stables LLC’s 11-year-old Westphalian stallion Chic Chic (Comme Il Faut 5 x Contendro I) and slid into the second spot a little over a second slower than Moya in 36.98 seconds. McAuley and SNC McAuley Equestrian’s 13-year-old BWP gelding Jasco VD Bisschop (Dulf Van Den Bisschop x Krunch De Breve) chased Kenny down to the wire but landed in third with their time of 37.07 seconds.
Final Results: $50,000 Adequan WEF Challenge Cup Round XI
1. MALIBU DE MUZE: 2012 BWP gelding by Nabab De Reve x Tornedo FCS
SERGIO ALVAREZ MOYA (ESP), Sergio Alvarez Moya: 0/0/35.36
2. CHIC CHIC: 2011 Westphalian stallion by Comme Il Faut 5 x Contendro I
DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), Vlock Show Stables LLC: 0/0/36.98
3. JASCO VD BISSCHOP: 2009 BWP gelding by Dulf Van Den Bisschop x Krunch De Breve
MARK MCAULEY (IRL), SNC McAuley Equestrian: 0/0/37.07
4. VITAL CHANCE DE LA ROQUE: 2009 Selle Francais gelding by Diamant De Semilly x Rivage Du Poncel
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Conor Swail: 0/0/38.40
5. DICAS: 2009 Rheinlaender gelding by Diarado x Cassini I
MARGIE GOLDSTEIN-ENGLE (USA), Storm Ridge Capital LLC Show Horses, Garber, and Gladewinds, Inc: 0/0/39.83
6. ARMIK: 2009 Oldenburg gelding by Armitage 2 x Justinian xx
CAPT. BRIAN COURNANE (IRL), Mr. and Mrs. Stiller and Brian Cournane: 0/4/38.70
7. ERDENTO VAN DE LEEUWERK: 2009 KWPN stallion by Cardento 933 x Marlon
ALEX MATZ (USA). Horseshoe Trail Farm, LLC: 0/4/38.93
8. DON VITO: 2008 KWPN gelding by Quaprice Bois Margot x Jus De Pomme
LORENZO DE LUCA (ITA), Poden Farms: 0/4/48.81
9. H&M KIRLO VAN DEN BOSRAND: 2010 BWP gelding by Cardento 933 x Utrillo VD Heffinck
SAMUEL HUTTON (GBR), Abdel Saïd: 0/8/40.86
10. MANHATTAN: 2011 AWR gelding by Metropolitan x Lancer III
SPENCER SMITH (USA), Gotham Enterprizes, LLC: 0/8/42.40
11. L’ARTISTE DE TOXANDRA: 2011 BWP gelding by Toulon x Kashmir Van Schuttershof
IOLI MYTILINEOU (GRE),Elia Construction SA: 0/75.72
11. UBILEC: 2012 Mecklenburg gelding by Ubiko x Lucian
DANIEL BLUMAN (ISR), Over The Top Stables LLC: 0/75.49
11. CHADELLANO PS: 2011 OS gelding by Chacco-Blue x Centadel
EMANUELE CAMILLI (ITA), Emanuele Camilli: 0/75.78
11. ALEJANDRO: 2009 Rheinlander gelding by Acorado’s Ass x Continue
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Sweet Oak Farm, Spy Coast Farm, and Seabrook LLC: 0/75.84