The 2022 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) continued to host competition on the Derby Field at Equestrian Village on Thursday, January 21, with the $37,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup Round Two CSI3* during WEF 2, sponsored by Hygain Feeds. The WEF circuit runs January 5 through April 3, 2022, and hosts various levels of rated hunter, jumper, and equitation competition in Wellington, FL. In Thursday’s feature event, newcomer Eoin McMahon (IRL) experienced his first WEF victory as he and Chacon 2, owned by Beerbaum Stables, emerged unbeatable.
The Adequan® WEF Challenge Cup was the only event of the day held on the grass track and 58 top horse-and-rider combinations showed up to compete over Oscar Soberon’s (USA) first-round course. Halfway through, only nine pairings were set to advance to the jump-off, including the likes of Shane Sweetnam (IRL), Margie Engle (USA), and the previous day’s $37,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m Classic winner, Daniel Coyle (IRL). By the first round’s end, six more entries had joined with a clear trip, making a total of 15 set to see their way around the short course.
Egypt’s Nayel Nassar was the first of the comeback field to execute a second clear round with Coronado but Katie Dinan (USA) only allowed for a short reprieve before stealing the lead with Dijon Terdoorn Z. Daniel Coyle (IRL) continued the streak by knocking over three seconds off of Dinan’s time to land on 42.58 seconds with Oak Grove’s Carlyle.
Coyle ultimately finished out the event in the fourth-place position as Erynn Ballard (CAN), Samuel Hutton (GBR), and McMahon all continued to find areas to shave off time. As one of the final few on to the field, McMahon and Chacon 2 closed all possible gaps and crossed the timers in a blazing 40.29 seconds.
“He is a really special horse. I think he is honestly my best horse,” described McMahon of the 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Chacco Blue x Alonie Z. “We did the European Championships last year and were in the top 10, but with all the cancellations in Europe we decided to be a presence here this year.”
The win is the first of its kind for McMahon who has never previously attended a WEF circuit.
“It is amazing here,” he expressed. “The facilities are top class, and I have never seen a surface as good as the grass here. The horses just fly on it. Our original plan was not to compete this particular horse until the five-star weeks, but I decided to do him this week simply because I wanted a chance to jump on this field.”
Hutton followed McMahon in the lap of honor after piloting H&M Kirlo Van Den Bosrand, Abdel Saïd’s 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Cardento 933 x Enotrilla Van Den Bosrand), to two fault-free rounds in 42.25 seconds. Erynn Ballard put Canada on the leaderboard by rounding out the top three with Ilan Ferder and Esperanza Imports’s 10-year-old Selle Francais mare (Kannan x Contender) Comedy De Talma with a final time of 42.41 seconds.
Source: press release Palm Beach International Equestrian Centre
Photo: press release Palm Beach International Equestrian Centre / ©Sportfot