Jad Dana Doubles Down During WEF 8

Jad Dana Doubles Down During WEF 8

Lebanon’s Jad Dana and Fleur-De-Lis’ Cherie brought plenty of excitement to the International Arena on Friday as they captured the $39,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty CSIO4* 1.45m Classic.

From a field of forty-six, only nine horses jumped clear, though the pair that could not be caught was Dana and his 2012 Dutch Sport Horse mare (Clarimo x Lancer II) owned by The Cherie Group. They crossed the timers in the one-round speed format in 64.57 seconds, putting almost three seconds between them and second place finisher Lacey Gilbertson (USA) riding Seabrook, LLC’s Damzelle STE Hermelle. They broke the timers in 67.01 seconds. Lastly, third place went to Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Legacy, owned by Ariel Grange clocking in at 67.19 seconds.

“I went early in the order, so I didn’t know how fast everybody was going to go, but I had a plan and sometimes I like it that way when you make a plan and just stick to it,” said Dana. “I tried to go as fast as I could and keep her jumping well. I did what I had to do and I think I put enough pressure on everyone. Rails were falling all over the place I think because some people were trying to go too fast.”

“Cherie” is a sales horse partly owned by Dana’s family and trainer Leslie Howard, who gave him the ride a year ago. “I was thrilled with how hard she tried today. She really was spot on, looking for the next jump and everything showed up the way that I wanted it to. I’m very happy to finish on top today.”

Dana was pulling double duty on Friday with a win in the big ring as well as in the Lövsta Future Challenge 7-year-old Developing Jumper division. He bested a 39-horse field of up-and-coming talent aboard the promising young mount Qadira.

Twelve pairs went on to fault-free rounds across both tracks. Dana and the Burr Associates, Inc.’s Belgian Warmblood mare (Diktator van de Boslandhoeve) however, were the fastest of the contenders and the only ones to stop the clock under 31 seconds with a finishing time of 30.67, also earning them the champion title for the week.

“Our young horse program is incredibly important to us because they are the future,” he explained. “This series with the final during WEF 10 gives us the same motivation and goals with our young horses as much as our grand prix horses. The final, for all intents and purposes, is a grand prix of a different level, and our goal throughout the season is to be able to qualify for it – and then hopefully win it!”

Sara Sturges rounded out the top three as she and Sarah Sturges, LLC’s Labyrinth landed less than half a second behind Burr-Howard in 31.67 seconds.