The first FEI week of the 2023 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) season ended with the CHF37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic in the international Ring on Sunday, January 15. Jad Dana (LBN) won the day aboard After Eight as the sun set over Wellington International.
Nick Granat (USA) designed a tricky twelve-obstacle course with a time allowed of 72 seconds. Fifty-nine riders vied for a clear round to take them into the jump-off. Only ten pairs managed to make it to the second round. In the end, it was Dana,27, and his super mare, After Eight, a 2010 Swedish Warmblood (Diarado x Cardento), owned by Springhill Farm with the quickest time of 37.70 seconds. Right behind Dana came Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Out Of The Blue SCF in 39.58 seconds for owner Spy Coast Farm.
“She’s amazing and she’s been in top form; she won a grand prix two weeks ago and then she came out, was great in the first round and even better jump-off,” said Dana of the mount he has had a little over a year. “That was so fun to ride, and she makes it fun.”
Dana spoke about his unique training program at home with After Eight, saying, “She’s a very complicated horse in the way she goes, but we have figured her out and our program at home is extremely simple. She’s an incredible jumper; she has her own way of going and we don’t actually try to change her, we work with her.
“It’s a really simple program, we don’t really jump school at home,” continued Dana. “When we have a show, we might jump a tiny bit the week before. She doesn’t do any heavy flat work or any heavy work, it’s all simple. We try to keep her fit and comfortable, happy and feeling good and that’s why she can do what she does.”
Dana and After Eight were matched by his trainer and U.S. Olympic team gold medalist Leslie Howard. Of the match, Dana said, “She gave her to me to ride and it was a great partnership. Then her owners, Springhill Farm, bought her for me to ride and keep. I’m extremely thankful for that.”
Rounding out the podium behind Dana and Sweetnam, Thaisa Erwin (AUS) left the jumps intact, but picked up two time faults with Vanturo, owned by Michael and Wendy Smith.
source: Press Release