Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Cantano took out Saturday night’s $32,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Florida, beating out 25 other combinations.
Michel Vaillancourt set a challenging course and the pair completed the only clear round for the win, so no jump-off was necessary. Nine four-fault entries ranked in order of their times to follow.
Fellow German rider David Will and Giovanni 151, owned by Paul Schockemöhle, had the fastest four fault round in 69.84 seconds to place second. Great Britain’s Ben Maher took third place honors riding Mrs. Emma Phillips’ Quiet Easy 4 to four faults in 69.91 seconds and also placed fourth with Miss Louise Flower’s Rowan with four faults in 71.71. David McPherson put Great Britain in fifth place as well, earning four faults in 72.27 with his own and Mr & Mrs Holtger’s Chamberlain Z.
This was Michaels-Beerbaum’s second 1.50m win during the FTI WEF circuit after also topping a class with her veteran partner Checkmate 4 during week five. Cantano is a newer mount with lots of potential.
“This is a relatively new horse for me and our first win, so it was quite a big deal. He was outstanding tonight,” Michaels-Beerbaum said.
Canatano, owned by Octavia Farms, LLC, is a twelve-year-old Holsteiner stallion by Cascavelle x Acord.
“I got him in the fall of last year, so this is really my first big circuit with him,” she said. “He’s a stallion, so he can be feisty, but he has a great temperament. I think I’m starting to get to know him better. We are becoming a team. He won a lot before I got him in California, but this was a major step for him and I together.”
The pair has done well throughout the FTI WEF circuit building up to their victory. “This is one of the hardest circuits in the world,” Michaels-Beerbaum said. “He received some good ribbons early in the circuit. He was fourth in the two-star grand prix the second week and third in the WEF Challenge Cup during week three. Then we went through an adjustment period where I was trying out different bits, figuring out his mouth a little bit. I feel that now we have made a big step forward.”
Michaels-Beerbaum has had a couple of firsts in her prestigious career during this year’s FTI WEF. During week eight’s $75,000 FEI Nations Cup Presented by G&C Farm, she was the anchor rider for her German team and did not have to return in the second round after it was determined that the team could not be beaten. The clear in Saturday night’s class was her first time winning a classic with the only clear round and no jump-off.
“I thought the course was difficult when I walked it; it was a real test. I found it was a great achievement for my horse and I together. To have a clear round over this type of course was a big step up for us in the right direction.”
Also showing in the International Arena, it was a one-two finish for Kira Kerkorian in the $1,500 Reist Industries Medium Junior Jumper speed class to begin the day. Kerkorian rode Ballypatrick Mystique to the win and finished second aboard Malcolm, both horses owned by Lisa Kerkorian.
Charlotte Jacobs and Deeridge Farm’s Kachina then topped the $10,000 Griffis Group High Junior Jumper Classic. Jacobs and Kachina were the fastest of four double clears in a jump-off of eight competitors in the class, and they also came away with a $3,000 bonus for wearing SSG ‘Digital’ gloves with the SSG horse head logo clearly visible. Jacobs also took the fourth place honors with North Star’s Karonda V. Schl’Hof CH. Lillie Keenan and Abigail Wexner’s Zycarla Z were second; Lydia Ulrich and Up the Creek Farm’s Santos Utopia finished third.
The final class of the day session was the $15,000 SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Classic, which saw a win for Kelsey Thatcher and Pony Lane Farm’s Klotaire Du Moulin. The pair had the fastest of four clear rounds in a six horse jump-off. Vanessa Mannix and Nirvana De Terlong finished second; Katie Dinan and Grant Road Partners’ Sandro were third.
Results: $32,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic
1. CANTANO: 2000 Holsteiner stallion by Cascavelle x Acord MEREDITH MICHAELS-BEERBAUM (GER), Octavia Farms LLC: 0/78.26
2. GIOVANNI 151: 1999 Hanoverian stallion by Graf Grannus x Graf Remus DAVID WILL (GER), Paul Schockemohle: 4/69.84
3. QUIET EASY 4: 2004 Oldenburg gelding by Quidams Rubin x Zapateado BEN MAHER (GBR), Mrs. Phillips: 4/69.91
4. ROWAN: 2003 stallion by Animo BEN MAHER (GBR), Miss Louise Flower: 4/71.71
5. CHAMBERLAIN Z: 2001 Zangersheide gelding by Chellano Z x Peter Pan DAVID MCPHERSON (GBR), David McPherson & M/M Holtgers: 4/72.27
6. MAKAVOY: 2003 KWPN gelding by Hors La Loi II x Ahorn JONATHAN ASSELIN (CAN), Attache Stables: 4/75.08
7. WATCH ME VD MANGELAAR: 2003 KWPN gelding by Heartbreaker x Wolfgang MATT WILLIAMS (AUS), Samantha Tuerk: 4/75.85
8. KING KOLIBRI: 2002 Hanoverian stallion by Kolibri x Achill-Libero H LAUREN TISBO (USA), Tequestrian Farms LLC: 4/76.21
9. HELLO SAILOR: 1999 KWPN gelding by Kigali x Indoctro TINA FLETCHER (GBR), Lady P. Harris & Lady P. Kirkham: 4/77.67
10. AMOR VAN DE ROSTAL: 2000 BWP gelding by Peter Pan x Nimmerdor 147 MAC CONE (CAN), Chadburn Holdings Inc: 4/78.68
11. VADELINE: 2002 KWPN mare by Placido x Orthos SCOTT SMITH (GBR), Mrs. Judith Studd: 8/73.74
12. VOSKE: 2002 KWPN mare by Hors La Loi II x Holland TIM GREDLEY (GBR), Mrs. R. Gredley: 8/75.10