Lamaze Continues Hot Streak at the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival

Winter Equestrian Festival

Lamaze Continues Hot Streak at the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival

PalmBeachWinterEquestrianFestivalWellington, FL – January 16, 2015 – The 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) continued on Friday with the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge featured in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. Continuing his top form throughout the first two weeks of the circuit, Canada’s Eric Lamaze raced to victory aboard Artisan Farms LLC’s Fine Lady 5 over teammate Tiffany Foster and Artisan Farms‘ Melody des Hayettes Z.

Eric Lamaze and Fine Lady 5. © Sportfot

Sponsored by Wellington Equestrian Realty, the week’s competition continues through Sunday, January 18, featuring the $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix CSI 2* on Saturday, January 17. The „Saturday Night Lights“ event will stream live online beginning at 7 p.m. on The Chronicle of the Horse website at

The Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Series will also get underway with its first two competitions of the circuit this week. The $10,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Welcome will be held on Saturday, January 17. The $25,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix, presented by Equine Couture/Tuff Rider, will be held on Sunday, January 18. WEF features 12 weeks of world-class competition through March 29, awarding over $8.2 million in prize money.

Luc Musette of Belgium set the track for Friday’s Speed Challenge with 75 starters and 12 clear rounds. Ireland’s Richie Moloney took an early lead with Equinimity LLC’s Carina in 70.55 seconds and eventually finished sixth. About 30 rounds later, Venezuela’s Emanuel Andrade and Nokia de Brekka upped the ante in 66.36 seconds and ended up third. Darragh Kenny (IRL) immediately followed with the fifth place time of 67.99 seconds aboard Eva Castegren’s Cicomein VDL.

Tiffany Foster came along several rounds further and briefly took the lead in 64.86 seconds with Melody des Hayettes Z, but settled for second in the end. Julie Welles (USA) then jumped into fourth place aboard Missy Clark and Stephex Stables‘ Twan in 66.71 seconds. With three left to go, Eric Lamaze breezed through the course aboard Fine Lady 5 to knock out the competition in 62.64 seconds to earn his fourth major win of the early season.

Things got off to a great start for Lamaze with a win in the very first class of the WEF circuit, an $8,000 1.45m speed competition, with Check Picobello Z. He then topped back-to-back WEF Challenge Cup classes in weeks one and two aboard Rosana du Park.

Lamaze spoke recently about how great his up-and-coming horses are this season in addition to his more experienced mounts such as Fine Lady 5. The 12-year-old Hanoverian mare (Forsyth x Drosselklang II) came out for the first time on Wednesday after a nice rest, and Lamaze noted that she felt fresh and ready to go for the winning round on Friday. With lots of experience and wins all over the world, including a standout first season with Lamaze in 2014, the class was really just a nice school for the speedy mare in preparation for next week.

„Fine Lady had a great year last year,“ Lamaze detailed after his win. „Artisan Farms bought her really as a 1.50m speed horse and she ended up doing way more. She was third in Chantilly in the Global Champions Tour. She jumped incredible most places and she is going to be my lead horse here for the next two weeks, for next week and the World Cup week, so she is definitely more than we bought.“

„She felt great today,“ Lamaze acknowledged. „She (will compete in) the WEF (Challenge Cup) and the grand prix (next week), and I am away on Wednesday, so this was her last class before I put her in the WEF. Normally in a show, I would always do a speed class the first day and then a big class, so this was kind of her speed class prior to that. Normally I wouldn’t necessarily run her in a class like this, but because I am missing Wednesday, I thought this would be a good opportunity for her. She likes going fast, and it is good for her to go fast before jumping a bigger class.“

Commenting on his winning round, Lamaze explained, „I didn’t watch anybody to be honest. I think a lot of people are just schooling their horses in these classes, but for me that was the way of schooling her, was to go fast. I didn’t even walk the fast track, I just know her well and I know the speed that she has to carry to start feeling comfortable. She gets a little bit aggressive herself at the fences. She is like a race car. She is just so quick.“

Lamaze also praised another great track from Musette, stating, „Luc is doing a great job all week long. I think this was a speed course that was nice to school a horse, but also educational if you were moving up a young horse. I think the courses have been great. These classes are really for a younger horse to move up, an older horse to prep himself, and some really have legit 1.40m speed horses that they decide to compete, so it opens the door for all kinds of horses.“

Musette concluded the day with a $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m jump-off class with 58 starters and 15 qualifying for the jump-off. Molly Ashe-Cawley (USA) and Louisburg Farm’s Balous Day Date were the winners with the fastest of six double clear rounds in 38.95 seconds. Laura Chapot (USA) finished second in 39.14 seconds riding Mary Chapot’s Umberto.

Say When and Danielle Baran Unbeatable in Triple Crown Blankets Adult Amateur Hunters 36-49
Traveling from Toronto, Canada, Danielle Baran and her horse Say When were the WEF 2 Triple Crown Blankets Adult Amateur Hunter 36-49 champions. Baran rode Say When to four over fences victories over the two days of competition.

Danielle Baran and Say When. © Sportfot

Reserve Champion honors went to Ashley Whitner and her own Larkspur. The combination was second in three of the four over fences classes.

Baran bought Say When as he was turning four years old, after trainer Chris Sorensen felt it would be a good fit. „We [Baran and Sorensen] brought him [Say When] along from scratch and he’s been really great because we have put all the miles on him ourselves, and I’ve been able to get used to him over time“ Baran explained.

Danielle Baran and Say When during their price giving ceremony©

The time Baran and Sorensen put into Say When has paid off. Earning championship honors in the Adult Amateur Hunters for the second week in a row, Say When is proving he was worth the wait. Say When has also had success in professional divisions. In 2014, Say When competed in the USHJA/WCHR Peter Wetherill Hunter Spectacular and was the Canadian Hunter Derby Champion.

While shining in the show ring, Say When also loves being in the spotlight at home. „Say When is a total ham. (He) can’t get enough kisses and cookies,“ Baran smiled. „We have been careful not to spoil him too much to make sure he still does his job in the ring.“

Already off to a great start, Baran is looking forward to the remaining weeks. Baran hopes to work her way up to the Amateur-Owner Hunter division later in the season as well as watching Say When in some of the hunter derbies. „He [Say When] will dabble in the professional divisions and do some of the derbies,“ Sorensen commented.

Avoiding the cold winter in Canada, Baran is living in Wellington with her four horses for the rest of the season. Currently Baran is competing with three of her horses in the Adult Amateur Hunters and helping bring along another young one. „It’s a full time job,“ Baran laughed about her busy horse schedule.

Week two of the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival continues on Saturday with the $10,000 Artisan Farms Under 25 Grand Prix Welcome in the morning and the $50,000 Wellington Equestrian Realty Grand Prix CSI 2* in the evening beginning at 7 p.m. Hunter action continues in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring with the FarmVet Amateur-Owner Hunter 3’3″ 36 and Over. For full results and more information, please visit

Final Results: $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge
1. FINE LADY 5 – ERIC LAMAZE 0/62.646
4. TWAN – JULIE WELLES 0/66.717

Source: Press release