17 Mar Zerly Wins in Wellington
March 17, 2013
Zerly Wins in Wellington
Christine McCrea and Candy Tribble’s Zerly beat an all-star international field in Thursday’s $125,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 9 during the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival’s (FTI WEF) CSI-W 5* week. McCrea and the nine-year old KWPN mare Zerly (Querlybet Hero out of Carthagena Z by Carthago, breeder M.M.A. Everse from Waddinxveen) won the largest portion of prize money in the richest purse ever offered in the 24-year history of the WEF Challenge Cup series over Olympic Gold Medalists Nick Skelton and ‘KWPN Horse of the Year’ Big Star (Quick Star out of Jolanda sport-spr by Nimmerdor, breeder C.T. Klaver from Schoorl). Germany’s Daniel Deusser and Cornet d’Amour finished third.
Steve Stephens of Palmetto, FL, is the course designer in the International Arena at PBIEC for week nine. In Thursday’s Challenge Cup competition, Stephens saw 84 entries jump his first round course and 31 competitors make it through to the jump-off. Twenty-eight riders representing six different countries returned for the tiebreaker after three entries opted out of the final round.
Christine McCrea and Zerly raced to the win in 31.10 seconds, the fastest of 14 double clear rounds. The top five places were all separated by hundredths of a second. Placing second, Nick Skelton and Beverly Widdowson’s Big Star finished in 31.25 seconds. Daniel Deusser and Cornet d’Amour, owned by Stephex Stables and Pedro Veniss, clocked in at 31.43 seconds to place third. Daniel Bluman (COL) and Sancha LS completed the course in 31.44 seconds for fourth place honors and Laura Kraut (USA) and Cherry Knoll Farm, Inc.’s Cedric were right behind them in 31.46 seconds to finish fifth.
Nick Skelton and Big Star were holding on to the lead in the jump-off when McCrea and Zerly entered the ring and just edged out their time. “I saw Nick go in the jump-off and I thought there was no way I could beat him, but she is very fast,” McCrea acknowledged. “I have no idea how I made the time. I flew from one to two. That is the only thing. The rest I am not really sure.”
In addition to the winning check for $37,500 for the class, McCrea was also presented with $6,000 for the SSG “Go Clean for the Green” promotion. A $3,000 bonus is offered each week if the winning rider of the Challenge Cup class is wearing the SSG ‘Digital’ Riding Gloves in all rounds of competition with the SSG logo clearly visible. The bonus went unclaimed during week eight, so McCrea won two weeks’ worth of bonus money. Zerly was also honored with the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award.