WINTER EQUESTRIAN FESTIVAL
JANUARY - APRIL 2017
- U.S. Eventing Team rider Boyd Martin creates history by securing third consecutive title at the Land Rover Wellington Eventing Showcase
- Clean sweep for U.S. Eventing riders as Buck Davidson and Doug Payne take second and third place respectively
(WELLINGTON, FLORIDA) – February 4, 2017 – Defending champion, Boyd Martin riding Welcome Shadow, clinched a superb victory to secure a historic third consecutive title with a score of 27.9 in the Land Rover Wellington Eventing Showcase held in Week Four of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Fellow U.S. rider Buck Davidson took second place riding his bay mare, Petite Flower, on a score of 30.9, with Doug Payne (USA) climbing four places in the cross-country to finish third riding Vandiver on a score of 34.2.
The glamorous setting of Wellington, Florida (Palm Beach County) attracted equestrian’s most talented eventers who competed under clear blue skies and the Florida sunshine for two days of intense competition all vying for the $100,000 prize money on offer. Sir Mark Todd (NZL) and Great Britain's William Fox-Pitt were included in the strong line-up but it was USA's Marilyn little and RF Scandalous who rose to the top of the leader board at the end of day one following the dressage phase, with an impressive score of 24.9. The overnight standings were incredibly tight with just four penalties separating the top six riders.
Marilyn little continued her good form in the show jumping phase steering RF Scandalous around the course, set by Richard Jefferies, to a stunning clear round and within the time. But defending champion Boyd Martin made sure to keep the pressure on, producing a flawless round on his grey mare, Welcome Shadow, sitting just 1.4 penalties behind the leader as they entered the final cross-country phase.
THE FINAL PHASE
The cross-country course, built by world renowned designer Captain Mark Phillips, proved to be challenging with only two riders going under the optimum time of 3 minutes and 59 seconds. The technical course also included a unique phase with the final jump being placed inside the VIP hospitality tent, much to the delight of the packed spectators.
An unfortunate run-out and fall for Marilyn Little riding her first horse, RF Demeter, resulted in her withdrawal from the competition paving the way for defending champion, Boyd Martin, to move into first place ahead of his final round. The pressure was building as Buck rode under the optimum time keeping his score of 30.9 and closing the gap on the leaders. A small mistake from Alison Springer resulted in a run-out at fence 17 for Arthur and took them out of contention.
This left the door open for Boyd and Welcome Shadow. However the unforgiving nature of the cross-country phase meant one mistake could see the world-class combination slip down the rankings. In a nail biting finish Boyd held his nerve through the Land Rover Offset obstacle and galloped passed the packed crowds to victory. Finishing just two seconds over the optimum time, the pair received 0.8 of a time penalty and Boyd claimed his unprecedented third consecutive Land Rover Wellington Eventing Showcase title and the $33,000 winner's prize money.
Boyd commented on his hat-rick of titles: "It was really great to win the Land Rover Eventing Showcase here in Wellington. It is such a privilege to be here and be part of this great event. I have a wonderful horse in Welcome Shadow, we had some of the best riders in the world here and was the toughest competition yet so I am really pleased."
Helen McDonald, Events and Partnerships Manager, Jaguar Land Rover North America LLC spoke of this year's event, "Its been a great weekend of competition and the riders who came from far and wide did not disappoint! Land Rover is proud to once again support such a wonderful event and we congratulate Boyd Martin and Welcome Shadow on his third straight win at the Land Rover Wellington Eventing Showcase."
Eight-time Olympian, Sir Mark Todd spoke of his first experience at the Land Rover Wellington Eventing Showcase: "It's great to be here, the facilities are incredible and the location is so unique. It's an amazing platform for us to showcase the sport of eventing to a new audience and events like this will only help us to grow the sport."
The Winter Equestrian Festival is held over 12 weeks, from January to April and welcomes riders from 43 countries and 50 U.S. states, and creates a new platform and format of Eventing.
Along with the Land Rover Wellington Eventing Showcase, world-class show jumping also featured during Week 4, with highlights including, the Great Charity Challenge, presented by Fidelity Investments®, benefiting local Palm Beach County charities.
NICK SKELTON - LAND ROVER AMBASSADOR
Show Jumping Olympic Gold Medalist and Land Rover Ambassador, Nick Skelton, said, "WEF has everything, it has always been great for show jumping and dressage and now with the introduction of the Land Rover Wellington Eventing Showcase, it is a great way for the Event riders to showcase the sport to a new audience."
Land Rover had its full line-up of vehicles on display including the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Range Rover Evoque, Discovery Sport and the recently debuted 2017 Land Rover Discovery. The all-new Land Rover Discovery SUV features unparalleled versatility, seating for seven adults and offers very unique optional activity features including Advanced Tow Assist*, which makes the task of towing a trailer as simple as possible and makes full use of the new Discovery vehicle’s towing capacity of up to 8,201 lbs.
To learn more about the Winter Equestrian Festival and the Wellington Eventing Showcase please visit: www.pbiec.com
* These systems are not a substitute for driving safely with due care and attention and will not function under all circumstances, speeds, weather and road conditions, etc. Driver should not assume that these systems will correct errors of judgment in driving. Please consult the owner’s manual or your local authorized Land Rover Retailer for more details.”
About Land Rover
Founded in 1948, Land Rover designs, engineers, and manufactures its vehicles in the United Kingdom. For almost 70 years the brand has built a reputation for providing its clientele with some of the most luxurious and capable vehicles in the world; whether driving through the heart of the city or traversing the countryside on- and off-road. Today's Land Rover lineup includes the Discovery (LR4) and Discovery Sport; Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Evoque. Land Rover is fully engaged with sustainability initiatives and social concerns with continuous involvement in environmental and community programs. For more information, visit the official Land Rover website at www.landroverusa.com.
About Jaguar Land Rover
Jaguar Land Rover is the UK’s largest automotive manufacturer, built around two iconic British car brands: Land Rover, the world’s leading manufacturer of premium all-wheel-drive vehicles; and Jaguar, one of the world’s premier luxury sports sedan and sports car marques.
The company employs almost 38,000 people globally, with 330 in the U.S. and supports around 275,000 more through our dealerships, suppliers and local businesses. Manufacturing is centered in the UK, with additional plants in China, Brazil, India and Slovakia.
At Jaguar Land Rover we are driven by a desire to create class-leading products that deliver great customer experiences. The largest investor in R&D in the UK manufacturing sector, we have invested £12 billion (USD$15.7 billion) in the last five years and in the current year alone will spend over £3 billion (USD$3.9 billion) on new product creation and capital expenditure. Last year Jaguar Land Rover sold 487,065 vehicles in 160 countries, with more than 80 percent of our vehicles produced in the UK being sold abroad.
The 38th annual Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) returns to the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, for 12 weeks of world-class equestrian competition on January 11 through April 2, 2017. The largest and longest-running equestrian circuit in the world, WEF awards over $9 million in prize money. WEF hosts more than 70 different divisions for competitors of every level in the hunter, jumper, and equitation disciplines, from leadline to Olympic-level show jumping. Children, juniors, adults, amateurs, and professional riders of every age, from 43 countries and 50 U.S. states, bring more than 6,500 horses and ponies to participate in events at PBIEC throughout the winter season.