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March 4, 2013

Find Out Who Was Fastest In The Omega Alpha Weekend Wrap-Up For March 4

Blue Angel wore winner's blue after Kent Farrington piloted her to the top of the $150,000 CSIO**** Grand Prix at FTI WEF. Photo by Mollie Bailey

If you weren’t watching the $150,000 CSIO Grand Prix either in person or on USEF Network, you missed out. The jump-off turned into one of the hottest speed duels possible, with just .06 seconds separating the top five riders. (see results

Kent Farrington and his new ride Blue Angel flew to the win—read all about it in Mollie Bailey’s coverage for the Chronicle. The class capped an intense week of international competition at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (see results), where not only did the United States win the Furusiyya National Cup, but juniors, young riders and children’s divisions also went head-to-head in Nations Cups.

Riders celebrated former U.S. chef
d'equipe George Morris.
Photo by Mollie Bailey

The competition at the FTI WEF paused for a moment on the evening of March 2 for an emotional retirement ceremony for former U.S. chef d'equipe George Morris. He entered the International Arena through a gauntlet of applauding former students, team members and proteges.

Top competition shared the headlines with EHV-1 as more positive test results related to the HITS Ocala (Fla.) showgrounds cropped up during the week. See all of the Chronicle’s EHV-1 coverage for the latest news.

The eventing world was rocked by the news of French veteran rider Bruno Bouvier’s death after a rotational fall at the Borroca d’Alva CIC** in Portugal.

U.S. eventers faced heightened biosecurity measures at events in the Southeast due to the EHV-1 outbreak, but they turned out at the Rocking Horse Winter 3 Horse Trials (see results), the Sporting Days Farm Horse Trials (S.C.) (see results), Twin Rivers Winter Horse Trials (Calif.) (see results), and the Meadow Creek Park Spring Social Horse Trials (Texas) (see results). The only place advanced horses stretched their legs was at Twin Rivers, and Hawley Bennett-Awad rode her 2012 London Olympic Games mount Gin & Juice to the top of that division over the ever-consistent James Alliston on Tivoli.

Also on the West Coast, 2012 Rolex FEI World Cup Final winners Flexible and Rich Fellers showed their’ on the hunt to defend their title, winning the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix and placing third in the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix at the HITS Desert Circuit V in Thermal, Calif. (see results) “He’s coming back into the zone. He had a nice little run for fun there,” Fellers said. Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum claimed the blue in the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix on Malou. Young professional Taylor Ann Adams made her mark in the open hunter divisions, riding for Iwasaki & Reilly. She claimed the second year green championship on Small Celebration and the 3’6” performance hunter championship and reserve on Small Affair and Small Kiss.

Jared Peterson rode Titus 2:11 to a 
remarkable fourth grand prix victory 
at HITS Ocala.
Photo by ESI Photography

Even though the HITS Ocala showgrounds (Fla.) were under quarantine due to EHV-1, the show went on. And Jared Peterson continued an amazing streak of wins, taking both the $50,000 Ring Power Grand Prix and the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix with his father’s Titus 2:11. (see results) These are heady days indeed for the 20-year-old, who just started showing in grand prixs and has now won four of them in three weeks.

In dressage, the Palm Beach Dressage Derby saw Lars Peterson take top billing in the CDI Grand Prix and Grand Prix freestyle on Mariett. (see results) Mette Rosencrantz claimed the CDI Grand Prix Special on Finally (see results).

Other shows going on over the weekend included: HITS V Arizona Winter Festival (see results), Gulf Coast Mid-Winter IV (Miss.) (see results), March Madness I (S.C.) (see results), Virginia Intermont Classic (see results), and Old Salem Farm March (N.Y.) (see results).