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Men Make a Comeback in $75,000 Battle of the Sexes, Presented by Wellington Regional Medical Center

For Immediate Release
Lindsay Brock and Sabrina Brashares for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Wellington, FL – January 11, 2020 – The first “Saturday Night Lights” of the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) featured the crowd-favorite $75,000 Battle of the Sexes, presented by Wellington Regional Medical Center, which saw the Men’s team return to the top of the podium. Earlier in the day, Adrienne Sternlicht topped the $25,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic, and Inquisitive was named champion in the Small Junior 16-17 Hunters on Saturday, January 11, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.

Battle of the Sexes Guys by Sportfot_512_4012The winning men’s team with ringmaster Steve Rector and Administrator Diego Perilla, CEO Pam Tahan, Chair of Orthopedic Surgery Dr. Nicholas Sama, and Medical Director of Emergency Services Dr. Adam Bromberg of Wellington Regional Medical Center. Photo © Sportfot

WEF continues through March 29, 2020, with 12 consecutive weeks of world-class competition and $13 million dollars on offer. The first week of competition at WEF, sponsored by Wellington Regional Medical Center, concludes on Sunday, January 12, with the $75,000 Rosenbaum PLLC Grand Prix at 2 p.m. in the International Arena.

After unseating the women, who were the 2019 victors, the men’s team is picking up momentum in the Battle of the Sexes with their second win in the class in three years. The men pocketed their first-ever victory in 2018, and on Saturday night, in the second-to-last match race, Ireland’s Daniel Coyle sealed a win for his team with a final score of 29 to the women’s 23.

Daniel Coyle and Black Pearl by Sportfot_501_0817Daniel Coyle and Black Pearl. Photo © Sportfot

“The one thing that you get in these classes that you don’t always get in other classes is the crowd really enjoys it because it’s very easy for them to understand; the girl beats the guy, and that’s who wins it,” said Coyle of what he enjoys about the Battle of the Sexes.

Coyle was a last-minute add to the men’s team on a borrowed horse after his brother and teammate, Jordan Coyle, convinced him. “He told me we could win it this year, so he found me a horse,” said Daniel Coyle. “When I went in for the match race, Charlie said, ‘I don’t have to go if you can win it!’ That’s the last thing that you want to hear, but I can only say good things about this horse [Black Pearl], and thankfully we won it!”

Screen Shot 2020-01-11 at 10.34.45 PMWatch Daniel Coyle and Taylor Land’s match race. Courtesy of Richard’s Equine Videos

After the opening speed round, the women were ahead six to four with Jessica Mendoza (GBR) posting the fastest time for her team in 51.38 seconds. Despite being behind on the scoreboard, Jordan Coyle (IRL) posted the fastest round of the night in a blistering 47.479 seconds.

The lead changed hands in the second phase, a relay, with the men winning the first two rounds to earn 10 points and take over the lead. But, competition was far from over after Hayley Iannotti (USA), Sydney Shulman (ISR), and Mendoza won three match races in a row. The win was too close to call until Daniel Coyle topped Taylor Land (USA) to propel the men to a 29 to 23 lead with only one three-point match remaining. With the guaranteed win, team captains Charlie Jayne (USA) and Nicole Belissimo (USA) elected not to return.

David Blake and Amanda Derbyshire Battle of the Sexes Match Race by Sportfot_512_3971David Blake and Amanda Derbyshire in their match race. Photo © Sportfot

Belissimo’s team consisted of Heather Caristo-Williams (USA), Amanda Derbyshire (GBR), Iannotti, Land, Mendoza, Gia Rinaldi (USA), Shulman, KC Van Aarem (USA), and Ali Wolff (USA). Jayne’s team was made up of David Blake (USA), Jonathan Corrigan (IRL), Christian Coyle (IRL), Daniel Coyle, Jordan Coyle, Harry Harding (GBR), Luis Larrazabal (VEN), Samuel Parot Jr. (CHI), and Michael Tokuruk (USA).

Battle of the Sexes by Sportfot_512_3772The Battle of the Sexes teams. Photo © Sportfot

“When choosing this year’s team, I went for young, fast, and international,” said Jayne. “We had a lot of different countries involved, and I thought it was great international sport. It was fast, it was exciting, and the crowd really got into it. In the end, it came down to the second-to-last rider, so it couldn’t have been much better.”

Screen Shot 2020-01-11 at 10.41.56 PMWatch a recap of the 2020 Battle of the Sexes, presented by Wellington Regional Medical Center. Courtesy of Richard’s Equine Videos


Adrienne Sternlicht Storms to Victory in $25,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic

Adrienne Sternlicht is kicking off her WEF season with a bang by earning a 1.45m win earlier in the week and again leading the victory gallop in the $25,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic on Saturday riding Cadans Z, owned by her own Starlight Farms 1 LLC.

Adrienne Sternlicht and Cadans Z by Sportfot 499_7139Adrienne Sternlicht and Cadans Z. Photo © Sportfot

From a field of 31, 10 horses advanced to an Eric Hasbrouck-designed jump-off track where Sternlicht stopped the clock in an uncatchable 36.769 seconds over her trainer and two-time U.S. Olympic team gold medalist McLain Ward. He and Heavenly W, owned by Portfolio Horses LLC, stopped the clock double clear in 38.026 seconds.

“At the end of last year, McLain was riding [Cadans Z], and this is my first week back on her. She’s a great mare, has a lot of quality, and today I was able to get out of her way,” said Sternlicht of her one-year history with the 10-year-old Zangersheide mare (Carosso VDL x Navarone). “She has not been the easiest horse for me to figure out. Having the experience of watching McLain ride any horse, especially one that you’ve been working with, is always incredibly educational.”

Screen Shot 2020-01-11 at 10.46.26 PMWatch Adrienne Sternlicht’s winning jump-off round with Cadans Z. Courtesy of Richard’s Equine Videos

Of her jump-off round, Sternlicht noted, “I think I won by a little bit of shock factor. Once I got going, I didn’t slow down. Today I don’t think was my prettiest, but my horse was really good to me.

“We come here to compete, so we have a full string of horses going,” continued Sternlicht. “For that reason, I think it is great that the new footing feels so fantastic. It is a huge improvement!”

Coming off a team gold medal at the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™, Sternlicht has tunnel vision for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, and is using WEF as preparation for her bid for the U.S. team.

“I think this year has the potential to be the most important year of my riding career,” she said. “I have the best group of horses that I’ve ever had. I’m very, very fortunate to have some depth in my string of grand prix horses. Last year I missed out on several Saturday night classes, so I’m very excited to be able to compete this WEF and to be able to enjoy all that the season has to offer.”

Adrienne Sternlicht and Cadans Z by Sportfot 499_7147Adrienne Sternlicht and Cadans Z in their winning presentation with Olga Hartsock and Vice President of Development  Tim Luby of CaptiveOne Advisors, and ringmaster Steve Rector. Photo © Sportfot

Canada’s Mario Deslauriers rounded out the top three in a time of 38.078 seconds riding Uris de la Roque, which he co-owns with Aram Ampagiumian LLC, while Samuel Parot, Jr. took fourth in 39.615 seconds aboard Buga Z, owned by Samuel Parot. Hector Florentino (DOM) capped the top five in 40.806 seconds riding Carjo Z, owned by Scott Head.

Also winning in the International Arena at WEF on Saturday, Charles Jacobs (USA) took top call in the $15,000 SJHOF High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic riding Cassinja S, owned by CMJ Sporthorses LLC, while Catalina Peralta (USA) and Wendy Peralta’s Conti won in the $1,500 High Junior Jumpers. Grace Debney (USA) closed out the day with a victory in the $1,500 Medium Junior Jumpers riding Darc Kiss Z for owner Temple Equestrian LLC.

Final Results: $25,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic

1 CADANS Z: 2009 Zangersheide mare by Carosso VDL x Navarone
ADRIENNE STERNLICHT (USA), Starlight Farms 1, LLC: 0/0/36.769

2 HEAVENLY W: 2012 KWPN gelding by Calvaro F.C. x Delia W
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Portfolio Horse LLC: 0/0/38.026

3 URIS DE LA ROQUE: 2008 Selle Français gelding by Capital x Quick Star
MARIO DELAURIERS (CAN), Aram Ampagoumian LLC & Mario Deslauriers: 0/0/38.078

4 BUGA Z: 2010 Zangersheide gelding by Chester Z x Quality Touch Z
SAMUEL PAROT JR (CHI), Samuel Parot: 0/0/39.615

5 CARJO Z: 2008 Zangersheide gelding by Calvinos x Chellano Z
HECTOR FLORENTINO (DOM), Scott Head: 0/0/40.806

6 SHIVER: 2005 Hanoverian gelding by Stakkato x Grannus
LIZA FINSNESS (USA), Lisa Finsness: 0/4/36.794

7 LINCOURT GINO: 2003 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Gino III x Graf Magna
ALEJANDRO KAROLYI (VEN), Monica Carrera: 0/4/37.081

8 QUIDAM MB: 2005 Oldenburg gelding by Quidam’s Rubin x Argentinus
ADRIENNE STERNLICHT (USA), Starlight Farms LLC: 0/4/38.708

9 VOLT DU THOT: 2009 Selle Français gelding by Mozart des Hayettes x Fusain du Defey
JOAO EDUARDO FERREIRA DE CARVALHO (BRA), Karina Rocha Mello: 0/8/39.706

10 VAGABON DE LA VALLEE: 2009 Selle Français gelding by Zandor Z x Rosire
CHRIS EWANOUSKI (USA), Cavalli Reale Stables LLC & Chris Ewanouski: 0/12/40.493

11 BOHEME DE LA ROQUE: 2011 Selle Français mare by Kannan x Medine d’Amaury
MARIE HECART (FRA), Eurl Top Stallions Company: 1/75.177

12 JEWEL LVP: 2009 BWP mare by Berlin x Contender
ERYNN BALLARD (CAN), Makim Holdings Inc.: 1/75.577

Stella Propp and Ellie Ferrigno Ride Inquisitive to Championship in the Small Junior 16-17 Hunters

Saturday morning in the Rost Arena began with Stella Propp riding Inquisitive to the Small Junior 16-17 Hunter championship. Ellie Ferrigno from Newtown, CT, had the ride for the first day of the division, earning two first places. On the second day, Propp, of New York, NY, took over and earned a fourth and fifth. Together, the two riders were able to pilot Inquisitive, owned by Aquitaine Equine, to the tri-color ribbon.

Stella Propp and Inquisitive by Sportfot 512_3009Stella Propp and Inquisitive. Photo © Sportfot

While Propp had to attend school on the first day of the Small Junior Hunter division, she was lucky enough to have Ferrigno step in.

“I have Ellie to thank for this weekend,” said Propp. “She is amazing and always there when we need her!”

Propp, trained by Brianne Goutal LLC, and Inquisitive are going into their second WEF season together, and Propp describes the gelding, who goes by “Inky” at the barn, as one of the most special horses she has had the chance to work with.

“He is so sweet and a little greedy at times, but that is because I spoil him,” said Propp.

The pair will continue to show in the Small Junior 16-17 Hunters throughout the season. “I definitely want to stay super consistent. I’m coming off of a great indoors season, and I want to continue that streak,” said Propp regarding her goals for WEF 2020. “The minute he walks into the ring I know that he wants to win, and you can tell in the way that he presents himself.”

Stella Propp and Inquisitive by Sportfot 512_3088Stella Propp and Inquisitive in the champion presentation. Photo © Sportfot

Aside from being competitive this circuit, Propp is also focused on the wellbeing of her horses, saying, “My first and foremost goal is always that all of my horses are happy and healthy, and I know I can trust my team at Brianne Goutal LLC.”

Mackenzie Altheimer of Wesley Chapel, FL, rode Escondido to reserve champion. Altheimer and Escondido, owned by ABA Hunter Ponies, earned a first, second, and third-place ribbons to secure the reserve title.

Photo Credit: Photos © Sportfot, Official Photographer of the Winter Equestrian Festival. These photos may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.

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