Canada’s Sam Walker 3rd with Coralissa

The Derby field at Equestrian Village (home to the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival) wrapped up its third day of action in week four with the $73,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI4*. It was Swiss rider Martin Fuchs – ranked number-one in the world and the 2019 victor of the same class – who commanded both first and second place in the class. He claimed the winner’s rug riding Willow Grace Farm’s eye-catching gray 11-year-old Califax gelding Silver Shine and took second on the 12-year-old Stakkatol gelding Stalando 2, picking up prize-money of more than $38,000 in the process.

WEF continues through March 29, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida, with 12 consecutive weeks of world-class competition and $13 million dollars on offer. The fourth week of competition at WEF, sponsored by Marshall & Sterling Insurance/Great American Insurance Group and recognized as a CSI4* by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), runs January 29 through February 2. Highlights include the $214,000 Marshall & Sterling Insurance/Great American Insurance Group Grand Prix CSI4* at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Equestrian Village. The Great Charity Challenge, presented by Fidelity Investments® will take place during “Saturday Night Lights” at 7 p.m. in the International Arena.

Ten of the 40 starters qualified for the jump-off, with four of those also going clear in the second round over Brazilian course designer Anderson Lima’s track on the immaculate palm tree-lined grass Derby field. Fuchs and Silver Shine’s time of 46.74 seconds proved unassailable, while he clocked 47.06 seconds on Stalando. Sam Walker (CAN) finished third on Coralissa in 48.45 seconds, while fourth-placed Jose Antonio Chedraui Prom (MEX) recorded the only other double clear, in 54.33 seconds, riding Aymara Des Bergeries.

Fuchs, who is at WEF for the whole season before returning to his base near Zurich in Switzerland, said, “I had a good plan for this week. My grand prix horse Silver Shine only did the first day, then I didn’t do the WEF qualifier yesterday on him and I did this class today so that he gets two more rounds before the grand prix [on Saturday]. He jumped fantastically in both rounds today, and Stalando did too.”

Of Silver Shine, who he has been riding for a year, Fuchs added, “He’s a sensitive, insecure horse, and I always have to give him a lot of confidence. He can be a bit shy and spooky, but he’s very careful and always tries. He has a lot of ability and can jump all the big fences. He was good in Aachen, in Spruce and in Barcelona; he really likes the big rings.”

The Derby field at Equestrian Village is no exception, and 27-year-old Fuchs relished the chance to perform in this arena too. “I already jumped two classes on this field this week, and I really like riding in it,” added Fuchs, who is visiting WEF for the fourth time, but only the second as a competitor. “The footing is perfect and the warm-up is insane – huge, with perfect footing – the best I’ve ever been on. You barely needs studs; it’s fantastic, and it’s my favorite place to ride here in WEF.”

Second-placed horse Stalando, owned by Polishman Gospodarstwo Rolne Andrzej Oplatek, is a relatively new ride for Fuchs, and this was only their third show together. Fuchs aims to contest some of the four-star grand prix and five-star qualifiers this season, although the horse may be destined to be sold before the season is out.

Final Results $73,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI4*

1. SILVER SHINE: 2009 Oldenburg gelding by Califax x Balou du Rouet

MARTIN FUCHS (SUI), Willow Grace Farm: 0/0/46.74

2. STALANDO 2: 2008 Oldenburg gelding by Stakkatol x Lando

MARTIN FUCHS (SUI), Gospodarstwo Rolne Andrzej Oplatek: 0/0/47.06

3. CORALISSA: 2010 Holsteiner mare by Com Air x Corrado I

SAM WALKER (CAN), Marbill Hill Farm: 0/0/48.45

4. AYMARA DES BERGERIES: 2006 Belgian Sport Horse mare by Canturo x Cavalier Royale

JOSE ANTONIO CHEDRAUI PROM (MEX), Jose Antonio Chedraui Eguia: 0/0/54.33

5. ESSENAR CRIXUS: 2010 ISH gelding by Luidam x ARD VDL Douglas

JORDAN COYLE (IRL), Elan Farm: 0/4/45.17

6. HOCUS POCUS DE MUZE: 2007 Belgian Warmblood by Tinka’s Boy x For Pleasure

HARRIE SMOLDERS (NED), Evergate Stable, LLC: 0/4/47.61

7. BABALOU 41: 2005 Oldenburg mare by Balou du Rouet x Silvio I

DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), Jack Snyder: 0/8/48.43

8. EXCELLENT B: 2009 KWPN gelding by Berlin x Heartbreaker

CIAN O’CONNOR (IRL), NW Stables, LP: 0/8/50.24

9. COCO BONGO: 2005 Rheinlander gelding by Caretino x Calido

ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Artisan Farms, LLC: 0/9/62.67

10. CASSINI MIRAFLORES: 2008 Holsteiner gelding by Cassini II x Come On

LUIS LARRAZABAL (VEN), Juan Carlos Morsdadt: 0/19/64.86

11. QUIET EASY 4: 2004 Oldenburg gelding by Quidam’s Rubin x Zapateado. BERTRAM ALLEN (IRL), Ballywalter Stables: 4/79.09

12. GRAFTON: 2006 Selle Français gelding by Calvaro x Vondeen

HYDE MOFFATT (CAN), Ariel Grange: 4/79.49