Canada’s Mario Deslauriers 3rd with Amsterdam 27

Swiss rider Martin Fuchs showed why he is ranked number two in the world with a win aboard Stalando 2 in Thursday’s $137,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 7 CSI5* at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

WEF continues at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) through March 29, 2020, 12 consecutive weeks of world-class competition and $13 million dollars on offer. The seventh week of competition, sponsored by Lugano Diamonds, runs February 19-23 and is recognized as a CSI5* and CSI2* by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI). The featured event of the week is the $401,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI5* during “Saturday Night Lights”.

Fuchs and Stalando 2 were one of 49 entries to contest Thursday’s featured class, and the duo was one of 13 combinations to jump the first-round track without fault to qualify for Spain’s Santiago Varela-designed short course.

When Fuchs entered the ring as the penultimate rider, the time to beat had been set at 40.75 seconds by Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire and Luibanta BH, owned by Gochman Sport Horses LLC.

With his spot in the order on his side and with strides left out throughout the course aboard Stalando 2, Fuchs shot straight to the top of the leaderboard with a double-clear time of 40.69 seconds.

“I watched all the riders before me,” said Fuchs. “I planned to do a stride less from one to two, which I did, and then also through the double, I saw Daniel Bluman leave out a stride. I tried to do the same as he did. Everything worked out very well. To the last fence, I pulled once and it scared me a bit that I wouldn’t have the time! I’m very happy with this.”

Fuchs’s time with Stalando 2 would relegate Derbyshire to second, while third place with a time of 41.28 seconds went to the final rider to return, Canada’s Mario Deslauriers riding Amsterdam 27, owned by Deslauriers and Wishing Well Farm, LLC.

The class marked only the fourth or fifth show for Fuchs and Stalando 2, who Fuchs is riding at WEF for owner Gospodarstwo Rolne Andrzej Oplatekd.

“He’s a great horse, a real trier,” said Fuchs of the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Stakkatol x Lando) “He isn’t the prettiest, but he’s such a good guy. He gives his best. He’s very careful.”

In addition to his win, Fuchs was awarded the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award for week 7 from Champion Equine Insurance’s Laura Fetterman. He aims to show Stalando 2 at additional four- or five-star competition throughout the WEF season, but for Saturday night’s featured $401,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI5*, Fuchs will ride his proven grand prix partner, Silver Shine.

Also winning in the International Arena at WEF on Thursday were Spencer Smith and Sangris Boy in the $8,000 Dutta Corp/G Klatte 1.45m CSI2* and Natalie Dean and Don’s Diamant in the $2,500 High Amateur-Owner Jumpers.

Final Results: $137,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 7 CSI5*

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

MARTIN FUCHS (SUI), Gospodarstwo Rolne Andrzej Oplatek: 0/0/40.69

2. LUIBANTA BH: 2008 Irish Sport Horse mare by Luidam x Abantos

AMANDA DERBYSHIRE (GBR), Gochman Sport Horses: 0/0/40.75

3. AMSTERDAM 27: 2010 Holsteiner gelding by Catoki x Acord II

MARIO DESLAURIERS (CAN), Wishing Well Farm LLC: 0/0/41.28

4. CARLCHEN W: 2008 Mecklenberg gelding by Chacco-Blue x Continue

ALEX GRANATO (USA), Page Tredennick: 0/0/41.75

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

JORDAN COYLE (IRL), Elan Farm: 0/0/43.38

6. LEGACY: 2010 Zangersheide mare by Chippendale Z x Bon Ami

DANIEL COYLE (IRL), Daniel Coyle and Ariel Grange: 0/0/43.76

7. CARNAVAL: 2005 Oldenburg gelding by Chacco Blue x Landadel

HECTOR FLORENTINO (DOM), Spruce Meadows Ltd. And Hector Florentino: 0/2/49.42

8. KASPER VAN HET HELLEHOF: 2010 BWP stallion by Emerald Van’t Ruytershof x Nabab de reve

CAMERON HANLEY (IRL), Poden Farms: 0/2/49.65

9. CREEDANCE: 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Lord Z x Notaris

KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Kent Farrington & Haity McNerney: 0/4/40.07

10. LADRIANO Z: 2008 Zangersheide gelding by Lawito x Baloubet du Rouet

DANIEL BLUMAN (ISR), Over the Top Stables LLC: 0/4/41.80

11. VENICE BEACH: 2009 Hanoverian mare by Voltaire x Escudo I

RODRIGO PESSOA (BRA), Artemis Equestrian Farm LLC: 0/4/42.14

12. LAZZARO DELLE SCHIAVE: 2009 Italian Sporthorse gelding by Acodetto 2 x Gluecksgriff

CIAN O’CONNOR (IRL), Ronnoco Jump Ltd.: 0/4/46.89