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Welles and Armani Remain Fault Free After Two Rounds of the USEF Selection Trials for Show Jumping

Welles and Armani Remain Fault Free After Two Rounds of the USEF Selection Trials for Show Jumping

Release: March 02 2008
By Joanie Morris

Wellington, FL - The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center played host to the second leg of the USEF Selection Trials for Show Jumping sponsored by Equine Motorcoach and Hong Kong Tourism as part of the $100,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier and Zada Enterprises LLC Masters Cup. 68 horses lined up on Sunday March 2, 2008, 42 of which were vying for selection. Following the completion of the Selection Trials on Sunday March 10, the USEF Selectors will name ten horse and rider combinations to the short list for the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong.

Eight competitors entered the afternoon's competition on a score of zero from Thursday's first Selection Trial making clear rounds very valuable.

Jeffrey Welles and Armani continued to look untouchable. As the last to jump in the first round chalking up another clear round and finishing the first two USEF Selection Trials with a score of zero. Welles returned for the jump-off and ended up second overall in the $100,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier. Armani had last year off due to a minor injury, something his rider thinks didn't do him any harm.

“He's better than ever,” said Welles about Armani.

The 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood is owned by Kimmel Yeagar Equine and Triton Ventures and has jumped consistent clear rounds throughout the Winter Equestrian Festival. After the first two rounds of the USEF Selection Trials he doesn't look in danger of have marring his clean sheet. To make the Olympic Team would fulfill a lifetime accomplishment for Welles.

“It would mean everything,” said Welles. “I've been close before, for Barcelona and I was the alternate for the most recent WEG.”

Hot on Armani's heels is 10-year-old Dutch-bred Cedric, who tried unbelievably hard and was rewarded with a clean round for Laura Kraut but added one time fault to bring his two-day score to 1 in the USEF Selection Trials.

“He was calmer today, which I knew he would be in the daylight,” said Kraut. “I'd only jumped him one other time under the lights. Today I was almost worried he was too quiet.”

Owned by Happy Hill Farm, tiny Cedric was second in the WEF Challenge Cup which also served as the first USEF Selection Trial for Show Jumping.

“He's such an unusual horse,” said Kraut. “Just when you think he might be afraid he gets more brave. He's so brave and careful, it's really nice. The horse is so sensitive and I knew I needed him to be relaxed and calm going to the triple because he had just made a big effort down the line, I'd rather waste a time fault and just let him settle before I had to wind up for the triple. I'm not upset about it at all, I know I can make the time on him.”

Kraut is also tied for third place overall with the Summit Syndicate's Anthem, they added one rail today, pushing their two day score to 4.

The first clear round of the day belonged to California rider Will Simpson and Carlsson Vom Dach. The 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by El Campeon Farm was the 24th horse in the ring and made light work of the course.

“For me to have a horse that is this good at this time is amazing, to be selected would be the icing on the cake,” said Simpson.

16 riders later Nicole Simpson also jumped clean.

Riding Silver Raven Farm's 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare SRF Dragonfly, Nicole put in a very polished performance and ensured that there would be a jump-off. Nicole retired in the jump-off, taking home third place money on SRF Dragonfly. SRF Dragonfly has a two-day score of 8. 14 horses later she came back in the ring with Vicomte D and jumped clean - but picked up one time fault – leaving Vicomte D with a two-day score of 5 and in fourth place overall in the Selection Trial.

For more information please contact Joanie Morris, USEF High Performance Communications Manager at jmorris@usef.org and for complete results please see www.usef.org.

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