Wellington, Florida – 17-year-old Emanuel Andrade of Caracas, Venezuela, enjoyed great success in grand prix competition during Week VI of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) running January 8 through March 30 in Wellington, FL.
Andrade, who trains with Hollow Creek Farm of Aiken, SC, stepped up into the international open jumper divisions to earn multiple top-five finishes against
some of the most seasoned veterans in the sport of show jumping during WEF Week VI of competition, held February 12-16.
On WEF Week VI’s opening day of competition, Andrade set the tone for the week ahead by winning the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed class riding Reve du Paradis, Hollow Creek Farm’s nine-year-old selle francais gelding (Crown Z x Adelfos).
“My trainer told me not to try to win, but just to go smooth,” said Andrade of his strategy for Wednesday’s opening competition. He also gave insight about Reve du Paradis, saying, “He is a green horse, but he tries hard to jump clear. He was a stallion in Europe and is gelded now, but he still thinks he’s a stallion and that can sometimes be difficult.”
Andrade continued, “He feels amazing. He was eight last year, so he was a baby. He jumped great last year, but this year he is jumping so well. He is jumping much, much better.”
The following day, Andrade returned to the international ring, this time for the $34,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round VI, which was also held as a speed class. His partner was ZZ Top v/h Schaarbroek Z, a 13-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Zandor Z x Latus I) owned by Hollow Creek Farm. Competing against a large starting field of 74 entries, Andrade posted a fast and faultless round over the course designed by Great Britain’s Richard Jeffery, stopping the clock at 75.67 seconds to finish in fourth place.
Andrade’s biggest international class of the week came on Friday night, where he proved his stamina and consistency with ZZ Top v/h Schaarbroek Z to take fifth place in the $84,000 CSI3* Salamander Hotels & Resorts Grand Prix. With a clear first round, Andrade was one of eight riders to advance to the jump-off where he posted the fastest four-fault effort. His time of 37.89 seconds was only bettered by United States Show Jumping Team veteran Kent Farrington, who was clear in 36.58 seconds to take the win riding Blue Angel.
As WEF Week VI played host to the annual World Champion Hunter Rider series, show jumping competitors experienced a change of venue, with all major classes taking place at the Global Dressage Festival Stadium, usually reserved for CDI dressage competition.
“I love that ring and I love that place,” said Andrade of the all-weather ring, which many noted had a decidedly European atmosphere. “I think it is great for the horse show to have the competition over there, because sometimes the horses need different rings. I really liked jumping there.”
In addition to his grand prix success, Andrade has been racking up numerous wins and championship titles in the Junior Jumper divisions during the first half of the 12-week WEF. As one of the busiest junior riders on the circuit, Andrade typically has 10 or more mounts in the Junior Jumper divisions. Highlights from Week VI included double wins on February15 in the Low Junior Jumper division with Windline and in the Medium Junior Jumper division with La Fe Forli. Andrade claimed the Reserve Championship titles in both the Low Junior Jumper and Medium Junior Jumper divisions for WEF Week VI, bringing his tally thus far to six junior jumper championship titles and eight reserve championship titles.
Success at WEF is nothing new for Andrade, who was named the overall Leading Jumper Rider in 2013. Also at the 2013 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, Andrea King was named the Leading Jumper Trainer while Hollow Creek Farm received the Leading Jumper Owner Award.
Hollow Creek Farm is a major sponsor of the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, presenting the Medium Junior Jumper division each week as well as being the title sponsor of the second annual Children’s, Junior and Young Riders’ Nations’ Cup competition during WEF Week VIII, running February 26 through March 2.