Eduardo Menezes Masters the $35,000 Las Vegas FEI Welcome Speed Classic, presented by Park Place Foundation - Fifty-Seven Starters Representing Thirteen Countries Compete
Las Vegas, NV -
German Course designer Olaf Petersen, Jr. set a track that required precision and speed from both horse and rider in order to earn a top spot in the $35,000 Las Vegas FEI Welcome Speed Classic, presented by Park Place Foundation. Serving as a qualifier for Saturday's $100,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Las Vegas, presented by Interactive Mortgage, riders had their eye on a chance to compete for valuable World Cup™ points by securing a top thirty position on their declared World Cup™ mount. Brazilian Eduardo Menezes answered all the questions clean and fast and earned first place aboard his own Quintol.
Eduardo Menezes and Quintol
Among the fifty-seven starters, twelve pairs representing Brazil, Germany, the United States and France successfully answered Petersen's questions and had fault-free rounds. The course included options for distances between bending lines as well as snug inside tracks. Among the nearly 20 four-fault scores, the jumps that fell most often were fence 8, a gray liverpool vertical set off a short turn across the middle of the arena, and fence 10, the light-in-the-cups red plank jump.
First to impress and fifth to go was American Richard Spooner, who piloted the Belgian gelding Chivas Z (owned by Little Valley Farms) quickly and clean around the course in a time of 67.43, ultimately finishing in fourth place. The twenty-eighth duo in the ring, Menezes and the Oldenburg gelding Quintol, rode a short track from start to finish in an unbeatable time of 62.01. Two more Oldenburg geldings rounded out the top three places - German rider Christian Heineking on AJE Cluny stopped the clock in 64.39, and American Will Simpson, aboard Monarch International's The Dude, in 65.20.
Menezes experienced the magic of a ride where each step went according to plan. "Fortunately, I didn't go blazing fast, but I did the strides I planned in every line and I got the green light in every turn. Quintol has a big step. It worked well for me."
Now the top horse in the Brazilian's string, the ten-year-old Quintol (Contender x Cento) caught Menezes' eye as a seven-year-old. "I looked at my partner on the day I bought him and said, 'This horse is going to take me to Rio.'"
With a ninth place individual finish in the Pan American Games, a Nations Cup win at the Spruce Meadows Masters, plus tonight's win, the pair has proven they are contenders in an international field.
Eduardo Menezes with Park Place Foundation President Hillary Ridland, and members of Park Place Foundation's Board of Directors Mary Frances Looke and Melissa Brandes
ABOUT THE LONGINES FEI WORLD CUP™ JUMPING NORTH AMERICAN LEAGUE
The North American League began in August of this year across seven East and seven West Coast venues in three countries: the United States, Mexico and Canada. The Las Vegas National Horse Show is one of only 14 events chosen, and this is the only leg of this prestigious tour that will be hosted in this city.
Notably, eleven of the events chosen for the leagues, including the Las Vegas National Horse Show, were featured in the North American Riders Group Top 25 rankings.
The North American League boasts a minimum of US $2.4 million prize money across the series, and offers the best Jumping athletes from North America and around the world the chance to qualify for the jackpot of more than US $1.4 million (€1.3 million) on offer annually at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final.
A total of 14 athletes from the new North American league will qualify for next year's prestigious Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final, which will take place in Gothenburg (SWE) from March 23-28, 2016. The top seven athletes from the East Coast U.S., top three from West Coast U.S., and the two best-placed athletes from Canada and Mexico, will qualify for next year's Final, alongside winners of 15 leagues around the world.
ABOUT PARK PLACE FOUNDATION
Park Place Foundation was formed to promote and embrace a healthy lifestyle for our children and teens as they embark into their journey toward adulthood.The foundation strives to make changes in how addiction and mental illness is perceived and treated, through education, increased awareness and sharing the personal stories of peers who have fallen victim to this disease that is riddled by shame, isolation, loneliness and a sense of failure. They believe that by joining together for this cause, we can all bring forth a message of hope and healing.
Out of Scarlett's family's love for horses, they chose to have "Scarlett's Derby" be the first step. For those who get the chance to know her through this event, the Rodriguez, Phillips and Mech families hope that you will join them as they turn these brilliant but short lives into something that changes and touches many young people. The journey began last Spring with "Scarlett's Derby" and continues this year by presenting James' and now Francie's stories. Committed to finding ways to educate, strengthen and empower this young generation, we hope that, when faced the dangerous choice of drugs, they choose to live "CLEAN". We challenge you to join us in our "Clean is Cool" campaign. For more information, please email Melissa Brandes
or Hillary Ridland
ABOUT BLENHEIM EQUISPORTS
An equestrian event management company based in San Juan Capistrano, CA, that produces equestrian events in three locations: San Juan Capistrano, Del Mar and Las Vegas, NV. This includes USEF "Premier" and "National" rated hunter-jumper shows featuring multiple grand prix events, a Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League event, USHJA International Hunter Derbies, Pony Finals, Medal Finals and more.