The WEC Grand Arena hosted thrilling equestrian sport the final weekend in March during the $200,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix, the finale of the Winter Spectacular. Courses for the classes were co-designed by Anderson Lima of Brazil and Bobby Murphy of Lexington, Kentucky, and featured technical tracks with multiple combinations. Stunning floral decorations and other fanciful elements including a lovely Lugano water feature, a unique World Equestrian Center – Ocala Equestrian Hotel wall, and an elegant golden ring jump made the last Saturday evening of the Winter Spectacular under the lights extra special.

$200,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix

Forty-seven entries took to the WEC Grand Arena under the lights on Week 12 for the $200,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix. Ten entries advanced to the jump-off, but it was Aaron Vale and Taylor Granat’s Candro Van De Zuuthoeve (Thunder Van De Zuuthoeve x Walach Van De Zuuthoeve) that set the pace with a time that would prove unbeatable.

During the 12-week Winter Spectacular at World Equestrian Center – Ocala, Aaron Vale has taken first place in four grand prix classes. Though Vale and Candro Van De Zuuthoeve had landed in the top few placings in grand prix classes several times throughout the season, the pair had yet to secure a win. During the finale grad prix of the Winter Spectacular, Vale and the 12 year old Belgian Warmblood gelding were first to contest the course in the jump-off. They set the pace with an impossibly quick, clear round in 41.208 seconds, which would ultimately prove unbeatable.


Just behind Vale and Candro Van De Zuuthoeve were Molly Ashe Cawley and Louisburg Farm’s Berdien (Bustique x Queen Z). Ashe Cawley and the 10 year old Zangersheide mare topped the $20,000 WEC Welcome Prix earlier in Week 12, preparing them well for for the finale class. The duo delivered a clear jump-off in 41.641 seconds, just four-tenths of a second behind Vale for 2nd place.

Rounding out the top three placings were Bryn Sadler and Showcase 81, LLC’s Cinven CR (Clearway x Raissa CR). Sadler and the 13 year old Holsteiner gelding have earned top placings in grand prix and welcome prix classes throughout the season and brought their A-game in Week 12. The pair navigated a clear jump-off round in 43.235 seconds for 3rd place.

$200,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix Results

    Candro Van De Zuuthoeve, Aaron Vale – 0 | 0 | 41.208
    Berdien, Molly Ashe Cawley – 0 | 0 | 41.641
    Cinven CR, Bryn Sadler – 0 | 0 | 43.235
    Quincy Too, Fernando Cardenas – 0 | 0 | 45.113
    Valentine Car, Fernando Cardenas – 0 | 0 | 45.305
    Major, Aaron Vale – 0 |4 | 41.038
    Wellington Grey Goose, Rowan Willis – 0 | 4 | 43.169
    Fantasy BB, Jonathan McCrea – 0 | 4 | 44.204
    Darius, Sean Jobin – 0 | 4 | 47.151
    Arpeggi, Brooke Kemper – 0 | 4 | 54.115

$7,500 Futures Prix

Week 12's $7,500 Futures Prix saw a field of 35 highly competitive entries. Eight entries managed double clear rounds, but it was 14 year old Izzy Beisel and David Beisel’s Ammeretto (Numero Uno x Ranna) who topped the class, notching their third $7,500 Futures Prix win of the season.

Junior rider Izzy Beisel and the 15 year old Dutch Warmblood stallion took first place in the $7,500 Futures Prix during weeks 9 and 10 of the World Equestrian Center – Ocala Winter Spectacular and were on form again in Week 12. The pair took to the course near the end of the order, jumping a clear first round in 78.194 seconds, well within the time allowed of 82 seconds. They advanced straight to the jump-off, delivering a second clear round in 36.616 seconds to ultimately win the class.

$7,500 Futures Prix Results

    Ammeretto, Izzy Beisel – 0 | 0 | 36.616
    Bull Run’s Divine Fortune, Kristen Vanderveen – 0 | 0 | 37.928
    Ringwood Zebo, Samantha Rice – 0 | 0 | 38.691
    Honfleur, Clark Montgomery – 0 | 0 | 40.067
    Chada, Roberto Teran – 0 | 0 | 41.217
    Hickory HBC, Justine Dutton – 0 | 0 | 43.442
    Maderia SCF, Fernando Cardenas – 0 | 0 | 43.700
    Kaomi, Sandra Zimmerli – 0 | 0 | 43.760
    HRH Van De Elsakker, Kama Godek – 0 | 4 | 38.195
    Billy Spiral, Sabrina Lefebvre – 0 | 4 | 38.550

Article courtesy of World Equestrian Center, photos courtesy of Andrew Ryback Photography.