The World Equestrian Center’s Winter In The Midwest 2022 show circuit got underway on Wednesday at the Wilmington, Ohio facility with Green 2’6” to 3’ Green and Schooling classes as well as 1.20 meter to 1.35 meter events. The circuit had a near sell-out crowd for the first show of 2022.

Welcome Stake 1.35

On Thursday, Feature classes for the first WEC Winter in the Midwest show of 2022 kicked off with a talented international field who challenged the $10,000 WEC Welcome Stake 1.35. Sixteen horse-and-rider combinations contested the winding track designed by Joe Carnicom, which featured several bending lines and tight rollbacks.

Ten entries advanced to the jump off, with eight jumping double clear, but it was Katherine Anne Brewer and her own Delta Lady Z (Dutch Capitol x Amor D’Ora) that took home the blue ribbon, notching their first $10,000 Welcome Stake win of the year.

Katherine Anne Brewer of WinMohr Show Stables, Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, and the nine year old Zangersheide mare put on quite a show, delivering two fantastic rounds. Their first round was completed clean in just 69.047, seven seconds under the allowed time. They caught their breath and galloped through the short course, maintaining a smooth and speedy pace to cross the timers in 37.030 seconds, ultimately taking top honors.

“I’ve had this mare since she was six and I brought her along in the six, seven and eight-year-old classes,” Katherine said. “She did her first 1.40m eight months ago and since then she has been doing the smaller Grand Prix’s as well as the larger Grand Prix’s. She is currently riding at 1.45m – 1.50m and she is just so fun! She is a very sweet and loyal horse, with a little bit of sass, which I just love.”

Friday’s Hunter Derby Champions Named

Feature action at WEC-Wilmington saw the $10,000 USHJA National 3’ Derby Open and Non-Pro divisions held in the R & L Arena.
Kelsey Epperson had a busy afternoon, riding four horses in the Open Derby, and was rewarded for her efforts with the top two spots. She showed Didgereedoo VDL for Lashier Properties LLC to the win, and Tulio for LTJ & Company LLC to the reserve award.

“His barn name is Diddy. We’ve had him a few years. Heather Irvin bought him as a jumper, and he was going to do the Junior Jumpers with her kid, and then she decided she wanted to do the Hunters, but then she went off to college. She has graciously allowed me to show him in the Derbies.

“I loved how the course rode today. I loved the bending lines. They were really flowing, and especially when I’m nervous, I like to be going forward, and it chills me out a little bit. My first round, I just wanted it to be smooth with everybody. I put a lot of pressure on myself, because I had four in it, and I want to do right be each owner. So I wanted to each horse like it was my only entry, give each horse a shot, and ride the horse that I had, and not think about what was happening around me.”

In the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby 3’ Non-Pro, Kiera Philpot showed her own Red Roc to the win. Kiera and Red Roc are no strangers to the WEC Wilmington arena, having won classes during the October show series. “We were second overall, and won one in October and one this summer,” Kiera said.

“In the fall we did the whole series here and did all the Derbies here to prep us for Equitation at the National. We were reserve champion in our age division and third overall in the medal finals. It was great preparation to do these Derbies. It’s great that WEC, NSBA and now USEF are offering these derbies for the Non-Pros now.

“I bought Patty as a four year old unbroke, and I’ve done everything with him. He will be turning 13 this year. We know each other like the back of our hands.”

Kiera enjoyed showing Friday’s course. “I really liked the course,” she said. “It gave a nice opportunity to show off a good gallop, the jumps were pretty, and it allowed us to stay forward even though we were showing indoors. I had noticed throughout the week that the judges were rewarding the forward canter, so I wanted to make sure I executed that. I have a friend who just had surgery today.”

Keira and her barnmate, Elizabeth Becker were the top two winners in the class. Elizabeth rode Cinda. “It was so fun, I ride with Elizabeth in almost every division together – we do the Hunters together and the Equitation together, and it was really special to get to go 1-2 together.”

The Winter In The Midwest weekend continues through Sunday, with the $10,000 Futures Prix 1.30m and $30,000 WEC Prix on Saturday afternoon.

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(Arena and win photos courtesy of Winslow Photography.)