The twelfth week of WEF, sponsored by Wellington Agricultural Services, has CSI4* competition along with a concurrent CSI2* running through Sunday, April 4, the final day of the 2021 WEF. Friday afternoon features the $37,000 1.45m CSI2* and the $73,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic Series Final. An exciting weekend schedule follows with the $214,000 Wellington Agricultural Services Grand Prix CSI4* and WEF Circuit Champion Parade on Saturday and concludes with the $50,000 1.45m Grand Prix CSI2* on Sunday.
Hunters will be featured on the grass during WEF 12 at the Derby Field at Equestrian Village. On Friday at 8:30 a.m. is the $15,000 International Hunter Derby Hunt & Go, followed by the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby Open, presented by Restylane and sections of the $10,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby for juniors and amateurs. The $50,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Round 1 is on Saturday at 11 a.m. and will be followed by the top 12 returning for a handy round. All feature classes can be watched for free both live and on-demand on the livestream.
In the final grand prix qualifier of the winter circuit, a total of 63 entries challenged the first-round course set by Olaf Petersen Jr. (GER) with just eight punching their ticket into the jump-off. The seventh-ranked rider in the world, Kent Farrington (USA), elected to save his horse for the weekend leaving a total of seven combinations to contend over a shortened track.
First to return for the jump-off, Nayel Nassar (EGY) paved the way for the rest of pack as he and Lucifer V, a 15-year-old Westphalian gelding by Lord Dezi x Grandeur, put forth a clear effort. Nassar and the Evergate Stables, LLC-owned entry stopped the clock at 40.32 seconds.
Fresh off his victory in the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5*, Germany’s Daniel Deusser returned fifth of seven to give it his best shot. He and Casallvano, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding by Casall x Silvana owned by Camilla Hamann and Philipp Widmayer, would post a clear effort but finish just off the leading time in 40.56 seconds.
Second last to go, Moggre and the 12-year-old Westphalian gelding by Ustinov x Chello II, gave it their best shot.
“In the jump-off, I did one less stride in the first line and the last line,” said Moggre. “I walked eight [strides] and eight [strides] but he’s got a huge stride. The horses carry across this footing in the International Arena very nicely; they travel the ground well, so I did one less stride, and he got up those sevens just as if he was doing the eight. It worked out for us.”
The risky plan paid off as Moggre and his longtime partner “Erkel” added their own double-clear to the leaderboard with the quickest time of the day, crossing the timers in 40.04 seconds. Nassar would end the day in second overall while Deusser claimed third position on the podium.
“Erkel is amazing,” exclaimed Moggre after the win. “With seven jumping off, we could put a little pressure on and see what came of it. I asked him to step up to the plate, he did, and I still feel as though I have a good horse for the grand prix on Saturday.
“He’s my rock after all these years,” he continued. “All of my firsts, like my first FEI class, first grand prix, first three-star, four-star, and five-star, have been his first time also so he’s a horse that I have a really special relationship with. It’s really nice to see that we’ve still got it.”
It is apparent that the relationship between the talented young rider and his veteran partner is extra special. While they have many wins under their belt at the international level, there’s a unique friendship that makes each victory that much more meaningful.
“I know him like the back of my hand,” he said. “I trust him, and I know what risks I can take and which ones I should maybe avoid. I think the best part of our relationship is we really know the ins and outs of each other. You can say we know so much about a horse, but I think they really know you too as a rider. That’s a great thing for him and I. He’s incredible.”
Moggre will be back in the International Arena on Saturday with his partner to wrap up their 2021 WEF in the $214,000 Wellington Agricultural Services Grand Prix CSI4*.
Final results here