Leslie Law, Maya Wentz, Clayton Fredericks Take FEI Wins at Ocala International Festival of Eventing

Maya Wentz and FE Bail Me Out. Photo via Maya Wentz Equestrian on Facebook.

Rain couldn’t keep the eventers away (really, when has it ever?) this weekend at the Ocala International Festival of Eventing at Florida Horse Park, and despite some Mother Nature-sourced challenges with weather, there were some stellar performances to see all weekend in some intense FEI competition.

Yesterday, torrential rain caused flooding in the show jumping ring, prompting a decision to relocate the show jumping to a grass ring. In a true show of community, Rob Wood wrote in to EN, an all hands on deck effort ensued.

“We got drenched this morning at Florida Horse Park and the show jump ring was under several inches of water,” Rob wrote. “After a few hours it became clear that the ring wasn’t going to drain and the show officials made the call to move the show jump course down to the grass ring. They asked for volunteers to help and it was literally all hands on deck! I’ll bet 50 people chipped in to help and we reset the course in about 30 minutes. There were competitors, coaches, parents, Chris Barnard the course designer, the TD – pretty much everyone. I was moving jump standards with people I don’t even know. And the show jumping went great after. It was a real positive ‘community’ experience.”

Indeed it was a massive effort from all involved, and I think this post from Jon Holling best sums up the sentiment. Our event organizers, course designers, TDs, volunteers and everyone else involved in making an event happen deserve our gratitude each and every weekend!

A huge thank you to Emily Holmes and her entire team. Today was a sinking ship of an event and they pulled everyone…

Posted by Jonathan Holling on Saturday, April 17, 2021

The Festival of Eventing features on the spring calendar as a hallmark goal for horses and riders aiming for their first long format of the year. Running CCI3*-L, CCI2*-L and CCI1*-L divisions, this April fixture is the perfect culmination of the winter and early spring season for those who compete in Florida. As the curtain falls, it’s Leslie Law packing a 1-2 punch in the CCI3*-L with the oh-so-talented Lady Chatterley (1st – 28.1) and stablemate Typically Fernhill (2nd – 33.5), rising star Maya Wentz and FE Bail Me Out (28.5) claiming victory in the CCI2*-L and Clayton Fredericks with I’m Du Vinia MB (28.7) bringing home the win in the CCI1*-L.

Leslie Law and Lady Chatterley. Photo by Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Lady Chatterley (Connor 48 – Jucy, by Mytens xx) is 10 this year and has wasted no time in shoring up her competitive record, building on her receipt of the USEA Intermediate Horse of the Year and USEA Mare of the Year awards in 2020. Lady Chatterley, who is owned by Stephen Brown and Lesley Grant-Law (and formerly campaigned by Lesley herself), has finished first or second in each of her starts thus far in 2021, so it’s not a huge surprise to see her go wire-to-wire this weekend in the CCI3*-L to end on her dressage score of 28.1.

Just six of the 18 remaining starters in the CCI3*-L produced double clear show jumping efforts today, and Leslie collected two of those to seal the deal on his top finishes. Moving up from fifth after cross country into second overall is the 9-year-old Irish gelding Typically Fernhill (Dondoctro Ryal K – Castlefield Sarah), owned by Craig McCallum, who started the weekend off in ninth after dressage before steadily climbing the board. This was the second CCI3*-L effort for this young gelding and he improves on his previous finish at Tryon last fall here. The Law operation will next turn around and head north to Kentucky, where Leslie is piloting Voltaire de Tre in the CCI5* and QC First Class in the CCI4*-S.

Pinch me, we just won the CCI2*L @floridahorsepark , Ocala International Festival of Eventing. Prepare for lots more…

Posted by Maya Wentz Equestrian on Sunday, April 18, 2021

Looking to the CCI2*-L, it’s Maya Wentz and Katie Wentz’s FE Bail Me Out (Florencio 2 – Donna Denria, by Don Bailey) who emerged victorious after ending on their dressage score of 28.5 to take the win. This is the very first FEI win for 21-year-old Maya and the 9-year-old Oldenburg gelding, who beat out 47 other finishers in this highly competitive division. This pair completed their first CCI2*-L together at Tryon last fall and this weekend their off-season practice and preparation surely paid off.

Kendal Lehari and Iron Lorde (29.0) and Caroline Martin and Redfield Champion (29.1) complete the top three in the CCI2*-L.

Clayton Fredericks, who is also headed to Kentucky with his three top horses this coming week, turned in another wire-to-wire effort in the CCI1*-L with I’m Du Vinia MB, a sales horse who made quite the effort to win his very first FEI event on a score of 28.7. Formerly campaigned in the jumper ring, this 8-year-old showed poise and talent all weekend, throughout the weather challenges and the competitive division, and will certainly make for an excellent partner for his next rider.

Sonya Crampton and Caminka Mail (31.1) and Emily Coulter and Artibella (36.2) round out the CCI1*-L top three.

Looking to some other results from the Festival of Eventing, Clayton Fredericks also nabbed the Advanced win aboard FE Coldplay on a score of 42.3. Many Kentucky-bound riders tackled a final CT as their last prep, with Buck Davidson and Carlevo taking the win on a score of 22.6. Finally, West Coast-originating rider Charlotte Babbitt and 2 A.M. took the win in the Open Intermediate on a score of 32.8.

Ocala International Festival of Eventing: [Website] [Scores]