Wellington, Fla - March 7, 2016 - During Week Eight of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), the international riders took center stage for the CSIO/Nations Cup events. Leading the way for Wyndmont Inc. was Australia's Matt Williams who captured top finishes in three of the FEI events, including third place in Sunday's $216,000 CSIO4* Grand Prix with Valinski S.
Steve Stephens created a very technical track for the day's highlight event, with faults throughout, and very difficult lines that only five of the 50 international entries were able to master. The first clear belonged to Williams, who was 14th in the order with Valinski S. As the pathfinders during the tiebreaker, they set the pace to beat with a faultless effort in 45.798 seconds, which would be good enough for third place.
|Matt Williams and Valinski S
"I haven't jumped this grand prix for four years, and last time I did it I was first to do the jump-off as well, but unfortunately there were 12 in the jump-off that year so it didn't work out as well," admitted Williams. "I went out there with the idea to do as much as I could, and leave the jumps up. I got a little bit wide to the last jump, but I don't think I could have gone any quicker."
Williams and Valinski S have also only been paired together a short time, but they currently have their eyes on the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. "Every time Valinski S has gone in a big grand prix he's been clean or 4 [faults]," explained Williams. "He's consistent and he's giving me a great feeling. He jumps with a lot of heart. At the moment I just have to keep him fresh and keep him going the way it's going."
In addition to a third place finish with Valinski S in the grand prix, Williams also placed third on Zephyr during Friday's $10,000 Speed Stake and Wednesday's $5,000 Carolex Stables CSIO Welcome Stake. Williams has also continued to improve his partnership with the 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Cuchica in the 1.45m Open Jumpers placing fifth for the day.
Wyndmont's Ronnie Beard and Michael Dorman are always with Williams ringside when he competes to help him achieve the best result. "They are great to have on the ground," explained Williams. "It's nice always having someone there that is watching the class and telling you how you are doing in the warm-up. I really appreciate everything they have done."