Hardin Towell and Lucifer V teamed up to capture the $127,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 9 at the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Fla., contested on March 5.
Towell, a Camden native and the son of Jack and Lisa Towell, owners of Finally Farm on Firetower Rd., survived a 17-horse jump-off which was trimmed down from a field of 67 jumpers.
Towell and Jennifer Gates’ Lucifer V were victorious over Ramiro Quintana and Whitney with a clean round of 38.21 seconds over the short course on a hot and muggy day. The winning time was 5/10ths of a second quicker than the runner-up.
"A lot of times you get a jump-off like this and you get a lot clean and everybody thinks they have to go so fast, and before you know it, the class is halfway over and everybody has tried to go so fast they have a rail," Towell was quoted as saying following the victory. "I think Richie (Moloney) set the pace by just jumping clean and then I thought, ‘OK, Richie wasn’t flying.’ Kent (Farrington) went in 38 seconds and Richie went in 43, but then I saw that Ramiro was 38 and change and I watched Kent go and he went about the same, so I knew kind of what I had to do."
Lucifer V is a nine-year-old Westphalian gelding that Towell began riding at the end of the horse’s seven-year-old year, but has taken some time to move up.
"I had him down here last year, and he was a bit of a handful," Towell said. "He was spooky, and he liked to buck a lot. It took awhile; not a lot of people believed in him. He does it his own way, but I always knew that he tried quite hard and he was very careful."
Lucifer V will now have a couple weeks off and show in some smaller classes at the end of the WEF circuit as Towell gears him toward the first leg of the FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas in April. Towell is currently ranked second in the World Cup qualifying for this year’s final in Las Vegas.