How Skylar Wireman Won the 2022 WEC Premier Equitation Cup Championship - and a New Car
Updated: Mar 14, 2022
Heritage Farm's Andre Dignelli provides an inside look into the weekend at the World Equestrian Center - Ocala.
Skylar Wireman and Heritage Farm's Charisma won the 2022 WEC Premier Equitation Cup Championship. Photo by Andrew Ryback Photography.
Looking at the brand new Ford Explorer parked in the center of the Grand Arena at the World Equestrian Center - Ocala, one couldn't help but be taken back to the game show era. On "The Price is Right," what was behind door number one, behind curtain number three? The grand prize was always a car.
And so it was in the WEC Premier Equitation Cup Championship. The thrill of the prize, the lights and the atmosphere has made this class a standout in a very short time, and that's why nearly 90 entries congregated for the first real championship-type event of the year.
Skylar Wireman and Heritage Farm's Charisma ran away with the class, leading from start to finish. This is still a new partnership, but it's an exciting one, and this win was the result of a plan well executed.
Dignelli shares a behind-the-scenes look at what went into the weekend:
Friday, February 11
$20,000 WEC Hunter Derby 3'6" - 3'9"
The hunter derby was held under the lights on Friday evening, which we thought would be good preparation for the following day's equitation championship. Skylar hasn't shown Charisma much, and she flew in from California just the day before, so this was also an opportunity for her to get to know Charisma in this kind of environment.
The pair put in a solid first round, scoring an 88, but there was room for improvement. When they returned for the second round, the plan was for her to practice some more technical tests, from a bold hand gallop to some tight, sophisticated inside turns. Things went well, as the pair received a score of 95 from the judges—the highest score of the round. That earned them a third place finish and set them up well for the following day.
Watch the video to get Andre's Take:
Andre Dignelli breaks down Skylar Wireman and Charisma's handy round in the WEC Ocala Hunter Derby 3'6"-3'9"
Saturday, February 12
WEC Premier Equitation Cup Championship - Round 1
Nearly 90 entries took on the first round of the second annual WEC Premier Equitation Cup Championship, which featured a beautifully decorated course, which was designed by Doug Russell, Pat Muskus and Bobby Murphy.
Andre breaks down Skylar and Charisma's first round of the WEC Premier Equitation Cup Championship.
Saturday, February 12
WEC Premier Equitation Cup Championship - Rounds 2 & 3
Skylar led after the first phase of competition, which was followed by a flat. That flat phase resembled that of the USEF Show Jumping Talent Search. The riders were asked to drop their stirrups, counter canter on both leads, extend and collect gaits, and more. Skylar and Charisma continued to lead after this phase, and a total of 20 riders advanced to a third phase—a second round of jumping—in the evening under the lights.
Andre breaks down Skylar and Charisma's third round (second jumping round) of the WEC Premier Equitation Cup Championship.
Saturday, February 12
WEC Premier Equitation Cup Championship - Final Test
Skylar maintained her lead after the third phase, but the judges opted to bring back four riders for further testing. The test was outlined ahead of the class, so there were no surprises, and as the leader, Skylar had the advantage of being able to watch her competitors.
Andre breaks down Skylar and Charisma's final test in the WEC Premier Equitation Cup Championship, which secured them the win.
As others had errors, Skylar adjusted her plan and smartly elected for a conservative approach. A clean, accurate test would ultimately secure her the victory.
Through all the phases, Skylar made very few mistakes, and you can see why she was rewarded with the win—and that car. After an elaborate winner's presentation, she was handed the keys and took her new vehicle for a spin around the arena.
The World Equestrian Center did a beautiful job showcasing a championship. We need more classes like that.
Each week during the winter season, Andre breaks down a round of a Heritage Farm student in a variety of divisions, sharing insight into what made the round strong and where the rider could improve. Watch all the "Andre's Take" videos on the Heritage Farm Instagram channel.