Alex Granato and Zenith Dance.
Wellington, FL – March 21, 2015 – Alex Granato has proven again and again that he is a force to be reckoned with when he shows up at The Ridge at Wellington’s Turf Tour, and today was no exception as he topped a field of 23 in the 1.40 Grand Prix.
He brought with him the same two horses he was successful with on Wednesday to compete in the Grand Prix today, Page Tredennick’s Cesario 15 and Zenith Dance, also owned by Tredennick. Serving as a perfect preparation for next week’s finals, Granato posted two double clear rounds. Only 5 others would join him with fault free scores throughout the day, with not a single pair laying down a faster track.
Granato improved on his results from Wednesday with Cesario 15, where the combination had an unlucky four faults in each of the first rounds of the two 1.30-1.35m classes. Today, the duo was the first double clear of the day as the second team in the ring, with a time of 40.760. The time would not hold up for long, with Granato returning immediately to beat his own time with his second ride. Cesario 15’s time would prove challenging to beat for the other competitors, however, and would end the day in the third place spot.
Zenith Dance had a very impressive outing on Wednesday, claiming the victory in the 1.30-1.35m with a margin of nearly three seconds over second place. Granato also won the 1.30-1.35m with this horse during the first and fifth week of competition. Today the pair continued their winning ways, capturing the top spot with a time of 38.088. When asked about one special trait of the horse, Granato was quick to compliment his mount, known as Whitey in the barn.
“For a pony sized jumper, he’s got a tremendously large character. He’s a great personality in the barn, nice to be around, whether you’re working with him on the ground, or riding him. He has a little bit of an attitude just because he’s pony sized, I think.”
Josh Dolan was quick to agree. “You know the horse in Tangled? That’s Whitey.”
Granato concurred, “We do call him the Disney pony. He’s always in a good mood; he’s a happy character to be around. ”
Granato delayed his trip up to compete in Ocala as late as he dared to, in order to support the Turf Tour, and he made his time well worth it. Both horses put in fantastic efforts over the course designed by Nick Granat. This talented Grand Prix rider is clearly ambitious and has the work ethic to back it up. Granato and Josh Dolan immediately hit the road for Ocala after competing, where he has several other horses showing. The Colorado based rider has been keeping up a very busy schedule, with his top horses spread out and competing at the best venues in Florida for the winter circuits.
While many riders tried their hand at catching the speedy partnership of Granato and Zenith Dance, none were successful. The closest time was Christine McCrea, riding Candy Tribble’s Ronaldo De La Pomme. She stopped the clock at 39.650, less than two seconds off the leading time. Sarah Wayda rode Faroukh to a very tidy jump off time of 41.629, good enough for fourth. Debbie Stephens stopped the clock at 41.814 with Swagger to finish fifth. Nina Fagerstrom completed the course in a time of 42.502 with Cover Girl to end in sixth. Alise Okin and Hitchcock Vd Broekkant navigated the track in a conservative time of 44.670, claiming seventh. Penny Brennan wrapped up the top eight ribbons with the fastest four faults. Her time of 38.093 would have been good enough for second, but a heartbreaking rail in the jump off at the plank, fence 8, dropped her and Sun Tzu in the standings.
The second ring was a happening place to be today, seeing more than fifty trips in the various divisions. The most popular class of the day was the $3000 NAL Junior/Amateur Owner Classic. Kiva Iscol rode her own Alias to the win out of the field of 18.
“I got him three years ago. He’s just kind of a quirky horse that needs his program. When he’s in his program, he’s just a delight. He’s just there for me. Even though he’s spooky, I trust him because he’s always going to go over the jump. I love him to death – he’s my baby!”
She raved about the course, also designed by Nick Granat. “It was great – it was a lot of fun. There were some nice options out there, like the first line you could do in 5 or 6, or I even saw some 7s. The bending lines were the same thing; I’ve seen a lot of different variety in the rides, which made it great for the jump off. With him, I knew that I could open him up for the five down the first line and still turn back, so it was a lot of fun.”
Iscol was very happy with her decision to come to the Turf Tour today. “Oh, IPC? What’s better than showing on a polo field? I mean I know it catches some riders off guard because there are no boundaries, but it’s just such a nice change of scenery. And to be out of a ring is fantastic. I think the horses enjoy it as much as the riders do. It’s such a friendly environment – everybody’s cheering for everybody else. What’s better than that?”
The Ridge at Wellington Horse Show Series Fast Facts
The Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour offers their popular 1.40m Invitational Grand Prix for its third year, with an open in gate format taking place once a week at beautiful venues throughout Wellington. The Ridge at Wellington Grand Prix Finale will take place March 27, 2015.
The Turf Tour also will host 1.30m-1.35m Jumpers every Wednesday beginning January 7, 2015 and running until March 18, 2015.
Young Jumper Classes and both Children’s/Senior Jumper Classics will find their home intermittently throughout the Wellington Turf Tour, running concurrently with the 1.30-1.35m and 1.40m Jumpers.
The Ridge at Wellington offers Equitation Shows every Tuesday of the month from January 6 – March 23, 2015. There will also be a series of schooling shows at the Ridge at Wellington for all experience levels.
Two USHJA International Hunter Derbies will take place February 6, 2015 and March 20, 2015.
The Ridge at Wellington series includes several weeks of competition throughout the Winter Season with USEF Rated Equitation Shows. This winter will also feature five two-day schooling shows. The Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour will offer 1.30m-1.35m Jumpers, 1.40m Invitational Grand Prix, Young Jumpers, Children’s/Adult Classics, Masters Jumpers, Junior/Amateur Classics, two hunter derbies and the Pre-Green Incentive Stake.
Before Show – (561) 791-1471, Email: RidgeShows@aol.com
During Show – Telephone: (561) 791-1471, Fax: (561) 791-1543
Text: (908) 500-0996
14415 Palm Beach Point Blvd. East
Wellington, FL, 33414
(561) 791-1471 (show office)
(908) 839-3859 (show cell)
(561) 791-1543 (show fax)