Category Archives: Wellington Turf Tour

Final Turf Tour of 2020 Ends with Last to Go Victory; Finale Week Cancelled

Luis Larrazabal and Caristina. Photo property of Equinium/The Ridge at Wellington.

Wellington, FL (March 27, 2020) – Despite the omnipresent cloud of coronavirus concerns darkening an otherwise sunny and crisp Florida spring, the last days of competition on the 2020 Turf Tour did not disappoint. Adhering to strict protocols, social distancing, and sanitization procedures recommended by both the USEF and CDC, The Ridge’s home farm on Palm Beach Point Boulevard in Wellington hosted two rings of show jumping at what would be the final chance for riders to jump for the 2020 Leading Rider Award. With a tricked-out golf cart presented by Iron Horse Transit as the prize, the Turf Tour’s Leading Rider rankings were a close race between a handful of riders determined to win and prove the resiliency and perseverance of the equestrian athlete.

The $15,000 Turf Tour Grand Prix was a hotly contested class, and has been all of 2020, with some riders bringing multiple horses to boost their numbers on the leaderboard. The course, set by Olympic designer Leopoldo Palacios, offered options for competitive rides and a dramatic final bending line in the jump-off: a challenging, angled gallop from the Prestige Italia oxer to the Hygain Feed vertical.

With just 20 points separating him from the pinnacle, Luis Larrazabal of Venezuela and the dapple grey mare Caristina flew around the immaculate grass Grand Prix field. As the last to go of the day, they galloped to victory with a jump off time of 31.146. His double clear effort was contested by three others: Samuel Perot and Boogie Woogie (32.220), Kristian Skovrider and Lykkehoejs Cassander (33.989), and Wilhelm Genn and Van Gogh (34.955). The last week’s Grand Prix victory makes bookend wins for Larrazabal and Caristina this season, as the pair was also the first winners of the of the Grand Prix during Turf Tour 1 (January 8-10).

Brazil’s Thiago Rhavy and Salamandra Baloubina were victorious in the week’s second headline class, the $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classic. Edging out speedy Stella Manship and her Quarto Mail by only two hundredths of a second, Rhavy came out on top in the jump-off on a time of 30.730 to Manship’s 30.919.

After following the developing plot of the coronavirus, with a heavy heart, the Turf Tour’s organizers announced that they would be cancelling the last event of the season, Finale week at Black Watch Farm. Despite all the extra protocols taken to ensure the health and safety of all their horses, riders, owners, spectators, and staff, the next Turf Tour event is planned to commence January 2021, with lots of new venue additions, sponsors, and all the atmosphere and competition that has made the Turf Tour a staple in Wellington’s show season.

“We are in uncharted waters with this virus and the impact on equestrian events and the entire industry,” said George D’Ambrosio, co-founder of the Turf Tour. “Erring on the side of caution will be our decision in such a situation, and we can’t thank our supporters and riders enough for bringing their horses to show with us. We wish everyone a safe and healthy spring, so we can all get back in the saddle again ASAP.”

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Turf Tour 2020 Announcement: Updated Schedule & Statement on Coronavirus + USEF Cancellations

Wellington, FL (March 14, 2020) – The Wellington Turf Tour intends to continue holding its series of horse shows with elevated sanitation procedures and strict adherence to CDC and other recommended guidelines. The above proposed schedule will begin Turf Tour 11 (March 18-20) through the Turf Tour Finale (March 28), with approval from the USEF. Official schedules and information will be posted and distributed when they become available, with final decisions to be made early next week.

Statement from the 2020 Wellington Turf Tour managing directors, Nona Garson & George D’Ambrosio:

“We understand this is a time to be very careful with everyone’s health and we are taking the situation very seriously.

We will continue to inform you via emails and on our social media platforms as decisions are made and guidelines are released from health officials.

Please note, if we do host the horse show, we will follow the CDC, Federal, State, and Local guidelines at that time.

We have amped up our sanitization of all human areas of the farm, and we have been assured by numerous veterinarians that horses cannot carry nor can they transmit the current Corona threat.

This is an evolving situation and we would like to reserve the right to make our final decision on hosting the horse show closer to the start of the horse show.

Thank you for your continued support of our horse shows.”

Visit or follow the Turf Tour on Instagram (@ridgeshowjumping) and Facebook (@theridgeatwellington) for more information.

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Bond Brings Grand Prix Winning Streak to Turf Tour 9

Ashlee Bond and Semilly F (Photo by Romeo Ghete)

Wellington, FL (March 10, 2020) – Ashlee Bond’s 1-2 finish in Friday’s $15,000 Turf Tour Grand Prix was just a taste of excellence to be put forth by the Israeli rider during week 9. Making the most of the Turf Tour’s exceptional grass field set at To-Kalon Farm March 4-6, Bond bounded to first and second aboard Semilly F and Imagine, before going on to win the $401,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix CSI 5* on Saturday night with Donatello. Designed as a show for all levels of equestrians, the Turf Tour’s utopian atmosphere and gorgeous venues make it an ideal place to train, progress, and develop horse and rider relationships to their maximum potential.

“I love how you can go show at a different location weekly [on the Turf Tour] and go into different arenas in a beautiful and relaxed environment,” said Bond. “I think it’s really important to have shows like this as it is super beneficial for horses and riders to get in the ring without pressure. It’s also good for their minds. Training in a show environment is not something you get to do often enough like in Europe and I think it’s so important.”

Bond’s winning streak began during Turf Tour 8 @ Black Watch Farm, where she was victorious in that week’s $15,000 Turf Tour Grand Prix with Ace of Hearts. Going on to victory in Turf Tour 9’s Grand Prix, she finished on a jump off time of 37.004 with Semilly F. Aboard Imagine, a mare she began riding as a 6-year-old, the pair made their 1.40m show debut on Friday with a double clear and second place effort in a time less than a second behind Semilly F’s: 37.057 seconds. Third went to Irishman Riley Mackillop and Amigo, coming home in the jump-off on a time of 37.687, while fourth went to the USA’s Lauren Hough and Gemino, putting in a double clear and jump off time of 39.475.

Turf Tour 9’s courses at beautiful To-Kalon Farm, referred to as Wellington’s Napa Valley, were set by Olympic course designer Leopoldo Palacios, and featured a number of tests for both horse and rider. In the Grand Prix’s design, a triple bar followed immediately by two one-stride verticals tested the ability to collect and jump quickly after a wide-spanning oxer. Another challenge was a zig zag line featuring the Prestige Italia vertical, oxer to vertical double, and the bicycle skinny, a test of agility and athleticism. And finally, the last oxer in both the first round and the jump off was just a few inches wider than the other oxers in the field, requiring muscle memory override.

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To-Kalon Turf Tour Crowns Rising Star Luis Larrazabal

Luis Larrazabal and Thalys Z. Photo property of Equinium/The Ridge at Wellington.

Wellington, FL (March 5, 2020) – An already tight race for 2020 Turf Tour Leading Rider honors became just a touch more competitive as Luis Larrazabal and Thalys Z scored another victory, winning Wednesday’s $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classic. Larrazabal is currently the Turf Tour’s points leader, with a number of top competitors nipping at his heels to win the Leading Rider title and a gorgeous golf cart presented by the show’s official horse carrier, Iron Horse Transit. With only 3 more weeks of Turf Tour competition to go, plus the Saturday March 28 Finale presented by Wellington National Golf Course, the battle for 2020 Leading Rider is sure to heat up under the Florida sun.

Larrazabal and Thalys Z jumped an impressive double clear round in the Grand Prix last week at Black Watch Farm, and continued to show top form at To-Kalon. The pair executed a nearly perfect jump off, taking tight inside turns and leaving out a few strides to clinch victory with a time of 39.335 seconds.

Chelsea Moss rode Stormfront Stables’ Ravena Is La Silla to second with a 41. 235, while third went to Rebecca Conway and Stakatistaa with 43.146. Running in Ring 2, tandem with Ring 1, are all levels and divisions of Level 2 Jumpers on the grass, from the .80m-1.2m. Points for the Leading Rider Award are accrued from results in the 1.20-1.25m, the $5,000 1.30 Rising Star Classic, and the $15,000 1.40m Turf Tour Grand Prix.

“The Rising Star Jumper Classic, which is held every Wednesday during the Florida season, is meant to serve as a soft introduction to the higher classes,” said Nona Garson, co-founder of The Ridge Turf Tour and US Olympian. “It’s a stepping off point, with options to challenge a horse or build its confidence. All of our classes aim to serve that purpose: allowing horses and riders to develop in new environments, on different but ideal footing, and under less stressful circumstances. All levels are welcome, and the providing riders the option to train horses while also showing is our goal, along with generous prize money and exceptional atmosphere.”

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Ashlee Bond Adds New Blood to Turf Tour Grand Prix

Ashlee Bond and Ace of Hearts (Photo by Romeo Ghete)

Wellington, FL (March 3, 2020) – The final week of February brought cool weather and great competition on the grass to Black Watch Farm. The Ridge at Wellington’s Turf Tour Week 8 saw debutant attendees and show regulars in the winner’s circle, while attendees enjoyed complimentary mini Moët & Chandons, hospitality, and superb turf footing for all levels of show jumping. Turf Tour Week 9 continues at To-Kalon Farm March 4-6, with a complimentary, open to the public wine tasting courtesy of To-Kalon’s owner Jeremy Nickel, magnums of wine for select class winners, and all the atmosphere and competition the Turf Tour is known for.

A field of 26 riders faced off on Friday for the $15,000 1.40m Turf Tour Grand Prix over a course designed by Mexico’s Oscar Soberon. Israel’s Ashlee Bond logged her first Turf Tour Grand Prix victory aboard Ace of Hearts with a jump off time of 32.315. Jordan Coyle and Stella Manship’s Chuckles finished second on 33.983, with Sloan Coles and Coldplay in third with a time of 35.510. The competition included some of the world’s top ranked riders, including Daniel Bluman and Lauren Hough. Bond, who also finished fifth aboard Donatello, rode for the first time at the 2020 Turf Tour during week 7 and stated that the show’s unique venues and training atmosphere was a huge boon for riders: “I love how you can go show at a different location weekly [on the Turf Tour] and go into different arenas in a beautiful and relaxed environment,” said Bond. “I think it’s really important to have shows like this as it is super beneficial for horses and riders to get in the ring without pressure. It’s also good for their minds. Training in a show environment is not something you get to do often enough like in Europe and I think it’s so important.”

An inclement weather forecast on Wednesday prompted a schedule change to hold February 26th’s classes on the 27th. Thursday’s chilly temperatures and abundant sunshine set the stage for Stella Manship to claim another win on the Turf Tour. The winner of week 7’s Turf Tour Grand Prix aboard Quarto Mail, Manship once again galloped to victory with the bay gelding at Black Watch’s $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classic. Riding against a competitive field, Manship and Quarto Mail turned on the nitrous in the jump-off to finish on a time of 34.703. Her colleague Jordan Coyle rode Warnike to second in 35.681, and the speedy Kyla Makhloghi and Hurry Up B took third with 37.909.

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Stella Manship Sails to Blistering Victory in Turf Tour Week 7’s 1.40m Grand Prix

Stella Manship and Quarto Mail.

Wellington, FL (February 23, 2020) – The top three finishers in Friday’s $15,000 1.40m Turf Tour Grand Prix are a selection of the series’ superstars. Stella Manship has now has back to back Turf Tour Grand Prix victories under her belt, after winning on Valentine’s Day during Week 6 and again this week. Kim Farlinger has been placed in the top 5 of the Turf Tour Grand Prix most weeks, and Willie Tynan has won two of the last three Rising Star Classics, including Wednesday’s, and he was the 2019 Turf Tour Leading Rider. The Leading Rider standings are reflected in points earned in the Grand Prix, Rising Star, and 1.20-1.25m divisions, and these three, along with a group of top competitors biting at their heels, will continue to vie for the top spot and the top prize, a beautiful golf cart provided by Iron Horse Transit.

A rainy morning couldn’t dampen the spirits of the Turf Tour’s riders or compromise the exceptional grass footing in The Ridge at Wellington’s oversized Grand Prix field. Stella Manship and Jordan Coyle brought a few early rides to the $15,000 1.40m class, with Manship’s ride aboard Quarto Mail putting it all on the line. The sporty bay gelding left out strides to just about every jump, including the triple bar, skinny bicycle, and triple combination, with an impressive final effort between the double combination and bending line to the final oxer. Their time of 28.801 seconds in the jump-off went untouched for the rest of the class.

Kim Farlinger and the veteran Grand Prix horse Stanley Stone, owned by Sher-Al Farm, were determined to give Stella a run for her money as one of the last rides of the day. Of the 12 times already gone, only Manship’s was double clear, however, so Farlinger’s catch 22 was that a conservative, clear jump-off would guarantee her the top two finish, whereas a rail might bump her below a number of quick four fault rides. Farlinger walked the line, asking Stanley Stone for bursts of speed coupled with collection before jumping to finish on 30.928 in second place. Willie Tynan and the athletic gray mare Fenise were the fastest of the second round four fault efforts, with just one rail coming out of the triple combination and a jump-off time of 32.032 seconds.

While the Turf Tour has always seen an international clientele in its arenas, this week brought an added global element in the form of Israeli equestrian team riders and Chef d’Equipe. Daniel Bluman is a frequent visitor to the Turf Tour over the past 3 years, bringing various horses, riders, and students to enjoy the various venues. Joshua Tabor, an Israeli Team Rider for the 2014 Wellington Nations Cup, brought the young grey gelding Ostwind 59 out to show in both Wednesday’s $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classic and Friday’s $15,000 1.40m Grand Prix. Hans Horn, Chef d’Equipe for the Israeli Team, kept a watchful eye on Tabor and Ostwind 59 as they competed at The Ridge, and said, “We had the Nations Cup last week and the 4-star next week, and have brought a few Israeli riders to the Turf Tour to exercise and prepare for even bigger shows. Joshua is based in Texas and wanted to get out on this horse, who is a little green, before going to WEF. It’s a nice steppingstone for them to ride and train.”

Another Israeli Team rider, Ashlee Bond, who has had a string of recent successes both at WEF and across the globe, represented Israel in the CSI5* Nations Cup last week and brought Belo Horizonte for a round in both the .80m in The Ridge’s sand arena and the 1.20-1.25m on the grass field. Belo Horizonte has been victorious at the CSI 2-star level. “I love how you can go show at a different location weekly [on the Turf Tour] and go into different arenas in a beautiful and relaxed environment,” said Bond. “I think it’s really important to have shows like this as it is super beneficial for horses and riders to get in the ring without pressure. It’s also good for their minds. Training in a show environment is not something you get to do often enough like in Europe and I think it’s so important.”

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Tynan Trounces Field in Turf Tour Week 7’s $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classic

Willie Tynan and Ballinteskin Joe.

Wellington, FL (February 21, 2020) – Ireland’s Willie Tynan remains a force to be reckoned with on the 2020 Turf Tour, and is on the road to potentially recapture his 2019 title of Turf Tour Leading Rider. Wednesday’s $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classic was set against the emerald green grass of The Ridge at Wellington’s home farm, where the field was recently expanded and enhanced to accommodate Turf Tour competitors. Over courses designed by Eric Hasbrouck on both grass and sand, competitors jumped the brightly colored jumps at heights ranging from .80m to 1.30m during Wednesday’s show, with Friday promising the same competition with the addition of the $15,000 1.40m Turf Tour Grand Prix. The Turf Tour’s 2020 Leading Rider based on collective points from the Rising Star, Grand Prix, and 1.20m divisions will once again be awarded a tricked-out golf cart courtesy of Iron Horse Transit.

With only three double clears in the class of 15 riders, Tynan’s 40.867 second jump off time with the always fast Freya put him squarely in the lead. A new horse for Tynan, Ballinteskin Joe, showed impressive scope and talent to also go double clear, jumping off in 43.694 for second place. Both Freya and Joe are owed by Michelle Guardino-Dettelbach from Delray Beach, Florida. Wednesday’s third and final double clear in the Rising Star went to another Irishman and Turf Tour regular, Jordan Coyle, aboard Elan Farm’s Bold Prinz. The pair’s jump off time of 47.259 settled them into third.

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Stella Manship & Bold Prinz Feel the Love in $15,000 1.40m Grand Prix

Stella Manship & Bold Prinz.

Wellington, FL (February 18, 2020) – The midway point in Florida’s winter equestrian season was marked by roses, show jumping, and hospitality on the Turf Tour. Roses were presented to each exhibitor as Week 6 wrapped on Valentine’s Day. Stella Manship and Bold Prinz took top honors in The Ridge’s $15,000 1.40m Turf Tour Grand Prix held at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. Determined to win the Turf Tour’s Leading Rider prize, a souped up golf cart presented by Iron Horse Transit, Manship’s late-in-the-day double clear over Olympic designer Leopoldo Palacios’ course clocked in at 32.160 for the win. Turf Tour Weeks 7 & 8 will both be held at The Ridge’s home farm on a newly expanded turf Grand Prix field, before returning to Black Watch and To-Kalon Farms for the remaining weeks and season Finale.

Week 6’s $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classic victor, Alvaro Tejada, set the pace in the Grand Prix with an early double clear and jump-off time of 33.377. A field of nearly 30 international riders put pressure on Tejada throughout the day, including Luis Larrazabal, Kim Farlinger, Jordan Coyle, Steven Bluman, Diego Vivero, Michael Janson, Riley Mackillop, and Michael Kearins, but only Manship was able to top his time.

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Rising Star Classic Champions at Turf Tour Week 5 & 6

Alvaro Tejada and Clark Palo Blanco.

Wellington, FL (February 13, 2020) – Turf Tour Week 5 and the first day of Week 6’s competition crowned two Rising Star Classic champions and hosted exceptional show jumping and hospitality at venues To-Kalon Farm and Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. Welcoming horses and riders at all levels from the .80m to the Grand Prix, the back-to-back Wednesday shows drew competitors and spectators to enjoy Wellington’s utopian equestrian settings, rare wines, and the horse-centric show experience The Ridge Turf Tour is known for.

Napa Valley inspired To-Kalon Farm, owned by second generation vinter Jeremy Nickel, transformed its sweeping polo field into two rings of show jumping during Turf Tour Week 5. Dotted by brightly colored jumps in courses designed by Argentina’s Jaime Morillo, the exceptional grass footing at To-Kalon and other venues has become the trademark of the Turf Tour, one of the only shows in the world where all levels can experience jumping on the grass. February 5th’s $5,000 1.30m Rising Star Classic saw Ireland’s Willie Tynan and KEC City Limits best the field, galloping across the grass and through the timers to victory. Tynan, riding for Red Barn Farm out of Boston, has been one of the Turf Tour’s most decorated riders, and for his Rising Star win at To-Kalon Farm was awarded a magnum bottle of The Vineyard House’s rare Cabernet Sauvignon. Second in the To-Kalon Rising Star went to Luis Larrazabal riding for San Francisco Stables aboard Alonzo Z, and third to Kim Farlinger and Stanley Stone of Sher-Al Farm.

Kicking off Week 6, Wednesday’s $5,000 Rising Star Classic saw more than 25 horses and riders jumping over a course designed by Olympic and FEI designer Leopoldo Palacios. Jim Brandon Equestrian Center’s spacious warmups, exceptional all weather arenas, and hassle free trailer parking are a welcome change of pace for competitors on Wellington’s winter circuit. A busy day marked by warm breezes brought victory in the Rising Star for Alvaro Tejada and Clark Palo Blanco, whose exceptionally fast jump-off time was hotly contested but never beaten. A first round double clear by Richard Neil and Electra set the mark at an already fast jump-off time of 30.851 seconds. Not long after, Tejada and Clark Palo Blanco swept through the timers in 29.963. Multiple combinations powered through Palacios’s jump-off, whipping around turns and galloping down bending lines, gradually bumping Neil and Electra into 6th place but unable to match Tejada’s time. With the top 6 horses all within a second of each other’s times, the tight jump-off put Gianni Gabrielli with Chaco 34 into second on 30.035 and Tegan Elizabeth Tracy with Colorado into third on 30.362.

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Kachelhoffer, Bluman, and Manship Top Turf Tour Week 2 Grand Prix

Johan Kachelhoffer & And Action.

Wellington, FL (January 21, 2020) – Turf Tour Week 2 at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center wrapped up Friday, where constant activity in both Ring 1 and Ring 2 gave proof of a diversity of levels competing. The day’s highlight event, the $15,000 1.40m Turf Tour Grand Prix saw 20 horses and riders race the timers over a course designed by Jaime Marillo of Ecuador. With great turn out the first few weeks, the Turf Tour is expecting a record number of riders and spectator attendance at week 3’s stunning venue Black Watch Farm.

An early ride from Israel’s Mark Bluman and Ferrari set the pace for the Grand Prix, and sat at the top of the leader board most of the day. Late in the class, rides from Johan Kachelhoffer and Stella Manship, however, bumped the standings. Bluman and Ferrari’s early double clear with a jump off time of 37.580 ended up being one of only 3 double clears for the day. Stella Manship and Colorado put in an impressive effort to trail behind Bluman, jumping off in 38.329. But Johan Kachelhoffer and And Action, as the last ride in the day, had the final say in the Grand Prix: the pair jumped off in 35.329 seconds, taking the win.

Another addition to Week 2’s roster of top riders was Olympic Medalist Phillip Dutton. With double Olympic Gold Medals to his name, along with multiple World Championship and International titles, the eventing icon brought a number of young and just back to competition horses to the Turf Tour as a first show of 2020. “We bring the young horses and horses going back into training after a rest to the Turf Tour because it is a nice alternative for them,” said Dutton. “The show is more focused on the horses, and allows myself and my riders to create the best training experience for them. It’s less stress and a fantastic first time back.”

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